Brookings is the fastest growing city in South Dakota



(The Center Square) – Most of South Dakota’s largest cities experienced population growth over the last few years as the state added thousands of new housing units since 2020, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Brookings experienced the largest percentage increase from April 2020 to July 2023 with a 4% increase, or 942 more residents. Watertown grew by 2.5% with 572 more residents than 2020, the data shows.

Aberdeen has lost 381 residents since 2020.

Nationally, population trends are shifting post-pandemic. Cities in the Sun Belt states continue to enjoy the fastest growth, according to census data, and many small and midsize cities with populations under 50,000 got higher growth rates last year compared to 2019.

While larger cities are beginning to see a slow down in their population declines, they are growing nearly 40% less than they were before COVID, census data shows. In 2019, large cities gained an average of 741 people, but from 2022 to 2023, they only gained an average of 498 people.

In general, big Midwestern cities have enjoyed a reversal of population declines since the pandemic hit, according to the Bureau.

“Across much of the nation, mid-sized cities and towns with populations of at least 10,000 but fewer than 50,000 people saw growth. Cities this size in the Northeast continued to lose population (0.1% average decline),” the U.S. Census Bureau reported. “Mid-sized cities and towns in the South showed relative stability, growing at the same average rate of 1.5% in 2023 as in 2022 and at a faster pace than in any other U.S region.”

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