Have you ever wondered where the happiest places in your state are? CreditDonkey did a study on the most content and cheerful cities in South Dakota based on the factors of crime rate, average commute time, income, divorce rate, housing, and amount of restaurants and amenities, through data collected by the US Census Bureau. Find out which places made the list:
Outside of being the motorcycle capital once a year, the small town of Sturgis only has about 6,600 residents. Your odds of being a victim of crime here are only 1 in almost 1700 and there are many amenities in easy reach within the city, giving it the spot of tenth happiest in the state.
Only 1.7% of the residents of Madison leave for work before 5am, leaving almost everyone else time to snooze a little bit longer and maybe waking up a little bit happier. Add on to the fact that the average commute time is only 13 minutes, there is little chance of running into crime, and there is plenty of affordable housing makes Madison a pretty cheerful place.
8. Sioux Falls
Eighth on the list is South Dakota's biggest city, Sioux Falls. While the crime rate is higher here, the average income is higher, too, and even though it's a big city the average commute time is still under 20 minutes. There is a lot of activities to do and things to see here, giving it a good rating on the happy scale.
Brookings has by far one of the lowest divorce rates in the entire state, with only 4% of female residents and 7.7% of males divorced. Crime rates are very low here - 1 in over 2800 chance of being a part of violent crime - and the median household income is relatively high.
Other than a few tourist attractions, what draws people into Mitchell is probably the low housing costs and good job opportunities. The average household income in this city of 15,000 people is $43,337 and only 17.5% of that on average is put towards housing costs. That plus a combination of other factors puts Mitchell at sixth on the list.
Coming in at fifth is the town that holds the South Dakota State Fair each year, Huron. That's not the only time everyone gets to experience some joy, many of the 13,000 residents are happy and proud to call Huron their home. The events, activities, and amenities that are located in Huron other than the fair are plentiful, as is ways to make a good living.
The delightful town of Aberdeen has a mix of the small town feel and the big town luxuries, with plenty of businesses and attractions to keep you comfortable and busy, but only 27,000 residents and relatively low crime rate. All of this coupled with a high average income, low commute time, and other factors give this city the fourth spot.
There's not many safer places in South Dakota than the small town of Brandon. Your chances of being a part of crime here is pretty much slim to none. The divorce rate is also very low, and the median household income is a whopping $66,766. All of these factors and more give Brandon third place on the list.
The capital city of South Dakota ranks second on the list. Among the 14,000 residents, most of them take on average 10 minutes to get to work, make an average of $56,125 per year in income at that job, and spend less than 16% of that on housing. Add on the beautiful history, sights, and amenities, and you get a pretty delightful city to live in.
The top happiest city in South Dakota goes to Yankton. In what was once the capital of the entire Dakota Territory, the 14,500 residents here are pretty happy with how life is treating them in this city. Low divorce rates, affordable housing, relatively low crime, low commute time, and great restaurants, attractions, and more all factor into making Yankton one of the best places to live in South Dakota.
Did some of these surprise you? There are lots of great places to live in South Dakota – take a look at
some more charming towns here in the Mt. Rushmore State that people love to live in.