South Dakota’s international engagement fuels job growth and increases exports. Over 700 South Dakota companies exported $2.4 billion worth of goods in 2022, which helped support more than 114,000 jobs in the state. The majority of companies that export from South Dakota are also small and medium sized businesses.

Job Creation

  • In South Dakota, 114,400 jobs were supported by international trade in 2019, representing 18.5% of all jobs in the state.1,2
  • In 2020, 938 companies exported goods from South Dakota of which 78% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2018, 14,500 people were employed by affiliates of companies at least 50% foreign-owned.3,4

Exports and Growth

  • South Dakota exported $2.4 billion in goods to foreign markets in 2022, a 26% increase compared to 2021 driven by continued economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.5
    • Canada ($994 million)
    • Mexico ($522 million)
    • South Korea ($167 million)
    • China ($123 million)
    • Japan ($110 million)
  • Agricultural exports are important to South Dakota's' economy, totaling $5.4 billion in 2020, according to the USDA.6
  • Since 2014, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has financed $16 million in exports from 14 companies in South Dakota.7
  • Since 1992, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency has helped facilitate $57 million in exports from South Dakota companies.9

Education and Research

  • During 2020, 2,018 international students were enrolled in South Dakota colleges and universities and contributed $45 million to the South Dakota economy.10

Global Engagement

  • Since 1961, 607 Peace Corps volunteers from South Dakota have served in dozens of countries overseas.11