Moving/Relocating To South Dakota: 10 Powerful Facts Only Known By The Locals

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South Dakota is a midwestern state in the United States with a population of 886,667. This state offers an excellent quality of life for its residents as it provides economic opportunities, healthcare access, and city amenities.

Additionally, the affordable cost of living in South Dakota also makes this state a potential retirement place. If you are moving to South Dakota, you may want to consider planning your retirement here.

To prepare you before living in South Dakota, here are 10 powerful facts about this state, including the pros and cons of living in South Dakota.

1. What To Expect When Living In South Dakota: Pros And Cons

Knowing the pros and cons of living in South Dakota will help you in your relocation process. You will learn to adapt to your new environment because you’ll be well prepared.

Here are some pros and cons that you should pay attention to before preparing for your moving process.

The Pros Of Living In South Dakota

Charming Small Towns

Some people who work remotely may want to live in a charming small-town, where neighbours know each other and without the typical big-city hustle. If you are one of these people, South Dakota has the perfect towns for you.

In South Dakota, you will find quaint towns all over the state. These towns may not have the amenities like the bigger cities, but they are decent.

Excellent Healthcare

Besides affordable healthcare costs, South Dakota is known to have excellent healthcare services. The current overall ranking for the healthcare services in South Dakota nationally is 23. It means that many patients are satisfied with the medical services in South Dakota.

The People Are Nice

You will find kind people all over the state. The neighbours are saying hi to each other, and sometimes people even go above and beyond to help the community.

After heavy snow, you may find farmers are coming to your neighbourhood with equipment to clean the road. People in South Dakota are used to helping strangers, and that’s what makes this state even more attractive.

The Cons Of Living In South Dakota

Put On More Layers During Winter

One of the most challenging times when living in South Dakota is winter. It is snowy, cloudy, and windy in the winter. You may want to put on extra layers and wear proper winter boots before leaving the house.

The temperatures in the winter are often around 17°F and rarely dip below -3°F. Even though the temperatures are freezing, you can still enjoy outdoor activities such as skiing, sledging, or building snow forts with your loved ones.

Low Wages And Salaries

The average annual income in South Dakota is $37,453. Compared to other states, this number seems really small. However, with the affordable cost of living in South Dakota, many people can live decently with this income. You can ask for some tips from the locals to learn how they find cheaper options for their daily needs.

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2. Secure A Home In The Best Neighbourhood

There are plenty of great areas in South Dakota. Below are some of the best places to live, in terms of safety and affordability.

Dakota Dunes

With a low crime rate and a friendly community, Dakota Dunes is one of the safest areas for families with kids.

You will love the affordable housing prices of this area. The median home price is $266,400, and the median monthly rent is $902.

Sioux Falls

The crime rate in Sioux Falls is pretty low, at 36 per one thousand residents. Unlike many cities that usually have dangerous areas, in Sioux Falls, you can pick any neighbourhood to live in and expect safety.

This city is a dense suburb with many bars, coffee shops, and parks. These amenities make Sioux Falls perfect for young professionals and families.

On top of the safety and excellent amenities, Sioux Falls still offers reasonable housing prices. The median home price is $189,800, and the median monthly rent is $827.


Another place that offers a dense suburban neighbourhood is Brandon. It is the safest city in South Dakota, with a crime rate of 3.26 per one thousand residents. In 2017, there were only 26 property crimes with no violent crimes for the whole year.

This city is best for young professionals, families, and retirees, in terms of safety and affordability. The median home value in Brandon is $225,200, and the median monthly rent is $926.

On top of that, the public schools in Brandon are highly rated. Once you live in Brandon, you may want to spend more years in this city.

Besides the three cities above, there are still other safe towns in South Dakota, such as Brookings, Sisseton, Lennox, and many more.

3. Affordable Cost Of Living In South Dakota

The cost of living in South Dakota is less expensive compared to the rest of the States. Expenses like housing, utilities, grocery, and transportation are cheaper than the national average.

In addition, this state does not impose a state income tax, which is beneficial for its residents. The state sales tax rate is also relatively low, at 4.50%. Cities in this state have the option to add 2% or 3% to the sales tax.

Your money will stretch for a longer time if you live in South Dakota. However, it is still important to manage your finances.

4. Develop Your Passion: Job Opportunities In South Dakota

In November 2021, the employment rate in South Dakota increased by 4.4% compared to last year. In the next ten years, the job growth in South Dakota is predicted to reach 29.8%.

This steady growth in the employment rate shows the promising economic condition in South Dakota. It means this state has the potential to economically grow even further.

The three major industries in South Dakota are agriculture, mining and power, and manufacturing. If you have the interest and expertise in these sectors, South Dakota can be your destination.

5. Take The Chance To Pursue Higher Education

Overall, there are twenty-two colleges and universities in South Dakota. South Dakota State University (SDSU) in Brookings is the state’s largest public university with 11,465 students in fall 2021 semester enrollment.

SDSU provides online classes you can join from anywhere if you are working full time. Aside from academic programs, SDSU also has career training programs such as Home Inspection Certificate and pharmacy technician.

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6. Capture The Best Landmarks In South Dakota

Capture your best moments with the famous landmarks in South Dakota as the background. There are monuments and parks in South Dakota that you should include in your must-visit bucket list.

Below are only some of them for your reference. Once you are settled, you will find more exciting landmarks in South Dakota.

  • Mount Rushmore
  • Crazy Horse Memorial
  • Jewel Cave National Monument
  • Badlands National Park

7. Enjoy The Festive Events In South Dakota

South Dakota has the most iconic festivals that you have to experience at least once in your life. From a music festival to the state fair to the annual move of giant bison, South Dakota has it all.

Use festivals as a chance to get closer with your local friends and neighbours. You will also find out more about the culture of South Dakota that is closely related to nature.

Here are some of the festivals that are highly recommended:

  • Jazzfest in Sioux Falls;
  • Wild Bill Days in Deadwood;
  • Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo in Rapid City;
  • South Dakota State Fair in Huron; and
  • Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup in Custer.

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8. The Must-Do Outdoor Activities In South Dakota

Living in South Dakota is never boring if you know where to have an adventure. Challenge yourself to do these outdoor activities on weekends or during your vacation.

Biking Along The George S. Mickelson Trail

Get on your two wheels and bike along the George S. Mickelson Trail. The 109 miles trail is mostly flat and perfect for biking or running. In South Dakota, you have the right to brag if you are able to bike the entire trail from Deadwood to Edgemont.

Stargazing At Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park hosts an astronomy festival every July. At this festival, you can gaze at the night sky through high powered telescopes to learn about our galaxy from professional astronomers. Watching the Milky Way rise over the night will be a memorable experience for you.

Hiking At The Black Hills National Forest

Black Elk Peak is the highest point east of the Rockies in the States, located in Black Hills National Forest. Try to challenge yourself to hike 7,242 feet to reach this point. Once you reach the peak, your exhaustion will shrink as you enjoy the beautiful view of the forest.

9. Get Ready To Eat When Moving To South Dakota

South Dakota has iconic dishes that are worth trying. As a newcomer, you can try these recommended dishes first. Later on, you will find more recommendations for your local friends about other iconic foods in South Dakota.

Walleye Fish

Walleye fish is the favourite fish in South Dakota. These fishes can be found in rivers or lakes around the state. Walleye fish tastes good no matter how it is cooked.

Buffalo meat

In South Dakota, buffalo meat is used in various dishes such as burgers, soups, steak, and even meatloaf. Give this local delicacy a try. You will be surprised at how good buffalo meat tastes.

Indian Tacos

Basically, Indian Tacos have a similar filling to the traditional tacos. The difference is the tacos are served with fried bread.

10. Lessen Your Burden By Doing These Tips

Have A Moving Budget

It is crucial that you prepare a budget for your relocation. You should calculate the budget you need for the preparation, moving trip, and the first several months of your living expenses in South Dakota.

Have A Moving Checklist

The best way to lessen your burden during relocation is by having a moving checklist. Write down anything you need to do, earn, or pay on a note.

You do not have to memorise all your moving details by doing this. You can always refer to your note to track the progress of your relocation process.

Contact Sanelo

Do not risk damaging your belongings by carrying heavy luggage on your moving trip. Engage Sanelo to ship your belongings to South Dakota Safely.

Contact us two or three months before your moving date, so we have a buffer period to prepare the schedule and any essential documents for your relocation.

Conclusion About Moving To South Dakota

South Dakota is an excellent place to live in the States. It gives you the vibe of living in a small town with a supportive and friendly community. South Dakota is perfect if you like a slower-paced life and affordable cost of living.

There are plenty of places that are family-friendly in South Dakota. These places have significantly low crime rates. In addition, these places have good schools, parks, and affordable housing prices.

South Dakota is known as an agricultural state. However, this state actually provides jobs for various educational and industry backgrounds. So, you can dive into the job market in South Dakota to find opportunities that align with your expertise.

The best thing about living in South Dakota is the proximity to beautiful places such as national parks and amazing landmarks. Besides that, you can enjoy festivals and taste delicious local food.

Before you have all the perks of living in South Dakota, you need to prepare for your relocation well. Remember to write down anything you need for the relocation and make a budget.

Engage a professional mover, Sanelo, to lessen your burden in delivering your belongings to South Dakota. You can rest assured that your belongings will arrive safely because Sanelo has the experience and facilities to accommodate the shipment of your packages.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving To South Dakota

Is South Dakota Good For Retirees?

There is no pension income tax in South Dakota. Therefore, this state is financially-friendly for retirees.

What Is The Average Monthly Salary In South Dakota?

Basically, the salary rate is different in every city. According to ZipRecruiter, the average monthly salary in South Dakota is $5,668.

Can Sanelo Help Me To Ship Electronics?

We can ship your electronics to South Dakota. For more information, you can check our article about shipment protection.

How Do I Contact Sanelo?

Feel free to contact us by phone or email. Our team is available to walk you through the process and help you to adjust the shipment process based on your needs.

To give you more insight about moving to cities around the States, also read the following articles:


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