We've shared with you the cheapest places to live in South Dakota and even warned you about the worst places to live in the Mount Rushmore State, and now, we've saved the best for last.


When you factor in things like housing, jobs. cost of living, weather, commute times, health, nightlife, and being family-friendly, one place in South Dakota stands out among the rest thanks to a list compiled by Stacker, using metrics from the neighborhood connection website Niche.

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Their pick for the top spot to live in the state is one of the newest places on the map in South Dakota.

Dakota Dunes.

This master-planned community of less than 3,000, nestled along the Missouri River on the South Dakota-Nebraska border, has only been around for about 30 years.

It has a median income of $99,034, a median housing price of $266,400, and an average rent of $902 per month.

Niche picked it in part because: '...it maintains a small-town, suburban vibe. It appeals to a diverse range of people, from university students to retirees. There are four higher-learning institutions near the community, including Western Iowa Tech, Briar Cliff University, Northeast Community College, and Morningside College, as well as an assisted living facility.'

As for Dakota Dunes' showing on Niche's report card, it was all As and Bs:

  • Good for Families: A
  • Housing: A
  • Jobs: A
  • Cost of Living: B+
  • Health & Fitness: B+
  • Diversity: B
  • Nightlife: B-
  • Weather: B-
  • Commute: B-

As for the rest of the top places to live in the Mount Rushmore State, it is a good cross-section of big and small places from all over the map.


  1. Dakota Dunes
  2. Brandon
  3. Vermillion
  4. Brookings
  5. Sioux Falls
  6. Pierre
  7. Colonial Pine Hills
  8. Madison
  9. Mobridge
  10. Harrisburg

Which places do you think deserve their place on this list and which don't?

Which places should have been on this list?

The 100 Best Places to Live in the Midwest

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