Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

Butte County - Work & Economy

In 2015, Butte County ranked 53rd out of 66 counties in South Dakota for median household income, with $43,572. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the county's total labor force in May 2016 was 5,140, with 163 people or 3.2 percent listed as unemployed. The top five industries in Butte County are healthcare and social assistance, retail trade, agriculture, forestry and fishing, construction, and accommodations and foods. For an in-depth economic profile of Butte County, visit the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development.

City Profiles

The South Dakota Dashboard offers city profiles for South Dakota cities with populations of 1,000 and greater using data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Find total population, racial breakdown, gender breakdown, poverty rates, disability rates, home ownership rates, housing cost burden data, median income, median age and more for Belle Fourche on the South Dakota Dashboard.

Gross Sales Revenue

Butte County ranks 19th of 66 counties in South Dakota in gross sales revenue, generating $373,861,109 in 2016, as reported by the South Dakota Department of Revenue. Highest grossing sectors included retail trade ($205.0 million), services ($59.1 million), and manufacturing ($56.0 million). Taxable sales in Butte County exceeded $148.3 million in 2016, according to the South Dakota Department of Revenue.

Employment

The top five industries in Butte County are healthcare & social assistance, retail trade, agriculture, forestry & fishing, construction, and accommodations & food service, according to U.S. Census Data on Data.

Butte County had a total of 2,890 jobs in 2015, down slightly up 2,880 in 2014. Seventy-four percent of residents aged 16-64 are currently working, higher than the national average of 68.7 percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the county's total labor force in May 2016 was 5,140, with 163 people or 3.2 percent listed as unemployed. For an in-depth economic profile of Butte County, visit the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development.

Income & Wages

Butte County ranks 53rd out of 66 counties in South Dakota for median household income, with $43,572 in 2015. Median Household Income for those 65+ was $24,405 as compared to the South Dakota median of $37,896 and the national median of $40,971.

The number of people in Butte County living in poverty is 1,410, approximately 13.9 percent of the total population. This is slightly higher than both the state’s poverty rate of 13.7 percent and the national rate of 14.7 percent.

Out of 3,925 households, 1,152 of Butte County, or 29.4 percent, pay 30 percent or more of their income on monthly housing costs, also known as housing cost burden. Butte County ranks 60th of 66 counties in this category. This is higher that South Dakota’s Housing Cost Burden at 24.5 percent, but lower than the national rate of 33.3 percent.

Agriculture & Resources

Butte County’s main industry is agriculture. There were 659 farms in Butte County totaling 1,134,603 acres according to the 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture Census. The average farm or ranch was 1,722 acres. The number of farms engaged in cattle production was 363. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of farms devoted to agriculture increased by 13 percent. The market value of agricultural products sold in the county rose 36 percent to $75,350,000 from $55,443,000 in 2007. Livestock accounted for 77 percent of all sales. 88 percent of farmland was devoted to pasture in Butte County. The amount of government payments farms received totaled $3,255,000, up by 41 percent since 2007. The average principal operator of a farm was 57 years old and was most likely male and white. 12 Native Americans and 67 women were principal operators of farms. Butte County ranked 1st in the state for sheep and lamb production and 3rd for horse and pony production. 

For more information on agriculture in Butte County, see the county profile at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's website. Explore more information at agcensus.usda.gov and Rural Life and Census Data at SDSU, Brookings, SD.

Environment & Conservation

The Butte County Conservation District coordinates services from all levels of government and private and public sources and provides local conservation leadership and education. The district has been in operation for over 75 years and its office is located in Belle Fourche.

Housing

Butte County ranks 24th of 66 counties in South Dakota for homeownership, with 74.7 percent of homes owner occupied. This is higher than both the state rate of 68.2 percent and the national rate of 63.0 percent. 3,046 of 4,079 households are owner occupied.

Out of 3,925 households, 1,152 of Butte County, or 29.4 percent, pay 30 percent or more of their income on monthly housing costs, also known as housing cost burden. Butte County ranks 60th of 66 counties in this category. This is higher that South Dakota’s Housing Cost Burden at 24.5 percent, but lower than the national rate of 33.3 percent.

Transportation

Located 3 miles north of Belle Fourche, the Belle Fourche Airport is a small airport owned and operated by the city government. Aircraft licensing and maintenance services are available through the airport, which is open to the public.

Tourism

Tourists attractions such as the Center of the Nation Visitor Center, the Black Hills Roundup Rodeo, and nearby Devil’s Tower National Monument are very important to the economy of Butte County and its communities.  Butte County ranks 25th of 66 counties in South Dakota in real taxable tourism sales, generating $2,733,914 in 2016. This amount represented 0.3 percent of the state’s total. To see where other counties rank, see our chart on the South Dakota Dashboard.

More Information

For more data on the economies of South Dakota and the Black Hills, please check out our interactive graphs and charts at the South Dakota Dashboard.

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