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Shannon County, South Dakota
Map of South Dakota highlighting Oglala Lakota County
Location in the state of South Dakota
Map of USA SD
South Dakota's location in the U.S.
Founded information needed
Named for Peter Shannon, Chief Justice of the Dakota Territory Supreme Court, 1873-82.
Largest city Pine Ridge
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

2,097 sq mi (5,430 km²)
2,094 sq mi (5,423 km²)
3 sq mi (7 km²), 0.13%
 - (2010)
 - Density

5/sq mi (2/km²)
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Footnotes: Hot Springs in neighboring Fall River County serves as its administrative center

Shannon County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Dakota. The population was 13,586 at the 2010 census. Its largest community is Pine Ridge.

The county is entirely within the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and contains part of Badlands National Park. The county's per-capita income makes it the second poorest county in the United States. (Buffalo County, South Dakota, is the poorest.)

In recent years, its residents have become more politically active, voting in state and national elections. A voter registration drive in 2002 helped gain support for the Democratic candidate for the US Senate, and turnout in Shannon County and across the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation helped narrowly elect Tim Johnson to office. The county has the distinction of having the highest percentage of Democratic votes for President in the 2004 election of any county in the US (85%) and in 2008 with 88.69% of votes cast for Barack Obama. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county; taxes on alcohol consumed within the county go to other counties.

Shannon County is one of two counties in South Dakota that does not have its own county seat (Todd County is the other). Hot Springs in neighboring Fall River County serves as its administrative center.[1] It is also one of five South Dakota counties that are entirely on an Indian reservation. (The others are Corson, Dewey, Todd, and Ziebach.)

Until 1982 Shannon and Washabaugh County, South Dakota, were the last unorganized counties in the United States. Although it was organized and received a home rule charter that year, Shannon, as noted above, contracts with Fall River County for its Auditor, Treasurer, and Registrar of Deeds.[2]

It has an unusually low Human Development Index of 0.703 (Medium) compared to the national average of 0.950 (Very High).


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,097 square miles (5,430 km²), of which 2,094 square miles (5,423 km²) is land and 3 square miles (7 km²) is water. The total area is 0.13% water.

The county includes the headwaters of the Little White River.


The county is divided into two areas of unorganized territory: East Shannon and West Shannon.

Major highwaysEdit

Adjacent countiesEdit

National protected areaEdit


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1880 113
1920 2,003 +1672.6%
1930 4,058 +102.6%
1940 5,366 +32.2%
1950 5,669 +5.6%
1960 6,000 +5.8%
1970 8,198 +36.6%
1980 11,323 +38.1%
1990 9,902 −12.5%
2000 12,466 +25.9%
2010 13,586 +9.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 12,466 people, 2,785 households, and 2,353 families residing in the county. The population density was 6 people per square mile (2/km²). There were 3,123 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 4.51% White, 0.08% Black or African American, 94.20% Native American, 0.02% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 0.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.42% of the population.

There are 2,785 households out of which 51.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.40% were married couples living together, 36.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 15.50% were non-families. 13.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.00% have someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.36 and the average family size was 4.72.

In the county the population was spread out with 45.30% under the age of 18, 10.60% from 18 to 24, 25.60% from 25 to 44, 13.80% from 45 to 64, and 4.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 21 years. For every 100 females there were 99.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $20,916, and the median income for a family was $20,897. Males had a median income of $25,170 versus $22,594 for females. The per capita income for the county was $6,286. About 45.10% of families and 52.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 60.80% of those under age 18 and 36.00% of those age 65 or over.



Census-designated placesEdit

Other communityEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ [1], accessed April 19, 2009.
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 43°20′N 102°33′W / 43.33, -102.55

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Shannon County, South Dakota. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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