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South Dakota was the second most rural state in the North Central Region1 in 1960 with 61 percent of the state 's population living in rural areas. Only North Dakota, with 65 percent rural population, surpassed South Dakota within the North Central Region. Throughout the United States, rural areas have been experiencing a definite loss of people through out-migration. South Dakota is no exception. Even though the state gained four percent in population from 1950 to 1960, there was a total net out-migration of slightly over 14 percent. There were 121,736 more births than deaths in South Dakota between 1950 and 1960. This natural growth produced a potential population of 774~476 for 1960, yet only 680,51 were living in the state in that year. Thus, the population grew only 27 ,774 instead of a possible 121,736. Out-migration accounted for this difference between the potential and the actual population increase. The net out –migration from South Dakota for the decade numbered 94,279.2 This figure is based on the estimated migration of the total population with no concern for variation with respect to different age groups or sex. Inasmuch as a general principle in population theory contends that migration is selective on the basis of both age and sex, the question arises as to which age groups and which sex have experienced the highest rates of population movement during the 1950-1960 decade. Our knowledge of population trends suggests that the highest rates of migration for the more rural states would be expected to be in the young adult segment of the population.

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South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station


Rural Sociology