South Dakota (SD) is situated in the Midwestern region of the US. Known for its abundant history and natural beauty, the state attracts visitors from all over the world. However, safety is likely a top concern for those looking to call South Dakota home.
Here we will explore the question, "Is South Dakota a safe place to live?" by analyzing crime statistics, factors that influence safety, safety measures in place, and perspectives from South Dakota residents.
Through this examination, we hope to comprehensively answer the question and assist anyone considering making South Dakota their home.
Crime Statistics in South Dakota
Overview of crime rate in the state
South Dakota has a relatively low crime rate compared to the national average. According to the FBI's (UCR) Uniform Crime Reporting program, the state's overall crime rate in 2020 was 2,968.1 per 100,000 people. This is significantly lower than the national average of 3,383.5 per 100,000 people.
Comparison with national crime statistics
South Dakota's crime rate is lower than the national crime statistics. The state has a lower overall crime rate and lower rates of violent crimes and property crimes.
In 2020, the national average for violent crimes was 366.7 per 100,000 people, while South Dakota's rate was 297.2 per 100,000. For property crimes, the national average was 2,109.9 per 100,000 people, while South Dakota's rate was 1,907.5 per 100,000 people.
Types of crimes most prevalent in South Dakota
Although the overall crime rate in South Dakota is lower than the national average, some types of crimes are still more prevalent than others.
Burglary is the most common property crime in South Dakota. In 2020, the state reported 3,053 incidents of burglary, which is a rate of 350.4 per 100,000 people. This is slightly higher than the average national total for burglary, which was 327.6 per 100,000 people.
Larceny theft is another prevalent property crime in South Dakota. In 2020, there were 18,535 incidents of larceny theft reported in the state, which is a rate of 2,128.1 per 100,000 people. This is slightly less than the national average for larceny-theft, which was 2,054.9 per 100,000 people.
Motor vehicle theft
South Dakota has a relatively low rate of motor vehicle theft compared to the national average. In 2020, 920 incidents of motor vehicle theft were reported in the state, which is a rate of 105.6 per 100,000 people. The national average for motor vehicle theft in 2020 was 235.4 per 100,000 people.
Aggravated assault is among the most prevalent violent crime in South Dakota. In 2020, the state reported 2,379 incidents of aggravated assault, which is a rate of 273.1 per 100,000 people. This is slightly less than the national average for aggravated assault, which was 313.5 per 100,000 people.
Robbery is the least prevalent violent crime in South Dakota. In 2020, there were 228 incidents of robbery reported in the state, which is a rate of 26.2 per 100,000 people. This is much lower than the national average for robbery, which was 96.7 per 100,000 people.
While some types of crimes are more prevalent in South Dakota than others, the state has a lower overall crime rate than the national average. This is good news for those considering making South Dakota their home.
Factors Influencing Safety in South Dakota
Demographic factors, such as age and gender, can impact safety in South Dakota. For example, young people are likely to engage in risky behaviors that could lead to crime. At the same time, women are generally more vulnerable to certain types of crimes, such as sexual assault.
Economic factors like poverty and unemployment can also influence safety in South Dakota. Research has shown that areas with higher poverty and unemployment rates tend to have higher crime rates.
Socioeconomic factors, such as education and social capital, can also impact safety in South Dakota. Communities with higher levels of education and social capital tend to have lower crime rates, as they are better able to identify and address issues related to safety and security.
South Dakota's weather patterns can also influence safety. Severe weather events, such as blizzards and tornadoes, can cause property damage and threaten public safety.
Extreme temperatures, particularly in the winter, can also create dangerous conditions that increase the risk of accidents and other types of incidents.
Together, these factors help shape the safety and security of communities in South Dakota. Understanding these factors can help individuals and policymakers take steps to create safer and more secure communities throughout the state.
Safety in South Dakota Cities
South Dakota is known for its scenic beauty and peaceful way of life, but like any other state, it has its fair share of safety concerns. In this section, we will uncover the safety statistics of some of the most populated cities in South Dakota and highlight the safety measures that city authorities have put in place to address these concerns.
Safety statistics in highly populated cities in the State
To get an accurate picture of the safety situation in South Dakota, in cities like Bradon, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Aberdeen, the crime rates are relatively low, with property crimes being the most commonly reported offenses.
However, the crime rates are slightly higher in smaller cities like Vermillion and Madison. Bradon has been ranked the safest city in South Dakota for three years in a row (2020, 2021, and 2022).
According to the ranking by Safewise (a leading home security firm), Sisseton was ranked the second safest city in South Dakota. At the same time, Madison has also been named the third safest city in South Dakota.
It's important to remember that these numbers don't always show how safe a city is as a whole. For example, a city may have a low crime rate. If there are safety hazards like poorly maintained infrastructure, inadequate emergency response systems, or obsolete security systems, residents may still be at risk.
Safety measures put in place by the city authorities
The city authorities in South Dakota have put in place various safety measures to address the safety concerns of their residents. In Sioux Falls, the police department has implemented community-oriented policing strategies encouraging officers to work closely with community members to identify and address safety concerns.
The city has also invested in technology like gunshot detection systems and license plate readers to help prevent and solve crimes. In Rapid City, the city authorities have established a Neighborhood Crime Watch program that allows residents to work with the police department to monitor their neighborhoods and report any suspicious activity.
The city also has a dedicated community service officer who works to address safety concerns in neighborhoods across the city. Other safety measures that have been taken across the state are installing surveillance cameras in public areas, improving emergency response systems, and lighting streets.
Consult an Expert to Settle into South Dakota Faster
While there are safety concerns in South Dakota, the state is generally considered a safe place to live. Most of the cities in the state have low crime rates, and city officials have put in place several safety measures to address any worries.
However, it is worth noting that safety is not just about crime statistics but also includes other factors, such as emergency response systems and infrastructure maintenance. South Dakota's commitment to community-oriented policing and investments in technology and community engagement make it a safe place to call home.