South Dakota, Mount Rushmore State
Known as the Mt. Rushmore State, there is so much more to this state than one of the most well known National Monuments. With trips here in 2002, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017, it’s safe to say South Dakota has been one of my favorite states to visit.
Also known as state favorable to banking, it is also quite favorable to the three most popular crops grown in the US; corn, soybeans, and wheat. It is also ranked 5th in the country for total number of cattle, making up about 6% of the country’s total. Ironically there are over twice as many cattle as people in South Dakota (1.8 million to 884k); a distinction only neighboring Wyoming has, although barely over 1 to 1 cattle to person.
Like most states with many rural counties, South Dakota has seen population loss in 38 out of its 66 counties between 2010 & 2019. Another factor affecting rural South Dakota, as well as many of the plain state is an aging population. In 2016 the rural population over the age of 65 was 18%. While not enormously above average (Illinois for example is at 15.6%) the worrying trend is that number rose 22% since the year 2000.
As with all rural communities, when your senior center is getting more incoming bodies than your local schools sustaining a future for a town becomes harder.
Video - Fly Over Country - The Dakotas
Posts about South Dakota
Population Decline; The Hardest Hit Counties In Each State Since 1990
A (Rail) Road Runs Through It
Lost Americana is about telling the stories of the people who live in rural America.
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