Document Type


Publication Date



drought, south dakota

Extension Number

ExEx 9001


Sociology and Rural Studies


In 2006, fears that the drought in South Dakota would be worse than that of the 1930s made the pages of the New York Times (1). Indeed, this 21st Century drought is serious but, in terms of sheer human misery, it doesn’t match what was called the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, and the Dirty Thirties. Back when South Dakota State University was South Dakota A&M, rural sociologists conducted studies of the Dust Bowl, so now we can compare the two droughts. “A Graphic Summary of the Relief Situation in South Dakota (1930-1935)” shows numbers of people on relief, number living on farms, banking, and off-farm income (3). The most striking finding concerns relief.