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Poverty Rises in Rapid City Metro Area Black Hills Knowledge Network chart
November 11, 2014

Poverty Rises in Rapid City Metro Area

The poverty rate for the Rapid City metro area jumped from 11.2 percent in 2012 to 14.5 percent in 2013, the highest rate since 2006. The number of those in poverty increased from 14,306 to 19,997 for the metro area, which includes Pennington, Meade and Custer counties.

See an interactive chart, data breakdowns and exportable CSV files on our Poverty page.


This compares to poverty rates of 9 percent for the Sioux Falls metro area, down from 10 percent in 2012. The rate was 14.8 percent for the Sioux City metro area, down from 15.9 percent, and 14.2 percent for the state of South Dakota, up from 13.8 percent, according to recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau.


Of the state's micropolitan areas, Vermillion is the clear poverty leader with a rate of 24.7 percent for 2012, the most recent year data is available for this breakdown. Here's a look at the 2012 poverty rate for other micropolitan areas in South Dakota:

  • Yankton - 13.9 percent
  • Spearfish - 13.6 percent
  • Brookings - 13.2 percent
  • Huron - 12.9 percent
  • Mitchell - 11.4 percent
  • Aberdeen - 10.9 percent
  • Watertown - 9.9 percent
  • Pierre - 9.5 percent

Households headed by single parents account for the lion's share of poverty in South Dakota, with more than 41 percent of households headed by single women and more than 22 percent of those headed by single men in poverty in 2013.


Those rates compare to 19.6 percent for non-family households, 5.7 percent for married couples with children, 2.2 percent for married couples with no children and 9.6 percent for other family households.

South Dakota's larges racial minority, Native Americans, suffer poverty at a rate 5 times that of whites, 48 percent compared to 9.5 percent. Other South Dakotans of color have a poverty rate of 23.2 percent.

South Dakotans who earned a bachelor's degree suffer poverty at a rate less than half of those who did not, 5 percent versus 13 percent.


When broken down by age, young adults ages 18-24 in South Dakota suffer the highest poverty rate, 26 percent, followed by children. Of those ages 0-4, 20 percent live in poverty, compared to 19 percent for those ages 5-11 and 16.8 percent for those ages 12-17.


The poverty rate is lowest for adults ages 65-74, at 7.6 percent, but that rate jumps to 13.1 percent for adults 75 and older. South Dakotans ages 25-44 have a poverty rate of 12.9 percent compared to 9.4 percent for those 45-64.

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