South Dakota boasts numerous attractions for both visitors and residents. As the home of Mt. Rushmore, the state offers a scenic landscape and ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. Despite potentially harsh winters, the beauty of the surroundings is undeniable.
However, not all towns are equally suitable for residents. Certain areas face challenges such as high crime rates, limited employment opportunities, low wages, and underfunded schools, making them less ideal for establishing roots.
The Worst Place to Live in South Dakota: Chamberlain
Chamberlain, South Dakota, boasts a rich history as the home of the South Dakota Hall of Fame, but it has gained notoriety for a less desirable reason—it holds the dubious distinction of being the most dangerous locale in the state.
As per FBI crime data, Chamberlain reports a violent crime rate of 1,950 incidents per 100,000 people, nearly three times higher than the state average of 676 per 100,000. The property crime rate is also elevated, standing at 5,850 per 100,000 residents, compared to the state average of 3,214 per 100,000. Over the course of a year, the town experienced 57 property crimes, 5 aggravated assaults, 2 rapes, 2 robberies, and 7 motor vehicle thefts.
In addition to its concerning crime statistics, Chamberlain faces economic challenges. The median household income is a modest $41,250, falling below the state average of $59,533. The poverty rate is 18.4%, surpassing the state average of 12.6%.
Unemployment stands at 5.1%, higher than the state average of 3.1%. The education system also falls short, with a graduation rate of 83%, lagging behind the state average of 90%.
Taken together, Chamberlain emerges as a community where residents may not feel secure, prosperous, or well-educated, making it the least favorable place to live in South Dakota for the year 2023.
Other Dangerous Places to Live in South Dakota
Chamberlain isn’t the sole location in South Dakota grappling with elevated crime rates and a diminished quality of life. Here are additional precarious places to reside in the state, as indicated by FBI crime data and other sources:
The state’s second-largest city, home to 79,910 residents, experiences a violent crime rate of 1,050 per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 4,950 per 100,000 people. Additionally, it has a relatively low median household income of $50,361 and a high poverty rate of 16.9%.
The most populous city in the state, home to 180,335 residents, experiences a violent crime rate of 676 incidents per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 4,050 incidents per 100,000 people. Additionally, it has a relatively low median household income of $56,714 and a high poverty rate of 14.1%.
The city, ranking as the third largest in the state with a population of 28,713, exhibits a violent crime rate of 1,050 per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 3,650 per 100,000 people. Additionally, it faces economic challenges, featuring a relatively low median household income of $48,857 and a high poverty rate of 17.8%.
A town close to Ellsworth Air Force Base, with a population of 9,935, experiences a violent crime rate of 1,050 per 100,000 residents and a property crime rate of 4,550 per 100,000 residents. Additionally, the town has a relatively low median household income of $49,375 and a high poverty rate of 15.4%.
A small town, recognized for its Corn Palace, is home to 15,697 residents. It has a violent crime rate of 676 per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 4,450 per 100,000 people. Additionally, the town has a relatively low median household income of $46,250, coupled with a high poverty rate of 16.4%.
These regions display high crime rates, low incomes, elevated poverty levels, and limited educational achievements. They are not conducive to raising a family, building a career, or enjoying a peaceful life. If you’re looking for a safe and prosperous living environment in South Dakota, it’s recommended to avoid these areas.