SOUTH DAKOTA - GEPGRAPHY AND HISTORY

Aberdeen
Flag of South Dakota
Ethanol plant in Turner County
Geographic and political features of South Dakota
Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills
Reverse side of U.S. quarter coin with a commemorative South Dakota design depicting Mt. Rushmore, a pheasant, wheat, and the year of statehood.
Sioux Falls
South Dakota County
South Dakota Map
SouthDakota State Seal
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.

Geography
South Dakota is situated in the north-central United States, and is considered to be a part of the Midwest by the U.S. Census Bureau, although the Great Plains region also covers the state. Additionally, the culture, economy, and geography of western South Dakota has more in common with the West than the Midwest. South Dakota has a total land area of 77,116 sq. miles (199,905 km2), making the state the 17th largest in the Union. Harney Peak, with an elevation of 7,242 ft (2,207 m), is the state's highest point, while the shoreline of Big Stone Lake is the lowest, with an elevation of 966 ft (294 m). South Dakota is bordered to the north by North Dakota; to the south by Nebraska; to the east by Iowa and Minnesota; and to the west by Wyoming and Montana. The geographical center of the U.S. is 17 miles (27 km.) west of Castle Rock in Butte County.

The Missouri River is the largest and longest river in the state. Other major South Dakota rivers include the Cheyenne, James, Big Sioux, and White Rivers. Eastern South Dakota has many natural lakes, mostly created by periods of glaciation. Additionally, dams on the Missouri River create four large reservoirs: Lake Oahe, Lake Sharpe, Lake Francis Case, and Lewis and Clark Lake.

Luciano Mende

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