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South Dakota on the Map: Not Too Crazy, Lots of Grass, Rape, Tornadoes

Clip from "State Bests" mapFrank Jacobs produces the Strange Maps blog. This week, Jacobs features some maps showing what the United States do best and what they do worst. According to one map, South Dakotans take the fewest mental health days off. Whether that means we're less crazy than everyone else or that we just don't want the boss to know we're crazy is open for debate.

Other South Dakota facts:

Get your weekly cartographic fix on Jacobs's site!


  1. Wayne B. 2011.06.10

    Well, at least we're not dumb & ugly... and hey! North Carolina get's worst teacher salary. Finally, we're not last!

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.06.10

    Hang on a moment! I'll not surrender South Dakota's claim to fame so easily. The source for the North Carolina claim (link >> link >> link) is a 2008 study that finds "North Carolina had the lowest comparable teacher pay, with just 78.8 cents to every dollar earned by other professions." South Dakota doesn't come in last on that metric, but only because we lack high-wage jobs in other sectors.

    The NEA's latest report (Dec. 2010) finds South Dakota at the stunningly rock-bottom $35,021 for average teacher pay in the school year just completed. National average: $56,069. North Carolina is at $46,850. North Dakota is second to last at $44,266.

  3. Wayne B. 2011.06.10

    Hrm... so we're last in pay on a raw scale, but not last when compared to similar professions? Reminds me of the challenge of sorting out raw breast cancer rates from age-adjusted breast cancer rates.

    Well, still not dumb & ugly :)

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.06.10

    Try this comparison: cost of living in NC for 2010-Q4 was 96.21% of nat'l avg. COL in SD was 98.53%. Comparing teachers to teachers, NC teachers have more than $13K more purchasing power in their state than SD teachers.

    If I'm teaching in South Dakota, the knowledge that the carpenter next door isn't making much more than I am doesn't make me feel much better when I still can't afford groceries and health insurance.

  5. larry kurtz 2011.06.10

    Arizona leads the US in large farms pumping from aquifers decimating water tables. Combine those results with this in the Black Hills and other ponderosa pine forests and poof!

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