Surprising Most Miserable Cities in South Dakota For 2024

The cities of Belle Fourche and Springfield have been identified as the most miserable cities in South Dakota for 2024, according to a report from Saturday Night Science.

Do you reside in one of the most unhappy locations in South Dakota? Only 33% of people in South Dakota say they are truly happy. That’s unfortunate, especially since people in South Dakota don’t have many problems compared to others.

However, we were wondering which cities in South Dakota are considered the most miserable. We are going to discover the answer by using Saturday Night Science and data.

After studying the 39 biggest cities, we unfortunately reveal the most unhappy cities in the state of Mount Rushmore.

Continue reading below to find out how we analyzed the data and where your town was ranked. If you are happy, you most likely do not reside in any of these cities. Just so you know, Spearfish is considered the happiest place in South Dakota.

Most Miserable Places In South Dakota

Belle Fourche

Population: 5,561
Poverty Level: 10.4%
Median Home Price $151,500
Married Households 20.0%
Households With Kids 30.38%


Population: 2,108
Poverty Level: 11.8%
Median Home Price $97,700
Married Households 11.0%
Households With Kids 17.9%


Population: 2,433
Poverty Level: 19.8%
Median Home Price $92,100
Married Households 24.0%
Households With Kids 34.65%


Population: 2,359
Poverty Level: 4.5%
Median Home Price $171,000
Married Households 33.0%
Households With Kids 35.35%

Box Elder

Population: 11,527
Poverty Level: 7.1%
Median Home Price $206,600
Married Households 13.0%
Households With Kids 36.12%

North Sioux City

Population: 2,956
Poverty Level: 12.6%
Median Home Price $183,400
Married Households 7.0%
Households With Kids 29.1%


Population: 2,298
Poverty Level: 11.0%
Median Home Price $123,700
Married Households 25.0%
Households With Kids 31.83%


Population: 14,060
Poverty Level: 14.5%
Median Home Price $108,100
Married Households 24.0%
Households With Kids 36.64%

Also Read: Exploring 5 Most Inviting Towns In Delaware for 2024

Method to Measured the Most Miserable Cities In South Dakota

In order to determine the unhappiest places in South Dakota, we needed to identify the factors that contribute to people’s happiness. It’s not hard to imagine that people who are happy tend to have high salaries, experience less stress, and have a stable home life.

We looked at the Census’s American Community Survey 2017-2021 report to find out about happiness. We used Saturday Night Science to rearrange the list, and it gave us the answer.

Just like magic. These are the factors we used to measure unhappiness:

  • Percentage of residents with a college degree
  • Average commute times
  • Unemployment rates
  • Cost of living
  • % of married couples
  • % of families with kids
  • Poverty rate

Once we agreed on the standards, we collected information for the 39 locations in South Dakota that have a population of over 2,000 people. We assigned a ranking from one to 39 for each of the seven criteria to each place. A score of one indicated the most miserable place (In case of ties, the larger place was given priority).

Afterwards, we calculated the average of the seven rankings to create a Miserable Index for each place. The place with the lowest overall Miserable Index was given the title of “Most Miserable City In South Dakota.” If you want to see the full list of states ranked from most miserable to happiest, just scroll down to the bottom of this post to find the complete chart. We have revised this article for 2024, and this is our tenth time ranking the most miserable cities in South Dakota.

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