Livability Awards

A+ Rapid City Amenities Lots of amenities close to this location
B Rapid City Cost of Living Cost of living is 5% higher than South Dakota
Rapid City
946% less expensive than the US average
South Dakota
9010% less expensive than the US average
United States
100National cost of living index
Rapid City cost of living
F Rapid City Crime Total crime is 67% higher than South Dakota
Total crime
3,56838% higher than the US average
Chance of being a victim
1 in 2938% higher than the US average
Year-over-year crime
-24%Year over year crime is down
Rapid City crime
D+ Rapid City Employment Household income is 9% lower than South Dakota
Median household income
$47,30015% lower than the US average
Income per capita
$27,0589% lower than the US average
Unemployment rate
3%27% lower than the US average
Rapid City employment
F Rapid City Housing Home value is 13% higher than South Dakota
Median home value
$166,00010% lower than the US average
Median rent price
$76819% lower than the US average
Home ownership
61%4% lower than the US average
Rapid City real estate or Rapid City rentals
D- Rapid City Schools HS graduation rate is equal to South Dakota
High school grad. rates
87%5% higher than the US average
School test scores
42%15% lower than the US average
Student teacher ratio
15:13% lower than the US average
Rapid City K-12 schools or Rapid City colleges

Living in Rapid City, SD

Located in the state of South Dakota, Rapid City is a moderately-sized city with a population of 72,441 inhabitants. If we take a look at the last Census, the vast majority of the population falls within one racial group (80% White). Given that fact, Rapid City could be considered less diverse than other cities. 73% of the people in Rapid City (over the age of 15) are married and 66% have kids under the age of eighteen. Knowing that, it’s safe to say that this area could be a great place for other families to lay down roots.

If you’re considering relocating to any new city, it could be a very discouraging task. However, it could also be a great experience if you are willing to get to know the city before actually living in Rapid City, South Dakota. The best areas in Rapid City and in surrounding cities are easier to find when you are able to make informed decisions. Using data from amenities, crime, weather, education, housing, you will see a detailed breakdown of the most important information as well as comparisons to the South Dakota and national averages.

With a livability score of 62/100, Rapid City is ranked #21,541 in the United States and #280 in South Dakota. Based on the rankings for each individual category, Rapid City has received high marks for amenities (A+) and cost of living (B). Regrettably for Rapid City, there are some categories for which it does not score well, this includes: crime (F), weather (F), education (D-) and housing (F).

Location, location, location - possibly the three most important words in your search for a new place to live. Fortunately, in Rapid City, there is no shortage of amazing local amenities and interesting things to do. Here are some of the more popular things to do in Rapid City: Bear Country USA, Reptile Gardens, and Downtown Rapid City.

Certain items on your wish list like shopping, restaurants, nightlife and proximity to public transportation are all important factors to search for. Having said that, perhaps the most important metric to consider when contemplating a move to Rapid City is real estate affordability. Median real estate prices in Rapid City come in at $166,000, which is 13.2% higher than the South Dakota average. The home price to income ratio compares the median home prices to the median household income. In Rapid City, the home price to income ratio is 3.5, which is 25% higher than the South Dakota average. Real estate appreciation rates in Rapid City are important to consider, as they can act as a guide to determine if your new home purchase will be a solid investment going forward. During the last twelve months, the appreciation rate for Rapid City homes comes in at 3.2%, and the 5 year appreciation rates were 2.9%.

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Monthly costs include: fuel, maintenance, tires, insurance, license fees, taxes, depreciation, and financing.
See more Rapid City, SD transportation information

Compare Rapid City, SD Livability To Other Cities


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      Rapid City Reviews

      Write a review about Rapid City Tell people what you like or don't like about Rapid City…
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      Mixed Feelings

      While there is much to love about this city as the previous reviewer indicated, being able to afford attractions and the natural beauty is not possible for many of the residents who live here--probably 50% or more. Wages are below average for many professions, yet housing costs are too high for the average worker, which explains the higher percentage of people renting rather than owning. The near north side has crime as high as many major cities with many people living in cramped living quarters (trailer parks abound within the city as do prefab and basic houses with less than 900 or less sf of living space and typically no garage or basement). Many houses have substandard construction.

      Like most cities, the substandard housing is primarily confined to the low-wage earners living closer to the center and north of downtown - those in fast food and tourist industries, but also some fire fighters, police, and teachers. A new business that sought to come to Rapid wanted to start workers' pay at twice minimum wage, but they were advised to decrease that wage because other local business wanted to keep wages at a minimum and didn't want their workers to be disgruntled and demand higher wages.

      Many streets need repair, there are an abundance of casinos, pawn stores, and liquor stores, and the number of inebriated homeless are higher than average.

      You will only get the best of both worlds, as the previous reviewer mentioned, if you know for certain you can come here and earn a higher than average wage which will allow you to live in the more beautiful areas of town and indulge yourself in all the area has to offer. For the rest of you, expect to work two jobs to make ends meet.
      • 1 0
      Rapid City, SD - The Excitment Never Dies

      I have lived in Rapid City, SD for over 10 years now and I can't imagine living anywhere else. I always thought I would have to choose between the appeal of big cities or the appeal of country living. I never thought I would find a place that has both but Rapid City does have the best of both worlds.

      One of the most appealing things about Rapid City is the parks and monuments. With Mt. Rushmore, Devils tower and countless caves, there is always an adventure. Also, Rapid City has Bad Lands National Park which is by far my favorite place in the entire United States. No matter how many times you visit there, you will never be bored.

      In addition to the amazing landscape, Rapid City is rich in arts and culture, history, and entertainment. Downtown contains many museums, art walks, galleries, theaters and a very entertaining history walk. I also am an avid sports fan. While no professional teams lie around the city, minor league baseball is available and my personal favorite, Rush Hockey.

      All of these features of Rapid City are reasons to not only consider visit but reasons to live in Rapid City. You will never tire of the entertainment and the cost of living is considerably lower in this region. I give my city a perfect 10 for anyone who will come here soon.
      • 1 -1
      Reason for reporting
      Source: The Rapid City, SD data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).