By most accounts, South Dakota's economy has always been a model of consistency and stability.

But a new set of numbers has the Mount Rushmore State languishing in the bottom third of all states when it comes to overall economic health.

24/7 Wall St. ranked states based on an index made up of five categories: Gross Domestic Product growth, job growth, unemployment rate, poverty rate, and bachelor's degree attainment rate.

Based on those factors, South Dakota's economy is just 35th overall.

The state's $51.6 billion GDP in 2018 is the fourth smallest in the nation. The five-year GDP annual growth rate of 2.9 percent is the 16th smallest. The national average is 4.1 percent.

Those numbers offset some pretty positive employment figures.

South Dakota's 2.8 unemployment rate (April 2019) is tied for eighth lowest in America.

According to the report, the biggest contributors to South Dakota's GDP growth were the finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing sectors, which grew from $10.6 billion to $13.2 billion. Meanwhile, the mining and agriculture sectors were the biggest negatives in the state's economy.

The study also pointed to one factor limiting economic growth in South Dakota - a lack of highly educated labor in the state. 28 percent of the state's adults over the age of 25 have a four-year college diploma, about four percent below the national average.


  1. Colorado
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Utah
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Washington
  6. Hawaii
  7. Oregon
  8. Maryland
  9. Virginia
  10. Minnesota


  1. West Virginia
  2. Alaska
  3. Mississippi
  4. Louisiana
  5. New Mexico
  6. Wyoming
  7. Kentucky
  8. Arkansas
  9. Alabama
  10. Oklahoma

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