Document Type


Publication Date



threshold levels, south dakota, retail businesses, service businesses

Extension Number

ExEx 9002


Sociology and Rural Studies


As rural populations decline, services are either lost or become spread over a larger geographic area. The population and service area equations that lead to school closures and consolidation affect all rural services. One of these equations predicts retail success by looking at an area’s potential market size: more potential customers improve the chance for retail success. The flip side is that it is hard to stay in business when the market area population drops too low. Market threshold is doubly relevant in South Dakota, which has counties that are some of the nation’s fastest growing and others that continue to battle long-term population decline.