South Dakota Facts


South Dakota Location In The US South Dakota State Map

South Dakota is known for:

  • Mount Rushmore
  • Agriculture
  • Native American culture
  • The Black Hills Gold Rush of the late 19th century

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
Tallest Building CenturyLink Tower in Sioux Falls, 174 feet
Largest StadiumDana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings, capacity 19,340
National ParksBadlands National Park
Wind Cave National Park
State Population (2020)886,667
State Population Density11.7 people / square mile
Area Codes 605
Top 5 Cities (2020 population) Sioux Falls (187,809)
Rapid City (78,864)
Aberdeen (28,180)
Brookings (24,804)
Watertown (22,303)

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
Same-Sex Marriage Legalization DateJune 26, 2015
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)

Popular Tourist Attractions

Festivals and Events

Top festivals and events in South Dakota. They are listed in approximate order of when they take place during the year.

Festival / Event When Location
Black Hills Bluegrass Festival June Sturgis
Fort Sisseton Historical Festival June Lake City
Oahe Days June Pierre
Soo Foo Moto Fest July Sioux Falls
South Dakota Chislic Festival July Freeman
Fall River Hot Air Balloon Festival August Hot Springs
Sioux Empire Fair August Sioux Falls
Yankton Riverboat Days & Summer Arts Festival August Yankton
South Dakota State Fair August to September Huron
Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival September Custer State Park
South Dakota Festival of Books September Deadwood

Popular Iconic South Dakota Foods

South Dakota is famous for the following foods:

  • Kuchen
  • Chislic
  • Pheasant and Walleye
  • Kolache
  • Indian Tacos
  • Wojapi
  • Fudge
  • Bierocks

Famous People Born In South Dakota

Nobel Prize Winners

Pro Football Hall Of Fame Members

  • Norm Van Brocklin (Quarterback. Inducted in 1971)

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame Players

  • Becky Hammon (Guard. Inducted in 2023)

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 June 10, 2024.


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