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Rapid City group says region ranks as fastest-growing metro area in the Midwest

Main Street Square in Rapid City.
Seth Tupper
Main Street Square in Rapid City.

The interview above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment.

Rapid City is the fastest growing metro area in the Midwest. That's according to an Elevate Rapid City analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau's Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

Rapid City grew by 1.9% from 2020 to 2021, which is triple the national average of 0.35%. That puts it at number 36 nationally and in the top 8% in the nation. Rapid City is growing faster than Phoenix, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Collins, Billings, Reno, Charlotte and Sioux Falls.

Tom Johnson is president and CEO of Elevate Rapid City, an organization focused on economic development and promoting small businesses in the Black Hills area.

Johnson said he's not surprised people and businesses are moving to Rapid City.

"So we're just seeing an incredible amount of interest from companies and workers. And it's something we've known all along: We have a hidden gem here, and it's one of the best, most accessible mountain ranges in the entire United States," Johnson said. "And so we're seeing folks from Minnesota, Colorado, the coasts coming here interested in being residents, so it's an exciting time. But also with that comes challenges, like traffic and growth and housing. We're going to face those things. But certainly, it's a good problem to have."

Johnson estimates 30,000 to 40,000 people will migrate to the Black Hills in the next decade.

"So, buckle up South Dakota, because it's going to be a ride for the Rapid City area," he said.

Lori Walsh is the host and senior producer of In the Moment.
Megan hosts All Things Considered and the SDPB News podcast.