Mount Rushmore Monument in South Dakota

South Dakota Cities, Climate and Sights

South Dakota is one of the north western states of the USA. South Dakota is bordered by North Dakota to the north, Minnesota and Iowa to the east, Nebraska to the south, and Wyoming and Montana to the west. The largest city is Sioux Falls with 154,000 inhabitants, the capital is Pierre with about 14,000 souls. It is located in the center of the state, right on the Missouri River. With almost 200,000 km², South Dakota is almost half the size of South American Paraguay, which measures almost 407,000 km² in area.

  • Liuxers: List of Federal school codes for educational institutions located in South Dakota. Includes FAFSA codes in the state of South Dakota.

The US state of South Dakota

Mount Rushmore Monument in South Dakota

Mount Rushmore Monument in South Dakota

South Dakota is best known for the granite heads of the four US Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. The sculptor Gutson Borglum created this unique work for fourteen years before the end of his life.

After Alaska, Oklahoma and New Mexico, the state has the fourth highest population of Native Americans in the USA, with the Lakota people particularly worthy of mention. Altogether there are just over 814,000 inhabitants here, of which 87% are white, 9% Native American, 2% Hispanic, 1% Asian and the remainder are black and other races. Half of South Dakota’s residents live in rural areas, with the population concentrated in the eastern part of the state.

The name Dakota derives from the Dakota Native American ethnic group who lived in the area prior to white conquest. South Dakota’s nickname is “The Mount Rushmore State” or “Coyote State”. The impressive scenes in the film “Dances With Wolves” were filmed here.

The Mississippi River divides the state into two climatically distinct parts. To the west of the river, the prairie landscape that we got to know in the film dominates. Many tourists also come here to get to know this vast area and to enjoy nature in all its beauty. East of the Mississippi it rains more frequently and the soil is very suitable for farming.

Biggest cities

The largest cities in South Dakota with their population (rounded). See South Dakota counties list.

  • Sioux Falls 154,000
  • Rapid City 68,000
  • Aberdeen 25,000
  • Brookings 22,000
  • Watertown 21,000

Climate and weather conditions

The climate in South Dakota is predominantly continental. In summer, the thermometer rises to up to 30 degrees, in winter, on the other hand, temperatures of minus 10 degrees Celsius can occur. Due to the division of the Mississippi, the weather in the eastern part is somewhat damp, while in the west it is somewhat drier, which has contributed to the prairie formation over time. It rains more frequently during the summer months from May to September, spring and fall are pleasant times when we would consider visiting South Dakota. There is very little snowfall in winter, but snowstorms are frequent.