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Pharmacy Shelving South Dakota
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South Dakota

State of South Dakota

Belle Fourche Brookings
Chamberlain Clark Custer
Eagle Butte
Hot Springs Huron
Madison Milbank Mitchell Mobridge
Rapid City
Sioux Falls Sisseton Spearfish Sturgis
Watertown Winner


Flag of South Dakota

Seal of South Dakota

Nickname(s) : The Mount Rushmore State (official),
The Sunshine State

Motto(s) : Under God the people rule



Official language(s)




Largest city

Sioux Falls


Ranked 17 th

- Total

77,163 sq mi
(199,905 km²)

- Width

210 miles (340 km)

- Length

380 miles (610 km)

- % water


- Latitude

42°29'30"N to 45°56'N

- Longitude

98°28'33"W to 104°3'W


Ranked 46 th

- Total ( 2000 )


- Density

9.9/sq mi 
3.84/km² (46 th )



- Highest point

Harney Peak
7,242 ft (2,209 m)

- Mean

2,200 ft (670 m)

- Lowest point

966 ft (295 m)

Admission to Union

November 2 , 1889 (39 th )


Mike Rounds (R)

U.S. Senators

Tim Johnson (D)
John Thune (R)

Time zones


- eastern half

Central : UTC -6/ -5

- western half

Mountain : UTC -7/ -6



Web site

South Dakota is a Midwestern state in the United . It is named after the Lakota and Dakota ( Sioux ) American Indian tribes. South Dakota was admitted to the Union on November 2 , 1889 . North Dakota was admitted on the same day. It is probably best known as the location of Mount Rushmore .


[ hide ] 1 Geography

2 History

3 Demographics 3.1 Rural flight

3.2 Religion



4 Economy

5 Transportation

6 Law and government 6.1 Politics



7 Important cities and towns

8 Education

9 Miscellaneous topics 9.1 State symbols

9.2 Famous South Dakotans

9.3 Abortion law controversy



10 See also




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South Dakota is bordered to the north by North Dakota ; to the south by Nebraska ; to the east by Iowa and Minnesota ; and to the west by Wyoming and Montana . It is one of the six of the Frontier Strip .

The Missouri River runs through the central part of South Dakota. To the east of the river lie low hills and lakes formed by glaciers. Fertile farm country covers the area. To the west of the river the land consists of deep canyons and rolling plains.

South Dakota is comprised of four major land regions: the Drift Prairie , the Dissected Till Plains , the Great Plains , and the Black Hills .

The Drift Prairie covers most of eastern South Dakota. This is the land of low hills and glacial lakes. This area was called Coteau des Prairies (Prairie Hills) by early French traders. In the north, the Coteau des Prairies is bordered on the east by the Minnesota River Valley and on the west by the James River Basin. The James River Basin is mostly flat land, following the flow of the James River through South Dakota from north to south.

The Dissected Till Plains lie in the southeastern corner of South Dakota. This area of rolling hills is criss-crossed by many streams.

The Great Plains cover most of the western two-thirds of South Dakota. The Coteau de Missouri hills and valleys lie between the James River Basin of the Drift Prairie and the Missouri River. West of the Missouri River the landscape becomes more rugged and consists of rolling hills, plains, canyons, and steep flat-topped hills called buttes . These buttes sometimes rise 400 to 600 feet (120 to 180 m ) above the plains. In the south, east of The Black Hills, lay the South Dakota Badlands .

The Black Hills are in the southwestern part of South Dakota and extend into Wyoming. This range of low mountains covers 6,000 square miles (15,500 km². ) with mountains that rise from 2,000 to 4,000 feet (600 to 1,200 m) high. The highest point in South Dakota, Harney Peak (7,242 ft or 2,207 m above sea level), is in the Black Hills. The Black Hills are rich in minerals such as gold , silver , copper , and lead . The Homestake Mine , one of the largest gold mines in the United , is located in the Black Hills.

Major rivers include: Cheyenne River, Missouri River, James River, White River. Major lakes are: Lake Oahe, Lake Francis Case, Lewis and Clark Lake.

Areas under the management of the National Park Service include:

Badlands National Park

Jewel Cave National Monument near Custer

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site at Southwestern

Missouri National Recreational River

Mount Rushmore National Memorial near Keystone

Wind Cave National Park near Hot Springs




Human beings have lived in what is today South Dakota for at least several thousand years. French and other European explorers in the 1700s encountered a variety of groups including the Omaha and Arikara ( Ree ), but by the early 1800s the Sioux ( Dakota , Lakota , and Nakota ) were dominant. In 1743, the LaVerendrye brothers buried a plate near the modern capital Pierre (pronounced as "peer") claiming the region for France as part of greater Louisiana . In 1803, the United purchased the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon , though the native peoples inhabiting most of this area were not aware of the transaction.

President Thomas Jefferson organized a group called the Corps of Discovery, led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark (commonly referred to as " Lewis and Clark "), to explore the newly-acquired region. In 1817, an American fur trading post was set up at present-day Fort Pierre , beginning continuous American settlement of the area. Through much of the 19th century, exploratory expeditions such as those of Lewis and Clark and Joseph Nicollet coincided with an increasing presence of the U.S. Army . In 1855, the U.S. Army bought Fort Pierre but abandoned it the following year in favor of Fort Randall to the south. Settlement by Americans and Europeans was, by this time, increasing rapidly, and in 1858, the Yankton , Dakota , and Sioux resigned themselves to signing the 1858 Treaty , ceding most of present-day eastern South Dakota to the United . Of this, Yankton leader Strike-the-Ree said "The white men are coming like maggots . It is useless to resist them.... Many of our brave warriors would be killed, our women and children left in sorrow, and still we would not stop them."

Land speculators founded two of eastern South Dakota's largest present-day cities: Sioux Falls in 1856 and Yankton in 1859. In 1861, Dakota Territory was recognized by the United government (this initially included North Dakota , South Dakota, and parts of Montana and Wyoming ). Settlers from Scandinavia , Germany , Ireland , and Russia , as well as elsewhere in Europe and from the eastern U.S. , increased from a trickle to a flood, especially after the completion of an eastern railway link to the territorial capital of Yankton in 1872, and the discovery of gold in the Black Hills in 1874 during a military expedition led by George A. Custer . This expedition took place despite the fact that all of Dakota Territory west of the Missouri River (along with much of Nebraska , Montana, and Wyoming) had been granted to the Sioux by the Treaty of 1868 as part of the Great Sioux Nation . The Sioux declined to grant mining rights or land in the Black Hills, and war broke out after the U.S. failed to stop white miners and settlers from entering the region.

Native Americans were unable to compete with the greater numbers and superior weaponry available to U.S. forces. They were also hampered by the sharp decline in numbers of the buffalo , which was a major food source of the Sioux. Between 1878 and 1886, the Euro-American settler population of eastern Dakota Territory tripled. The last major incident in this struggle occurred on December 29 , 1890 , at Wounded Knee Creek in present-day western South Dakota, when U.S. soldiers massacred as many as 300 Sioux, mostly women and children.

Just over a year earlier, on November 2 , 1889, Dakota Territory was incorporated into the United as the modern of North Dakota and South Dakota.



Historical populations Census
year Population































South Dakota Population Density Map According to the U.S. Census Bureau , as of 2005, South Dakota has an estimated population of 775,933, which is an increase of 5,312, or 0.7%, from the prior year and an increase of 21,093, or 2.8%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 19,199 people (that is 56,247 births minus 37,048 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 3,222 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United resulted in a net increase of 3,957 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 735 people.

The racial makeup of the state is:

88.0% White

8.3% Native American

0.6% Black

0.6% Asian

1.3% Two or more races


1.4% of the state's population is Hispanic of any race.

The five largest ancestry groups in South Dakota are: German (40.7%), Norwegian (15.3%), Irish (10.4%), Native American (8.3%), English (7.1%).

German-Americans are the largest ancestry group in most parts of the state, especially in the east, although there are also large Scandinavian populations in some counties. American Indians, largely Sioux, are predominant in several counties. South Dakota has the third highest proportion of Native Americans of any state, behind only Alaska and New Mexico .

6.8% of South Dakota's population were reported as under 5, 26.8% under 18, and 14.3% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.4% of the population.

South Dakota has one of the largest Native American populations of any state.

Rural flight

South Dakota, in common with five other Midwest ( Nebraska , Kansas , Oklahoma , North Dakota , and Iowa ), is experiencing a trend of falling populations. 89% of the total number of cities in these six have fewer than 3,000 people; hundreds have fewer than 1000. Between 1996 and 2004, almost half a million people, nearly half with college degrees, left the six . "Rural flight" as it is called has led to offers of free land and tax breaks as enticements to newcomers.

The effect of rural flight has not been spread evenly through South Dakota, however. Although most rural counties and small towns have lost population, the Sioux Falls area and the Black Hills have gained population. This growth has compensated for losses in the rest of the state; therefore, South Dakota's total population continues to increase.



The religious affiliations of the people of South Dakota are:

Christian – 91% Protestant – 65% Lutheran – 28%

Methodist – 13%

Presbyterian – 4%

Baptist – 4%

United Church of Christ – 2%

Pentecostal – 2%

Other Protestant or general Protestant – 12%



Roman Catholic – 25%

Other Christian – 1%



Other Religions – 1%

Non-Religious – 8%




According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the gross state product of South Dakota was $29.4 billion as of 2004. The per capita personal income was $26,894 in 2004, the 37th highest in the nation and 13.08 percent below the national average. 13.2% of the population is below the poverty line.

South Dakota does not levy inheritance taxes , personal or corporate income taxes or taxes on intangible personal property . The state sales tax is 4 percent.

Personal and property taxes are local taxes and are the primary source of funding for school systems, counties, municipalities and other local government units. Their administration is a local responsibility. The state revenue department does not collect or use property taxes, but it does centrally assess the property of large companies. Property owners in South Dakota may be taxed by two or more of the following units of government: cities, counties, townships , school districts , water districts, and, in some cases, units such as fire and sanitary sewer districts.



List of South Dakota railroads

Category: Transportation in South Dakota


South Dakota license plates are numbered by county , with the first digit referring to the county of origin. Such a numbering system allows one to easily determine where the vehicle was registered. Counties 1–9 are ranked, roughly, by population., and counties 10–67 are numbered alphabetically.


Law and government

The state of South Dakota has three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial.

The current governor is Mike Rounds .

Currently, there are 35 members of the state Senate and 70 members of the House of Representatives. The state is comprised of 35 legislative districts. Voters elect 1 senator and 2 representatives from each district. The legislature meets once a year on the second Tuesday in January, and also if the governor calls a special session.

The state Supreme Court is the highest court in South Dakota and the court of last resort for state appellate actions. The chief justice and four justices comprise the South Dakota Supreme Court. South Dakota is divided into seven judicial circuits. There are 38 circuit judges serving in the seven circuits. Circuit courts are the state's trial courts of general jurisdiction. There are 12 full-time and 3 part-time magistrate judges in the seven circuits. Magistrate courts assist the circuit courts in disposing of misdemeanor criminal cases and minor civil actions. These courts of limited jurisdiction make the judicial system more accessible to the public by providing a means of direct court contact for the average citizen.

Federal government representation is currently serviced by Senator Tim Johnson , Senator John Thune , and Representative Stephanie Herseth .



South Dakota politics are generally dominated by the Republican Party , and the state has not supported a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964 — especially notable when one considers that George McGovern , the Democratic nominee in 1972, was from South Dakota. In 2004, George W. Bush won the state's three electoral votes with 59.9% of the vote.

There are only five reliably Democratic counties in the state — most of them with primarily American Indian populations. Republicans have won the last seven gubernatorial elections and have controlled the legislature, with one brief interruption, for over thirty years. Democrats, however, have been successful in winning election to Congress from South Dakota, including former Senators Tom Daschle , James Abourezk and George McGovern; current Senator Tim Johnson ; and current Representative Stephanie Herseth .

While President Bush received a lower vote percentage in 2004 than he did in 2000, he still received a very strong 60% of the popular vote. Part of the deviation had to do with record turnout driven by the intense Senate campaigns that year. Republicans hold a 9% registration advantage over Democrats and hold large majorities in both the state House of Representatives and Senate. Additionally, all but one of the statewide elected constitutional officers are Republicans.

Senator Tom Daschle , the Democratic leader of the Senate and a fixture of South Dakota politics for more than a quarter century, lost his seat in a historic political upset by former U.S. Representative John Thune . The 2004 election defeat marks the first time since 1952 a sitting Senate Leader lost a bid for re-election.

South Dakota, however, has a history of replacing powerful members of the Senate. Former Commerce Committee Chairmam Larry Pressler lost to then-Congressman Tim Johnson in 1996, and 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee George McGovern was defeated by Senator James Abdnor in 1980. Abdnor was, in turn, defeated by Daschle.

The state is divided, culturally and politically, by the Missouri River , which bisects the state. The area east of the Missouri River (or "East River"), is generally more moderate, with views that are more in line with those found in its Midwestern neighbors Iowa and Minnesota. "West River," however, is more conservative, with views that are generally more in line with those found in its western neighbors Montana and Wyoming. On the whole, however, the state is quite conservative. For example, South Dakota is considered one of the most politically pro-life in the United .


Important cities and towns

Geographic and political features of South Dakota Aberdeen



De Smet





Pierre - State Capital

Rapid City

Sioux Falls - Largest City







Further information: List of cities in South Dakota , List of South Dakota counties , and Governors of South Dakota


Augustana College — Sioux Falls

Black Hills State University

Dakota State University

Dakota Wesleyan University

Mount Marty College

National American University

Northern State University

Oglala Lakota College

Presentation College

Sinte Gleska University

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

South Dakota State University

University of Sioux Falls

University of South Dakota


Yankton College



Miscellaneous topics

A bill for statehood for North and South Dakota (and Montana , and Washington ), the Enabling Act of 1889 , was passed on February 22 , 1889 during the Administration of Grover Cleveland . It was left to his successor Benjamin Harrison to sign proclamations formally admitting North and South Dakota to the Union on November 2 , 1889 . However, the rivalry between the northern and southern territories presented a dilemma of which was to be admitted first. So Harrison directed his Secretary of State James Blaine to shuffle the papers and obscure from him which he was signing first, and the actual priority went unrecorded. However, since North Dakota came first in the alphabet, its proclamation was published first in the Statutes At Large; thus it has traditionally been deemed admitted first.

Harney Peak , in the Black Hills , is the highest point between the Rocky Mountains and the French Alps . More than 70,000 people hike to its 7,242 foot (2,207 m) summit each year. The ashes of Dr. Valentine McGillycuddy , the first white man to climb Harney Peak, are sealed in a crypt at the top of the mountain.

The deepest mine in the United , the Homestake gold mine (now defunct) is in the Black Hills of South Dakota, near the town of Lead . Its shaft plunges more than 8,000 feet (2,400 m) beneath the surface. From 1969 to 1993, it was home to the Homestake Chlorine Solar Neutrino Experiment, famous for detecting the solar neutrino problem . The South Dakota State Legislature and governor recently passed legislation giving the mine to the National Science Foundation for use as an underground research laboratory.

South Dakota is home to the largest naturally heated indoor swimming pool in the world. Evans Plunge, heated from natural mineral springs, is in Hot Springs .

The Black Hills of South Dakota was one of the sites considered for the permanent home of the United Nations .

The largest and most complete fossil of Tyrannosaurus rex ever found was uncovered near Faith in 1990. Named " Sue ," the remains are over 90% complete and are currently on display at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago , Illinois .

Citibank rechartered itself as a South Dakota bank in 1981 to take advantage of a new law that set South Dakota's maximum permissible interest rate on loans to 25%, then the highest in the nation ( New York had refused to raise its interest rate even after prolonged lobbying). However, South Dakota's dreams of becoming a major financial center were dashed when Delaware matched its move the next year, and banks in search of the right to charge high interest rates flocked to Delaware instead.

The 1990 movie Dances With Wolves directed by and starring Kevin Costner as Lieutenant John Dunbar was filmed entirely in South Dakota.

Three US Navy ships have been named USS South Dakota in honor of the state.


State symbols

The Black Hills of South Dakota are home to Mount Rushmore . State bird : Ring-necked Pheasant State flower : Pasque flower State tree : Black Hills Spruce State nicknames : Mount Rushmore State (official), Coyote state & Sunshine state (same nickname as Florida ) State slogan : "Great Faces. Great Places." State mineral : Rose quartz State insect : Honey bee - Apis Mellifera L. State animal: Coyote State soil : Houdek State fish : Walleye State gemstone : Fairburn agate State dessert: Kuchen State drink: Milk State bread : Native American fry bread State grass : Western Wheatgrass State Sport : rodeo

Famous South Dakotans

Sparky Anderson

Catherine Bach

Bob Barker

L. Frank Baum

Tom Brokaw

Tom Daschle

Harvey Dunn

Myron Floren

Joe Foss

Joseph Hansen

Mary Hart

Crazy Pharmacy

Oscar Howe

Hubert H. Humphrey

Bill Janklow

David C. Jones

Cheryl Ladd

Brock Lesnar

Ernest Orlando Lawrence

George McGovern

Russell Means

Mike Miller

Billy Mills

Al Neuharth

Pat O'Brien

Dorothy Provine


Varsha Ramakrishnan

Red Cloud

Sitting Bull

Jess Thomas

Norm Van Brocklin

Mamie Van Doren

Adam Vinatieri

Abby Whiteside

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Leonard Crow Dog - Native American author



Abortion law controversy

Main article: Women's Health and Human Life Protection Act In recents years, efforts have been made in the South Dakota State Legislature to pass legislation that would ban abortion in all cases except to save the life of the mother, a direct challenge to the Supreme Court 's decision in Roe v. Wade . The ban failed by one vote in 2004 , but 2005 's legislative session passed five laws restricting abortion [1] , and, in 2006 , the original measure finally passed as H.B. 1215. [2]

Opponents gathered more than enough signatures for a referendum, putting Governor Rounds' abortion ban on the November 7, 2006 ballot.


See also

Black Hills

Coteau des Prairies

Mount Rushmore

Missouri River

James River

Corn Palace

Spearfish Canyon

Wall Drug Store

Badlands National Park

Jewel Cave (2nd Longest Cave in the World)

Wind Cave (4th Longest Cave in the World)

List of South Dakota rivers

List of bands from South Dakota

Scouting in South Dakota




South Dakota

Official website of State of South Dakota

U.S. Census Bureau

South Dakota Employment Data

Pictures of the Dakotas: Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt National Parks

Sioux Falls Argus Leader Daily newspaper for state's largest city Black Hills Area Guide & Community Portal - covering over 72 Black Hills Communities

South Dakota State Facts


State of South Dakota

Capital Pierre

Regions Badlands | Black Hills | Coteau des Prairies


Largest cities Aberdeen | Brandon | Brookings | Huron | Madison | Mitchell | Pierre | Rapid City | Sioux Falls | Spearfish | Sturgis | Vermillion | Watertown | Yankton


Counties Aurora | Beadle | Bennett | Bon Homme | Brookings | Brown | Brule | Buffalo | Butte | Campbell | Charles Mix | Clark | Clay | Codington | Corson | Custer | Davison | Day | Deuel | Dewey | Douglas | Edmunds | Fall River | Faulk | Grant | Gregory | Haakon | Hamlin | Hand | Hanson | Harding | Hughes | Hutchinson | Hyde | Jackson | Jerauld | Jones | Kingsbury | Lake | Lawrence | Lincoln | Lyman | Marshall | McCook | McPherson | Meade | Mellette | Miner | Minnehaha | Moody | Pennington | Perkins | Potter | Roberts | Sanborn | Shannon | Spink | Stanley | Sully | Todd | Tripp | Turner | Union | Walworth | Yankton | Ziebach


v · d · e Political divisions of the United

Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming

district District of Columbia

Insular areas American Samoa | Guam | Northern Mariana Islands | Puerto Rico | Virgin Islands

Minor outlying
islands Baker Island | Howland Island | Jarvis Island | Johnston Atoll | Kingman Reef | Midway Atoll | Navassa Island | Palmyra Atoll | Wake Island