16 Fun Facts About South Dakota

Author: Jason Coles

Updated On:

Updated On:

The beautiful U.S. state of South Dakota has been overlooked by many for a number of years. It may not possess the vast, colorful cities Texas has, or have the endless white sands and glistening waters of California, but one thing South Dakota has in abundance is variety, accompanied by an ever-growing economic and business climate suitable for many entrepreneurs.

Often referred to as “the land of infinite variety”, South Dakota boasts some incredible diversity when it comes to almost anything within the state, whether that be climate, landscape, or South Dakotans and their cultures. South Dakota is an expansive, yet sparsely populated state, situated in the midwestern region of the United States and is landlocked.

States that border South Dakota include, North Dakota to the north, Minnesota, and Iowa to the east, Nebraska to the south, and Wyoming and Montana to the west. There is a lot to unpack and look at when it comes to the Mount Rushmore State, that is why there is a multitude of fun facts about South Dakota, so, without further a due let’s take a look!

Alternatively, if you are here solely to check out the economic and business facts about South Dakota, then feel free to skip straight to this section.

Interesting facts about South Dakota

6 Of The Most Fun Facts about South Dakota

1. Now, we know that we previously mentioned South Dakota not boasting beautiful coastlines, but, what it lacks in coastlines, it certainly makes up for with its abundance of shoreline. South Dakota has more miles of shoreline than the entire state of Florida. The state’s rivers and lakes really have added up over the years!

2. Sturgis is one of the coolest places to visit, with an incredible food scene, vibrant people, and many live music venues. However, maybe one of the most awesome things about this city is the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which is one of the biggest in the world! Established in 1938, and still running to this day, this event is one of the most iconic things about South Dakota.

3. South Dakota is home to many natural beauties, including six national parks, with arguably the most popular (and beautiful) being Badlands National Park. Here is a list of the rest:

  • Badlands National Park.
  • Jewel Cave National Monument.
  • Minuteman Missile National Historic Site.
  • Missouri National Recreational River.
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
  • Wind Cave National Park.

4. As mentioned when describing the state’s nickname, South Dakota is home to the iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial, which is an insanely large sculpture of four U.S. presidents carved into the side of a granite mountain, located in the Black Hills. The project took place in 1927 and took around 14 years to complete. Both nicknames and mottos find themselves on state seals as well as flags and other symbols. You can find the famous state motto that accompanies South Dakota’s nickname on the official state seal.

5. The four presidents to feature in the famous Mount Rushmore Memorial are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

6. Many states have adopted many bizarre laws over the years, and almost forgot to legalize them! There are so many from different states that actually spark much confusion and debate. And South Dakota is certainly no stranger to this too, with one of the oddest laws being that it is totally illegal to fall asleep in a cheese factory! A milk factory would be fine, but a cheese factory? You’d be in jail quicker than you can say, well, cheese.

7. It wasn’t until 1992 that South Dakota changed its nickname to “The Mount Rushmore State”, before this it used to be “The Sunshine State”, which would spark much confusion nowadays with Florida being the state associated with that nickname.

8. If you are perhaps an introvert, or just simply enjoy spending time alone South Dakota may just be the state for you. With the state being the 5th least populous and the 5th least densely populated out of all 50 states!

9. Custer State Park in South Dakota is home to a herd of over 1,300 free-roaming bison. Bison is an incredibly powerful and unique animal, with some weighing as much as 2,000 lbs (pounds)!

10. Pierre is the capital city of South Dakota, however, it is not the largest, with the most populous city being Sioux Falls, boasting a population of over 170,000. If you are visiting these cities, it makes a lot of sense to know and understand the speed limits for South Dakota too.

11. Back to the topic of Mount Rushmore, the incredible sculpture itself is approximately 60 feet high and cost less than $1 million to complete.

Fun Facts About South Dakota

Economic Interesting Facts About South Dakota

There is plenty to consider when taking a look at the business and economic interesting facts about South Dakota as there is plenty to look at. Many have perceived South Dakota over the years as having a weaker economy and business climate than most. However, this could not be further from the truth.

Over the past several years South Dakota’s popularity certainly has increased, with business owners, investors, and entrepreneurs all deciding to call the Mount Rushmore State their new home and subsequent place of business.

When you compare the state GDP, median income, and college education system with the population and the state’s cost of living, South Dakota has an impressive business and economic environment.
Here is our List of Interesting Facts about South Dakota’s Economy

  • South Dakota’s GDP is around $54 billion!
  • South Dakota has no personal income tax.
  • Over 39% of South Dakota’s population has been college-educated.
  • South Dakota’s fiscal stability is among the countries top 3 states according to US News & World Report.
  • South Dakota has the 3rd most renewable energy usage out of all 50 states (US News & World Report).
  • South Dakota also ranks 3rd out of all 50 states for its natural environment (US News & World Report).
  • The minimum wage in South Dakota is $9.45 per hour.
  • Agriculture is the strongest industry and subsequently has the most impact on the state’s economy.
  • South Dakota ranks among the top 10 states for the production of hay, sunflowers, rye, honey, soybeans, corn, wheat, and cattle.
  • Tourism is a massive contributor to the economy, with the industry alone bringing in approximately $2 billion annually.
  • South Dakota’s median income is $29,611.
  • The average house price in South Dakota is $224,139, however, this number is seasonally adjusted. To remain updated with the latest house price information, take a look at Zillow’s website.
  • Small businesses are rapidly taking the country by storm, and for the better! South Dakota’s number of small businesses is rising each year, there are currently over 88,000 small businesses.
  • Small businesses account for over 99% of all South Dakota businesses.
  • There are over 209,000 small business employees in South Dakota.
  • The number of small business employees makes up over 58% of all employees in the state.
  • South Dakota’s sales tax rate is 4.5%.

All of these economic facts about South Dakota provide many valid reasons why people decide to move to the state for business and work opportunities, and it’s difficult to argue with any of them!

Final 5 Interesting Facts About South Dakota

12. One of the most famous dinosaur skeletons in history, Sue the T. Rex, was discovered near the Badlands area in 1990. This T. Rex is truly breathtaking, at 42 feet long and 12 feet high, it makes you feel slightly grateful that we don’t have to share the same land as them anymore!

13. South Dakota is home to the third-largest cave in the world – Jewel Cave can be found in South Dakota’s Black Hills.

14. Badlands National Park has gathered quite the reputation for housing some of the most ancient fossils in the world, with the world’s richest Oligocene epoch fossil beds residing in the park, dating back as far as 35 million years old!

15. Mitchel, SD is home to the only Corn Palace in the entire world, and no, the palace is not entirely made out of corn (unfortunately).

16. The satellite pictures you see from space are all processed at the US Geological Survey’s Earth Resources Observation and Science Data Center, near Sioux Falls, SD!

Thanks for taking a look at our 16+ fun facts about South Dakota! If you are interested in learning some of the interesting facts about North Dakota, the twin brother of South Dakota, make sure you check out our page dedicated to this.

Interesting US State Facts

South Dakota

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Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S. who refer his services to their clients regularly, Jason has written over 1,360 business plans across the past 17+ years for start-up companies and franchises looking to expand their footprint in the United States. Jason is considered a seasoned expert in his field. He creates detailed business plans for his clients that include five-year financial projections, market and industry analysis reports, demographic studies, organizational charts, job descriptions, employee hiring plans, and more.