State abbreviation/Postal code: S.D./SD
Governor: Dennis Daugaard, R (to Jan. 2015)
Lieut. Governor: Matt Michels, R (to Jan. 2015)
Senators: John R. Thune, R (to Jan. 2017); Tim Johnson, D (to Jan. 2015)
U.S. Representatives: 1
Historical biographies of Congressional members
Atty. General: Marty Jackley, R (to Jan. 2015)
Secy. of State: Jason M. Gant, R (to Jan. 2015)
Treasurer: Rich Sattgast, R (to Jan. 2015)
Organized as territory: March 2, 1861
Entered Union (rank): Nov. 2, 1889 (40)
Present constitution adopted: 1889
Motto: Under God the people rule
|flower||American pasqueflower (1903)|
|grass||Western wheat grass (1970)|
|tree||black hills spruce (1947)|
|bird||ring-necked pheasant (1943)|
|mineral stone||rose quartz (1966)|
|gemstone||fairburn agate (1966)|
|colors||blue and gold (in state flag)|
|song||“Hail! South Dakota” (1943)|
|musical instrument||fiddle (1989)|
Nicknames: Mount Rushmore State; Coyote State
Origin of name: From the Sioux tribe, meaning “allies”
10 largest cities (2010 est.): Sioux Falls, 153,888;
Rapid City , 67,956; Aberdeen, 26,091; Brookings, 22,056; Watertown, 21,482; Mitchell, 15.254; Yankton, 14,454;
Pierre , 13,646; Huron, 12,592; Vermillion, 10,571
Land area: 75,885 sq mi. (196,542 sq km)
Geographic center: In Hughes Co., 8 mi. NE of Pierre
Number of counties: 66 (64 county governments)
Largest county by population and area: Minnehaha, 169,468 (2010); Meade, 3,471 sq mi.
State parks: 12
Residents: South Dakotan
2010 resident population est.: 775,933
2010 resident census population (rank): 814,180 (46). Male: 407,381 (50.0%); Female: 406,799 (50.0%). White: 699,392 (85.9%); Black: 10,2047 (1.3%); American Indian: 71,817 (8.8%); Asian: 7,610 (0.9%); Other race: 7,477 (0.9%); Two or more races: 17,283 (2.1%); Hispanic/Latino: 22,119(2.7%). 2010 percent population 18 and over: 75.1; 65 and over: 14.3; Median age: 36.9.
See additional census data
Exploration of this area began in 1743 when Louis-Joseph and François Verendrye came from France in search of a route to the Pacific.
The U.S. acquired the region as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and it was explored by Lewis and Clark in 1804–1806. Fort Pierre, the first permanent settlement, was established in 1817.
Settlement of South Dakota did not begin in earnest until the arrival of the railroad in 1873 and the discovery of gold in the Black Hills in 1874.
Agriculture is a cultural and economic mainstay, but it no longer leads the state in employment or share of gross state product. Durable-goods manufacturing and private services have evolved as the drivers of the economy. Tourism is also a booming industry in the state, generating over a billion dollars' worth of economic activity each year.
South Dakota is the second-largest producer of sunflower seed and oil in the nation. South Dakota is also a leading producer of a variety of small grains including oats,
barley, rye, flaxseed, sorghum and alfalfa.
The Black Hills are the highest mountains east of the Rockies. Mt. Rushmore, in this group, is famous for the likenesses of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, which were carved in granite by Gutzon Borglum. A memorial to Crazy Horse is also being carved in granite near Custer.
Other tourist attractions include the Badlands; the World's Only Corn Palace, in Mitchell; and the city of Deadwood, where Wild Bill Hickok was killed in 1876 and where gambling was recently legalized.
In 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a report that said the number of farms in South Dakota had decreased. However, the size of each farm had increased. There were less than 300 farms in South Dakota in 2012, according to the USDA, but the average farm size increased 13 acres, from 1,395 in 2011 to 1,408 in 2012.
See more on South Dakota:
Encyclopedia: South Dakota
Monthly Temperature Extremes
All U.S. States: Geography & Climate
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Highest, Lowest, and Mean Elevations
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All U.S. States: Society & Culture:
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