Brookings, SD
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Brookings profile


Living in Brookings


Brookings is a medium-sized city located in the state of South Dakota. With a population of 23,377 people and five constituent neighborhoods, Brookings is the fourth largest community in South Dakota.

Unlike some cities, Brookings isn’t mainly white- or blue-collar. Instead, the most prevalent occupations for people in Brookings are a mix of both white- and blue-collar jobs. Overall, Brookings is a city of professionals, service providers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Brookings who work in teaching (10.88%), office and administrative support (9.08%), and sales jobs (8.95%).

And if you like science, one thing you'll find is that Brookings has lots of scientists living in town - whether they be life scientists, physical scientists (like astronomers), or social scientists (like geographers!). So, if you're scientific-minded, you might like it here too.

Telecommuters are a relatively large percentage of the workforce: 8.08% of people work from home. While this number may seem small overall, as a fraction of the total workforce it is high relative to the nation. These workers are often telecommuters who work in knowledge-based, white-collar professions. For example, Silicon Valley has large numbers of people who telecommute. Other at-home workers may be self-employed people who operate small businesses out of their homes.

In addition, Brookings is a major college town that has a very high percentage of its residents over 18 years old who are college students. Naturally, collegiate life has a major influence on local Brookings culture, lifestyle and entertainment options. Brookings really pulses to the beat of the academic calendar. In Brookings every fall, returning students reinvigorate the community, who you will notice are all over town, buying groceries, out with friends, and getting acquainted or re-acquainted with each other and Brookings. One of the beneficial effects that colleges provide is that they tend to be lasting institutions that deliver direct economic benefits to the local economy in the form of such things as jobs for faculty and staff, and spending by students. Brookings benefits directly from this.

Brookings, while not large, also appears to be attractive to some younger, educated professionals, who help shape the character of the city.

One of the benefits of Brookings is that there is very little traffic. The average commute to work is 13.90 minutes, which is substantially less than the national average. Not only does this mean that the drive to work is less aggravating, but noise and pollution levels are lower as a result.

The education level of Brookings ranks among the highest in the nation. Of the 25-and-older adult population in Brookings, 48.47% have at least a bachelor's degree. The typical US community has just 21.84% of its adults holding a bachelor's degree or graduate degree.

The per capita income in Brookings in 2018 was $27,116, which is lower middle income relative to South Dakota, and middle income relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $108,464 for a family of four. However, Brookings contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Brookings is a somewhat ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Brookings home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Brookings residents report their race to be White, followed by Asian. Important ancestries of people in Brookings include German, Norwegian, Irish, English, and Dutch.

The most common language spoken in Brookings is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Arabic.


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