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Corson County, South Dakota facts for kids

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Corson County
Corson County Courthouse in McIntosh, South Dakota in 1993. This building was destroyed by fire on April 10, 2006.
Corson County Courthouse in McIntosh, South Dakota in 1993. This building was destroyed by fire on April 10, 2006.
Map of South Dakota highlighting Corson County
Location within the U.S. state of South Dakota
Map of the United States highlighting South Dakota
South Dakota's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  South Dakota
Founded 1909
Named for Dighton Corson
Seat McIntosh
Largest city McLaughlin
 • Total 2,530 sq mi (6,600 km2)
 • Land 2,470 sq mi (6,400 km2)
 • Water 60 sq mi (200 km2)  2.4%
 • Total 3,902
 • Estimate 
3,872 Decrease
 • Density 1.542/sq mi (0.5955/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district At-large
WLA hmns Hell Creek Formation Triceratops
Triceratops skull from Corson County. Collections of Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Corson County is a county in the U.S. state of South Dakota. As of the 2020 census, the population was 3,902. Its county seat is McIntosh. The county was named for Dighton Corson, a native of Maine, who came to the Black Hills in 1876, and in 1877 began practicing law at Deadwood.

The county is encompassed within the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, which extends into North Dakota. The Lakota people reside primarily in the South Dakota part of the reservation; the Yanktonai and Dakota live in that part in North Dakota. The Grand River, a tributary of the Missouri River, runs through the reservation.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,530 square miles (6,600 km2), of which 2,470 square miles (6,400 km2) is land and 60 square miles (160 km2) (2.4%) is water. It is the fifth-largest county in South Dakota by area. The entire county lies within the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, which also includes Sioux, Ziebach, and Dewey counties.

Major highways

  • US 12.svg U.S. Highway 12
  • SD 20.svg South Dakota Highway 20
  • SD 63.svg South Dakota Highway 63
  • SD 65.svg South Dakota Highway 65
  • SD 1806.svg South Dakota Highway 1806

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Grand River National Grassland (part)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 2,929
1920 7,249 147.5%
1930 9,535 31.5%
1940 6,755 −29.2%
1950 6,168 −8.7%
1960 5,798 −6.0%
1970 4,994 −13.9%
1980 5,196 4.0%
1990 4,195 −19.3%
2000 4,181 −0.3%
2010 4,050 −3.1%
2020 3,902 −3.7%
2021 (est.) 3,872 −4.4%
US Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 4,050 people, 1,260 households, and 939 families in the county. The population density was 1.6 inhabitants per square mile (0.62/km2). There were 1,540 housing units at an average density of 0.6 per square mile (0.23/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 67.0% American Indian, 29.7% white, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% black or African American, 0.3% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.6% of the population. In terms of ancestry,

Of the 1,260 households, 45.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% were married couples living together, 21.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 25.5% were non-families, and 22.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 3.21 and the average family size was 3.73. The median age was 29.7 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,877 and the median income for a family was $36,500. Males had a median income of $32,037 versus $23,167 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,359. About 24.1% of families and 35.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 46.7% of those under age 18 and 16.9% of those age 65 or over.


Corson County, South Dakota
Entering Corson County along Highway 63



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


The county is divided into eleven townships:

  • Custer
  • Delaney
  • Lake
  • Mission
  • Pleasant Ridge
  • Prairie View
  • Ridgeland
  • Rolling Green
  • Sherman
  • Wakpala
  • Watauga

Unorganized territories

The county contains four areas of unorganized territory:

  • Central Corson
  • Lemmon No. 2
  • Northeast Corson
  • West Corson
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