Introduction to Pierre

Pierre, South Dakota is the state capital and the county seat of Hughes County. The city was founded on the Missouri River across from Fort Pierre in 1880, and it has been the state capital since 1889. It is widely known for its memorial hall and for being the regional transportation hub. The city is one of only five state capitals that does not have a major interstate highway running through it. It is also the only state capital in the United States that does not share at least one letter with its state. The South Dakota State Capitol building is located in Pierre near the Missouri River, and the white marble building was built in 1905.

Pierre Culture

The South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center is located in Pierre and is dedicated to educating the public about history through exhibits, educational programming, and research. Visitors get the chance to experience historical eras characterized by early American Indian cultures, the arrival of white settlers, river boats, and railroads. Sod houses are recreated, and pioneer stories are told throughout the exhibits. Visitors can view a Lakota teepee as well as a replica of a gold mine. The museum has over 1,300 Native American objects focusing on the Sioux Indians. Verendrye Monument marks the spot where Louis Verendrye’s lead plate was unearthed some years ago. The Discovery Center & Aquarium, including South Dakota’s Science & Technology Center, have planetarium shows and summer programs.

Pierre Sports and Leisure

Big Sioux Recreation Area is located on the banks of the Big Sioux River and features a homestead cabin, a collection of some of the oldest trees in the state, trails winding through woods and prairies, a GPS trail, canoeing and kayaking on the river, cross-country skiing, biking, snowmobiling, and camping cabins. Chief White Crane Recreation Area has canoeing, bald eagle viewing, and fishing. Other camping areas include Clay Recreation Area, Dells of the Sioux, and Lake Carthage. Fishing is also popular at places like the James River, Big Sioux River, and Missouri River. Anglers catch species like smallmouth bass, bullhead, catfish, crappie, and northern pike.

Pierre Outdoors

There are many different outdoor parks in the region, some famous, some not-so-famous, but all with the austere beauty of the Midwest. Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Wind Care National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Harney Peak, Custer State Park, Bear Butte State Park, Devils Tower National Monument, and Crazy Horse Memorial. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally happens every year in the Black Hills. Hunting is very popular in South Dakota, and it is a year-round sport for many hunters. There are almost 4.5 million acres of public land in the state, and hunters can use the land to hunt such species as upland game, waterfowl, small game, big game, pheasant, deer, partridge, quail, dove, coyote, and fox.

Pierre at Night

The city of Pierre has a variety of nightlife venues to choose from. The Grandstand is a popular local cocktail lounge. Longbranch has a bar, restaurant, tavern, and nightclub all in one. There’s Jake’s Good Time Place, Kings Inn Hotel & Convention Center, Pete’ez Tavern, and the Possum Lounge. St. Charles Restaurant and Lounge has a restaurant and a nightclub for patrons.


Total Population 13,938
Male Share of the Population 47.8%
Female Share of the Population 52.2%
Senior Citizens 15.8%
Employed Population 16+ 7,743
Age of the Population 39


% of people married 52.3%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 32.5%
Median Earnings25+ $36,987
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $5,853
Median Earnings With High School Degree $27,235


Median Family Income $81,448
% Above Poverty Level 88.4%
% Below Poverty Level 11.6%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 10 minutes
% Working from Home 1.1%
% Walking and Biking to Work 3.8%
% Using Public Transportation 0.4%


People Living Alone 40.6%
Median Gross Rent $575
Median House Value $162,300


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 16.8%
US/American 0%
English 6.5%
Irish 14.8%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Pierre Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 144 miles E of Rapid City, South Dakota (center to center)
Nearest Large City 310 miles NW of Omaha, Nebraska
County Hughes
Standard Zip Codes 57501
Phone Area Codes 605
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 44.368
Longitude -100.35

Pierre Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 3.5 miles
Jan Temp 8 to 28 F
Apr Temp 35 to 60 F
Jul Temp 62 to 89 F
Oct Temp 37 to 62 F
Annual Precip 19.8 inches
Station OAHE DAM
Distance 6.5 miles
Jan Temp 8 to 28 F
Apr Temp 34 to 58 F
Jul Temp 61 to 88 F
Oct Temp 37 to 62 F
Annual Precip 14.9 inches
Station HARROLD 12 SSW
Distance 27.2 miles
Jan Temp 1 to 27 F
Apr Temp 31 to 60 F
Jul Temp 59 to 88 F
Oct Temp 33 to 64 F
Annual Precip 17.9 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Pierre, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Ames (57501)

Canning (57501)

Eakin (57501)

Fairbank (57501)

Francis (57501)

Oahe (57501)

Okobojo (57501)

Rousseau (57501)

Wendt (57501)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Blunt 324 $59,500
Fort Pierre 2,244 $67,996

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Pierre Public Libraries

R E Rawlins Municipal Library
Pierre, South Dakota
(605) 773-7421
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Pierre Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
(605) 224-3100
Emergency Service: Yes

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Pierre High Schools

Serves 847 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.6

Study Online in Pierre
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