Best Places to Live in South Dakota 2021-2022

More and more people realize that South Dakota is an amazing state to relocate to, with amazing views, a business-friendly economy, great culture, and ever-growing employment opportunities. There are so many awesome places to live in South Dakota that it will be hard to condense them into 9 picks, even for Best Cross Country Movers. Even so, we’ve created a list of the top nine choices for your future home. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Top 9 places to live in South Dakota in 2021-2022

The nine places below have been selected due to numerous reasons. Every place has something unique going for it. These cities and towns all provide their residents with an amazing balance of personal contentment and professional success. Here’s the list:

  • Pierre
  • Sioux Falls
  • Brookings
  • Aberdeen
  • Rapid City
  • Spearfish
  • Tea
  • Winner
  • Yankton

Out of all places to live in South Dakota, apart from these 9, we would also like to mention Hot Springs and De Smet as viable choices. Some of the best cross country movers South Dakota has on offer operate there and they have a lot of business all year round. While all of these places provide a great living experience, you will still want to choose the one that fits your lifestyle the most.

South Dakota countryside
South Dakota is gorgeous and filled with amazing places.

And with that in mind, let’s take a look at each of the cities in this list, starting with:

Pierre

With a population of almost 14,000, Pierre is the capital of South Dakota. Located on the east riverside, this picturesque city with a downtown full of history, parks, and other attractions, is one of the most popular places to relocate to. Most of the homes in this city have an amazing view of the gorgeous Missouri River, something that is not to be underestimated.

Pierre has amazing employment opportunities, as it serves as the major trading center in the region. However, this does not mean that the home prices are through the roof. Actually, the median home value in Pierre is below the national average, standing at around $208,000. Even if you experience interstate relocation difficulties and need to devote additional finances to your move, purchasing and maintaining a good home in Pierre is cheaper than in most other states. 

You will also be happy to know that the cost of living is quite low in this city. Pierre is, in fact, a city with some of the lowest living costs in the entire state. Combine that with excellent boating, fishing, and camping opportunities that the Missouri River and environs offer and you have a complete package. Then there are a plethora of other recreational options such as South Dakota Discovery Centre, Hillsview Golf Course, and many others.

Overall, Pierre gives a really strong showing. If you are not dead-set to live in a huge city, this place might be exactly what you need.

Sioux Falls is ranked as one of the finest places to live in South Dakota

Moving onto a larger city this time, Sioux Falls has a population of around 170,000 people and is famous for its natural beauty. This, of course, means that there are numerous tourists visiting the city every year. With the global pandemic, things have quieted down a little but they look to be picking up.

This is one of the most densely populated cities in the entire state. You can find all the amenities you can expect from a large city, as well as all the hustle and bustle that comes with it. The density drives the economy, which in turn offers amazing employment options.

one of the best places to live in South Dakota - Sioux Falls
Great views, amazing amenities, what else do you need?

And the best fact about Sioux Falls is that the median home value is only around $158,000! This is the main reason why interstate movers Sioux Falls are often overbooked in the Summer, as people are flocking to the city at this time. You might want to book your relocation well ahead of time if you wish to guarantee the moving date of your choice.

The public schools in Sioux Falls are universally well-rated. All of them have at least an A rating and maintain a good academic record throughout the years. This means that aside from great business and employment opportunities, you get to raise your kids the best possible way. And if you require some recreation from time to time, there are biking trails, aquatic centers, theatres, and the like. Truly one of the best places to live in South Dakota.

Brookings

As the fourth largest city in South Dakota, Brookings makes a good showing as one of the best places to live in the state. The fact that Brookings holds the rank of #2 best place to raise a family in the entire United States speaks for itself. Needless to say, the public schools in the city are some of the best in the country. The Brookings School District provides amazing educational opportunities and serves as one of the major employers in the city.

The median home value is still lower than the national average, as is the case in most of South Dakota. You can expect to purchase a home for a median price of about $204,000, with the median rent of around $670. Many companies are looking to relocate their student-centric business here, as the city has a large population of students. And if you want to do the same, and minimize downtime when moving a business, you will want to get in touch with local movers as soon as you can. That way, they can help you organize the logistics and make the process as efficient as possible.

students inside a classroom
Brookings is almost a “Student City”.

Lastly, with a population of about 24,000 people, Brookings has that “small-town” feel to it. The streets do not have much traffic, are clean, and are extremely safe. All these factors make Brookings truly one of the top places not only in South Dakota but in the entire US.

One of the best places to live in South Dakota – Aberdeen

If you are looking for a place where it seems that “Everyone knows everyone”, Aberdeen fits that bill. The community in this city is truly extraordinary, going out of their way to help each other. Living in Aberdeen is easygoing and nothing is further away than a 10-minute drive.

With a population of around 29,000 and a dense suburban feeling, Aberdeen has plenty to offer for new arrivals. The median home value is around $162,000, making it very affordable to purchase a new home. And the median household income is not much lower than the national average, as the home price might indicate. Working in the city, households earn around $53,000 on average. The home price/median income ratio is one of the most important reasons why cross country movers Aberdeen relocate so many people each year. It is simply too good to pass up.

However, the city does not have much in the way of entertainment. While it is an amazing place to live, you will have to seek nightlife elsewhere. But if this is not a concern for you, then Aberdeen can be the best place to start your new life!

Rapid City

The “Gateway to Mount Rushmore”, Rapid City lies east of the Black Hils National Forest and is surrounded by breathtaking views. It is the second-largest community in South Dakota, with a population of around 72,000. This city is unique in a way that neither white-collar nor blue-collar have a majority. The city is a healthy mix of both, with amazing employment and educational opportunities.

Thus, Rapid City is one of the best places to raise a family in South Dakota. As for the job opportunities, the most important are transportation, health, and tourism. All of these factors, however, raise the median home price. Due to the popularity of the city, you can expect to pay at least  $200,000 for a home. Which is still below the national average.

And the “cherry on the top” is that the tourism industry is really strong in the city as well. Some cross country moving companies Rapid City has on offer have even reported people moving in just to be able to enjoy the views and engage in communication with tourists. Tourists bring diversity with them and they do not come in such huge numbers that they become a bother. Instead, they meld into the city’s melting pot and bring additional prosperity.

Mount Rushmore, showcasing while Rapid City is one of the top places to live in South Dakota
The “Gateway to Mount Rushmore” – Rapid City!

Spearfish

As far as best places to live in South Dakota go, Spearfish has to be near the top, or even at the top, of the list. It is not called the “Queen of South Dakota” for nothing, after all. This is a huge tourist hub, even larger than Rapid City. Spearfish provides immediate access to the famous Northern Black Hills of South Dakota.

The locals describe the feeling of living in this city as quite quaint, peaceful, and safe. You might have to own a vehicle to navigate its streets, though, as public transportation can be unreliable at times. Therefore, it might be a good idea to learn how to transport a car to another state before you proceed. It can help you get the most out of Spearfish. 

Overall, Spearfish is a small community with only around 11,200 residents to its name but it feels much larger. The tourists do not account for the city’s population but there is always a goodly number of them.

a car in the countryside
You will definitely need a car in Spearfish.

Tea

Perhaps the best place for “Millenials” on our list, Tea is a small city in Lincoln County. It features a suburban feel and is often referred to as the suburb of Sioux Falls. It stands to reason, as the distance between the cities is just a few minutes.

The main draws of the city are the low crime rate, gorgeous neighborhoods, and great employment ratios. However, the median home price is quite higher than in the rest of South Dakota, standing at around $250,000. Needless to say, if you want to live in one of the safest and highest ranked cities in the state, you will need to pay a bit extra for housing. It is just the way the whole housing market works.

This may mean that you need to cut down on moving costs whenever you can. You may want to spend some additional time to find the best moving rates before you hire a mover to relocate your belongings. By doing so, you may be able to easier “swallow” the home prices.

There is all manner of opportunities and facilities present in the city. Yet, Tea retains that small-town feeling. The only issue you might have with this city is that there are no great schools in the area. Therefore, the city is much more suited for couples that do not have kids yet. If you do want to relocate here with a kid, your best bet would be to enroll them in one of the Sioux Falls schools.

Winner

As a small, agriculturally-focused city, Winner offers something that most other cities do not. Simple, relaxed, honest-work, living. The crime rate is virtually nonexistent in Winner, as the locals enjoy their calm and peaceful demeanor. This is a really small community with less than 3,000 residents, and most people know each other by both first and last name.

The median home price in Winner is “measly” $100,000, as well. This means that you can invest in a lot of different types of specialty moving boxes, make your relocation as convenient as possible and still have plenty of money leftover. If you want to live a peaceful life in a small community where everyone knows each other, this might be a Winner.

a fence with "Stay safe neighbors" written on it
The city of Winner has some of the most wholesome people you will ever meet.

Yankton is one of the top places to live in South Dakota

Sometimes referred to as “River City”, the city of Yankton is home to an amazingly culturally diverse population. Everything in Yankton revolves around the river, as it provides trading opportunities and serves as a recreational hub.

This is one of South Dakota’s most historical places, featuring numerous historic buildings and various museums. Students get quality education, there are plenty of bars in the city, there’s something for everyone. If you enjoy river towns, Yankton makes a strong contender for the best places to live in South Dakota.

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