Detailed population data released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows South Dakota’s cities fueled the state’s population growth over the last decade.

The data will form the basis for the state’s new legislative boundaries. The state’s three most populous counties — Minnehaha, Pennington and Lincoln — accounted for most of the population growth. Lincoln County, which contains parts of Sioux Falls and its surrounding communities, saw the fastest growth, increasing by 45% to 65,161 people.

Brookings grew by nearly 6% to 23,377, up from 22,056 in 2010. Brookings County is now at 34,375 people, an increase of 7%.

Sioux Falls grew by nearly 40,000 people in the last decade to reach a population of 192,517.

The trend means that legislative power will shift towards cities because each legislative district must contain roughly the same number of people. Lawmakers tasked with drawing new boundaries for legislative districts said they will begin to pour over the data in earnest later this month.



August 13, 2021