The Online Library of Knowledge

States of the US

South Dakota

A map of South DakotaA map of South DakotaSouth Dakota is located in the Upper Midwest region of the United States. The Missouri River divides the state, which lies entirely in the Great Plains, into two regions, called East River and West River. The East is flatter and more fertile than the West, and much of the land here is used for both grazing and cultivation. The West is drier and more rugged, with plains, ravines and steep, flat-topped hills called buttes. Where possible the land is used for cattle and sheep ranching. Between the White River and the Cheyenne River lie the Badlands, a landscape featuring deeply eroded gullies. The Black Hills rise on the border with Wyoming.

A freight train crosses the Missouri River A freight train crosses the Missouri River  
A Lakota chief, photographed in 1899A Lakota chief, photographed in 1899


Among the Native American peoples who settled in the South Dakota region were the Lakota and Dakota (both part of the Sioux group). The word "Dakota" is a version of a Lakota word meaning "friends". Today’s states of North and South Dakota were once joined together as Dakota Territory. North Dakota and South Dakota were admitted to the union as separate states on 2nd November 1889.


The Mammoth Site near Hot Springs in the Black Hills contains one of the largest concentrations of mammoth bones in the world.

© 2020 Q-files Ltd. All rights reserved. Switch to Mobile