Love it or hate it, in America fast food is king.

A lot of it isn't good for us nutritionally, but emotionally sometimes it's exactly what we need.

So just how big is the fast food market across the nation?

NiceRX.com estimates that there are 252,945 quick-serve restaurants in the United States.

But how does that break down from state-to-state?

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and population estimates they calculated the prevalence of fast food places across America, looking at some of the top chains.

In South Dakota, it may surprise you to learn that we are third from the bottom when it comes to fast food with just 63.9 locations per 100,000 people. Only Alaska (61.9) and Wyoming (62.5) have fewer.

Hawaii leads the way with 97.5.

But what the Mount Rushmore State is lacking in overall numbers, it makes up for with certain specific restaurant chains.

Case in point, South Dakota leads the nation in Subway locations with 10.1 per 100,000 people.

We're number-two in America with 4.5 Dairy Queen restaurants per 100,000 people.

The state also has an abundance of Burger King locations with 3.1 per 100,000 people. That's fifth-best in America.

Here's how South Dakota ranks with other major chains:

  • Taco Bell - 36th with 1.8 locations per 100,000 people
  • McDonald's - 45th with 3.4 locations per 100,000 people
  • Wendy's - 47th from the bottom with 0.8 locations per 100,000 people
  • KFC - 47th from the bottom with 0.8 locations per 100,000 people
  • Dunkin' Donuts - one of seven states with no locations

The story is quite different for South Dakota when it comes to sitting down for a meal. The state has the 19th most full-service restaurant locations, with 81.5 per 100,000 people. Maine has the most (110.3 per 100,000 people), Utah has the fewest (53.1 per 100,000 people).

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