Interesting Facts about South Dakota: 10 Facts about The Mount Rushmore State

South Dakota is one of the least populous states in the North Central region of the United States. It’s also one of the states that is entirely located in the Great Plain. South Dakota is surrounded by 6 other states: North Dakota on the north, Minnesota on the east, Iowa on the southeast, Nebraska on the south, Wyoming on the west, and Montana on the northwest. The nickname of South Dakota is The Mount Rushmore State. Do you want to know more about South Dakota interesting facts? Let’s talk interesting facts about South Dakota in this article to give us more knowledge about The Mount Rushmore State.

1. South Dakota is the 5th Least Densely Populated State in the United States

South Dakota is the 17th largest state in the United States but it’s the 5th least populous that makes South Dakota becomes the 5th least densely populated state. South Dakota is right on top of its sibling, North Dakota, that comes as the 4th least populous and 4th least densely populated in the United States. South Dakota and North Dakota were simultaneously admitted as the 39th and 40th state of the United States on November 2, 1889.

Flag of South Dakota
Flag of South Dakota

2. Pierre is the Capital City and Sioux Falls is the Largest City of South Dakota

The capital city of South Dakota is Pierre while Sioux Falls is its largest city. Sioux Falls metropolitan area is also the largest metropolitan area in South Dakota. Sioux Falls Metropolitan Area consists of four counties that are anchored by the city of Sioux Falls. It’s located in the southeast corner of South Dakota.

Falls Park in Sioux Falls
Falls Park in Sioux Falls

3. South Dakota Has the Highest Ratio of Cattle per Person in the United States

South Dakota is the state with the highest ratio of cattle per person. The ratio is 4.32 that means there are more than 4 cattle for each person in North Dakota. Cattle is one of the five most valuable agricultural products in South Dakota. The other products are corn (maize), soybeans, wheat, and hogs. Agricultural production is very important for the economy of South Dakota.

Cattle farm
Cattle farm

4. Mount Rushmore is One of the Most Iconic Symbols of the United States

Mount Rushmore is a major tourist destination in South Dakota that attracts more than two million visitors each year. It’s a national memorial centered on a colossal sculpture of four United States Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln that was built from 1927 to 1941. Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, designed the sculpture’s design and oversaw the project’s execution. Mount Rushmore also becomes the nickname of South Dakota.

Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore

5. Pierre is the Second Smallest State Capital City in the United States

Behind Montpelier in Vermont, Pierre is the smallest state capital city in the United States. The population of Pierre is less than 15,000 in 2020 census. Pierre is also one of four state capitals not served by the Interstate Highway System. The other three are: Juneau, Alaska; Dover, Delaware and Jefferson City, Missouri.

South Dakota State Capitol
South Dakota State Capitol

6. South Dakota and North Dakota Produce More than 80% of Sunflower of the United States

South Dakota and North Dakota are the top two producing states of Sunflower in the United States. Both South Dakota and North Dakota produce about 40% of the nation’s sunflowers. Together they supply more than 80% of sunflower of the United States. Sunflowers can be processed into cooking oil, meals and confectionary products.

Sunflowers field
Sunflowers field

7. Homestake Mine in South Dakota was the Deepest Gold Mine in North America

Homestake Mine was an underground gold mine located in Lead, South Dakota. With (8,000 ft or 2,438 m) depth, the Homestake Mine was the deepest gold mine in North America as well as one of the largest. From its opening in 1877 and its closing in 2002, Homestake Mine produced more than forty million troy ounces (43,900,000 oz; 1,240,000 kg) of gold. Now, the site of Homestake Mine is used for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL).

underground research facility in former homestake mine
Underground research facility in former Homestake mine

8. The Highest Natural Point of South Dakota is Black Elk Peak

At 7,244 ft (2,208 m) elevation, Black Elk Peak is the highest natural point in South Dakota. It’s located in the Black Elk Wilderness area inside the Black Hills National Forest that belongs to southern Pennington County of South Dakota. Black Elk Peak is also considered as the highest summit in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. It’s named for Black Elk, the noted Lakota Sioux medicine man.

Black Elk Peak in Black Elk Wilderness
Black Elk Peak in Black Elk Wilderness

9. Ring-Necked Pheasant is the State Bird of South Dakota

In 1943, the ring-necked pheasant was designated as the official state bird of South Dakota. Pheasants were introduced in the North America and now can be found throughout the Rocky Mountain states, the Midwest, the Plains states, as well as Canada and Mexico. The male ring-necked pheasants have beautiful color with a red face, bright white collar on its neck and iridescent copper and gold plumage while the female pheasants are much less showy, with a duller mottled brown plumage all over.

Male Ring-necked pheasant
Male Ring-necked pheasant

10. American Pasque is the State Flower of South Dakota

The American Pasque flower (Pulsatilla hirsutissima) was designated as the official state flower of South Dakota in 1903. The American Pasque is a flowering plant that we can widely found in North America from the western side of Michigan to the Northwest Territories of Canada and south to New Mexico. Pulsatilla hirsutissima is also called Pulsatilla nuttalliana.

American Pasque flower
American Pasque flower

Do you know other interesting facts about South Dakota? If you know other interesting facts about South Dakota, feel free to share with us here.

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