Codi Realty

Moving to South Dakota

South Dakota is currently the fifth least populated state in the U.S., although the population has been rising steadily over the past two decades. South Dakota’s population statewide grew by 8.9% since 2010. In 2021, United Van Lines’ annual study of which states Americans are moving to and from ranked South Dakota second on the list of states with new residents. This rate of growth is faster than that of neighboring states Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Much of the growth is based around the state’s urban regions in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties on the eastern side of the state and Pennington County in the west.
The state of South Dakota flag.
A buffalo on the South Dakota prairie.

Why are People Moving to South Dakota?

There are a variety of reasons for the influx of residents into the state from outside South Dakota. The job market, particularly in urban areas like Sioux Falls, is strong and the lack of income tax makes it an attractive option for new businesses. Families seeing a better quality of life are motivated by the state’s low cost of living and comparably safe environment. The rise in work-at-home telecommuters has also helped to drive the trend to move away from dense urban areas. South Dakota is also a strikingly beautiful state, and the recreational opportunities are a draw for outdoor enthusiasts.

What are the Pros and Cons of Living in South Dakota?

There are pros and cons to moving to South Dakota that you should consider carefully. Some pros are:

Storm clouds and rainbow over a tractor in a field in South Dakota.

On the other side, no state is perfect! Some cons to think about before moving to South Dakota include:

  • The winters are long and can be frigid, snowy, and windy, making for a tough combination for those who have never experienced a Midwestern winter. Likewise, the summers can be humid, hot, and windy and sometimes this can result in severe weather events like tornados.
  • Depending on where you choose to live in South Dakota, you may have access to less amenities like a wide choice of restaurants and retail shops. “West River” which is the section of the state west of the Missouri River tends to be less populated and have less variety compared to “East River” areas like Sioux Falls.
  • While the economy is strong, many jobs in certain areas tend to be in the lower end of the pay scale. The more urbanized the area the more you will find a greater diversity in job types and pay scales.
  • Sports lovers may bemoan the fact that the state does not have a professional team, though you can find smaller local teams in areas like Sioux Falls.
  • While there are many taxes that South Dakota does not have, there is a sales tax. The rate is 4.5 percent plus an additional fee depending on the city in which you live. There may also be local taxes which vary depending on the municipality. South Dakota also collects a use tax on items where sales tax has not been charged.

Is South Dakota Retirement Friendly?

In addition to the lack of personal state income tax, South Dakota also does not charge inheritance or state tax. Seniors can also apply for property tax relief to freeze them from increasing. Social security, pensions and other retirement income are also not taxed. With the low cost of living and minimal taxes, retirees find moving to South Dakota attractive.

A waterfall in the Black Hills area of South Dakota.
A view of the city and cathedral in Sioux Falls.

What should I Know Before Moving to South Dakota?

Like any move to another state, you should do your research first before deciding on a move. Talking to an experienced Realtor can help you learn more about the different cities and neighborhoods and the average lifestyle of its residents. Contact Codi today for more information!