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Clay County, South Dakota

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Clay County, South Dakota

Clay County, South Dakota
Clay County Courthouse
Map of South Dakota highlighting Clay County
Location in the state of South Dakota
Map of the United States highlighting South Dakota
South Dakota's location in the U.S.
Founded 1862
Named for Henry Clay
Seat Vermillion
Largest city Vermillion
 • Total 417 sq mi (1,080 km2)
 • Land 412 sq mi (1,067 km2)
 • Water 5 sq mi (13 km2), 1.22%
 • (2010) 13,864
 • Density 34/sq mi (13/km²)
Congressional district At-large
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website .org.claycountysdwww

Clay County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Dakota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,864.[1] The county seat is Vermillion,[2] which is also home to the University of South Dakota. The county is named in honor of Henry Clay, American statesman, member of the United States Senate from Kentucky and United States Secretary of State in the 19th century.[3]

Clay County comprises the Vermillion, SD Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Sioux City-Vermillion, IA-SD-NE Combined Statistical Area.


Clay County began forming in 1859 when the land was opened for legal occupation. In 1862 the county was formally organized. The Clay County Courthouse was built in 1912.

Clay County is the name of 17 other counties in the United States, most of them named in honor of Henry Clay.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 417.2 square miles (1,080.5 km2), of which 412.2 square miles (1,067.6 km2) is land and 5.1 square miles (13.2 km2) (1.22%) is water.[4] It is the smallest county by area in South Dakota.

Protected areas

Adjacent counties

Major highways


As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 13,537 people, 4,878 households, and 2,721 families residing in the county. The population density was 33 people per square mile (13/km²). There were 5,438 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²).

There were 4,878 households out of which 28.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.00% were married couples living together, 8.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.20% were non-families. 31.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the county, the population was spread out with 18.80% under the age of 18, 31.50% from 18 to 24, 23.80% from 25 to 44, 15.80% from 45 to 64, and 10.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 94.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.50 males.

Racial/ethnic makeup

The racial makeup of the county was 92.78% White, 1.00% Black or African American, 2.66% Native American, 1.95% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, and 1.31% from two or more races. 0.89% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 32.0% were of German, 15.6% Norwegian, 9.9% Irish and 5.4% English ancestry.

Religious makeup

From 2000 Census data over 50% consider themselves "unclaimed".[7]


  • University of South Dakota - In 1862 the territorial legislature located the State University in Vermillion, but nothing was done until 1882 when Clay County voted $10,000 in bonds to construct a building on their campus.


Cities and towns

2010 United States Census population[8]


The county is divided into twelve townships: Bethel, Fairview, Garfield, Glenwood, Meckling, Norway, Pleasant Valley, Prairie Center, Riverside, Spirit Mound, Star, Vermillion.

See also

External links

  • Clay County, SD
  • Clay County, Historical Society
  • South Dakota Association of County Officials


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 83. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  7. ^ "Clay County, SD Denominational groups". Association of Religion Date Archives (arda). 2000. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  8. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions: South Dakota". Population Census. 2010 United States Census. 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2011-08-04. 

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