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11 Safest Cities in South Dakota (2022 Update)

Brookings SD

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

South Dakota is a state in North Central United States and home to many wonderful parks that make fantastic vacation spots. There are also plenty of wonderful places to live. If you were thinking about moving or visiting South Dakota and would like to know where the safest areas are, keep reading this list of several of the safest cities in South Dakota. We discuss the population, murder rate, violent crime rate, and more to help you avoid dangerous areas when choosing your vacation spot or home.

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The 11 Safest Cities in South Dakota: A Quick Look

1. Brandon, SD

Population 10,094
Murder rate 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income $73,065
Poverty rate 5.1%
Violent crimes in 2021 68.3 per 100,000 people

Brandon, South Dakota, currently has a crime rate at 86.6% below the national average, making it one of the safer places that you can be in America. No one has recently reported any murders or robberies, and other types of crimes are well below the average of South Dakota and the United States as a whole. It also ranks high in jobs-housing affordability and education.


2. Sisseton, SD

Welcome to Sisseton
Image Credit: Connor401, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
Population 2,468
Murder rate 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income $38,679
Poverty rate 20.7%
Violent crimes in 2021 123.8 per 100,000 people

Sisseton is one of the safer cities in South Dakota, and it currently sits at 68.3% below the national average in crime. No one has recently reported any murders or robberies, and aggravated assault and violent crime are well below the state average. The only type of crime on par with the rest of the state and nation is vehicle theft.


3. Madison, SD

Population 7,261
Murder rate 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income $55,096
Poverty rate 19.5%
Violent crimes in 2021 224.9 per 100,000 people

Madison is a dense suburban area where most residents own their homes. Currently, the crime rate stands about 49.25% below the national average, with no recent murders or robberies. The other types of crime are also well below average, with property crime being the biggest problem.


4. Hot Springs, SD

Hot Springs SD City Hall
Hot Springs SD City Hall (Image Credit: Magicpiano, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Population 3,486
Murder rate 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income $55,096
Poverty rate 12.4%
Violent crimes in 2021 315.6 per 100,000 people

Hot Springs, South Dakota, is one of the more popular tourist destinations because of the amazing parks and sights that it has to offer. You can find woolly mammoth bones and plenty of history because it was one of the first mining towns in the area. It’s quite safe, with no recent murders or burglaries, and even theft and property crime are quite low, with the biggest problem being violent crime. At 315.6 per 100,000 people, it is higher than many of the other cities on this list.


5. Winner, SD

Population 2,921
Murder rate 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income  $36,838
Poverty rate 19.8%
Violent crimes in 2021 459 per 100,000 people

Winter is a small town in South Dakota that still has drive-in movie theaters for residents to enjoy. There’s little crime, with no recent murders or burglaries, and it currently sits at 47.25% below the national average in crime. Many other types of crime in the city are lower than the national average, including property crime, which is high in many other cities. However, violent crime is quite high at 459 per 100,000 people, and it passes the average in the state and the nation.


6. Brookings, SD

Brookings SD
Brookings SD (Image Credit: AlexiusHoratius, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
Population  24,509
Murder rate 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income $39,073
Poverty rate 19.5%
Violent crimes in 2021 217.5 per 100,000 people

Brookings, South Dakota, is the fourth largest city in the state, so it’s impressive that it makes it onto a list of the safest places to visit. It currently has a crime rate that stands at about 39.8% below the national average. There is no murder and little robbery, with the biggest problems being theft and property crime. Housing can be a little harder to find than some other options on this list, but the job market is good, as is the quality of education.


7. Canton, SD

Population 3,714
Murder rate 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income $63,384
Poverty rate 9.25%
Violent crimes in 2021 340.8 per 100,000 people

Canton is a rainy city in South Dakota with a growing population of almost 4,000 people. There’s little crime in the area, with no recent murder or robberies, but burglary is a problem in the area, and more occur there than in the average city across the United States. It currently stands at 18.58% below the national crime average. There are plenty of good jobs in the area, but housing and education could use improvements.


8. North Sioux City, SD

City hall North Sioux City SD
City Hall North Sioux City SD (Image Credit: TheCatalyst31, Wikimedia Commons CC0 1.0)
Population 3,028
Murder rate 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income $54,718
Poverty rate 8.5%
Violent crimes in 2021 204.6 per 100,000 people

North Sioux City lies on the southern edge of South Dakota, and it has a population of a little over 3,000 people. Many people believe it to be the first settlement in this state, and it is a safe city with no recently reported murders or burglaries. It currently stands at 16% below the national average in crime, with theft, grand theft auto, and property crime being the biggest problems.


9. Vermillion, SD

Vermilion SD Prentis Park
Vermilion SD Prentis Park (Image Credit: Magicpiano, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Population 11,254
Murder rate 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income $41,756
Poverty rate 32%
Violent crimes in 2021 193.9 per 100,000 people

Vermillion is set up at the southeastern corner of South Dakota. French fur traders were the first to visit at the end of the 18th century, and today, it’s well known for the friendliness of its citizens. There are no recent murders or robberies, and most of the other crimes are well below the national and state average, with the exception being property crime and theft. It currently stands at 14.28% below the national average in crime.


10. Summerset, SD

Population 2,671
Murder rate 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income $88,526
Poverty rate 2.02%
Violent crimes in 2021 178.8 per 100,000 people

Summerset, South Dakota, is a growing city that currently stands about 10.5% below the national average in crime. No one has recently reported any murders, and violent crime currently stands at 178.8 per 100,000 people. Theft and property crime are high in this area, beating the state average in both cases. However, it’s still a great place to live, with plenty of housing and jobs. The education in this area is also top-notch.


11. Spearfish, SD

Population 12,193
Murder rate 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household income $44,330
Poverty rate 15.6%
Violent crimes in 2021 194.2 per 100,000 people

Spearfish, South Dakota, currently has the record for the fastest temperature change in the United States. The temperature started at -4 degrees Fahrenheit and rose to 45 degrees Fahrenheit in only two minutes on January 22, 1943, at approximately 7:30 AM. It’s the lowest-rated city on this list, but it’s still safer than the average city in the United States and currently stands at .78% below the national average in crime.

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How to Stay Safe in South Dakota

Many types of crime are lower in South Dakota than the national average, so it’s a relatively safe place to visit and live. However, crime can occur anywhere at any time, so it’s best to plan ahead to protect yourself even if you live in one of the safe cities on this list. One of the best things that you can do is make sure you have a working alarm system in both your home and your vehicle. Visible video cameras can also help dissuade would-be criminals from coming onto your property, as most will try to find an easier target. Since property crime is high in South Dakota, video cameras can also help you see what’s occurring and collect proof to show the authorities.

If you’re traveling alone, keep your cell phone out and fully charged so you have access to your light camera and social media and can get help if you need it. If you need to travel long distances on foot regularly, you might think about taking self-defense classes in case a problem should arise, and when possible, always try to keep someone with you, especially at night.

See Also:

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Conclusion

South Dakota is a safe state with almost no murder or robberies. The biggest problem tends to be property crime, including arson, vandalism, and other issues, but the numbers are well below average in most cities on this list. While Brandon and Sisseton got the highest marks, each city is above the national average, so you can feel comfortable that you are visiting a safe place.


Featured Image Credit: Brookings SD (Image Credit: Jon Platek, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)

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