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Chamberlain, South Dakota

Akta Lakota Museum, 2003
Akta Lakota Museum, 2003
"One day just isn't enough..."
Location in Brule County and the state of South Dakota
Location in Brule County and the state of South Dakota
Country United States
State South Dakota
County Brule
Founded 1881
 • Total 5.67 sq mi (14.70 km2)
 • Land 4.48 sq mi (11.60 km2)
 • Water 1.20 sq mi (3.10 km2)
1,404 ft (428 m)
 • Total 2,387
 • Estimate 
 • Density 528.24/sq mi (203.94/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 605
FIPS code 46-11220
GNIS feature ID 1265153

Chamberlain (Lakota: makȟáthipi; "earth dwelling") is a city in Brule County, South Dakota, United States. It is located on the eastern bank of the Missouri River, at the dammed section of the Lake Francis Case, close to where it is crossed by Interstate 90.

The population of Chamberlain was 2,387 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Brule County.

Chamberlain is home to the South Dakota Hall of Fame. It is the site of St. Joseph's Indian School, a Native American residential school established in 1927 and operated by the Catholic order Priests of the Sacred Heart. A 50-foot (15 m) sculpture of a Native American woman, entitled Dignity, was installed on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River outside the city.


Chamberlain, South Dakota (1911)
Main Street, 1911
Chamberlain, South Dakota and the Missouri River
Chamberlain and the Missouri River

Chamberlain was laid out by European Americans in the early 1880s along the upper Missouri River. Its development was stimulated by construction of railroads through the area. The town was named after Selah Chamberlain, a railroad director of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.84 square miles (20.31 km2), of which, 6.64 square miles (17.20 km2) is land and 1.20 square miles (3.11 km2) is water.

Chamberlain has been assigned the ZIP code range 57325-57326 and the FIPS place code 11220.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 939
1900 874 −6.9%
1910 1,275 45.9%
1920 1,303 2.2%
1930 1,364 4.7%
1940 1,626 19.2%
1950 1,912 17.6%
1960 2,598 35.9%
1970 2,626 1.1%
1980 2,258 −14.0%
1990 2,347 3.9%
2000 2,338 −0.4%
2010 2,387 2.1%
Est. 2019 2,366 −0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,387 people, 1,040 households, and 589 families living in the city. The population density was 359.5 inhabitants per square mile (138.8/km2). There were 1,142 housing units at an average density of 172.0 per square mile (66.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 81.9% White, 0.3% African American, 14.8% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.

There were 1,040 households, of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.1% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.4% were non-families. 36.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.87.

The median age in the city was 41.8 years. 24.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.7% were from 25 to 44; 28.7% were from 45 to 64; and 17.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 45.7% male and 54.3% female.


It is located in the Chamberlain School District.

St. Joseph's Indian School is in the community.


Chamberlain is served by the Chamberlain Municipal Airport, as well as the following three highways:

  • I-90 (Interstate 90)
  • I-90 Bus. (Interstate 90 Business Loop)
  • SD 50 (South Dakota Highway 50)
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