The seat of Brown County and home to 28,495, Aberdeen was founded in 1881 as the place where nine rail lines converged in northeastern South Dakota — a history reflected in the depots and warehouses from the era that still dot the city’s landscape to this day.
Today, Aberdeen boasts a beautiful Main Street anchored at each end by a university: Northern State University to the south and Presentation College to the north. The city’s local leadership capacity, solid agricultural backbone and strong economic links to the region have helped the community foster a culture of entrepreneurship, as well as higher education.
- The Aberdeen Development Corporation is a private nonprofit corporation with the mission to advance Aberdeen and the northeast South Dakota region for all of its residents because business retention, expansion, and job growth are critical for creating a vibrant and thriving community.
- Northern State University is a student-centered institution that provides an outstanding educational experience, preparing students through the liberal arts and professional education for their future endeavors. A regional university, Northern offers: rigorous academics; diverse civic, social and cultural opportunities; and a commitment to building an inclusive environment for all points of view. The university strives to enrich the community through: partnerships such as its $55 million Educational Impact Campaign, which opened a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; new athletic and recreation fields; and an on-campus regional sports complex.
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Today, these local leaders are focused on educating and training local residents in digital skills (especially those traditionally excluded from the tech industry), employing them in new economy jobs, and empowering them to launch startups that will drive a prosperous 21st-century economy. Diverse in geography, economic origin, and demographics, these communities represent the full spectrum of rural America.