Pennington County, South Dakota facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Pennington County, South Dakota
Map
Map of South Dakota highlighting Pennington County
Location in the state of South Dakota
Map of the USA highlighting South Dakota
South Dakota's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1877
Seat Rapid City
Largest City Rapid City
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

2,784 sq mi (7,211 km²)
2,777 sq mi (7,192 km²)
7.7 sq mi (20 km²), 0.3%
PopulationEst.
 - (2015)
 - Density

108,702
36/sq mi (14/km²)
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Website: www.co.pennington.sd.us
Named for: John L. Pennington

Pennington County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Dakota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 100,948, making it the second-most populous county in South Dakota. Its county seat is Rapid City. The county was created in 1875 and organized in 1877. It is named for John L. Pennington, fifth Governor of Dakota Territory, who held office in 1875 when the county was formed.

Pennington County is included in the Rapid City, SD Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is also the location of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Geography

WLA hmns Mesohippus baidi 2
Extinct Mesohippus horse, found in Pennington County, on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,784 square miles (7,210 km2), of which 2,777 square miles (7,190 km2) is land and 7.7 square miles (20 km2) (0.3%) is water. It is the third-largest county in South Dakota by area. Mount Rushmore National Memorial lies in the county. Black Elk Peak, South Dakota's highest mountain, is located in the county. At 7,242 feet (2,208 m) it is the highest natural point between the Rocky Mountains and the French Alps. Part of Badlands National Park lies within the county. The park also extends into neighboring Oglala Lakota and Jackson counties.

Major highways

  • I-90.svg Interstate 90
  • US 14.svg U.S. Highway 14
  • US 16.svg U.S. Highway 16
  • US 16A.svg U.S. Highway 16A
  • US 385.svg U.S. Highway 385
  • SD 40.svg South Dakota Highway 40
  • SD 44.svg South Dakota Highway 44
  • SD 240.svg South Dakota Highway 240
  • SD 244.svg South Dakota Highway 244

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

  • Badlands National Park (part)
  • Black Hills National Forest (part)
  • Buffalo Gap National Grassland (part)
  • Minuteman Missile National Historic Site (part)
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 2,244
1890 6,540 191.4%
1900 5,610 −14.2%
1910 12,453 122.0%
1920 12,720 2.1%
1930 20,079 57.9%
1940 23,799 18.5%
1950 34,053 43.1%
1960 58,195 70.9%
1970 59,349 2.0%
1980 70,361 18.6%
1990 81,343 15.6%
2000 88,565 8.9%
2010 100,948 14.0%
Est. 2016 109,372 8.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 88,565 people, 34,641 households, and 23,278 families residing in the county. The population density was 32 people per square mile (12/km²). There were 37,249 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 86.70% White, 0.85% Black or African American, 8.09% Native American, 0.88% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.68%% from other races, and 2.74% from two or more races. 2.64% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 34,641 households out of which 33.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.30% were married couples living together, 11.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.80% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the county, the population was spread out with 26.60% under the age of 18, 10.50% from 18 to 24, 29.20% from 25 to 44, 21.90% from 45 to 64, and 11.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 98.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,485, and the median income for a family was $44,796. Males had a median income of $30,608 versus $21,540 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,938. About 8.60% of families and 11.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.60% of those under age 18 and 6.50% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 100,948 people, 41,251 households, and 26,323 families residing in the county. The population density was 36.4 inhabitants per square mile (14.1/km2). There were 44,949 housing units at an average density of 16.2 per square mile (6.3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 83.6% white, 9.7% American Indian, 1.0% black or African American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 0.8% from other races, and 3.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.0% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 38.0% were German, 14.3% were Irish, 11.0% were Norwegian, 10.2% were English, and 3.6% were American.

Of the 41,251 households, 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.2% were non-families, and 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.93. The median age was 36.8 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $46,849 and the median income for a family was $57,278. Males had a median income of $38,626 versus $30,251 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,894. About 9.4% of families and 14.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.7% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.

Search and rescue

The Pennington County Search and Rescue (PCSAR) team is a volunteer search and rescue (SAR) team based in Rapid City, South Dakota. The team was established in October 1973, prompted by a 1972 flood in Rapid City. PCSAR trains for and performs vehicle extrication, vertical rescue, searches, communication support, Fire Department and dive team air supply support, trench rescue, mass casualty support, and emergency winter weather transportation.

Communities

Pennington County vote
by party in presidential elections
Year Republican Democratic
2016 62.4% 29,804 29.5% 14,074
2012 63.5% 28,232 34.0% 15,125
2008 59.6% 27,603 38.5% 17,802
2004 66.7% 29,976 31.6% 14,213
2000 67.6% 24,696 30.4% 11,123
1996 54.3% 19,293 36.0% 12,784
1992 47.9% 18,052 29.5% 11,106
1988 61.4% 19,510 38.0% 12,068
1984 72.2% 21,947 27.1% 8,224
1980 67.3% 18,991 25.2% 7,121
1976 56.3% 13,352 42.4% 10,058
1972 61.2% 13,654 38.5% 8,592
1968 53.3% 9,671 40.2% 7,303
1964 47.5% 8,926 52.5% 9,881
1960 60.3% 11,364 39.7% 7,478

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

Townships

The county is divided into 20 townships:

  • Ash
  • Castle Butte
  • Cedar Butte
  • Conata
  • Crooked Creed
  • Fairview
  • Flat Butte
  • Huron
  • Imlay
  • Lake Creek
  • Lake Flat
  • Lake Hill
  • Owanka
  • Peno
  • Quinn
  • Rainy Creek/Cheyenne
  • Scenic
  • Shyne
  • Sunnyside
  • Wasta

Unorganized territories

The county contains seven areas of unorganized territory:

  • Central Pennington
  • Dalzell Canyon
  • East Central Pennington
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Northeast Pennington
  • Rapid City East
  • West Pennington

Pennington County, South Dakota Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.