Is South Dakota Safe? Discover the Truth About its Crime Rate

South dakota is generally considered a safe state, with a low crime rate and friendly locals. South dakota, located in the north-central united states, is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich native american cultural heritage, and friendly small-town atmosphere.

If you’re planning a visit to the state, one thing you’ll likely want to know is whether south dakota is safe. Fortunately, the answer is yes! South dakota has a low crime rate compared to many other states, and violent crime is especially rare.

Additionally, the people of south dakota are known for being welcoming and helpful to visitors, making it a great destination for families, solo travelers, and anyone looking for a safe and relaxing vacation. In this article, we’ll explore some more of the reasons why south dakota is a safe place to visit and give you some tips for staying safe during your trip.

Understanding Crime In South Dakota

South dakota is a beautiful state in the midwestern region of the united states known for its stunning landscapes, unique culture, and friendly people. But when it comes to safety, some people may wonder if south dakota is a safe place to live or visit.

In this blog post, we will dive into crime statistics in south dakota to help you get a better understanding of the safety level in one of america’s least populated states.

South Dakota’s Crime Rate According To Statistics

According to the fbi’s uniform crime reporting program, the overall crime rate in south dakota has increased slightly from 2019. However, south dakota’s violent crime rate per 100,000 people is much lower than the national average. Here are some key points about south dakota’s crime rate according to statistics:

  • In 2020, south dakota’s violent crime rate was 364.8 per 100,000 people, while the national average was 367.9 per 100,000 people.
  • Property crime rates, on the other hand, were higher than the national average, with a rate of 2,893.7 per 100,000 people, compared to the national average of 2,109.9 per 100,000 people.
  • The most common crimes that happen in south dakota are property crimes and drug offenses.
  • The cities of rapid city and sioux falls have higher crime rates, with the majority of crimes being property-related, while rural areas have lower crime rates.

Comparing South Dakota’s Crime Rate To Other States

Compared to other states, south dakota’s crime rate is significantly lower, especially when it comes to violent crimes. Here are some stats to help you compare:

  • South dakota has a lower violent crime rate than neighboring states in the midwest, such as north dakota, minnesota, and wisconsin.
  • Compared to california, which has a violent crime rate of 450.9 per 100,000 people, south dakota’s violent crime rate is much lower.
  • Overall, south dakota ranks at number 47 for states with the highest crime rates in the united states.

Myths About Crime In South Dakota Debunked

While some may believe that south dakota has high crime rates due to its rural nature, statistics show otherwise. Here are some common myths about crime in south dakota debunked:

  • Myth #1: South dakota is dangerous due to its proximity to reservations.
  • Fact: The majority of crimes committed in south dakota are non-native americans against non-native americans, and the majority of native american tribes in south dakota have established community-based policing to prevent and address crime.
  • Myth #2: The oil boom caused a spike in crime rates in south dakota.
  • Fact: According to crime statistics, there was no notable increase in crime rates in areas with an oil boom in south dakota.
  • Myth #3: South dakota is one of the most dangerous states in the country.
  • Fact: As mentioned before, south dakota is ranked 47th in states with high crime rates.

Despite having higher property crime rates, south dakota is a relatively safe place to live or visit, especially when compared to other states in the u. s. While every place has its share of crimes, it’s essential to look at statistics and debunk any myths to get a better understanding of the situation.

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So, don’t hesitate to explore the great outdoors in south dakota or take a stroll through one of its charming small towns!

Types Of Crimes In South Dakota

South dakota is a state filled with scenic landscapes and serene communities, making it an attractive location to visit or settle in. However, like any other place, people living here have concerns regarding their safety. In this post, we will go over the types of crimes that occur in south dakota to give you a clear perspective.

Violent Crimes In South Dakota

South dakota has a relatively low rate of violent crimes compared to other states. Here are some key points about violent crimes in south dakota:

-1. South dakota’s violent crime rate per 100,000 population was 392. 8 in 2019, which is below the national average of 380. 6.

-2. In 2019, the state recorded 3. 4 murders per 100,000, which is less than the national average of 5. 0.

-3. Aggravated assault made up the majority of violent crimes in south dakota in 2019.

Property Crimes In South Dakota

Property crimes are another significant concern in south dakota. Here are some key points about property crimes in south dakota:

-1. South dakota’s property crime rate was 2,579. 6 per 100,000 population in 2019, which is lower than the national average of 2,110. 5.

-2. Larceny-theft was the most commonly recorded property crime in south dakota, making up 82% of total property crimes in 2019.

-3. Vehicle theft is also a significant problem in south dakota, with a rate of 344. 7 per 100,000 population in 2019. This is higher than the national average of 219. 9.

White Collar Crimes In South Dakota

White-collar crimes refer to non-violent crimes committed by individuals or organizations, usually motivated by financial gain. Here are some key points about white-collar crimes:

-1. South dakota recorded 1,003 cases of fraud in 2019, with a loss of over $9 million.

-2. Identity theft was the second most commonly reported non-violent crime in south dakota in 2019, with 666 cases recorded.

-3. Cybercrime is on the rise in south dakota, with hackers gaining access to computer networks and stealing sensitive information.

South dakota generally has a low crime rate compared to other states. However, people living here should be aware of property crimes and white-collar crimes. Knowing this information can help individuals take preventative measures to protect themselves and their property.

Factors That Contribute To Crime In South Dakota

Is South Dakota Safe?

South dakota, also known as the mount rushmore state, is famous for its natural beauty. From the badlands national park to mount rushmore, it’s a state that attracts nature lovers and history buffs alike. However, when it comes to crime, is south dakota safe?

In this blog post, we will examine the factors that contribute to crime in the state.

Socioeconomic Factors And Crime In South Dakota

Socioeconomic factors such as poverty, education, and unemployment are closely related to crime rates. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Poverty: South dakota has a poverty rate of 12.6%, which is lower than the national average but higher than some neighboring states. Areas with a high poverty rate often have higher crime rates due to the lack of resources and opportunities.
  • Education: South dakota has a high school graduation rate of 85%, slightly lower than the national average. Education is an essential resources against crime as it can open doors to better opportunities and reduce crime.
  • Unemployment: South dakota has an unemployment rate of 2.9%, lower than the national average. Unemployment can lead to desperation and crime as individuals struggle to make ends meet.

Substance Abuse And Crime In South Dakota

Substance abuse is another factor that contributes to crime in south dakota. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Methamphetamine: South dakota has one of the highest rates of methamphetamine use in the country, leading to higher incidents of drug-related crimes.
  • Alcohol abuse: South dakota has one of the highest rates of binge drinking in the country, which is linked to higher rates of domestic violence and drunk driving.
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Gangs And Crime In South Dakota

Gangs are a significant contributor to crime in south dakota. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Crips and bloods: These two nationally-known gangs have a strong presence in south dakota, and their illegal activities, such as drug trafficking and violence, contribute to the state’s crime rate.
  • Biker gangs: Outlaw motorcycle gangs, such as the hells angels and the mongols, also have a presence in south dakota and have been linked to drug trafficking and violence.

To a large extent, south dakota is safe; however, as we have seen, there are factors that contribute to crime rates in the state. By addressing issues such as poverty, substance abuse, and gang activity, the state can continue to improve its crime rate and ensure that south dakota remains a safe and enjoyable place to live.

Addressing Crime In South Dakota

When visiting or living in south dakota, safety is a top priority for most people. One of the biggest concerns is crime. However, the state has put measures in place to address criminal activities effectively. Here are some of the ways south dakota’s law enforcement, court systems, and rehabilitation elements work together to combat crime.

Law Enforcement Strategies In South Dakota

South dakota has a dedicated law enforcement system that is committed to keeping communities safe. The state is divided into different regions, with each region having its own law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining law and order. The south dakota highway patrol, division of criminal investigation, and department of corrections are among the agencies that work together to fight crime.

  • The south dakota highway patrol is responsible for enforcing traffic laws, investigating crashes, and ensuring commercial vehicle safety in the state.
  • The division of criminal investigation handles criminal investigations that are beyond the capabilities of local law enforcement agencies.
  • The department of corrections manages institutions and programs aimed at rehabilitating offenders.

Court Systems In South Dakota

The south dakota judicial branch consists of three levels – circuit courts, the supreme court, and magistrate courts. The circuit courts handle both civil and criminal cases, while the supreme court serves as the last appellate court for decision-making on appeals.

Meanwhile, magistrate courts handle only minor criminal and civil cases.

  • The circuit court judge is responsible for holding hearings, managing evidence, and guiding the proceedings. The judge will prepare a verdict of guilt or innocence in criminal cases after hearing arguments from both parties.
  • The supreme court reviews circuit court decisions either upon request or at its discretion, assessing relevant factors before rendering a decision.

Rehabilitation And Re-Entry Programs In South Dakota

South dakota’s department of corrections has done an excellent job of rehabilitating offenders with a range of programs that are innovative and evidence-based. The state emphasizes rehabilitating offenders as a way of reducing recidivism and promoting safe communities. Some of these programs include:

  • The “thinking for a change” program, which focuses on cognitive-behavioral therapy, teaches inmates how to restructure their thoughts that led to criminal activity.
  • “circles of support and accountability” is a program aimed at individuals released from prison who require support and supervision as they re-enter society.
  • “inside-out prison exchange” brings college students inside the prison to learn with incarcerated individuals, encouraging social change.

South dakota has taken a mixed approach to tackling crime in the state. The law enforcement agency has put in place measures to prevent crime, while the court and rehabilitation programs are committed to rehabilitating offenders to reduce crime rate.

If you plan to visit or live in south dakota, you can rest assured that the state is making consistent efforts to ensure your safety.

Conclusion: Is South Dakota Safe?

South dakota, commonly known as the mount rushmore state or coyote state, is a midwestern state in the united states. The state might not be popular like new york or california, but it has a lot of attractions and natural beauty that makes it an ideal place to visit.

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Safety is a vital aspect to consider when you’re visiting a new place and if you’re wondering whether south dakota is safe or not, keep reading to find out more.

Low Crime Rates

South dakota has lower crime rates compared to other states in the us, making it one of the safest states to live and visit. This means you can walk around the streets without worrying about criminal activities like robbery, carjacking, or violent crimes.

Here are some facts about south dakota crime rates:

  • South dakota has a lower crime rate compared to the national average.
  • The state’s property crime rate is lower than the national average.
  • South dakota has a lower violent crime rate compared to the national average.

Polite And Friendly People

Another reason why south dakota is safe is because of its friendly and welcoming residents. South dakotans have a reputation for being community-oriented, helpful, and kind. They’re polite and welcoming towards visitors, making it easier for visitors to navigate around the state.

So, if you ever get lost in south dakota or need help with something, don’t hesitate to ask a local.

Safe Driving Culture

South dakota has a safe driving culture that promotes traffic safety and reduces the likelihood of road accidents. The state has a lower rate of fatal accidents compared to other states in the us. Drivers in south dakota are more disciplined, patient, and follow traffic rules-even during challenging driving conditions like snowy winters or heavy rainfall.

Is South Dakota Safe?

South dakota is one of the safest states to visit or live in. With lower crime rates, welcoming people, and safe driving culture, south dakota is worth your visit. The state’s commitment to safety makes it appealing for families, solo travelers or anyone else looking for a safe, peaceful and enjoyable vacation experience.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Is South Dakota Safe

Is Crime Rate High In South Dakota?

South dakota has a low crime rate compared to the national average. Its violent crime rate is lower than 40 other states in the u. s.

Can I Drive In South Dakota Without Any Worry?

Driving in south dakota is generally considered safe. The state has a low rate of traffic fatalities due to its well-maintained roads, strict dui laws, and a low population density.

Is South Dakota Known For Natural Disasters?

South dakota is prone to natural disasters like floods, wildfires, and severe storms, but the state has implemented effective emergency management strategies to minimize damage and protect lives.

Is It Safe To Live In South Dakota?

South dakota is considered a safe place to live based on the state’s low crime rate, affordable cost of living, and exceptional healthcare facilities.

Are There Wildlife Safety Concerns In South Dakota?

South dakota is home to various wildlife, including mountain lions, bison, and rattlesnakes. It’s essential to stay aware of your surroundings while hiking or camping in the state.


In south dakota, safety concerns revolve around wildlife encounters, natural disasters, and the occasional criminal activity. However, the state’s law enforcement agencies have been taking effective measures to enhance safety and regulate criminal activities. The state has also implemented a community policing approach that has contributed significantly to crime prevention.

The south dakota highway patrol maintains a presence on the state’s highways, ensuring traffic flow and responding to emergencies. Factors like the low crime rate, low population density, and friendly community atmosphere contribute to the state’s safety. South dakota is relatively safe, with rare occurrences of violent crime.

Residents and tourists can enjoy the state’s beautiful scenery, historic attractions, and events without worrying about their safety. Despite the occasional risks posed by natural disasters or exposed to wildlife, basic safety measures and common sense will keep you secure in south dakota.

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