Policy Resource

South Dakota Releases Facts on Kids Issue Briefs

Mar 15, 2019

South Dakota KIDS COUNT, part of the National KIDS COUNT Network of grantees, works to provide access to high quality data and research to inform policy decisions that impact children and families.

South Dakota KIDS COUNT recently released a set of Facts on Kids in South Dakota reviewing the past 25 years in: infant health, family structures, child safety, and education.

Baby and toddler highlights from the report:

Infant Health

  • In 1993, the infant mortality rate in South Dakota was 9.5 % – a rate much higher than surrounding states. Data from the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Center reflects a drop to 7.3 %. Through convening a 27-member task force on infant mortality in the state, South Dakota was able to create recommendations including prenatal care, the promotion of safe sleeping practices, education on the harm of tobacco, and developing resources for health care professionals specific to infant mortality prevention. The State hopes to reduce the infant mortality rate to 6.0. by the year 2020.
  • In South Dakota, the rate of babies born with low birth weights has decreased significantly. According to the United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings in 2017, South Dakota ranked #2 in the country for low birth weight.
  • Since 1993, the percentage of mothers receiving prenatal care during pregnancy has decreased to just about 72%.

Family Structures

  • In South Dakota, the percentage of children in 2016 that were in the care of their grandparents was four percent, the same as the national rate. In the State, grandparents living with grandchildren are usually comprised of two types of households. The first is three-generation households, which include the grandparents, adult children and grandchildren. The other is the skipped generation households, consisting of grandparents and grandchildren only.


  • South Dakota is one of seven states without a state funded Pre-K program. As of the State’s 25-year check-up, the only other states without a state funded Pre-K program were Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

For more information on the portrait of South Dakota’s children and families, read the South Dakota KIDS COUNT most recent Fact Book.

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