American Futures - Most Commented


Farming that puts Google maps to shame

Sep 5, 2013
Technology that comes from a company in Sioux Falls is helping farmers do more with less in a high-tech way.
Posted In: farming, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, technology

A taste of Sioux Falls

In this American Futures project,we're trying to give you a taste of how the American economy really works. And a taste is definitely what I got in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Here's what my Sioux Falls diet (if you wanna call it that) looked like:

  • Two egg breakfast sandwiches via Grand Prairie Foods (they come in packs of two).
  • Bhutanese dumplings shared with me by the refugee family that made them.
  • A sea salt caramel macaron from C.H. Patisserie, the fancy new dessert shop downtown.
  • Cappuccino at Coffea in downtown Sioux Falls (one block down from C.H. Patisserie, in fact). It was opening day for the cafe and yes, there was a line.
  • All those foods -- they tell you a lot about Sioux Falls. Where's it's been and where it's going. And I'll tell you what -- it's pretty tasty too.

Sep 5, 2013

Sioux Falls: The economic center of the universe

Sep 4, 2013
You've probably had a taste of something made in Sioux Falls, South Dakota -- and you didn't even know it.
Posted In: South Dakota, Agriculture, James Fallows

Snapshot: Sioux Falls

Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal joined The Atlantic’s Jim Fallows in Sioux Falls, S.D. for the first stop in our collaboration called “American Futures.”

You can follow along on our trip — and even suggest a future stop -- on our "American Futures" blog.

If you don’t know much about Sioux Falls, you’re not alone. It doesn’t help that an hour away, across the border in Iowa, is the similarly-named Sioux City.

South Dakota's Sioux Falls is the biggest city in the state -- with 159,908 residents within city limits – all 73 square miles of it. The average work commute takes 16 minutes. 

The largest employers in the city are the two hospital and health systems – Sanford Health and Avera. John Morrell & Co., the local meat-packing facility comes in third, with 3,300 workers. But that’s followed close behind by Wells Fargo and Citigroup – two big banks that have headquarted their credit-card operations in South Dakota.

The median household income is $51,831 – a couple thousand dollars higher than the median household income for the entire state. About 62 percent of Sioux Falls residents own their own home. The poverty level is at 11.1 percent — compare that to the national poverty level of 15 percent.

Meanwhile unemployment is at a low 3 percent.  

A little under 85 percent of the population identifies as Caucasian. But that doesn’t necessarily give you a picture of the city’s diversity. Sioux Falls has been a landing spot for refugees since World War II. In fact, there are 60 different languages spoken by kids that attend the local school district.

Sep 3, 2013

PODCAST: "American Futures" and the power of maps

Aug 26, 2013
A podcast to launch our new collaboration with the The Atlantic's Jim Fallows, featuring an exclusive interview with the most important CEO you've never heard of: Esri's Jack Dangermond.
Posted In: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Is Sioux Falls' 3.5% unemployment rate America's future?

Aug 16, 2013
Marketplace is partnering with The Atlantic, covering what the American economy looks like today, from smaller cities and towns across the country. First stop: Sioux Falls.
Posted In: Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Jobs

Looking at small town America, from a small plane

Aug 12, 2013
News coverage often tends to miss out on what's going on in small town America. A new project from The Atlantic and Marketplace hopes to remedy that problem.
Posted In: rural America, Small Business

American Futures: Travels with Jim and Kai

Aug 1, 2013
A joint special project from The Atlantic and Marketplace looking at how the global economy is reshaping small town America.
Posted In: rural America, cities



About this collection

A new joint reporting project, “American Futures,” with reporting from Marketplace and The Atlantic, will take journalists on a cross-country trip to document the dramatic economic, technological, cultural, and social changes under way in small towns and cities across the nation. By adapting the long-standing American tradition of discovering the country through an extended coast-to-coast journey, and applying sophisticated mapping technology from the software company Esri, the reporting initiative will showcase the people, communities, companies, and trends that are emerging out of the past decade’s economic, technological, and demographic disruption.