SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (STACKER) — A surprising number of U.S. counties have 100% rural land-702, in fact. Stacker compiled a list of the most rural counties in South Dakota using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the percent of land area that is rural, as of the 2010 Census, with ties broken by residents per square mile, according to 2020 5-year population estimates.

According to the Census Bureau, rural land encompasses any land that isn’t an urban area. To be considered an urban area, a place has to have a densely settled core of census tracts or blocks and count at least 2,500 people, at least 1,500 of whom must be residents of non-institutional buildings. Areas with 50,000 people or more are considered urbanized areas, while areas with between 2,500 and 50,000 people are considered urban clusters.

You may also like: Best counties to retire to in South Dakota

Tony Webster from Minneapolis, Minnesota // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Walworth County

– Rural area: 99.8% (707 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.2% (2 square miles)
– Total land area: 709 square miles
— #45 largest county in state, #1,299 nationwide

– Population density: 7.7 people / square mile (5,431 residents)
— #41 lowest density county in state, #480 nationwide

Canva

#49. Stanley County

– Rural area: 99.9% (1,443 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.1% (2 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,444 square miles
— #18 largest county in state, #415 nationwide

– Population density: 2.1 people / square mile (3,058 residents)
— #13 lowest density county in state, #163 nationwide

JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Butte County

– Rural area: 99.9% (2,247 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.1% (3 square miles)
– Total land area: 2,250 square miles
— #7 largest county in state, #247 nationwide

– Population density: 4.6 people / square mile (10,295 residents)
— #31 lowest density county in state, #353 nationwide

Wacekj // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Fall River County

– Rural area: 99.9% (1,738 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.1% (2 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,740 square miles
— #12 largest county in state, #341 nationwide

– Population density: 3.9 people / square mile (6,721 residents)
— #23 lowest density county in state, #297 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Tripp County

– Rural area: 99.9% (1,611 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.1% (2 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,612 square miles
— #15 largest county in state, #377 nationwide

– Population density: 3.4 people / square mile (5,448 residents)
— #20 lowest density county in state, #265 nationwide

You may also like: Lowest-earning counties in South Dakota

Canva

#45. Oglala Lakota County

– Rural area: 100.0% (2,093 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.1% (1 square miles)
– Total land area: 2,094 square miles
— #8 largest county in state, #269 nationwide

– Population density: 6.8 people / square mile (14,277 residents)
— #38 lowest density county in state, #444 nationwide

Jeff the quiet // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Ziebach County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,961 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (1 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,961 square miles
— #9 largest county in state, #292 nationwide

– Population density: 1.4 people / square mile (2,767 residents)
— #6 lowest density county in state, #102 nationwide

Runner1928 // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Dewey County

– Rural area: 100.0% (2,302 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (1 square miles)
– Total land area: 2,302 square miles
— #6 largest county in state, #242 nationwide

– Population density: 2.5 people / square mile (5,841 residents)
— #17 lowest density county in state, #198 nationwide

AlexiusHoratius // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Turner County

– Rural area: 100.0% (617 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 617 square miles
— #50 largest county in state, #1,570 nationwide

– Population density: 13.5 people / square mile (8,325 residents)
— #52 lowest density county in state, #692 nationwide

Jimmy Emerson, DVM // Flickr

#41. Moody County

– Rural area: 100.0% (519 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 519 square miles
— #59 largest county in state, #2,008 nationwide

– Population density: 12.5 people / square mile (6,508 residents)
— #51 lowest density county in state, #657 nationwide

You may also like: Zip codes with the most expensive homes in South Dakota

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Bon Homme County

– Rural area: 100.0% (564 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 564 square miles
— #55 largest county in state, #1,830 nationwide

– Population density: 12.3 people / square mile (6,914 residents)
— #50 lowest density county in state, #644 nationwide

JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Hamlin County

– Rural area: 100.0% (507 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 507 square miles
— #60 largest county in state, #2,046 nationwide

– Population density: 12.0 people / square mile (6,104 residents)
— #49 lowest density county in state, #638 nationwide

Runner1928 // Wikimedia Commons

#38. McCook County

– Rural area: 100.0% (574 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 574 square miles
— #52 largest county in state, #1,736 nationwide

– Population density: 9.7 people / square mile (5,543 residents)
— #47 lowest density county in state, #564 nationwide

Betsy Armour // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Roberts County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,101 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,101 square miles
— #26 largest county in state, #576 nationwide

– Population density: 9.4 people / square mile (10,310 residents)
— #46 lowest density county in state, #552 nationwide

Sdgjake // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Hutchinson County

– Rural area: 100.0% (813 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 813 square miles
— #39 largest county in state, #1,040 nationwide

– Population density: 9.0 people / square mile (7,308 residents)
— #45 lowest density county in state, #534 nationwide

You may also like: Counties with the most college graduates in South Dakota

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Charles Mix County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,097 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,097 square miles
— #27 largest county in state, #583 nationwide

– Population density: 8.5 people / square mile (9,324 residents)
— #44 lowest density county in state, #517 nationwide

Jon Roanhaus // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Hanson County

– Rural area: 100.0% (435 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 435 square miles
— #64 largest county in state, #2,336 nationwide

– Population density: 7.9 people / square mile (3,423 residents)
— #42 lowest density county in state, #485 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Todd County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,389 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,389 square miles
— #20 largest county in state, #439 nationwide

– Population density: 7.4 people / square mile (10,308 residents)
— #40 lowest density county in state, #469 nationwide

JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Deuel County

– Rural area: 100.0% (623 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 623 square miles
— #49 largest county in state, #1,550 nationwide

– Population density: 6.9 people / square mile (4,309 residents)
— #39 lowest density county in state, #450 nationwide

Sdgjake // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Douglas County

– Rural area: 100.0% (432 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 432 square miles
— #65 largest county in state, #2,349 nationwide

– Population density: 6.7 people / square mile (2,913 residents)
— #37 lowest density county in state, #442 nationwide

You may also like: Highest-rated breweries in South Dakota

Amphibol // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Brule County

– Rural area: 100.0% (817 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 817 square miles
— #38 largest county in state, #1,035 nationwide

– Population density: 6.4 people / square mile (5,233 residents)
— #36 lowest density county in state, #430 nationwide

Jon Roanhaus // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Kingsbury County

– Rural area: 100.0% (832 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 832 square miles
— #37 largest county in state, #1,010 nationwide

– Population density: 5.9 people / square mile (4,936 residents)
— #35 lowest density county in state, #408 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Marshall County

– Rural area: 100.0% (838 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 838 square miles
— #36 largest county in state, #997 nationwide

– Population density: 5.8 people / square mile (4,881 residents)
— #34 lowest density county in state, #400 nationwide

puroticorico // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Custer County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,557 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,557 square miles
— #16 largest county in state, #388 nationwide

– Population density: 5.7 people / square mile (8,826 residents)
— #33 lowest density county in state, #395 nationwide

Jimmy Emerson, DVM // Flickr

#26. Day County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,028 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,028 square miles
— #28 largest county in state, #644 nationwide

– Population density: 5.3 people / square mile (5,452 residents)
— #32 lowest density county in state, #384 nationwide

You may also like: Most valuable crops grown in South Dakota

JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Spink County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,504 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,504 square miles
— #17 largest county in state, #396 nationwide

– Population density: 4.3 people / square mile (6,438 residents)
— #30 lowest density county in state, #336 nationwide

Harry Weddington, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Buffalo County

– Rural area: 100.0% (471 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 471 square miles
— #61 largest county in state, #2,188 nationwide

– Population density: 4.3 people / square mile (2,005 residents)
— #29 lowest density county in state, #331 nationwide

J. Stephen Conn // Flickr

#23. Sanborn County

– Rural area: 100.0% (569 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 569 square miles
— #54 largest county in state, #1,788 nationwide

– Population density: 4.2 people / square mile (2,372 residents)
— #28 lowest density county in state, #323 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Gregory County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,015 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,015 square miles
— #29 largest county in state, #659 nationwide

– Population density: 4.1 people / square mile (4,193 residents)
— #27 lowest density county in state, #319 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Aurora County

– Rural area: 100.0% (708 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 708 square miles
— #46 largest county in state, #1,300 nationwide

– Population density: 3.9 people / square mile (2,757 residents)
— #26 lowest density county in state, #302 nationwide

You may also like: Highest rated beer in South Dakota

Jimmy Emerson, DVM // Flickr

#20. Miner County

– Rural area: 100.0% (570 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 570 square miles
— #53 largest county in state, #1,777 nationwide

– Population density: 3.9 people / square mile (2,213 residents)
— #25 lowest density county in state, #299 nationwide

JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Clark County

– Rural area: 100.0% (958 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 958 square miles
— #33 largest county in state, #733 nationwide

– Population density: 3.9 people / square mile (3,715 residents)
— #24 lowest density county in state, #298 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Jerauld County

– Rural area: 100.0% (526 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 526 square miles
— #57 largest county in state, #1,989 nationwide

– Population density: 3.8 people / square mile (2,009 residents)
— #22 lowest density county in state, #294 nationwide

J. Stephen Conn // Flickr

#17. Edmunds County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,126 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,126 square miles
— #25 largest county in state, #557 nationwide

– Population density: 3.4 people / square mile (3,876 residents)
— #21 lowest density county in state, #269 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Bennett County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,185 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,185 square miles
— #23 largest county in state, #516 nationwide

– Population density: 2.9 people / square mile (3,430 residents)
— #19 lowest density county in state, #228 nationwide

You may also like: Highest rated IPAs in South Dakota

JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Potter County

– Rural area: 100.0% (861 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 861 square miles
— #34 largest county in state, #964 nationwide

– Population density: 2.7 people / square mile (2,311 residents)
— #18 lowest density county in state, #214 nationwide

JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Faulk County

– Rural area: 100.0% (982 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 982 square miles
— #31 largest county in state, #703 nationwide

– Population density: 2.4 people / square mile (2,315 residents)
— #16 lowest density county in state, #187 nationwide

Rolf Blauert Dk4hb // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Lyman County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,642 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,642 square miles
— #14 largest county in state, #367 nationwide

– Population density: 2.3 people / square mile (3,831 residents)
— #15 lowest density county in state, #184 nationwide

J. Stephen Conn // Flickr

#12. Hand County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,437 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,437 square miles
— #19 largest county in state, #417 nationwide

– Population density: 2.1 people / square mile (3,064 residents)
— #14 lowest density county in state, #166 nationwide

Jon Roanhaus // Wikimedia Commons

#11. McPherson County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,137 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,137 square miles
— #24 largest county in state, #547 nationwide

– Population density: 2.0 people / square mile (2,316 residents)
— #12 lowest density county in state, #157 nationwide

You may also like: South Dakota is the #6 state with the most people living near toxic release facilities

USDA // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Campbell County

– Rural area: 100.0% (734 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 734 square miles
— #44 largest county in state, #1,207 nationwide

– Population density: 2.0 people / square mile (1,458 residents)
— #11 lowest density county in state, #154 nationwide

Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Jackson County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,864 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,864 square miles
— #10 largest county in state, #311 nationwide

– Population density: 1.8 people / square mile (3,296 residents)
— #10 lowest density county in state, #136 nationwide

J. Stephen Conn // Flickr

#8. Hyde County

– Rural area: 100.0% (861 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 861 square miles
— #35 largest county in state, #965 nationwide

– Population density: 1.7 people / square mile (1,446 residents)
— #9 lowest density county in state, #126 nationwide

JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Corson County

– Rural area: 100.0% (2,470 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 2,470 square miles
— #5 largest county in state, #220 nationwide

– Population density: 1.7 people / square mile (4,106 residents)
— #8 lowest density county in state, #124 nationwide

Canva

#6. Mellette County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,307 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,307 square miles
— #21 largest county in state, #458 nationwide

– Population density: 1.6 people / square mile (2,065 residents)
— #7 lowest density county in state, #118 nationwide

You may also like: Cities in South Dakota with the most living in poverty

JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Sully County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,007 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,007 square miles
— #30 largest county in state, #672 nationwide

– Population density: 1.3 people / square mile (1,278 residents)
— #5 lowest density county in state, #94 nationwide

Canva

#4. Haakon County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,811 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,811 square miles
— #11 largest county in state, #325 nationwide

– Population density: 1.1 people / square mile (1,935 residents)
— #4 lowest density county in state, #75 nationwide

Matt Lemmon (mattlemmon) // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Perkins County

– Rural area: 100.0% (2,870 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 2,870 square miles
— #2 largest county in state, #181 nationwide

– Population density: 1.0 people / square mile (2,996 residents)
— #3 lowest density county in state, #73 nationwide

Magicpiano // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Jones County

– Rural area: 100.0% (970 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 970 square miles
— #32 largest county in state, #721 nationwide

– Population density: 0.9 people / square mile (873 residents)
— #2 lowest density county in state, #59 nationwide

#1. Harding County

– Rural area: 100.0% (2,671 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 2,671 square miles
— #4 largest county in state, #196 nationwide

– Population density: 0.4 people / square mile (1,178 residents)
— #1 lowest density county in state, #22 nationwide

You may also like: Highest-rated football recruits from South Dakota over the last 20 years