Perkins County is a county in the U.S. state of South Dakota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,982. Its county seat is Bison. The county was established in 1908 and organized in 1909. It was named for Sturgis, South Dakota, official Henry E. Perkins.
Perkins County lies on the north edge of South Dakota. Its north boundary line abuts the south boundary line of the state of North Dakota. The Grand River flows eastward through the upper part of the county, and the Moreau River flows eastward through the lower part of the county. Shadehill Reservoir is a large impoundment on the Grand River in the county.
Perkins County terrain consists of semi-arid rolling hills, carved by drainage creeks, sparsely dedicated to agriculture. The terrain slopes to the east; its highest point is on its lower west boundary line, at 3,097′ (944m) ASL. The county has a total area of 2,890 square miles (7,500 km), of which 2,870 square miles (7,400 km) is land and 20 square miles (52 km) (0.7%) is water. It is the second-largest county by area in South Dakota. Meade County is the state’s largest county by area.
Perkins County came to media attention in 2009 when Stephen Von Worley calculated that it was the site of the “McFarthest Spot” — the point in the continental United States that is most distant from a McDonald’s restaurant: 107 mi (172 km) as the crow flies and 145 mi (233 km) by car.
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 3,363 people, 1,429 households, and 937 families in the county. The population density was 1.2 people per square mile (0.5/km²). There were 1,854 housing units at an average density of 0.6 per square mile (0.25/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.64% White, 0.15% Black or African American, 1.64% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.51% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. 0.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,429 households, 27.3% of which had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.8% were married couples living together, 5.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were non-families. 32.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.93.
The county population contained 24.1% under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 23.4% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 23.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 96.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.3 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $27,750, and the median income for a family was $33,537. Males had a median income of $23,665 versus $16,856 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,734. About 12.40% of families and 16.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.60% of those under age 18 and 14.50% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 2,982 people, 1,291 households, and 838 families in the county. The population density was 1.0 inhabitant per square mile (0.39/km). There were 1,739 housing units at an average density of 0.6 per square mile (0.23/km). The racial makeup of the county was 96.9% white, 1.3% American Indian, 0.1% black or African American, 0.1% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.7% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 47.4% were German, 26.2% were Norwegian, 10.8% were English, 8.7% were Irish, 8.4% were Swedish, and 5.8% were American.
Of the 1,291 households, 24.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.2% were married couples living together, 4.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.1% were non-families, and 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.85. The median age was 48.5 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $33,361 and the median income for a family was $55,313. Males had a median income of $30,255 versus $27,361 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,780. About 11.2% of families and 18.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.6% of those under age 18 and 21.2% of those age 65 or over.
Perkins County South Dakota neighborhoods include: Alcester, Baltic, Black Hawk, Box Elder, Brandon, Buffalo Ridge, Camp Crook, Canton, Caputa, Central City, Chancellor, Colton, Creighton, Crooks, Custer, Deadwood, Dell Rapids, Elkton, Ellsworth Afb, Garretson, Hartford, Hermosa, Hill City, Howes, Humboldt, Keystone, Lead, Ludlow, Montrose, Nemo, New Underwood, North Sioux City, Owanka, Parker, Quinn, Rapid City, Renner, Rowena, Saint Onge, Scenic, Sherman, Silver City, Sioux Falls, Spearfish, Sturgis, Valley Springs, Wall, Wanblee, Wasta, Whitewood