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Sioux Falls, SD
Sioux Falls
MSA: Sioux Falls, SD
Best places ranking: #5 among small metro areas
Population: 232,930
With some of the lowest taxes in the nation and no corporate income tax, South Dakota is an attractive place for entrepreneurs, and Sioux Falls, the "Best Little City in America," is the hub of growth.

With growing finance and health care fields -- the two major hospitals in Sioux Falls employ a combined 12,000 people -- helping to keep unemployment down, the city's big businesses are creating more affluent consumers, who then spend, to the delight of retailers.

Sioux Falls features a distinct lack of red tape. Business owners agree that it's quicker to get started here than in neighboring metro areas.

One downside to South Dakota and Sioux Falls' conservative vibe is the relative difficulty of securing funding. Banks are very cautious, and unwilling to lend where they see risk. However, local venture capital firms like Bluestem and PrairieGold Venture Partners have charged in to fill the gap. -Rachel Kaufman

Launch Toolbox:
Resources for getting started in Sioux Falls, SD


Local smallbiz lenders

  • Black Hills Federal Credit Union
  • Great Western Bancorporation
  • Wells Fargo & Company
  • Minnwest Corporation
  • Dacotah Banks
See all local lenders

Sioux Falls Business Statistics
Employer establishments with 1-49 employees
6,580 3,516
Small business growth rate
6% 4.1%
State business tax climate ranking
(out of 50 states)
2 N/A
Percentage of population with bachelor's degree
(ages 25-34)
34% 23.5%
Violent crime
(rate per 100,000 inhabitants, 2007)
202.6 385.1
Property crime
(rate per 100,000 inhabitants, 2007)
1,972.9 3,395.2
Population growth
14.9% 4.93%
Per-capita income
$38,551 $31,933
Per-capita income growth
21.6% 23.6%
GDP (in millions)
$13,316 $4,952
GDP growth
42% 33%
Average hourly wage
$17.03 $17.50
Housing foreclosure rate
(first half of 2009, 1 per every X housing units)
389 850
Median rent
(2009, for a 2-bedroom housing unit)
$724 $737
Housing price-to-income (HPI) ratio
(first quarter of 2009)
1.4% 1.8%
Long-term HPI ratio
(20-year average, 1984-2004)
1.4% 1.7%
HPI deviation from long-term average
1.1% 0.1%

All statistics are for the full Metropolitan Statistical Area. For a complete list of data sources, see "How we picked the Best Places."

From the November 2009 issue
"I got a degree in civil engineering, started a computer business, then moved back to South Dakota and went back to what I enjoyed." -Steve Gratzfeld
Best Places Winners
What do you think of Sioux Falls?
Find your launch spot
Do you prefer a place that is: Small Medium Large
The factors that matter most to me are:
 Affordable wages  Few foreclosures
 Educated workers  Low housing costs
 Low crime  High local incomes
 A growing economy  Population growth
 Growing small business population

ireportTell us why: Low taxes? Talented workers? An active small business community? Send us your photos and videos, and you could be featured in our upcoming coverage of reader-picked Best Places to Launch. More
This year we partnered with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to find the 50 most business-friendly communities in America.

With help from Robert Fairlie, an economist and leading scholar of entrepreneurship at the University of California, Santa Cruz, we developed a methodology and sifted through such data on factors such as per capita income, hourly wages, workforce quality, crime rates, taxes and foreclosures. More

Comments? E-mail the editors
Data partners

This package was produced in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Foreclosure data provided by RealtyTrac.

Housing price-to-income data provided by Moody's