We Work
We Live
We Grow

City Data


Elevation: 1,739 feet
Land Area: 17.45 square miles/ 1,231.3 people per square mile
Average Commute: 10-15 minutes
Population Estimates Base: 21,517 (April 1, 2010 U.S. Census V2015)


Watertown is the county seat and population center of Codington County. Home to approximately 22,000 people, Watertown is a vibrant, progressive community that is poised for explosive growth. According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, the population in Watertown grew 6.2% in the first decade of the 21st century and we expect that growth to continue in the coming decade.



Population 2015 Estimate: 22,073
Number of Households, 2011-2015: 9,612
Median household income (in 2015 dollars), 2011-2015: $46,766
Per capita income in past 12 months (in 2015 dollars), 2011-2015: $26,389

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, State & County Quick Facts  

Watertown’s population is 49.2% male and 50.8% female. The median age of a Watertown resident is 36.6 years old. The median age of the state’s population is 40.7 years old. Over 84% have a high school education and of that, 20% have a bachelor’s or higher degree. The cost of living index is lower than the national average.



High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2011-2015: 91.6%

Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2011-2015: 20.4%


Housing Census Data

Housing units, April 1, 2010: 10,050
Owner-occupied housing unit rate, 2011-2015: 63.3%
Median selected monthly owner costs -with a mortgage, 2011-2015: $1,099
Median selected monthly owner costs -without a mortgage, 2011-2015: $430
Median gross rent, 2011-2015: $619



Mean travel time to work (minutes), workers age 16 years+, 2011-2015: 12.8 minutes


Median List Home Price: 2016 YTD Average
2016                  $159,000

Source: Watertown monthly real estate report – Northeast Area South Dakota Association of Realtors 


New Infrastructure
The city of Watertown has invested $43.6 million dollars in infrastructure improvements over the last five years to prepare for future growth. This work included the construction of five new projects including a water treatment plant, lift station, lime lagoons, wells and a booster station totaling $23.7 million. An additional $15 million was spent on the wastewater treatment facility, the construction of roads, water and sewer in industrial parks and enhancement to public facilities including a new aquatic park and library. These improvements have helped enhance the quality of life for area residents and the workforce, while still maintaining the state’s lowest property tax rates and bonded indebtedness for a Class A city.

South Dakota National Rankings

#1 Tax Revenue – Least Volatility – 2016 – The Pew Charitable Trusts
#1 Enterprising States – Business Climate – 2015 – US Chamber of Commerce Foundation
#2 America’s Top States for Business – Business Friendliness – 2015 – CNBC
#2 Top States for Credit – 2014 – CardRatings
#3 Tax Freedom Day – 2015 – Tax Foundation 

Request More Info

The Watertown Development Company is a non-profit organization established to own and operate buildings, lands and development areas for the economic benefit of Watertown. Use the form below to send a message to our executive team and we’ll be sure to respond as soon as we can.
  • You can call us directly at (605) 884-0340 or toll free at 1-888-898-6767