Pierre leads in household income for SDAfter recession, state nears national average.
By: Denise Ross, The Daily Republic
At nearly $58,000 in median household income, the Pierre micropolitan area leads South Dakota and outpaces the national median household income of $50,502 by 13 percent.
The Sioux Falls metropolitan area comes in a close second at almost $56,000. The Mitchell micropolitan area ranks 10th in the state at $45,102, but is separated by less than $1,000 from Brookings, Spearfish and Watertown. Here’s the breakdown:
• Pierre micropolitan, $57,648.
• Sioux Falls metropolitan, $55,754.
• Yankton micropolitan, $51,680.
• Rapid City metropolitan, $48,155.
• Aberdeen micropolitan, $47,395.
• Sioux City metropolitan, $47,348. • Brookings micropolitan, $46,101.
• Watertown micropolitan, $45,144.
• Spearfish micropolitan, $45,137.
• Mitchell micropolitan, $45,102.
• Huron micropolitan, $40,455.
• Vermillion micropolitan, $39,118. A metro area contains a core urban area of 50,000 or more population, and a micro area contains an urban core of at least 10,000 (but less than 50,000) population. The U.S. Census data compiled from 2007 to 2011 shows that South Dakota emerged from the recent recession much closer to the nation for median household income, which was $48,321 for the state and $50,502 nationally. The year before the financial crisis hit in 2008, South Dakota’s median household income was reported at just above $47,000 compared to just more than $55,000 nationally. George Langelett, associate professor of economics at South Dakota State University, said South Dakota’s agriculture-based economy insulated it from many of the recession’s harsh effects.
“If you look at the nation as a whole, there is more manufacturing going on. When you get into a recession, there are manufacturing booms and busts,” Langelett said. “General Motors could lay off 50,000 people. Farmers might have to take a lower price, but they don’t lay off too many people.”
Pierre’s top income ranking can be attributed to its status as South Dakota’s state capital, home to good-paying government jobs.
But Langelett said other industries probably have played a role as well.
“Government does create good-paying jobs, but the farm economy is doing quite well. That affects Sioux Falls, also,” Langelett said. “And Pierre is right on Lake Oahe. That does bring in a lot of tourism dollars.”
He said rising corn and soybean prices over the last five years have helped all of South Dakota.
“There have been a lot of large gains in this state because of commodity prices.”