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United States of America (USA) - South Dakota

South Dakota is the 40th State of the US. It is located in the north-central part of the country and is bordered by 6 other states, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wyoming, Nebraska and Montana. It is one of the least populous of all the American states, coming in at 46 out of 50 states in terms of population. South Dakota is the 17th largest state in terms of area. The state capital is Pierre although the largest city is Sioux Falls. Sioux Falls holds around 20% of the population for the whole state.

The state is separated east and west by the Missouri River. This not only divides the state geographically but also in terms of population. The western half of South Dakota is mainly agricultural, although tourism is big business in the area. One of the state’s major tourist attractions – Mount Rushmore – is located here. The eastern half of South Dakota includes Sioux Falls and Pierre and so is the most populous half of the state. It is in this half of the state that the majority of employment opportunities can be found.

There are many activities and sightseeing opportunities in South Dakota for those looking at making the state their permanent home. Apart from Mount Rushmore the state is also home to Badlands National Park and Wind Cave National Park. It is also in South Dakota that the Battle of Wounded Knee was fought.

South Dakota – Employment

The economy in South Dakota is so strong it has actually been ranked as being the 4th strongest state in the US. The US Bureau of Labour and Statistics compiles data on all 50 states including Washington D.C. and it is the results of their findings that show just how strong the economy for South Dakota is.

The main industries in South Dakota are agriculture including cattle and crop farming, timber products including furniture making and paper mills and also gold mining. The town of Lead, located in the Black Hills is actually the country’s main gold mining centre. The state also relies heavily on income from tourism to help boost its economy.

The Ethanol fuel industry in South Dakota is growing stronger. As the country’s leading producer in ethanol fuel job opportunities in this area are increasing. For those with the correct qualifications, gaining employment in this area should be relatively simple. Expats looking to find work will have to be sponsored by an employer and will often have very high standards to meet. For those looking to start their own business or invest in a current business in this field, there are many strict requirements to be met but is not impossible to do.

The healthcare industry has a shortfall of nurses and medical practitioners and as long as qualifications meet the standard required by the law in South Dakota finding work in the state is easy. A licence to practice in the state is required and this may mean taking examinations or competency tests before being granted the licence by the state’s medical board.

South Dakota – Property

It is believed that the economy of South Dakota has stayed strong due to the fact that the housing market did not suffer the same level of collapse that other states have felt during the economic downturn. In fact, it is the only state to have seen a rise in house prices during that time. Homes sell fairly quickly in Sioux Falls when compared to the national average and there is equal supply and demand to keep the market steady.

House prices in Sioux Falls are extremely affordable with many single family homes to be found under $50,000. Again, when compared to the national average the areas of Sioux Falls and Pierre have relatively few foreclosure homes available. Property in Pierre is slightly higher priced on average than Sioux Falls, but there are still many single family homes in good condition to be found under $100,000.

Rental property in Sioux Falls and Pierre fall under the national average in terms of rental charges, making them highly affordable. Single family homes average less than $1000 per month and one bedroom apartments, some with community swimming pools start at around $350 per month. Of course there are homes both to buy and rent suitable for much bigger budgets, although higher end homes are still a bargain when compared to the national average.

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