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Demographic Data

Race and Ethnicity

Our Culture and Characteristics

Demographers, such as John Weeks, commonly define "race" in terms of a group of individuals who share a relatively distinct set of inheritable characteristics, like hair or eye color and complexion. Their definition of ethnicity incorporates a cultural explanation for how ancestry shapes group and individual culture and behavior.

Our most common source of racial and ethnic information is the U.S. Census, which typically reports races as: white; black, or African American; American Indian and Alaska Native; Asian; Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander; and some other race. Individuals may choose just one of these races or a combination of multiple races.

Data and Publications

We have released the following material that discusses racial and/or ethnic data:

More specific racial and/or ethnic information is available upon request. Please call 605-688-4132 or email us for more detailed information.

Population Change

Back to the Basics

Two of the simplest population statistics that demographers use are an area's total population and the amount of population change. Population totals can be found in decennial censuses and the American Community Survey using American FactFinder. In addition, population change can be determined by comparing population totals for the same area during two different time periods. Processes, which affect population totals, include migration, births and deaths.

Data and Vital Statistics

We have compiled total county populations for 1990 and 2000; numerical and percent changes in county populations; and what percentage, of the statewide total, each county's population represents for South Dakota. Those interested in levels of net migration and the extent of its influence on the population from 1990 to 2000 may view a migration summary.



The Data Center has compiled several publications concerning population and population change. These include the following:


  • The U.S. Census Bureau and American Community Survey: Advantages, Uses and Limitations (RS3-08)
  • South Dakota Net Migration Estimates (RS1-09)


For information on population totals and/or processes influencing an area's population, please email or call us at 605-688-4132.