Believe it or not, prior to being dubbed 'The Mount Rushmore State' officially in 1992, South Dakota was also nicknamed 'The Sunshine State."

For those that have lived in South Dakota for a while, the prior nickname might not seem to be all that accurate.

South Dakota doesn't rank near the bottom half of US States in average annual sunshine, but it certainly isn't near the top.

KXRB logo
Get our free mobile app


The health benefits of sunlight include generating the production of vitamin D, supporting bone health, lowering blood pressure, preventing disease, and promoting good mental health

Per World Population Review, South Dakota is the 25th Sunniest State in the country.

*Note: The referenced article does not include data for Alaska and Hawaii.

The article lists all states in terms of the number of sunlight hours per year on average. South Dakota ranks 25th, and trails nearby Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Missouri.

Here are the top 10:

1) Arizona

2) New Mexico

3) Nevada

4) Texas

5) California

6) Colorado

7) Oklahoma

8) Kansas

9) Utah

10) Florida

Even the current 'Sunshine State,' Florida, just barely cracked the top 10.

If you're looking for a sunny place to call home, the Southwest and West are your best bets.

Among the cloudiest places in the country are your bottom five:

46) Montana

47) Oregon

48) Vermont

49) Maine

50) Washington

South Dakota for reference receives 75% as much sunlight per year as the top State (Arizona), and roughly 20% more than the least sunny state (Washington).

It's safe to say we're in a nice area for sunlight here in South Dakota, but it's no surprise that the 'Sunshine State' moniker was replaced back in the early 90s.

Sources: Foreign USA - SD State NicknameMedical News Today and World Population Review - Sunshine

10 Wealthiest Cities in South Dakota

Where are the wealthiest communities in the state? Well, according to a recent study by Homesnacks, the top spot is located right here in the Sioux Empire.


More From KXRB