City of Pierre

City Site

Pierre is the capital city of the U.S. state of South Dakota and the seat of Hughes County. The population was 14091 at the 2020 census, making it the 2nd least populous US state capital after Montpelier, Vermont. It is South Dakota’s 9th most populous city. Founded in 1880 on the Missouri River near the center of South Dakota, it was selected as the state capital when the territory was admitted as a state. Pierre is the principal city of the Pierre Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Hughes and Stanley counties.

Pierre was founded in 1880 on the east bank of the Missouri River opposite Fort Pierre, a former trading post that developed as a community. It was designated as the state capital when South Dakota gained statehood on November 2, 1889.

The capital city became relatively isolated in the post-World War II era of federally subsidized highway construction, as travelers and freight companies began to use automobiles and trucking. It is one of four state capitals not served by the Interstate Highway System.