South Dakota Facts

South Dakota Location In The US South Dakota State Map

This page contains a wealth of information on the state of South Dakota. Please click on the type of the fact that you are interested in:

Geography & Demographics

State Abbreviation SD
State Capital Pierre
State Size Total (Land + Water): 77,117 sq miles; Land Only: 75,885 sq miles
Number of Counties 66
Time Zone Central Time Zone, Mountain Time Zone
Bordering States Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming
Highest PointHarney Peak, 7,244 feet
National ParksBadlands National Park
Wind Cave National Park
State Population (2015)858,469
State Population Density11.3 people / square mile
Area Codes 605
Top 5 Cities (2010 population) Sioux Falls (153,888)
Rapid City (67,956)
Aberdeen (26,091)
Brookings (22,056)
Watertown (21,482)

Government & Legislature

Statehood November 2, 1889
Electoral Votes3
State Flag South Dakota State Flag
GovernorOfficial South Dakota Governor Website
U. S. SenatorsList of U. S. Senators From South Dakota
U. S. RepresentativesList of U. S. Representatives From South Dakota
State SenatorsList of South Dakota State Senators
State RepresentativesList of South Dakota State Representatives
State GovernmentOfficial Site
State ConstitutionSouth Dakota State Constitution
Road ConditionsSouth Dakota Road Conditions
State Quarter Issue Date November 6, 2006

State Symbols

State AnimalCoyote
State Bird Ring-necked pheasant
State BreadFry bread
State ColorsBlue and gold
State DessertKuchen
State FishWalleye
State Flower American pasqueflower
State FossilTriceratops
State GemstoneFairburn agate
State GrassWestern wheat grass
State InsectHoneybee
State JewelryBlack Hills gold
State Mineral StoneRose quartz
State Motto Under God the people rule
State Musical InstrumentFiddle
State Nickname Mount Rushmore State; Coyote State
State SoilHoudek
State Song"Hail! South Dakota"
State SportRodeo
State Tree Black Hills spruce

Sports Teams

Major Sports Teams None
NCAA Division I Schools University of South Dakota (The Summit League)
South Dakota State University (The Summit League)


State Gas Tax$0.3000 / Gallon
State Cigarette Tax$1.53 / Pack

Popular Tourist Attractions

Famous People Born In South Dakota

Nobel Prize Winners

  • Ernest Lawrence (Physics, 1939)
  • Theodore W. Schultz (Economic Sciences, 1979)

Pro Football Hall Of Fame Members

  • Norm Van Brocklin (Quarterback. Inducted in 1971)

Famous Actors And Actresses

  • January Jones
  • Nicky Katt
  • Cheryl Ladd

South Dakota Fun Facts

  • Dakota is the Sioux word for "friend" or "ally." The Dakota Territory was divided into South Dakota and North Dakota on November 2, 1889.
  • The most famous point of interest in South Dakota is the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, located in Pennington County. It opened on October 31, 1941.
  • South Dakota is the only state whose name does not share a single letter with that of its capital (Pierre).
  • Jewel Cave in Custer County, South Dakota, is the second largest cave system in the United States, and third largest in the world. This cave system contains 181.89 miles of mapped passageways.
  • The largest and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil in the world was discovered by Sue Hendrickson near Faith, South Dakota, in 1990. The fossil was named Sue in Sue Hendrickson’s honor.
  • The geographical center of the United States is approximately 20 miles north of Belle Fourche, South Dakota.
  • Mitchell, South Dakota, is the home of the world's only Corn Palace.
  • South Dakota is the only state with an official State Jewelry: Black Hills gold.
  • Lemmon, South Dakota, has the world's largest Petrified Wood Park.

This page was last updated on October 20, 2016.

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