10 Cities In South Dakota With The Largest Native American Population For 2019


We used data and science to determine the cities in South Dakota with the largest Native American population.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our first time ranking the cities in South Dakota with the largest Native American population.

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There are three major races in America that come to most of our minds right away:

  1. White
  2. Hispanic
  3. African American

But those are only the major races, there’s a whole bunch of other races people are interested in knowing about.

And today, we are going to look at the percent of the population in South Dakota that are Native American.

Native Americans are not a major portion of the current American Population, but they are still very important.

There are now over 2 million people who identify as Native American living in America, making up .65% of the total population. According to the most recent American Community Survey, the Native American population in South Dakota is 71,127 – at 8.3% of the total population of South Dakota.

So, what how does the Native American population stratify across South Dakota? Which cities and towns in South Dakota have seen the greatest increase in their Native American population?

Here are the 10 cities in South Dakota with the largest Native American population in 2019:

  1. Pierre (Photos)
  2. Rapid City (Photos)
  3. Aberdeen (Photos)
  4. Vermillion (Photos)
  5. Mitchell (Photos)
  6. Box Elder (Photos)
  7. Yankton (Photos)
  8. Sioux Falls (Photos)
  9. Spearfish (Photos)
  10. Belle Fourche (Photos)

Which city in South Dakota had the largest Native American population?

Pierre took the number one over all spot for the largest Native American population in South Dakota for 2019. 10.53% of Pierre identify as Native American.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked.

To see where South Dakota ranked as a state on diversity, we have a ranking of the most diverse states in America.

And if you already knew these places were Native American, check out the best places to live in South Dakota or the most diverse places in South Dakota.

For more South Dakota reading, check out:

How We Determined The Cities In South Dakota With The Largest Native American Population For 2019

We still believe in the accuracy of data — especially from the census. So that’s where we went to get the breakdown of race across South Dakota.

That lead us to the Census’s most recently available data, the 2013-2017 American Community Survey data from the US Census.

Specifically, we looked at table B03002: Hispanic OR LATINO ORIGIN BY RACE. Here are the category names as defined by the Census:

  • Hispanic or Latino
  • White alone*
  • Black or African American alone*
  • American Indian and Alaska Native alone*
  • Asian alone*
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone*
  • Some other race alone*
  • Two or more races*
* Not Hispanic or latino

Our particular column of interest here was the number of people who identified as American Indian and Alaska Native alone.

We limited our analysis to places with a population greater than 5,000 people. That left us with 16 cities.

We then calculated the percent of residents that are American Indian and Alaska Native. The percentages ranked from 10.53% to 0.06%.

Finally, we ranked each city based on the percent of American Indian and Alaska Native population with a higher score being more American Indian and Alaska Native than a lower score. Pierre took the distinction of being the most American Indian and Alaska Native, while Madison was the least Native American city.

Read on for more information on how the cities in South Dakota ranked by population of American Indian and Alaska Native residents or, for a more general take on diversity in America, head over to our ranking of the most diverse cities in America.

Pierre, SD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 13,974
% Native American: 10.53%
# Of Native American Residents: 1,471
Percent Change Since 2010: -4.04%
More on Pierre: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rapid City, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 72,841
% Native American: 10.48%
# Of Native American Residents: 7,635
Percent Change Since 2010: 8.56%
More on Rapid City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rapid City is the second most populous city in South Dakota and the county seat of Pennington County. Named after Rapid Creek, on which the city is established, it is set against the eastern slope of the Black Hills mountain range. The population was 67,956 as of the 2010 Census. Known as the ‘Gateway to the Black Hills’ and the ‘City of Presidents’, it is split by a low mountain ridge that divides the western and eastern parts of the city. Ellsworth Air Force Base is located on the outskirts of the city. Camp Rapid, a part of the South Dakota Army National Guard, is located in the western part of the city. The historic ‘Old West’ town of Deadwood is nearby. In the neighboring Black Hills are the popular tourist attractions of Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, and Wind Cave National Park.

Review Of South Dakota by HomeSnacks User

Downtown is beautiful and there are plenty of things to do in the Black Hills. The schools are nice and the city is relatively safe. The scenery is absolutely beautiful.

Love the revamped downtown, hiking trails on ‘M’ hill and Dinosaur Park. Lots of things to do with kids. And when you really want to get out, just go out to the Black Hills or Badlands.

Aberdeen, SD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 27,925
% Native American: 4.2%
# Of Native American Residents: 1,172
Percent Change Since 2010: 40.36%
More on Aberdeen: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Aberdeen is a city in and the county seat of Brown County, South Dakota, United States, about 125 miles northeast of Pierre. The city population was 26,091 at the 2010 census, making it the third most populous city in the state after Sioux Falls and Rapid City. Aberdeen is the principal city of the Aberdeen Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Brown and Edmunds counties and has a population of 40,602 in 2010. Aberdeen is considered a college town, being the home of both Northern State University and Presentation College.

Vermillion, SD

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 10,687
% Native American: 3.7%
# Of Native American Residents: 395
Percent Change Since 2010: 21.91%
More on Vermillion: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Vermillion is a city in and the county seat of Clay County, in the southeastern corner of the state of South Dakota, and the eleventh largest city in the state. According to the 2010 Census, the population was 10,571. The city lies atop a bluff near the Missouri River.

Mitchell, SD

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 15,566
% Native American: 3.62%
# Of Native American Residents: 563
Percent Change Since 2010: 42.53%
More on Mitchell: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mitchell is the county seat of Davison County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 15,254 at the 2010 census.

Box Elder, SD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 9,277
% Native American: 3.17%
# Of Native American Residents: 294
Percent Change Since 2010: -2.33%
More on Box Elder: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Yankton, SD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 14,529
% Native American: 2.83%
# Of Native American Residents: 411
Percent Change Since 2010: 9.6%
More on Yankton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Yankton is a city in, and the county seat of, Yankton County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 14,454 at the 2010 census. Yankton is the principal city of the Yankton Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the entirety of Yankton County, and which had an estimated population of 22,702 as of July 1, 2015.

Sioux Falls, SD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 170,401
% Native American: 2.36%
# Of Native American Residents: 4,023
Percent Change Since 2010: 5.45%
More on Sioux Falls: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sioux Falls is the most populous city in the U.S. state of South Dakota and the 145th-most populous city in the United States. It is the county seat of Minnehaha County. and also extends into Lincoln County to the south. It is the 47th fastest-growing city in the United States and the fastest-growing metro area in South Dakota, with a population increase of 22% between 2000 and 2010.

Review Of South Dakota by HomeSnacks User

The crime seems to be a lot lower compared to other places I lived. The worst thing I see is that the people drive really terribly here, major road rage all of the time and swerving. My favorite part of this town is easily our accessible everything is.

How close everything is. With the bonus of the very tolerable weather, it’s very easy to just walk to where you need to get to here without a car being 100% necessary.

Spearfish, SD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 11,300
% Native American: 2.31%
# Of Native American Residents: 261
Percent Change Since 2010: 83.8%
More on Spearfish: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Spearfish is a city in Lawrence County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 10,494 at the 2010 census.

Belle Fourche, SD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,622
% Native American: 1.96%
# Of Native American Residents: 110
Percent Change Since 2010: 80.33%
More on Belle Fourche: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Belle Fourche is a city in and the county seat of Butte County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 5,594 at the 2010 census.

There You Have It – Native American Populations Across South Dakota

If you’re looking for a breakdown of Native American populations across South Dakota according to the most recent data, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the least Native American places in South Dakota:

  1. Madison
  2. Brandon
  3. Sturgis

For more South Dakota reading, check out:

What Are The Most Native American Places In South Dakota?

Rank City % Native American Population
1 Pierre 10.53% 13,974
2 Rapid City 10.48% 72,841
3 Aberdeen 4.2% 27,925
4 Vermillion 3.7% 10,687
5 Mitchell 3.62% 15,566
6 Box Elder 3.17% 9,277
7 Yankton 2.83% 14,529
8 Sioux Falls 2.36% 170,401
9 Spearfish 2.31% 11,300
10 Belle Fourche 1.96% 5,622
11 Watertown 1.91% 22,083
12 Huron 1.51% 13,116
13 Brookings 1.32% 23,471
14 Sturgis 0.64% 6,715
15 Brandon 0.06% 9,731
16 Madison 0.06% 7,094

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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