Located in the Midwestern region of the United States, South Dakota is home to over 850,000 residents. The fifth least densely populated U.S. state, its largest city is Sioux Falls, and its capital is Pierre. South Dakota’s landscape is characterized by grasslands and the Black Hills Mountains in the southwest. The state’s economy is driven by agriculture, ranching, defense spending, and tourism. Popular tourist spots include Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park. If you’d like to settle in The Mount Rushmore State, here are the 5 safest cities in South Dakota.
Related: Check out our South Dakota Public Records guide.
Our list was compiled based on FBI violent crime stats and proprietary BackgroundChecks.org research data. Rates are normalized per 100,000 residents with the state average being 327 for violent crime and 1,864 for property crime. This is calculated by taking (# of crimes/population) * 100,000.
Located in Brookings County, the city of Brookings has a current population of 22,000 residents. Also the county seat, the community is home to South Dakota State University as well as several art museums and large business concerns. Brookings is the safest place to live in South Dakota, with a violent crime rate of 35.6, and the chance of being involved in a property crime here just 1.7%.
A city in Lawrence County, Spearfish is home to 10,400 residents. The community was founded in 1876, sits at the base of the Black Hills, and is the site of Black Hills State University, a four-year public university. Another safe choice, the violent crime rate here is 168.2, and residents of Spearfish have a 3.5% chance of being affected by property crime.
Located in Brown County, the city of Aberdeen is home to 26,000 residents. Also the county seat, the community lies 125 miles north of Pierre, hosts several large businesses, and is the site of both Northern State University and Presentation College. The violent crime rate in Aberdeen is 259.5, and the chance of being involved in a property crime here is 1.9%.
A city in Clay County, Vermillion has a current population of 10,500 residents. Also the county seat, the community lies on top of a bluff near the Missouri River and is home to the University of South Dakota, which houses the state’s only medical and law school. The violent crime rate here is 277.1, and residents of Vermillion have a 2.2% chance of being affected by property crime.
Located in Codington County, the city of Watertown is home to 21,400 residents. Also the county seat, the community sits on the banks of the Big Sioux River, is close to two large lakes, and is the site of both the Redlin Art Center and the Bramble Park Zoo. The violent crime rate in Watertown is 283.1, and the chance of being involved in a property crime here is 2.3%.