Introduction: South Dakota, known for its picturesque landscapes and rich cultural heritage, is home to a growing population of seniors aged 65 and over. As we delve into the American Community Survey 2022 Census data, we gain insights into the demographics, relationships, households, and various aspects of the lives of seniors in this state.
Population (Sex And Age, Race): The senior population in South Dakota stands at 165,909, constituting 18.24% of the total population of 909,824. The demographic distribution shows a slightly higher percentage of females (53.1%) compared to males (46.9%). The median age for seniors in the state is 72.8 years.
When examining racial composition, the majority (97.7%) identify with a single race, with 92.3% being White, 3.0% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.5% Asian, and 0.3% Black or African American. Two or more races account for 2.3%, and 1.6% of seniors identify as Hispanic or Latino.
Relationship: The majority of seniors in South Dakota (93.5%) reside in households, either as householders or spouses. Among the remaining, 1.9% are parents, 2.0% are other relatives, and 2.6% are non-relatives, including unmarried partners (1.1%).
Households: South Dakota boasts 103,622 households, with 51.9% being family households. Within family households, 44.8% are married-couple families, and 4.9% are female householders with no spouse present. Nonfamily households make up 48.1%, with 45.7% being households where the individual lives alone.
Marital Status: The marital landscape of seniors in South Dakota reveals that 57.2% are currently married, except separated, 21.6% are widowed, 15.0% are divorced, 0.3% are separated, and 5.7% have never been married.
Education Status: In terms of educational attainment, 8.4% of seniors are less than high school graduates, 35.2% have a high school diploma, GED, or alternative, 29.3% have some college or associate’s degree, and 27.2% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Responsibility For Grandchildren Under 18 Years: A small percentage of seniors in South Dakota (3.2%) live with their grandchildren, and among them, 1.2% have the responsibility for their grandchildren.
Veteran Status: A notable 15.7% of seniors in South Dakota are civilian veterans, contributing to the rich history of military service that is deeply ingrained in the state’s culture.
Disability Status: Out of the civilian noninstitutionalized population, 31.5% of seniors in South Dakota report having some form of disability, while 68.5% do not face disability-related challenges.
Language Status: The language spoken at home predominantly remains English, with 95.6% using only English. A minority (4.4%) speaks a language other than English, with 1.0% reporting proficiency in English as “less than very well.”
Employment Status: In South Dakota, the senior population of 165,909 reflects a dynamic employment landscape. Approximately 22.3% of seniors are in the labor force, with 22.0% employed and 0.3% unemployed. This translates to 1.4% of the civilian labor force being unemployed seniors.
Income Status: Examining the income status of seniors in South Dakota sheds light on their financial well-being. Among the 103,622 households, 41.0% have earnings, with a mean income of $60,862. Social Security income is prevalent, with 89.2% of households receiving it, averaging $23,085. Additionally, 4.3% receive Supplemental Security Income, averaging $11,013. Retirement income is reported by 52.6% of households, with a mean of $26,679. Furthermore, 5.7% of households receive Food Stamp/SNAP benefits.
Poverty Status: For the 158,261 seniors for whom poverty status is determined, 10.9% fall below 100 percent of the poverty level, 8.4% are within the range of 100 to 149 percent, while the majority, 80.7%, are at or above 150 percent of the poverty level.
Housing Status: South Dakota’s housing landscape for seniors reveals that out of the 103,622 occupied housing units, 77.9% are owner-occupied, and 22.1% are renter-occupied. The average household size for owner-occupied units is 1.77, while for renter-occupied units, it is 1.49.
Selected Characteristics: A small percentage of seniors (0.9%) experience the absence of telephone service, and a minimal fraction (0.5%) have 1.01 or more occupants per room, indicating a generally favorable housing environment.
Owner-occupied Housing Units: Within the realm of owner-occupied units, 78.3% have selected monthly costs that are less than 30 percent of household income, while 21.7% have costs that exceed this threshold. The median value of owner-occupied units is $224,400, and for those with a mortgage, the median monthly cost is $1,302, while those without a mortgage incur a median cost of $560.
Renter-occupied Housing Units: Among renter-occupied units, 55.6% have gross rent constituting less than 30 percent of household income, while 44.4% have rent costs exceeding this percentage. The median gross rent for these units is $791.
Conclusion: Combining both parts of the American Community Survey 2022 Census data provides a comprehensive picture of South Dakota’s senior population. From demographic details to economic and housing aspects, these statistics highlight the diversity and unique characteristics of seniors in the state. As we navigate the intricate web of numbers, it becomes evident that South Dakota’s seniors contribute significantly to the social fabric while facing various challenges.
Part 1 unveiled the demographic intricacies, emphasizing gender distribution, racial composition, relationships, and educational backgrounds. Part 2 delved into the economic and housing dimensions, shedding light on employment status, income sources, poverty levels, and housing tenure. Together, these aspects showcase the multifaceted nature of the senior population, enriching our understanding of their lives.
In the absence of a distinct conclusion, the data encourages continued exploration and discussion. It prompts policymakers, researchers, and the community to consider these insights when formulating strategies and support systems for the elderly in South Dakota. As we move forward, it is essential to recognize the importance of addressing the diverse needs of this demographic, ensuring their well-being, and fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for seniors in the state.