Simplified: The 2020 census data confirms what many folks in town already knew: Sioux Falls is growing. The four-county metro area surpassed 275,000 population.
Here's a breakdown of some of the specifics to put that growth into context.
Why it matters
- The census data shows not only is Sioux Falls growing, but it's also growing at a faster rate than the rest of the state and at a slightly faster rate than decades prior.
- Of the more than 72,000 people added to South Dakota's population in the last decade, 67 percent came to the four-county metro area of Sioux Falls, including Lincoln, Minnehaha, McCook and Turner.
- Sioux Falls' growth in numbers also coincides with a growth in diversity. People of color make up 21 percent of the population in Minnehaha County, and just over 10 percent of the population in Lincoln County.
- City and business officials say the growth, while not a surprise, shows continued momentum in the Sioux Falls region.
"I can't see another community that has the positive momentum that Sioux Falls has in so many areas," Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jeff Griffin said.
What does the census data say about Sioux Falls?
With any data set, it depends on who you ask and how you look at the numbers, but there's no denying the growth trend.
Sioux Falls' population grew by about 25 percent, which is slightly higher than the 23 and 24 percent growth rates since at least 1990.
"It's amazing in Sioux Falls that we continue that same growth rate," said Jeff Schmitt, planning projects coordinator with the city.
The data also shows Sioux Falls' demographics are changing.
Here's a breakdown looking at Minnehaha County:
- Hispanic or Latino people make up the second-largest racial or ethnic group recorded with more than 12,000 people.
- Black people accounted for more than 11,000 people, the third-largest group recorded.
County-level data differs from the state in that statewide the second-largest racial or ethnic group recorded was American Indian.
What does the data say about the metro area as a whole?
Growth is happening across the metro area from Salem to Canton, said Jesse Fonkert, president and CEO of the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.*
"More and more people are looking to move to this area thanks to the great opportunities available to them," he said.
What happens next?
At the city level, the next step is to dig deeper into the data, especially when it comes to housing, Schmitt said. He plans to look at the census' accounting of vacancy rates and how it relates to poverty rates.
"We need to really understand that," he said.
*The Sioux Metro Growth Alliance is a Sioux Falls Simplified sponsor, but Fonkert was contributing to this piece not as an advertiser but as an economic development official.