SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show that South Dakota is one of the fastest-growing states in the nation, though it lags behind its northern neighbor.
The state’s population grew by 3.5 percent over the past three years, to 844,877 people. That makes South Dakota the sixth-fastest growing state, or seventh when the District of Columbia is factored in. The national population grew by 2.2 percent.
Eric Guthrie at the Rural Life and Census Data Center says South Dakota’s population growth has come through migration, and higher fertility rates among Native Americans.
North Dakota led the nation with a 7.3 percent growth rate, fueled by an energy boom. Sioux Falls development official Mary Medema says she prefers South Dakota’s steady growth over North Dakota’s boom.