Are you considering moving to Iowa?
If you’d like to live in a state with an abundance of fresh local produce, and where small towns meet city life, moving to Iowa is right for you.
Iowa’s natural scenic views, friendly people, low crime rates, affordable homes, and small-town atmosphere make it one of the most coveted places in the United States.
Whether you’re a millennial, a young family, retiree, or even a student, you’ll find a place to call home in Iowa. The Hawkeye state has a suitable lifestyle for everyone.
If you’re considering moving to Iowa and wondering if the state is right for you or not, we have all the key information you need to know about the state to make the right moving decision.
Iowa is home to 3,118,102 people and the state extends across 56,272 square miles of surface area. By landmass, Iowa is the 26th largest state in the United States. Since you’re considering moving to Iowa, here are key stats of the state’s population:
The weather is most likely one of the key things you’ll have to consider before making up your mind about moving to Iowa. We’ve highlighted key stats of the Hawkeye state’s weather since you’re considering moving to Iowa:
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Iowa’s average one-way commute time is 19.0 minutes. The national average is 26.4 minutes. That means commuting time in Iowa is shorter than the U.S. average This is one of the key things to consider if you’re moving to Iowa. A shorter commuting time means less stress and a longer lifespan.
Here’s how people in Iowa commute to work:
People are moving to Iowa for several key reasons. Over the years, the state has been a magnet for people of all ages including millennials, retirees, and the generation Z. While it’s impossible to list all the reasons why people are moving to Iowa, here are the top ten reasons:
Iowa ranks top among the Midwestern states in education. The high school education in the state ranks higher than the national average. The state has many top-notch schools and colleges.
The median home cost in Iowa is $141,200, which is much lower than the national average. And as a result, about 70% of Iowans own a home. Even the home rental in Iowa is lower than the national average and you can rent a studio apartment for about $542.
Interestingly, the cost of living in Iowa is much lesser than the national average. Groceries, healthcare, housing, transportation, and even entertainment cost less than the national average.
Iowa boasts a lower crime rate than the neighboring states. The state’s property crime rate of 17.3 incidents per 1,000 people is quite a bit lower than the overall U.S. rate. And recent studies prove that violent crime is further dipping in Iowa.
Iowans experience every 4 seasons — winter, spring, summer, and fall. Winters are cold, with January temperatures averaging about 14 °F in the northwestern section of the state and the low 20s F in the southeast. Iowa receives snowfall but less than many neighboring states. Summers are warm and more humid. The annual average rainfall ranges from less than 26 inches (660 mm) in the northwest to more than 38 inches (965 mm) in the southeast. Tornadoes occur annually and there is also the danger of flooding.
The biggest plus of Iowa is the absence of traffic jams. The state is sparsely populated and roads are mostly clear, even during peak hours. This ensures you spend less time behind the steering wheels and more at home.
Iowa is moderately tax-friendly towards retired people and it exempts tax on social security benefits. The state’s climate is fabulous and it complements the clean air, low traffic, better standard of living, and never-ending outdoor recreations.
Iowa is one of the economically rich states in the US and with more job opportunities; your chance to grab a job is higher here. Over the past year, jobs in Iowa have grown by 0.9% and it is further expected to go up.
Iowans are crazy about football and university or college football has a strong following in Iowa. The state has four major college teams playing and each team has got its robust fan base.
Le Mars, Iowa is known as the ice cream capital of the world as the small town has the largest number of ice cream makers in the world. The city is also home to an ice-cream museum and you’ll be surprised to see about 50 ice-cream sculptures at different points of the city.
Considering the pros and cons of living in Iowa can help you decide if moving to the state is right for you or not.
Here are the key pros and cons of living in the state since you’re considering moving to Iowa:
|Pros of living in Iowa||Cons of living in Iowa|
|Iowa cost of living is lower than the U.S. average||The weather can be severe and extreme in Iowa|
|Iowa has a robust economy and a booming job market||You’ll have to put up with high state income taxes|
|Iowa has one of the best educational systems in the country||Recreational options are limited in Iowa|
|The state experiences the minimal effect of urbanization||You’ll have to put up with a lack of diversity and privacy|
|Crime rates in Iowa are lower than the U.S. average||Some parts of Iowa don’t have a robust economy|
|You’ll enjoy all four seasons in Iowa||Iowa’s culinary scene isn’t impressive|
|Homes are affordable in Iowa||It takes some time to get to your desired destination|
|You won’t have to bother about heavy traffic in Iowa||Some Iowans are too serious about politics|
|Iowa is a great state for retirement||If you love beaches and mountains, you’ll be disappointed|
|If you enjoy cycling, welcome to Iowa|
|Football has huge followers here in Iowa|
|If you love dairy products and mushroom hunting, welcome to Iowa|
Moving to Iowa means getting the chance to live in some of the best places in the state. To help you streamline your house hunting, and to find the best places in Iowa, we’ve made a list of the ten best places to live in the city.
|Rank||City||Population||Unemployment Rate||Home Value|
The cost of living in Iowa is 83.7. The United States average is 100. That means the cost of living in Iowa is lower than the United States average.
This is one of the key things you’ll have to think through since you’re considering moving to Iowa.
|Cost of living||Iowa||United States|
|Median Home Cost||$141,200||$231,200|
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One of the key reasons why moving to Iowa seems so interesting is the high home affordability rate. If you’re interested in buying a home, moving to Iowa is a good idea. Here are key stats of Iowa’s housing market:
Renting a home in Iowa can be a good housing option. About 25.8% of the state’s population are renters. If you’re considering moving to Iowa and renting a home, 1.8% of homes and apartments in the Hawkeye state are available to rent. Here’s the average cost of renting a home in Iowa:
Iowa has a vibrant economy with a robust job market that makes the state appealing to millennials and people of all ages including retirees.
If you’re moving to Iowa and considering getting a new job, here are key metrics of the Hawkeye state’s job market:
|Employment Information||Iowa||United States|
|The income per Cap.||$30,063||$31,177|
|Future Job Growth||26.75%||33.51%|
The average annual pay for the average job in Iowa is $54,554. If you’re interested in getting a job after moving to Iowa, you’ll most likely be interested in the average pay in the state.
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Iowa is home to several large companies. Some of these companies also double as the largest employers in the state. Since you’re considering moving to Iowa, here’s a list of the ten largest companies in the Hawkeye State:
|1||Hy-Vee||West Des Moines||85,000|
|2||Rockwell Collins||Cedar Rapids||29,000|
|3||Casey’s General Stores||Ankeny||17,917|
|4||Principal Financial Group||Des Moines||14,854|
|6||University of Iowa||Iowa City||10,200|
|9||University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics||Iowa City||7,638|
|10||IOWA State Univ Employees Credit Union||Ames||7,500|
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If you’re interested in the top career options in the Hawkeye State, we’ve made a list of the highest paying jobs to give you an idea of what to expect if you’re moving to Iowa. Check out the list below:
|RANK||JOB TITLE||AVERAGE SALARY||ENTRY-LEVEL SALARY||# OF PEOPLE|
|1||Obstetricians And Gynecologists||$283,280||$205,800||130|
|3||Oral And Maxillofacial Surgeons||$259,740||$126,740||100|
|4||Surgeons, Except Ophthalmologists||$249,920||$63,420||300|
|6||Family Medicine Physicians||$235,980||$142,220||1,590|
|7||Physicians, All Other; And Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric||$218,830||$93,900||2,410|
|8||General Internal Medicine Physicians||$216,910||$58,590||280|
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Iowa has a robust economy powered by several large industries. Moving to Iowa could mean getting the chance to work in any of these industries. We’ve made a list of the top industries in the state to give you an idea of what to expect:
Taxes are some of the key things you’d most likely be interested in before moving to Iowa.
You may end up paying more or less in taxes, depending on where you’re moving from.
Moving to Iowa means you’ll get the chance to experience some of the best things in the state.
We’ve made a list of the top attractions, activities, and various other exciting things to do if you’re moving to Iowa.
The museum at Dubuque is the country’s largest museum dedicated to the rich history, culture, life, and ecosystems of the Mississippi River and its watershed. The museum displays birds, turtles, and fish. There are also American alligators from the lower Mississippi River on display.
A group of natural lakes in north-western Iowa, it comprises Big Spirit Lake, West Okoboji Lake, and East Okoboji Lake.
The 4.4-acre park in Des Moines has 28 sculptures by 22 of the world’s most celebrated artists. The park has one of the significant collections of outdoor sculptures in the US.
Decorah's Nordic Fest is the best opportunity in the US to explore Scandinavian culture and heritage. The fest is annually held in July and draws about 70,000 visitors.
Ledges State Park is one of Iowa’s most historic and unique nature destinations, especially for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. There is a 100-feet deep sandstone gorge in the park and a 4-mile trail path. The park is a famous campsite in Iowa.
The annual state fair at Des Moines is one of the largest and oldest fairs in the US. The 11-day fair draws about a million visitors.
The 3,000-mile Great River Road National Scenic Byway passing through 10 states offers scenic vistas and provides opportunities to feel the charm of the vibrant culture.
The 19 covered bridges in Madison County, constructed in the latest 19th century are popular tourist attractions and got famous through the Clint Eastwood movie ‘The Bridges of Madison Country’. Each year, on the second weekend of October, the residents invite thousands of visitors to celebrate their historic covered bridges, an event known as the Madison County Covered Bridge Festival.
The 323-acre Maquoketa Caves State Park has a six-mile trail system through geologic formations and forests brimming with natural beauty. Hiking is a major activity in the park. About 13 caves can be found in the park, some of which can be explored by walking, while others are better suited for serious spelunkers who are used to crawling in tight spaces.
The Grout Museum District in Waterloo has multiple museums dedicated to various themes and topics, including science, history, and armed forces.
We’ve got the top 10 museums in Waterloo.
The third-largest in Iowa and Clear Lake in Mason City is a popular boating, skiing, and swimming site. The 3,600 acre and 25-feet deep Clear Lake promises a diverse, healthy, & sustainable ecosystem in the city. The lake has some amazing buildings around, that gives a hint of the architecture, culture, and heritage of the area.
Before moving to Iowa, you’ll most likely be interested in the state’s crime rate. We’ve collected key stats about the violent and property crime rate in the state to help you get started:
Moving to Iowa most likely means living in some of the safest cities in the state. While crime rates in Iowa are lower than the U.S. average, some cities in the state have recorded lower crime rates than others.
|Rank||City||Population||Violent Crimes Per 100K||Property Crimes Per 100K|
|1||Sioux Center, IA||7,578||26||277|
|4||Orange City, IA||6,199||129||516|
Moving to Iowa means getting the opportunity to school in some of the best colleges and universities in the state.
If you have school-age kids, they’ll also get the chance to school in some of the best elementary, middle, and high schools in Iowa.
North Polk West Elementary School
North Polk Comm School District, Public, PK-4 | 551 students, Rating: 10/10
North Polk Central Elementary School
North Polk Comm School District, Public, PK-5 | 387 students, Rating: 10/10
Ankeny Comm School District, Public, PK-5 | 697 students, Rating: 10/10
Pleasant View Elementary School
Pleasant Valley Comm School District, Public, K-6 | 681 students, Rating: 10/10
Westwood Elementary School
Ankeny Comm School District, Public, K-5 | 660 students, Rating: 10/10
Denver Middle School
Denver Comm School District, Public, 6-8 | 188 students, Rating: 9/10
Mount Vernon Middle School
Mount Vernon Comm School District, Public, 5-8 | 447 students, Rating: 9/10
Paton-Churdan Jr-Sr High School
Paton-Churdan Comm School District, Public, 6-12 | 112 students, Rating: 9/10
Pella Middle School
Pella Comm School District, Public, 7-8 | 379 students, Rating: 9/10
Northview Middle School
Ankeny Comm School District, Public, 8-9 | 891 students, Rating: 9/10
Paton-Churdan Jr-Sr High School
Paton-Churdan Comm School District, Public, 6-12 | 112 students, Rating: 8/10
Westside Junior-Senior High School
Ar-We-Va Comm School District, Public, 6-12 | 106 students, Rating: 8/10
Turkey Valley Jr-Sr High School
Turkey Valley Comm School District, Public, 7-12 | 166 students, Rating: 8/10
Van Meter High School School
Van Meter Comm School District, Public, 9-12 | 247 students, Rating: 8/10
West Lyon High School
West Lyon Comm School District, Public, 9-12 | 267 students, Rating: 8/10
Grinnell College - Grinnell, IA
Coe College - Cedar Rapids, IA
University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA
Drake University - Des Moines, IA
Cornell College - Mount Vernon, IA
Luther College - New Ulm, IA
Iowa State University - Ames, IA
Central College - Pella, IA
Wartburg College - Waverly, IA
Graceland University-Lamoni - Lamoni, IA
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