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Written collaboratively by Weiwei Zhang and Kenneth Sherin.

About Community Data Check-Ups

The South Dakota Census Data Center is a great resource for South Dakota communities. Understanding demographic trends is important to maintaining community resilience and vitality.

The SDSU Extension community vitality team is available for Community Data Check-Ups. Check-ups will include a coaching session about the newest data trends seen in your community. Dr. Weiwei Zhang is also available for workshops regarding the collection and use of the American Community Survey.

Recent Survey Data

On December 07, 2017 U.S. Census Bureau released the 2012-2016 5-Year American Community Survey (ACS) data for every community nationwide. The news release included data highlights: Commuting Times, Median Rents and Language other than English Use in the Home on the Rise.

The 5-Year estimates are particularly useful for communities in South Dakota. Due to the population threshold, the 1-Year estimates provide data for only two counties in South Dakota: Minnehaha and Pennington. The ACS 5-Year estimates provide a full set of comprehensive data on demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics for all other counties, cities, and towns in the state.

South Dakota County Data Highlights

Check out the selected statistics from the 2012-2016 ACS 5-Year estimates for all counties and the state:

  • Potter County had the highest median age of 53.5 with 28.2% of the county population aged 65 and over and 5.2% aged 85 and over.
  • Todd County was one of the youngest counties in the nation with a median age of 24.3 with 40.3% of the county population under age 18 and 12.6% under 5 years.
  • Fall River County had the largest share of the county population who are Veterans (17.3% compared to the state share of 9.8%).
  • 10.9% of the population in Beadle County are foreign born (compared to the state share of 3.2%).
  • Beadle County had the largest share of people employed in manufacturing industry (22.1% compared to the state share of 9.9%).
  • 69.1% of people in Lincoln County who worked outside the county, followed by Stanley County, Hanson County, and Meade County, which all had more than 60% of the county population working outside the county. The state had on average 20.7% of the total population who worked outside their county of residence.
  • Clay County had the largest share of people who have completed a bachelor's degree (47.8%) or an advanced degree (21.7%).
  • Lincoln County had the lowest poverty rates (3.7% below poverty) and the highest median household income ($77,455).
  • Oglala Lakota County and Todd County had among the highest poverty rates (53.9% and 47.1% below poverty).
  • Hanson County had the highest home-ownership rate (87.6%).
  • 32.9% of housing units in Oglala Lakota County are mobile homes.
  • Fall River County had 39.4% homeowners paying 30 percent or more of household income housing; Clay County had 57.2% renter units spending 30 percent or more of household income on housing.
  • Health insurance coverage was lowest in Buffalo County (46.6% uninsured and 28.9% children without health insurance coverage).

The Data Center also put together a file comparing South Dakota’s statistics between the period of 2012-2016 and the period of 2007-2011. View the complete report for more information.

Scheduling a Check-Up

To schedule a Community Data Check-Up, contact an SDSU Extension community vitality team member:

To learn more about the American Community Survey, how it works, and how you can use it, you can visit American Community Survey website or contact Dr. Weiwei Zhang at the State Data Center to arrange a workshop.

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