10 Cities That Embody the American Dream
Sioux Falls, S.D.
Unemployment rate: 4.6%
Walk score: 50
P/I ratio: 2.13
Education Quality Index score: 72.73
If North Dakota stacks the deck for businesses, South Dakota just hands businesses the deck and lets them draw whatever cards they like. South Dakota lacks a corporate income tax, personal property tax, personal or corporate capital gains tax or inheritance tax. It has a sales tax, but caps it at 4%.
The Small Business and Entrepreneur Council loves the state for its national low crime rate and low health insurance mandates for businesses but, remarkably, Sioux Falls wishes it had Bismarck's unemployment rate. The state on the whole faces a $127 million budget deficit and Gov. Dennis Daugaard intends to fill it with spending cuts while also cutting existing taxes 10%.
The two towns are similar in many ways. Each has a great system of parks, but Sioux Falls' views of its namesake waterfalls at Falls Park and paved 16-mile bike-and-pedestrian trail along the Big Sioux River give it a slight edge. Both have a slew of universities, but the cultural events surrounding Augustana College and the University of Sioux Falls include a sculpture walk, poetry and literary festivals and the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Fest give Sioux Falls just a little more spark.Both have NBA D-League teams, but the Sioux Falls Skyforce will still be in Sioux Falls after 2012. The Golden State Warriors plan on moving the Bismarck Wizards to California at that time. Neither city is particularly walkable and each lacks substantial public transportation, but roughly half of Sioux Falls -- particularly in the central and southern portions -- is somewhat more dense and easier to get around. Workers get paid a bit more to live here than in Bismarck, with the average family income of $69,100 trumping its northern neighbor's $68,000, but the median price of a home is $15,000 higher. That said, South Dakota is still on the cheaper side of the American Dream list and gives its residents a lot of reasons to stay for their money. The public school system scores high at nearly every level, with Harvey Dunn Elementary, Memorial and Patrick Henry middle schools and Lincoln High School getting perfect or near-perfect marks. The lack of taxes are a nice lure, but Sioux Falls seems intent on ensuring the folks who contributed to its 24% population increase during the past decade stay a while.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV