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A Profile of Older South Dakotans

Updated September 22, 2020

Leacey Brown

SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist

Executive Summary

The increase in the number of older people (65+) in South Dakota is arguably one of the most significant social changes of our time. This change will require innovative, collaborative efforts in communities and organizations across the state. Older people are commonly discussed as a uniform group with similar needs and wants. While similarities exists, the differences may be more important to decision makers and planners. South Dakotans of all ages need a more holistic understanding of older South Dakotans. Armed with this knowledge, South Dakota can lead the nation in building a state for the 21st Century. This report will provide an overview of population aging, the historical background that facilitated the demographic change, an overview of current population of older people, population projections, and recommendations for South Dakota.