Capital City: Pierre
Area Square Miles 75,898
Area Square kilometers 196,575
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. South Dakota was carved out of the southern half of the Dakota Territory and admitted to the Union on November 2, 1889. Centrally-located Pierre is the state capital and Sioux Falls is the state's largest city. As of 2008, South Dakota had an estimated population of 804,194.
South Dakota is bisected by the Missouri River, dividing the state into two socioeconomically distinct halves, known to residents as "West River" and "East River". Fertile soil in the eastern part of the state is used to grow a variety of crops, while ranching is the predominant agricultural activity in the west. The Black Hills, a group of low pine-covered mountains, is located in the southwest part of the state. The area is of great religious importance to local American Indian tribes. Mount Rushmore is a major state tourist destination in the Black Hills.
Historically dominated by an agricultural economy and a rural lifestyle, South Dakota has recently sought to diversify its economy to attract and retain residents. However, it is still largely rural and has the fifth-lowest population density among U.S. states. While several Democratic senators have represented South Dakota for multiple terms at the federal level, the state government is largely dominated by the Republican Party, which has carried South Dakota in the last eleven presidential elections.