Is North Sioux City Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On April 8, 2024
North Sioux City, United States
Safety Index:
70
* Based on Research & Crime Data

North Sioux City, South Dakota, sits in a place near three states’ borders and four cities involving the name Sioux.

It’s part of the Sioux City, Iowa, metropolitan area.

It’s just across the Big Sioux River from Sioux City and boasts a small town full of natural sites to explore.

The city had 3,000 residents, with the full region (including South Sioux City, Nebraska) home to 150,000.

It’s worth noting that South Sioux City is just across the Missouri River, so you get two rivers meeting near North Sioux City.

The town won’t feel as small as it really is.

The town’s early growth was largely fueled by its strategic location along the Missouri River, which facilitated trade and transportation.

The construction of railroads further accelerated its development, attracting settlers and businesses.

Present-day North Sioux City continues to thrive as a dynamic community with a diverse economy.

While it maintains its roots in agriculture and manufacturing, the town has also embraced modern industries such as technology and healthcare.

Its strategic location at the crossroads of major transportation routes, including Interstate 29, continues to attract businesses and visitors alike.

You’ll find a gathering of hotels in North Sioux City and a few campsites located throughout.

For most travelers, North Sioux City will be a stop on the interstate, but if you’re staying longer, we can help you find the safest places to visit.

Warnings & Dangers in North Sioux City

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

There's a low risk in North Sioux City, but that only holds to the state lines. Sioux City has a much higher crime rate.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

Sioux City's transit map has one route that goes into North Sioux City. Taxis and rideshares will be available, though likely limited due to the small size of the city. Rental cars are available and probably the safest choice.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

While 2–3 pickpockets a year over the past five years isn't much to worry about, it's still a higher number than I'd expect in a small town. Use standard personal safety steps to protect your stuff, and you should be fine.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

This is a medium risk due to flooding, severe storms, tornadoes, winter storms, and ice storms that can cause problems. You should also know that wind in the spring can go from a slight annoyance to a wind warning that makes travel challenging.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

This is a low risk, with very few robberies happening over the past few years, anywhere from none to three. Most of those were bank or business robberies.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

Here's another low-risk, with a small town that isn't home to any potential hard targets. It's still important to pay attention to your surroundings and report anything suspicious to the police.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Most scams in the region focus on residents, like impersonating law enforcement to demand money or tricking people into buying gift cards. You can read the local news sites for the latest scams.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

Nothing in the crime data or recent news suggests there's a higher risk here for women. While you should always use escalated safety steps in a new place, you won't have to worry about rampant crime or safety concerns here.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The 2023 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations. The water is up to par with the Safe Water Drinking Act standards. The only time I would question the water quality is after flooding. Even then, a boil order would be the biggest concern.

Safest Places to Visit in North Sioux City

The region is known as Siouxland, which is why the tourism website is exploresiouxland.com.

It does include a section for North Sioux City.

You can view the visitor’s guide online without having to give any personal information.

I’m just going to focus on North Sioux City here, but to learn about things to do in Sioux City, Iowa, check out our story “How Safe Is Sioux City for Travel?”

Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve is a tranquil oasis spanning 1,500 acres along the Big Sioux River.

Discover the rich history of the area at the restored Adams family homestead, dating back to the late 1800s.

This picturesque preserve offers visitors a serene escape into nature.

Explore 10 miles of scenic trails winding through lush forests, open meadows, and along the riverbank, perfect for hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing.

Two Rivers Golf Club provides picturesque river views in the upscale part of town called Dakota Dunes.

This 18-hole, par-72 course features lush fairways, challenging water hazards, and well-manicured greens.

With its scenic views and well-maintained facilities, Two Rivers Golf Club offers a memorable golfing experience for players seeking both recreation and relaxation.

Dakota Dunes has a country club with a golf course designed by Arnold Palmer.

It’s a private club, so membership is required.

Park Jefferson Speedway is a premier racing venue in the region, showcasing thrilling events such as Super Late Models and touring specials featuring Outlaw Sprintcars from the NCRA.

Every Saturday during the spring, summer, and fall seasons, the Speedway hosts a diverse lineup of six classes of IMCA Race Cars.

Moreover, Park Jefferson Speedway is a hub for championship Sprint Cars, Super Late Models, and various other prestigious events.

If you want to learn more about farm life, check out Dakota Harvest Farm, where sheep and cows are raised.

The owners welcome tours, provided you set up a time to stop by.

Places to Avoid in North Sioux City

North Sioux City is certainly too small to have bad parts of town.

Heck, it’s almost too small to warrant an entire article about it!

While staying in North Sioux City might be safer than Sioux City, it’s not full of things to do, as you can tell from above.

Even among the few golf courses, one is private.

The one lake here (McCook Lake) is a private residential neighborhood, where you’ll need to know someone who lives here to enjoy the waters or go fishing.

Access to the Missouri River is limited by private property, either farmland or the Dakota Dunes development.

To get to Iowa, there’s one bridge.

You’ll have to cross over that and another bridge to get to Nebraska.

North of North Sioux City, you’re in a lot of farmland.

Even though most tourism websites boast about everything South Dakota offers, you’re more than 400 miles away from places like Mount Rushmore.

Safety Tips for Traveling to North Sioux City

  1. North Sioux City does have its own police department. You can call 605-232-3302 if you want to ask specific safety questions. Not a lot of information is available on the police department website.
  2. Follow @unioncountysdemergencymanagement to get information from Union County about severe weather or public safety emergencies. Sign up for emergency alerts through the Everbridge Program, so you’re alerted immediately when something happens.
  3. Train tracks run parallel to Military Road in North Sioux City, and you should always stop when the railroad crossing lights are on. Don’t try to outrun a train or drive around the crossing arms. As another reason for getting those emergency alerts, a train derailment in the fall of 2023 caused road closures and safety issues with train cars containing ethanol.
  4. The city has tornado warning sirens that are meant to be heard when you’re outside. Despite the name, the alarms sound for tornadoes or hail larger than 1.75 inches in diameter, winds above 70 miles per hour, or hazmat spills. Sirens are tested on the first Monday of every month at noon.
  5. Fishing requires a license from South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks. You can purchase that license online. No vendors in North Sioux City sell them. Non-residents can get a hunting license, too. Anyone under the age of 18 should get a Youth Small Game License at a lower cost.
  6. During winter, a snow emergency is declared when roads will need to be plowed. This means you cannot park on any city street, which allows the snow plows to clear the roadway. You can get ticketed or towed if you leave your car parked on the street.
  7. The interstate runs right through North Sioux City, and you’ll be sharing the road with plenty of semi-trucks. Be patient and give them space to move. Be sure you only pass when traffic allows. Don’t tailgate or honk in frustration.
  8. Use South Dakota 511 to check road conditions, construction zones, and live traffic reports before you hit the road. If you’re heading into Iowa, use Iowa 511. Nebraska is – yep – Nebraska 511.
  9. If you’re looking for something to do (and let’s face it, you probably will be), check out @exploresiouxland on Facebook. This will include local events and updated blog posts about the best things to do in the region.
  10. Do not confuse Sioux Falls with any of the Sioux City locations. There’s a bit of a rivalry between the two regions. Sioux Falls is in South Dakota, about 80 miles north of North Sioux City. Quite frankly, it’s worth driving that extra hour to get to Sioux Falls instead of staying in North Sioux City.

So... How Safe Is North Sioux City Really?

When a place is as small as North Sioux City, it’s hard to detail the risks without being blasé or sensational.

For example, I can tell you that property crimes have jumped 76% in the past decade, yet they are still 12% lower than the national average.

In addition, the raw data shows the reality – instead of about two property crimes a month, there are now three a month.

The violent crime rate is up 900% in the past decade, but there were no violent crimes 10 years ago and 9 in 2022.

Also, the city hasn’t had a homicide going all the way back to 2000.

Over the past five years, about 30% of all thefts were related to car break-ins, but the majority come from the “Other Theft” category.

That includes things like stealing something from a yard or parking lot.

It’s important to have the context of crime data because it can easily look skewed.

North Sioux City isn’t a dangerous place to visit.

It’s also not an exciting place to visit.

That changes for better and worse once you cross the river.

How Does North Sioux City Compare?

CitySafety Index
North Sioux City70
Philadelphia60
Houston59
Atlanta58
St. Louis58
Los Angeles56
Oakland57
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

International visitors need a visa or visa waiver to get through Border Patrol and Customs at the airport. You should also have a passport that isn't within six months of expiring.

Currency

Currency

Use the U.S. Dollar for all purchases, but limit carrying cash if you can use a credit card. You won't find anything other than ATMs to exchange currency in North Sioux City anyway.

Weather

Weather

Four robust seasons are found in this nook of South Dakota, but temperatures can fluctuate a lot within seasons. Your best bet is to check the forecast in the days leading up to your trip and pack accordingly, always erring on the side of colder. Winters will require heavy coats, boots, gloves, and accessories. In summer, you'll need bug spray and sunscreen.

Airports

Airports

Sioux City Gateway Airport (SUX) has flights to Chicago and Denver daily and is just 20 miles from North Sioux City. If you tack on another 80 miles, you can get to the airport in Omaha (OMA) with more destination options.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a wise investment to cover emergencies, delays, cancelations, and theft. You should also ensure you have roadside assistance covered if you're driving a rental car.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

North Sioux City Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -7° C
Feb -5° C
Mar 3° C
Apr 10° C
May 17° C
Jun 22° C
Jul 24° C
Aug 23° C
Sep 18° C
Oct 11° C
Nov 3° C
Dec -5° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
-1191723283029251881
Low
°C
-12-10-3310151816114-3-10
High
°F
303448637382868477644634
Low
°F
101427375059646152392714

South Dakota - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Brookings80
Deadwood80
Hill City83
Mitchell81
North Sioux City70
Pierre81
Rapid City57
Sioux Falls76
Spearfish80
Sturgis80

Where to Next?

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