Moving to South Dakota Guide

Mount Rushmore during daytime

If you are considering a move to South Dakota, you’ll be happy to know that it’s one of the best states in the union to live in. The state is rich in history, culture, and stunning natural beauty. In this relocation guide, we will explore the many reasons why you should move to South Dakota, what you need to know before making the move, how to relocate with ease, and the best places to live in the state.

Why Move to South Dakota?

Low Cost of Living

One of the best qualities of life in South Dakota is its low cost of living. Housing, healthcare, and transportation costs are all some of the cheapest across the state, making it the perfect place for those on a budget. You’ll also find affordable food and groceries in many towns and cities.

Job Opportunities

South Dakota is known for being a business-friendly state, which translates to many job opportunities for its residents. Many industries thrive in the state, including healthcare, education, manufacturing, and agriculture. For those in search of a great job, South Dakota could be worth considering.

Beautiful Tourist Destinations

South Dakota is home to many beautiful spots, which make it a popular destination among tourists. The state is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes, which include the Black Hills, Badlands National Park, and Wind Cave National Park. Tourists also love to visit the iconic Mount Rushmore and crazy horse memorial. During the summer months, tourism is a major contributor to the economy of the state, and you’ll find many attractions catered to visitors wherever you go.

What You Need to Know Before Moving to South Dakota?

Cost of Living in South Dakota

While the cost of living in South Dakota is lower than many other states, you’ll still want to know what to expect when it comes to prices. South Dakota’s housing rates range depending on the city, and you can expect higher prices for properties in cities like Sioux Falls. It’s also important to note that South Dakota is a sales tax state, so be prepared to pay additional taxes on top of what you spend.

Best Places to Live in South Dakota

If you’re planning on living in South Dakota, it’s also important to research where you want to live. Some of the best cities to live in South Dakota include Sioux Falls, Brookings, and Pierre. These cities are well-rounded, providing great job opportunities and excellent schools. Other great places to live include Rapid City and Vermillion, though these cities tend to be a bit more remote.

Unemployment Rate in South Dakota

The unemployment rate in South Dakota is lower than the national average, making it an excellent place to find work. As of August 2021, the unemployment rate in South Dakota was 2.9%. That being said, it’s important to note that many of the job opportunities in South Dakota are in industries like healthcare and manufacturing, so if you’re looking for work in other industries, you might find it more difficult.

How to Relocate to South Dakota?

Choosing a Moving Company

If you’re moving to South Dakota, one of the first things you should do is choose a reliable moving company. Start researching moving companies well in advance, and read customer reviews to find a company that you can trust. You may also want to consider asking family and friends for recommendations.

Moving Tips

When you’re moving to a new state, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make the process as easy as possible:

  • Start packing early: Don’t wait until the last minute to pack. Start organizing your belongings and packing non-essential items well in advance of your move.
  • Label boxes: It’s important to label boxes clearly, so you know what’s inside. Make sure to label which room each box should go to in your new home.
  • Be prepared for the weather: South Dakota can experience extreme weather conditions. Make sure to pack clothes and other items appropriate for the weather you expect to encounter.
  • Take photos of electronics: Before you disconnect electronics like your television and computer, take photos of the cords and how they’re plugged in. This will make it easier to set them up in your new home.

Places to Live in South Dakota

Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls is the largest city in South Dakota and the main economic hub of the state. Sioux Falls has a low unemployment rate and a healthy job market. It’s known for its many cultural and arts events, including the Annual Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Festival. It’s also one of the most affordable cities to live in, so it’s a popular spot for those relocating to the state.

Black Hills

The Black Hills are a beautiful mountain range in western South Dakota. The area is known for its scenic drives, hiking, and gorgeous natural landscapes. If you’re someone who loves the outdoors, the Black Hills are a great place to live. Some of the towns in the Black Hills include Spearfish, Deadwood, and Sturgis.

Mount Rushmore State Park

Mount Rushmore State Park is one of the most iconic tourist destinations in the country. The park is known for its sculpture of former US presidents and offers numerous activities and trails for hikers and nature lovers. The region offers a variety of natural beauty, including nearby Custer State Park. While the area can be a bit more expensive, it’s a beautiful place to call home.

Things to Do in South Dakota

Visit Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial is a massive mountain carving being built to honor Native American culture. The sculpture is the largest of its kind in the world and is an awe-inspiring sight to see. Visitors can also enjoy the museum and cultural center on the grounds.

Explore Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park is an incredible blend of unique landscapes, eroded rock formations, and rich history. The park offers a variety of hiking and camping opportunities and is home to an abundance of wildlife. You’ll want to make sure you bring your camera to capture all the breathtaking views.

Go Camping in Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park is known for its unique cave formations and impressive hiking trails. The park is also a great spot for camping, with several campgrounds throughout the area. You’ll get to enjoy the beauty of the South Dakota landscape and maybe even see some bison grazing in the fields.

Cons of Living in South Dakota

Extreme Weather Conditions

South Dakota can experience extreme weather conditions like blizzards, high winds, and tornadoes. If you’re not used to living in an area with these types of weather patterns, it can take some getting used to.

Remote Locations

While many of the cities in South Dakota are great places to live, some of the more rural areas can be quite remote. You’ll want to make sure you consider the distance to the nearest shopping center, hospital, and other essential services before deciding where to live.

Tornadoes in South Dakota

South Dakota is prone to tornadoes, so it’s important to take safety precautions during tornado season. Make sure you have a plan in place and know where to go if there’s a tornado in your area.


Moving to a new state can be a daunting task, but moving to South Dakota doesn’t have to be. With plenty of job opportunities, stunning natural beauty, and a low cost of living, South Dakota is one of the best states in the union to live in. As long as you do your research and prepare ahead of time, you’ll be able to make the transition to your new home with ease.

Q: What is this guide about?

A: This guide is a comprehensive FAQ for those considering moving to South Dakota.

Q: What is the cost of living like in South Dakota?

A: The cost of living in South Dakota is lower than the national average. Home value and personal income tax are also lower in the state.

Q: What are the best places to live in South Dakota?

A: The best places to live in South Dakota are Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Pierre, Yankton, and Brookings.

Q: How do I find a place to live in South Dakota?

A: You can find a place to live in South Dakota by checking real estate listings, reaching out to local real estate agents, or connecting with local apartment communities.

Q: How do I choose a moving company to help me move to South Dakota?

A: Choose a reputable moving company that is licensed and insured. Check reviews and ask for recommendations from friends and family.

Q: What are some moving tips for moving to South Dakota?

A: Pack a 72-hour kit with essentials, label boxes clearly, research the weather, and notify companies of your new address before moving.

Q: What is life like in South Dakota?

A: South Dakota is a sparsely populated state with friendly people and a lower cost of living. It is also home to attractions like the Missouri River, Hot Springs, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Q: What is the weather like in South Dakota?

A: The weather in South Dakota varies by season, with hot summers and cold winters. It is important to research the weather patterns before moving.

Q: What are the pros and cons of living in South Dakota?

A: The pros of living in South Dakota include a lower cost of living, friendly people, and attractions like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The cons include harsh winters and a sparsely populated state.

Q: What are some things to do and see in South Dakota?

A: South Dakota is home to attractions like the University of South Dakota, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home, and the Missouri River. It is also a great state for outdoor activities like hiking and fishing.

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