Not all cities of 9,000 are created equal.

About the same time the financial website 24/7 Wall St. was heralding Brandon (population 9,731) as South Dakota's most affluent city, it was singling out Box Elder (population 9,277) as the Mount Rushmore State's worst city to live in.

To come up with their finding, the website created an index consisting of over two dozen factors, including economy, crime, and access to recreation, entertainment, and dining options.


According to the survey, Box Elder, a suburb of Rapid City, has a median home value of $130,700 which is $22,000 less than the state's median price.

South Dakota's 13th largest city is the sixth smallest of the 50 on the list which includes the worst city in each state.

The poverty rate is Box Elder in 14.5 percent, slightly higher than the state average (13.9%). That number is actually not bad nationally. It ranks seventh lowest among the 50 cities on the list.

The violent crime rate of 333 per 100,000 people in Box Elder is actually lower than the state average (434).

Box Elder has a higher cost of living than every other city considered South Dakota, but goods and services are still about 4.5 percent less expensive than they are nationwide on average.

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