In data we trust: South Dakota by the numbers in 2013
By Todd Epp
Northern Plains News
Sometimes the results are serious, sometimes silly.
But whatever the results, they are based in data. Mostly just the facts, ma’am.
Northern Plains News wrote a number of stories in 2013 based on studies, reports and surveys —data. Here are its top 10 South Dakota data-based stories for 2013.
1. South Dakota drought conditions eliminated. While many of the state’s farmers only had to go as far as their damp fields, the High Plains Regional Climate Center in Lincoln, Neb., made it official with its monthly report in October: Soil, subsoil and precipitation across the state added up to an end of drought conditions.
2. South Dakota lags region and nation in “mid wage” creation. Much of South Dakota has historically low unemployment rates. Meanwhile, Career Builder and Economic Modeling Specialists said the state only ranked 34th in what would be considered the creation of good paying jobs per capita.
3. Minnesota and Iowa border counties pay a lower percentage of property taxes on homes than corresponding South Dakota counties. Living on the “wrong” side of the border could cost you money, according to a study by the Brookings Institution. Their survey showed mild to moderately lower property taxes in Iowa and Minnesota counties compared to the South Dakota counties they border.
4. South Dakota one of four states without statewide texting ban. Though several South Dakota communities have texting ordinances, according to Mother Jones magazine, the state joins only three others with no statewide ban.
5. Dakotans are more polite, less profane; “Minnesota Nice” in doubt. South and North Dakota were rated among the most polite and least likely to swear, according to the Marchex Institute. The Dakotas out “niced” Minnesota, which was only middling in terms of swearing and politeness.
6. South Dakotans have fourth highest “entrepreneurial personality.” Researchers from Germany, the U.K. and the United States found that because of a broad, undeveloped land and the personalities of people who have settled the state, South Dakotans had one of the highest entrepreneurial personalities in the nation.
7. South Dakotans are “friendly and conventional.” Meanwhile, another study came to a somewhat contradictory conclusion, saying the state’s residents are strongly friendly and conventional.
8. The Daily Republic perceived as fairest newspaper in South Dakota. Based on an online survey conducted by NPN, The Daily Republic was considered the fairest daily newspaper in the state, with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader considered the least fair South Dakota daily.
9. South Dakota, land of the short commute. If you live in Platte, you have one of the shortest commutes to work, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The agency also found broad swaths of South Dakota with among the shortest commutes in the nation.
10. “Emma” top baby girl name in South Dakota. If your name is Emma, you’re in good company. The online magazine Jezebel compiled birth records from across the country over the past 50 years. In 2012, Emma was the most frequent baby girl’s name in South Dakota, with Sophia the overall national winner. Emma has been a frequent favorite nationally and in South Dakota the past decade or so.