As the nation emerges from the worst recession since the Great Depression, South Dakota's median household income comes much closer to the national average than before the financial crisis.
The state and the Black Hills region, which suffered less from the bust are experiencing a more modest recovery, according to four sets of economic indicators released on www.blackhillsknowledgenetwork.org.
Median Household Income. At $48,321, South Dakota ranked 28th nationally in 2011, compared to a U.S. average of $50,502. By contrast, in 1999, the state's median income of $47,629 trailed the national average by almost 16 percent, according to data gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau. [http://blackhillsknowledgenetwork.org/article/median-income#0-6692-g.]
In the Black Hills, Meade County led the pack but ranked 9th among the state's 66 counties, with a median household income of $50,985 in 2011. Figures for other Black Hills counties are listed below:
-Custer County, 15th at $49,649
-Pennington County, 19th at $48,083
-Lawrence County, 41st at $42,495
-Butte, 49th at $39,615
-Fall River, 50th at $39,444
-Shannon, 64th at $27,200.
Gross Domestic Product. The recession hit South Dakota later and was not as harmful as for the nation as a whole, according to GDP data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. While the nation's GDP fell 3.8 percent in 2009, it dropped only 0.6 percent in South Dakota. In 2010 and 2011, GDP rose in the U.S. by 3.1 and 1.5 percent respectively. In South Dakota, gains were more modest at 0.2 and 0.8 percent. [http://blackhillsknowledgenetwork.org/article/economic-output-gdp#0-7138-g].
Nevertheless, South Dakota's real compound annual growth rate at 2.3 percent between 2000 and 2011 ranks it 9th among the 50 states. In 2010, economic output per working-age adult in South Dakota was 20th in the nation at $66,074.
In the Rapid City metropolitan area (Pennington and Meade Counties) GDP dipped by 0.6 percent in 2009 then grew by 2.6 percent in 2010. Sioux Falls' growth rate for 2010 was 2.3 percent. Sioux Falls' per capita gross domestic product in 2010, however, was $65,197, nearly 76 percent higher than Rapid City at $37,059.
The GDP data broken down by industry shows finance and insurance leading the state, making up 15 percent of the state's economic output. Government follows at 13 percent, then agriculture at 11 percent, then healthcare/social assistance and manufacturing, both at 9 percent. Some economists, including SDSU's Dr. Gary Taylor, disagree with the BEA's analysis and still rank agriculture as the number one industry in South Dakota.
Workforce – Proportion of Adults Working. South Dakota's prosperity is rooted in the characteristics of its workforce. Overall, South Dakota has a high percentage of working-age adults, ranking third with 75.1 percent, according to data compiled from the U.S. Census Bureau. Neighboring North Dakota is No. 1 at 78.7 percent. In contrast, South Dakota ranks next-to-last nationally for its percentage of working Native American adults, at 47.2 percent. [http://blackhillsknowledgenetwork.org/article/percentage-adults-age-16-64-working#0-7035-g]
Workforce – Educational Attainment. South Dakota lags the nation as a whole in educational attainment, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. [http://blackhillsknowledgenetwork.org/article/educational-attainment#0-6734-g]
Nationally, 28.5 percent of adults over the age of 25 had earned a bachelor's degree or higher as of 2011. In South Dakota, the rate was 26.3 percent, 30th among the United States. Among Black Hills counties, Lawrence County leads with 31.2 percent of the population holding a bachelor's degree or higher.
The four new data sets provided by the Black Hills Knowledge Network (www.blackhillsknowledgenetwork.org) come from federal sources. With a grant from the Bush Foundation, the library-based community information project is working with the Wilder Foundation and the Rural Life and Census Data Center at South Dakota State University to make key community indicators more accessible to policymakers, community planners, non-profit organizations, businesses and citizens in the Black Hills.
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For additional comments on the economy of Rapid City and the Black Hills, contact:
Linda Rabe, President, Rapid City Chamber of Commerce – 605.718.8466
Benjamin Snow, President, Rapid City Economic Development – 605.343.1880