What do you think the best place to live in South Dakota is? If you thought it was one of the three largest cities, you would be wrong.

In fact, the three largest cities didn't even make the top three.

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Niche.com did a study on the best places to live all over the country. They also broke that down by each state. This was done by grading cities on 15 different factors with varying weights.

The most heavily weighted characteristics were cost of living, higher education rate, housing grade, public schools grade, and diversity grade.

Here are the top five places to live in South Dakota.

5 - Sioux Falls

Karla Brown/TSM
Karla Brown/TSM

One reviewer from Niche said "Sioux Falls is a great place to live with lots restaurants, shopping, hospitals/clinics, and schools. It has many safe, quiet neighborhoods and is surrounded by many small towns and cornfields! It has a fabulous interstate system that allows for fast transportation except for at rush hour."

4 - Vermillion

Google Maps
Google Maps

Vermillion gets a B- grade for jobs and diversity but gets a C+ for crime. One reviewer likened it to a small town and a college town wrapped into one.

3 - Brookings

Courtesy Brookings EDC via YouTube
Courtesy Brookings EDC via YouTube

Brookings got A grades for nightlife and being good for families while getting B grades in every other category. A favorite trait of the town was "I like that when you enter any store or building you are either greeted with a "Hello" or a smile from someone, even if they are leaving."

2 - Brandon

Google Street View
Google Street View

The largest of Sioux Falls' suburbs, Brandon scored A grades for schools, housing, families, crime, and a B- for nightlife.

1 - Dakota Dunes

Google Street View
Google Street View

The only place in the top places to live in South Dakota that is not an incorporated city is the best place to live, according to Niche.com. Dakota Dunes is also among the most affluent of the communities, not registering a score for schools (Dakota Valley is technically in North Sioux City) or crime, it got A's for housing and families and B's for nightlife and diversity.

The rest of the top 20 places to live in South Dakota were:

6 - Mobridge

7 - Pierre

8 - Colonial Pine Hills in Rapid City

9 - Madison

10 - Harrisburg

11 - Tea

12 - Fort Pierre

13 - Rapid City

14 - Spearfish

15 - Aberdeen

16 - Yankton

17 - Dell Rapids

18 - Mitchell

19 - Green Valley southeast of Rapid City

20 - Summerset northwest of Rapid City


10 Smallest Towns in South Dakota

South Dakota is loaded with small towns in every corner of the state. But where are the tiniest towns in the Mount Rushmore state?

According to the latest census data, here are the ten smallest towns in all of South Dakota. You won't believe which tiny town lands at number one.


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