10 Cheapest Places to Live in South Dakota

Updated On March 20, 2024

The state of South Dakota is nestled in the north-central region of the US, offering peace of mind and financial escape from the hustle, bustle, and high prices that can accompany living in many US cities.

People considering moving to South Dakota from more expensive states will find a wealth of budget-friendly living options coupled with natural beauty and a wealth of local culture that make many residents of Mount Rushmore State proud to call SD home.

South Dakota is the home of one of the world’s most famous monuments, Mount Rushmore.

This global tourist attraction adds to the scenic backdrop of this semi-midwestern state that makes housing options affordable and quality of life a priority.

Learn more about why so many people are deciding to make the cheapest places to live in South Dakota their home, and find out which cities made the list in the comprehensive guide below!

Benefits of Living in South Dakota

If you’re thinking about living in South Dakota, you’re probably wondering what benefits there are to living in the state.

While the low cost of living may be the number one reason SD locals choose to live in the Mount Rushmore state, there are a few more perks to living here.

South Dakota residents take advantage of unique regional benefits that can include cost-saving benefits and tax breaks that drastically improve their finances and their overall quality of life.

SD residents automatically get the following benefits upon moving to the state:

  • Affordability: The state of South Dakota is well-known for its affordable housing costs, and residents pay lower costs for almost all everyday expenses.
  • Low Taxes: South Dakota is one of the few states that gives residents a break on taxes by eliminating income taxes, personal property taxes, and corporate income taxes.
  • Strong Economy: SD’s local economy is strong and backed by key industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, tourism, and financial services.
  • Abundant Outdoor Recreation: People who love scenic beauty while hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting will love living in SD, which has abundant outdoor recreation opportunities.
  • Rich Cultural Heritage: South Dakota has a rich cultural heritage which includes historic landmarks like Mount Rushmore and numerous museums and local attractions dedicated to Native American history and culture.

10 Cheapest Places to Live in South Dakota

Living in South Dakota means that most residents have a lower cost of living than almost 7% of renters and homeowners across the country.

We consider the cost of living factors for the everyday living expenses that can make or break a family’s financial picture when choosing the most affordable cities.

Primary Cost of Living Influences

  • Housing Costs
  • Food and Groceries
  • Transportation
  • Healthcare
  • Taxes
  • Childcare
  • Inflation and Economic Conditions
  • Entertainment and Recreation

Compiled housing data reports show that people living in Mount Rushmore State pay less for housing expenses, including rents, mortgages, utilities, food costs, and childcare costs, making many of the cheapest cities the perfect place to call home.

Below, we provide details on the costs of living in South Dakota’s cheapest cities.


1. Aberdeen

People seeking an affordable lifestyle where they pay lower costs for housing and everyday expenses choose Aberdeen.

Aberdeen, in the northeastern part of the state, boasts a lively and friendly community where residents can expect to pay almost 20% less than other cities in the US.

Online housing data reports show that a two-bedroom apartment in Aberdeen rents for a mere $850.00 per month, leaving plenty of wiggle room for paying substantially lower costs for entertainment, food, childcare, and healthcare.


2. Brookings

Residents of Brookings County in eastern SD enjoy a comfortable lifestyle where most residents can take care of their essential needs for shelter, food, childcare, and healthcare for just under $35,000.00 per year for each resident.

Cost of living index reports show Brookings homeowners and renters paying between 5-15% less than the national and state averages for everyday living expenses.

This budget-friendly lifestyle affords residents opportunities to take advantage of local education and culture hubs that boost their quality of life.

Eagle Butte
Eagle Butte

3. Eagle Butte

Salary data reports show that living in Eagle Butte offers one of the lowest costs of living in South Dakota.

Eagle Butte inhabitants can live a comfortable life on a salary of less than $30,000.00 per year, including all significant living and everyday expenses.

This tranquil town located in the north-central part of the state is part of the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, which is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes and a wealth of local history.


4. Huron

Known as the “Gateway to the Great Lakes,” Huron, SD, is a welcoming city with the cost of living substantially lower than most other US cities.

It is home to walkable shops and cafes that combine affordability with a tranquil lifestyle and a wealth of local cultural attractions.

Homeowners in Huron rely on local community events like festivals and the South Dakota State Fair as staples for nearby entertainment.


5. Madison

If you’re looking for an SD town that boasts a thriving community, tons of local amenities, and an affordable lifestyle, consider Madison.

Madison in southeastern SD is the seat of Lake County. Residents appreciate its small-town and family-friendly atmosphere, where housing, food, and childcare costs are around 12% lower than in many other cities in the US.

For example, renters can secure a comfy two-bedroom apartment in Madison for around $820.00 per month.

Pine Ridge
Pine Ridge

6. Pine Ridge

The city of Pine Ridge is known for its rich culture, affordability, and deep tribal connections to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Newcomers and locals seeking to immerse themselves in the Native American culture and lifestyle living in Pine Ridge, which is filled with the storied history of the still-present Oglala Lakota people.

Housing, groceries, everyday necessities, and other expenses are more affordable in Pine Ridge.

Residents here enjoy a simpler style of life steeped with rich history and Native culture.


7. Redfield

Mount Rushmore State residents seeking solace from the everyday hustle and bustle of modern living seek solace in the small town of Redfield, SD, where the totals for food, housing, and essentials are almost 30% less than national averages.

Redfield is known as the “Home of Hospitality,” where newcomers and visitors experience a strong sense of community and budget-friendly lifestyles.

Young families, professionals, and retirees are making Redfield home as they discover hidden gems in this affordably-priced SD town.


8. Vermillion

Compiled salary data and housing reports show that Vermillion, SD renters, and homeowners can experience a high quality of life at a low price with an annual cost of living that averages out to just over $33,000.00 a year for each person.

This South Dakota college town offers affordable living and a big-city appeal, and it is steeped in history.

Locals can take advantage of amenities like shops, cafes, restaurants, and art museums like the South Dakota Museum of Art, which display the rich heritage of the region.


9. Winner

Residents of Winner, SD, say this town has the correct name as it offers small-town charm and affordable living in Tripp County.

The cost of living in Winner is surprisingly inexpensive, with groceries, childcare, housing, entertainment, and amenities tallied up to be more than 25% lower than in other similar-sized cities in the US.

Winner features a variety of local cultural attractions as part of its arts and culture scene that add more benefits to living in this scenic South Dakota town.


10. Yankton

Working adults with an annual salary of $35,000.00 or more can live comfortably in Yankton, SD, where the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment can be as low as $830.00 per month.

Rent and home prices are lower in Yankton than in many other US cities, where costs for housing and everyday essentials can sometimes break the bank.

Yankton homeowners appreciate living in this vibrant city nestled along the Missouri River, where they can easily afford to pay for housing costs and entertainment.

South Dakota Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: South Dakota Safety Review

Safety Index:
South Dakota

Frequently Asked Questions

How do the rental prices in South Dakota's cheapest cities compare to the state average?

Suppose you’ve never researched the cost of living in South Dakota and you’re looking for a reasonably affordable place to settle down and call home.

In that case, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that low rents, home-buying costs, and everyday goods and services are lower in South Dakota than in almost 20% of other US states.

While budget-friendly rents and home prices can be found in most areas of the state, the cities above stand out as some of the lowest-cost options.

Are there any government programs or incentives available to assist new residents in finding affordable housing options in New Hampshire?


While South Dakota doesn’t currently offer incentives like paying for relocation, they do offer a few resources and local community services that can be helpful for new homeowners and renters seeking to settle down in the area.

Contact the South Dakota Housing Development Authority to learn more about rental assistance and homeownership programs that can help you and your family find affordable housing options in SD.

What amenities and services are available in South Dakota's cheapest cities?

Many of South Dakota’s cheapest cities offer a wide variety of local amenities that keep locals entertained and full.

SD residents living in the state’s most affordable towns can find some of the area’s best restaurants, cafés, shops, and culturally based entertainment venues steps away from their doors.

Those seeking other entertainment can easily travel to larger nearby cities for extended entertainment and fun.

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