33 Facts About South Dakota


South Dakota is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux Native American tribes, who comprise a large portion of the population with nine reservations currently in the state and have historically dominated the territory.

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South Dakota is the seventeenth largest by area, but the 5th least populous, and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United States.

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South Dakota is bordered by the states of North Dakota, Minnesota (to the east), Iowa (to the southeast), Nebraska (to the south), Wyoming (to the west), and Montana (to the northwest).

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Eastern South Dakota is home to most of the state's population, and the area's fertile soil is used to grow a variety of crops.

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South Dakota has a temperate continental climate, with four distinct seasons and precipitation ranging from moderate in the east to semi-arid in the west.

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South Dakota'storically dominated by an agricultural economy and a rural lifestyle, South Dakota has recently sought to diversify its economy in areas to attract and retain residents.

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In 1861, the Dakota Territory was established by the United States government.

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In recent decades, South Dakota has been transformed from a state dominated by agriculture to one with a more diversified economy.

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South Dakota was the first state to eliminate caps on interest rates.

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South Dakota is in the north-central United States, and is considered a part of the Midwest by the U S Census Bureau; it is part of the Great Plains region.

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The culture, economy, and geography of western South Dakota have more in common with the West than the Midwest.

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South Dakota has a total area of 77, 116 square miles, making the state the 17th largest in the Union.

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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.

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Eastern South Dakota has many natural lakes, mostly created by periods of glaciation.

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South Dakota has a continental climate with four distinct seasons, ranging from cold, dry winters to warm and semi-humid summers.

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South Dakota summers bring frequent, sometimes severe, thunderstorms with high winds, thunder, and hail.

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South Dakota has several sites administered by the National Park Service.

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Center of population of South Dakota is in Buffalo County, in the unincorporated county seat of Gann Valley.

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South Dakota has the nation's largest population of Hutterites, a communal Anabaptist group which emigrated in 1874 from German-speaking villages in what today is Ukraine but at that time was part of the Russian Empire.

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South Dakota has the third-highest proportion of Native Americans of any state, behind Alaska and New Mexico.

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South Dakota is the sixth leading ethanol-producing state in the nation.

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However, South Dakota is one of the two contiguous states that lack Amtrak service.

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Governor of South Dakota occupies the executive branch of the state government.

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South Dakota is divided into 35 legislative districts, with voters electing two representatives and one senator per district.

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South Dakota is represented at the federal level by Senator John Thune, Senator Mike Rounds, and Representative Dusty Johnson.

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South Dakota is one of seven states with only one seat in the U S House of Representatives.

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In United States presidential elections, South Dakota is allotted three of 538 votes in the Electoral College.

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South Dakota politics are generally dominated by the Republican Party.

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South Dakota's culture reflects the state's American Indian, rural, Western, and European roots.

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South Dakota's drew from her life growing up on a homestead near De Smet as the basis for five of her novels: By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, These Happy Golden Years, and The First Four Years.

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In 2007 South Dakota passed legislation modeled after Montana's Indian Education for All Act, mandating education about Native American tribal history, culture, and heritage in all the schools, from pre-school through college, in an effort to increase knowledge and appreciation about Indian culture among all residents of the state, as well as to reinforce Indian students' understanding of their own cultures' contributions.

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For many years, South Dakota was one of the only states in the country without an NCAA DivisionI football or basketball team.

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Famous South Dakota athletes include Billy Mills, Mike Miller, Mark Ellis, Becky Hammon, Brock Lesnar, Chad Greenway, and Adam Vinatieri.

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