Oglala Lakota County
Location within the U.S. state of South Dakota
South Dakota's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Oglala Lakota people|
|Seat||None (de jure)|
Hot Springs (de facto)
|Largest community||Pine Ridge|
|• Total||2,097 sq mi (5,430 km2)|
|• Land||2,094 sq mi (5,420 km2)|
|• Water||2.8 sq mi (7 km2) 0.1%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||6.5/sq mi (2.5/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−7 (Mountain)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−6 (MDT)|
|Hot Springs in neighboring Fall River County serves as administrative center for county|
Oglala Lakota County (known as Shannon County until May 2015) is a county in southwestern South Dakota, United States. The population was 13,586 at the 2010 census. Oglala Lakota County does not have a functioning county seat; Hot Springs in neighboring Fall River County serves as its administrative center. The county was created as a part of the Dakota Territory in 1875, although it remains unorganized. Its largest community is Pine Ridge.
The county's per-capita income makes it the poorest county in the 50 states and District of Columbia. (28 county-equivalents in the U.S. territories are poorer). Oglala Lakota County is the only dry county in South Dakota.
The Wounded Knee Massacre occurred in Oglala Lakota County in 1890.
The county was originally named for Peter C. Shannon, Chief Justice of the Dakota Territory Supreme Court. Until 1982, Shannon County 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, the county, as noted above, contracts with Fall River County for its Auditor, Treasurer, and Registrar of Deeds.
On November 4, 2014, voters in the county voted by a margin of 2,161 to 526 to rename Shannon County to Oglala Lakota County. The name change was ratified by the state legislature on March 5, 2015. May 1, 2015 was proclaimed by the governor as the official day for renaming the county.
Oglala Lakota County lies on the south side of South Dakota. Its south boundary line abuts the north boundary line of the state of Nebraska. The Cheyenne River flows northeastward along the northwest boundary of Oglala Lakota County. The White River flows northeastward through the central part of the county. The county terrain is composed of arid rolling hills spotted with small mountain crests, oriented NE-SW. The terrain slopes to the northeast; its highest point is on the south boundary line, close to the SW corner, at 3,619' (1103m) ASL. The county has a total area of 2,097 square miles (5,430 km2), of which 2,094 square miles (5,420 km2) is land and 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) (0.1%) is water.
National protected area
- Badlands National Park (part)
- Alkali Lake
- Denby Lake
- Lee Lake
- Oglala Lake
- Two Lance Lake
- Wakpamani Lake
- White Clay Lake
|US Decennial Census|
As of the 2000 United States Census, 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 were 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% had 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.
The county population contained 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.
The counties surrounding Oglala Lakota County are predominantly Republican, but, like most Native American counties, Oglala Lakota is heavily Democratic, giving over 75 percent of the vote to every Democratic presidential nominee in every election back to 1984, making it one of the most Democratic counties in the United States. No Republican has carried the county in a presidential election since 1952. In 2012, Oglala Lakota County (then known as Shannon) was the county with the highest percentage of vote for Barack Obama in the United States. However, the local politics are a bit more divided: Oglala Lakota County lies within the 27th District of the South Dakota Legislature, represented by three Lakotas, two Democrats and one Republican. Democrat Red Dawn Foster represents the county in the Senate, while Democrat Peri Pourier and Republican Steve Livermont represent the county in the House.
- Red Shirt
- Sharps Corner
There are no townships. The county is divided into two areas of unorganized territory: East Oglala Lakota and West Oglala Lakota (formerly East Shannon and West Shannon, respectively).
- List of counties in South Dakota
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota
- "Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota". oglalalakota.sdcounties.org. Oglala Lakota County. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
- "Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota: About". oglalalakota.sdcounties.org. Oglala Lakota County. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
- "Dakota Territory, South Dakota, and North Dakota: Individual County Chronologies". Dakota Territory Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2006. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
- "South Dakota Legislative Manual" (PDF). South Dakota Secretary of State. 2005. p. 597. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
- The other four SD counties entirely on reservations are Corson, Dewey, Todd, and Ziebach.
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- "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
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- "U.S. Census website". US Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
- Harkness, Jeff (May 8, 2017). "South Dakota County Has One of Lowest Life Expectancy Rates". B1027.7. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- "David Leip's Presidential Election Atlas – 2012 statistics". Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
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