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Living in Brookings



South Dakota State University is located in Brookings, SD. Brookings is a small city located on the Eastern side of the State of South Dakota (located in the North Central part of the U.S.) and has an estimated population of 22,200 people. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.04 square miles.


For three-straight years, South Dakota State University has been ranked the safest college campus in South Dakota by, an ADT authorized provider and partner of SafeStreets.

For each crime factor, the rate reported has been compared against the population per 10,000 people within the city limits. The lower the rate, the lower the number of crimes reported in the following categories:

  • Violent crimes per 10,000 people;
  • Property crimes per 10,000 people; and
  • Hate + Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) per 10,000 people.

Brookings was recently ranked #5 in "Best College Towns 2017" study. Brookings was listed as “… a young, well-educated city that has plenty to offer, both in terms of employment and entertainment. A third of the city's population is between 20-34 years of age, ranking it seventh for that metric. Brookings also ranks second for the percentage of those age 25 or older who have at least a bachelor's degree.

Brookings was ranked #5 nationwide in Livability's Best Small Towns — offering the safety of a small town with all the amenities of a big city. Brookings is more than just a town - it is your community. The campus and surrounding neighborhoods are set on tree-lined streets. Gather downtown for festivals, concerts and a seasonal farmers' market. Enjoy colorful flowers at McCrory Gardens. The city maintains more than 500 acres of parkland, while the nearby Oakwood Lakes recreation area offers camping, hiking and horseback riding.

Brookings was also ranked #12 on SafeWise's "100 Safest Cities in America" list. With an ever-changing population of young people, the Brookings Police Department leads the way in community outreach by featuring initiatives that foster trust and cooperation with young adults and older community members alike. In addition, Brookings was also ranked the #1 Safest College Town in the Country


Brookings has a humid continental climate with summer wetter than winter. An area of weather extremes, the average temperature of the warmest month is under 72°F (22°C), but can reach 100°F with a warmer heat index. During winter the average temperature drops to 15°F (-9°C) with a recorded low of −41°F (−41°C). For more information on climate, economy, population and safety visit