Pros and cons of living in Sioux Falls

Are you thinking of moving to Sioux Falls? It’s one of the two biggest cities in South Dakota and offers a great quality of life. But you should learn more about it before relocating. So, what’re the pros and cons of living in Sioux Falls?

Sioux Falls is one of America’s hidden gems. With qualities such as affordability, opportunities, housing cost, and low tax rates, living here is a delight. But it has issues that might discourage you too. They include low income, weather, tornadoes, isolated city, insecurity, and car dependency.

Despite its drawbacks, the Gateway to the Plains, as Sioux Falls is called, remains a fine city. This article gives you an insight into the city, so you can see whether it’s right for you.

Pros of Living in Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls has a population of just over 190,000, but you’ll be getting close to 270,000 people when you add its metropolitan area. Its many positive attributes are what draw these large numbers of people to the city.

1. Employment Opportunities

Sioux Falls has an excellent economy which ensures that residents have access to several opportunities. In addition, Sioux Falls is 3rd in the hottest job market in the US  in 2020, the best city for young professionals in 2021, and one of the top ten best places to live. When you consider all these, you’ll understand why moving here could be a great decision.

The unemployment rate is 2.30% which is far below the national average. The poverty rate is also low at 10.4%.  Thus, Sioux Falls is one the most economically vibrant cities you can stay in the US. Job projections are robust and higher than the national average. 

Major sectors of Sioux Falls economy include healthcare, finance, retail trade, advanced manufacturing, data centers, education, and food processing. So, not only are there several jobs but there’s also economic diversity.

2. Cheap City to Live In

Do you want a city where you can enjoy a high quality of life while paying substantially less? Then, you should consider Sioux Falls. Its cost-of-living index is 11.4% lower than the national average, which means you’ll be spending $11,400 less. 

Even though the city is slightly more expensive than the South Dakota average, the standard of living and access to opportunities in Sioux Falls is incomparable with several places in the US. So, the cost of living here is a bargain. Healthcare, utilities, and transportation are cheaper here than the national average. So is housing, but we’ll get to that soon.

3. Housing Costs

The value of homes in Sioux Falls has increased significantly in the past year. But homes are still affordable, with the median value being $262,697 in July 2021. So, houses still cost less than the US average, and you’ll still find affordable rents in the city. The only housing challenge with this city is that many homes are about half a century old. So, you might need to remodel or repair it when you buy a house here.

4. Comfortable Tax Rates

Another thing to love about Sioux Falls is the tax rates. Since South Dakota has no income tax, residents have a tax structure that doesn’t overburden the payer. The only taxes you’ll have to pay are sales and property taxes. Sales tax is 6.5%, while property tax is 1.43%. Both are higher than the South Dakota average but compare more favorably with the national average.

Cons of Living in Sioux 

Sioux isn’t exactly the perfect city. However, there are attributes of this city that you may find difficult to cope with. Knowing them in advance will help your decision.

1. Uncomfortable Weather

Winters aren’t lovely in Sioux Falls. It’s just intense cold with temperature dropping to single digits sometimes. However, around 45 inches of snowfall here annually, so you can enjoy all the winter activities when you’re not busy warming yourself up.

Since you have all four seasons here, you can expect the summer to be hot and humid. In addition, rain is common during the summer. It’s all these that contribute to its 6.8/10 weather comfort index.

2. Tornadoes

Tornadoes do happen here throughout the year and could be severe. For example, an EF-2 Tornado struck in September 2019, damaging buildings, a hospital, and a shopping center. However, it’s not only tornadoes that can happen here. The city also experiences severe rain, high winds, and lightning.

3. Isolated City

Living in Sioux Falls means you might have to depend on the city for everything. The closest major cities to it are more than 150 miles away, which means you’ll spend almost three hours before getting to another big city. Thus, once you move to Sioux Falls, you should be prepared to find everything you’re looking for in the city. Fortunately, the city is mainly self-sufficient, so you shouldn’t have any problem with the city’s isolation.

4. Low Median Income

Another challenge for residents here is the low median income. Despite having a very strong economy and low unemployment rate, the median income is still below the US average by few thousand. This might be due to the low minimum wage in South Dakota, among other reasons. The median household income is $59,912.

5. Insecurity

Here is another Midwestern city where the crime rate is unusually high. Both total crime rate and property crimes are 42% and 44% above the national average, respectively. Thus, Sioux Falls is pretty dangerous for residents. In addition, violent crimes are prevalent, with 4.83 incidents per 1000 people. Again, that’s 27% higher than the US average.

The chance of becoming a crime victim in Sioux Falls is 1 in 29. But the city is still safer than 17% of cities in the US.

6. Car-Dependent

There are transport options in Sioux Falls, but they are limited. As a result, most residents drive their cars, as the transit score of 17 isn’t exactly encouraging. The city is fairly walkable, with some neighborhoods having high walkability compared to others. However, traffic is light, and you shouldn’t expect any gridlock most time.

In Conclusion

Sioux Falls is an amazing city with several benefits. It scores high for amenities, opportunities, and livability. But issues such as crime, weather, and isolation are sources of concern for anyone who wants to move there.