Okay, we all crab about how much money we make, how gas prices and groceries keep going up, how hard it is to find an affordable place to live and so on. These are simply universal complaints within the human condition. Unless of course you're a one percenter, had the brains to buy Google or Microsoft early on, or have given up all your material possessions and moved to a monastery.

That being said, and with the clear understanding that I am certainly biased because I do love Sioux Falls, I don't think South Dakota is such a bad place to make a living. Relatively speaking our gas and grocery prices are much better than places I've traveled to visit friends and relatives, (Montana, Colorado, Washington, California, New York, etc.).

And certainly, (statistically and mathematically anyway) there are much worse places! Just ask Money Rates and they'll tell you why and how they came to the conclusion that South Dakota is the 12th worst state in which you can try to make a living, (keeping in mind their latest report was from 2016). They used five factors from various sources to determine these ratings:

  • Median wage data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
  • State tax rates from the research group Tax Foundation
  • Cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research's Cost of Living Index
  • Unemployment rate data from U.S. BLS
  • Workplace safety data (including incidents of workplace illness, injuries and fatalities) was gathered from the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

While South Dakota got dinged for having a relatively low median income ($30, 780), it received high marks for no state income tax and low unemployment rate.

It may make you feel a bit better to know that the absolute worst place to make a living is--Hawaii. Yeah! Take that you, beautiful, tropical, paradise! Hah! In your face!

To see the full report go to Money Rates or Cheat Sheet.

Sources: Money Rates and Cheat Sheet


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