The significant characteristics of the economy of South Dakota are: (1) the dominant role of agriculture in the state (2) the erratic nature of its agricultural production and (3) the decrease in economic activity and population as one moves from the southeastern to the northwestern part of the state. In I960, 61 percent of the population was classified as rural by the Census Bureau. This includes towns under 2,500 population. Only North Dakota has a greater percentage of its population living in rural areas The saying that "you can't keep them home on the farm" is as appropriate to South Dakota as it is for the nation. The percentage of people living in rural areas in South Dakota was 89.8 in 1900; 84.0 in 1920; 75.4 in 1940; and 61.0 in 1960. The major population migration within the state is away from the center of the state and toward the Black Hills Region and the Southeastern part of the state.
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South Dakota State University
South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and Department of Economics, South Dakota State University, "South Dakota Agriculture and Its Problems" (1964). Agricultural Experiment Station Agricultural Economics Pamphlets. 134.