Independent Living in South Dakota

Officially nicknamed “The Mount Rushmore State” for its top tourist attraction, South Dakota stands out geographically from other states in the Great Plains. It has its share of wide-open grasslands, particularly in the central and eastern areas of the state. But the farther west you go, South Dakota starts to look more like the American West. Badlands National Park resembles a miniature desert mountain range with peaks you can traverse in just a few minutes. In the southwestern corner of the state are the more wooded Black Hills — a small, isolated mountain range that’s home to the gigantic granite monuments of Mount Rushmore and the work-in-progress Crazy Horse Memorial. South Dakota’s cities like Sioux Falls and Rapid City are quaint and inviting with a rustic charm. Between its natural beauty, wide-open spaces, and relatively inexpensive living costs, South Dakota is an ideal retirement destination.

Currently, A Place for Mom partners with more than 10 South Dakota retirement communities.

The median monthly cost of independent living in South Dakota is about $2,300.

Top cities in South Dakota

Independent Living in South Dakota

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South Dakota Independent Living Regulations

Each state regulates senior living communities differently. Because independent living is often provided by assisted living communities, states may regulate independent living within their guidelines for assisted living. You can use APFM’s guide to assisted living regulations to learn more about access to community records in South Dakota.

In South Dakota, independent living communities — also known simply as retirement communities — are geared towards seniors who are able to live on their own, without daily assistance, and prefer to live among people their age. This usually means residents are self-sufficient and do not require hands-on care. Think of independent living communities as age-restricted (typically 55+) complexes, which provide organized activities, meal services, and transportation.

Cost of Living

Overall, the cost of living in South Dakota is considered to be slightly more affordable than the national average. The following index scores are based on a scale with the national average set at 100.

Price Indexes

  • Cost of Living: 99
  • Groceries: 107
  • Housing: 110
  • Utilities: 92
  • Transportation: 90

Demographics

About 17% of South Dakota’s population are seniors. In the 2016 presidential election, South Dakota leaned conservative.

2016 Presidential Election

  • 32% voted Democratic
  • 62% voted Republican
  • 6% voted third party

Population

  • Median age: 37
  • Over the age of 55: 30%
  • 2018 population: 882,235
  • 2020 population: 900,409
  • Estimated 2025 population: 947,499

Miscellaneous

  • 36% regularly attend a religious service
  • 31% consider themselves atheist, agnostic, or a non-believer
  • The state has a total of 1,819 congregations
  • There are 83 Masonic lodges in the state

Climate and Weather

South Dakota is a northern Great Plains state and has a range of climate types, but most of the state’s climate is considered humid continental. This means South Dakota has four seasons, including hot summers and cold, mostly dry winters. However, the state often has extreme temperatures in both summer and winter, and during spring and autumn, the temperature can swing wildly within a single day. Some northern areas of the state experience a subarctic climate, whereas the southwestern portion of the state has a more desert-like, semi-arid climate.

Humidity and Precipitation

  • Average humidity level: 66%
  • Average monthly precipitation: 2”
  • Average maximum monthly precipitation: 5” (May)

Air Quality

  • Average air quality index rating: 35 (Good)
  • Average maximum air quality rating: 48 in August (Good)

Seasonal Temperatures

  • Average temperature: 46°F
  • Average summer temperature: 70°F
  • Typical summer high: 91°F (July)
  • Typical summer low: 47°F (June)
  • Average winter temperature: 21°F
  • Typical winter high: 44°F (February)
  • Typical winter low: -1°F (January)

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Cities in South Dakota
and surrounding area

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