These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Iowa For 2018


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Iowa have the most for people looking to make the move to Iowa.

Join HomeSnacks

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.
Advertisement. Article Continues Below.

Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Iowa a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in Iowa.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Hawkeye State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best pat of Iowa, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 72 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Hawkeye State for 2018:

  1. Grundy County
  2. Winneshiek County (Photos)
  3. Kossuth County (Photos)
  4. Cedar County (Photos)
  5. Palo Alto County (Photos)
  6. Benton County (Photos)
  7. Marion County (Photos)
  8. Bremer County (Photos)
  9. Hardin County (Photos)
  10. Iowa County (Photos)

Grundy County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Iowa. And you might want to avoid Wapello County if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move Iowa, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Iowa and the best places to raise a family in Iowa.

Advertisement. Article Continues Below.

How do you determine which Iowa county is the best?

To give you the best county in Iowa, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a ‘best county’ and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Iowa across each of the criteria from one to 72, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the ‘Best County To Live In Iowa’.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Hawkeye State.

Read on to see why Grundy County is the best county, while Wapello County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Iowa.

Advertisement. Article Continues Below.

1. Grundy County

Biggest Place: Grundy Center
Population: 12,373
Median Income: $61,606 (7th best)
Median Home Price: $127,100 (52nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (23rd best)
More on Grundy County: Data

2. Winneshiek County

Decorah, IA

Biggest Place: Decorah
Population: 20,789
Median Income: $57,009 (16th best)
Median Home Price: $159,400 (35th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (6th best)
More on Winneshiek County: PhotosData

3. Kossuth County

Algona, IA

Biggest Place: Algona
Population: 15,226
Median Income: $54,231 (27th best)
Median Home Price: $95,800 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.8% (2nd best)
More on Kossuth County: PhotosData

4. Cedar County

Durant, IA

Biggest Place: Tipton
Population: 18,389
Median Income: $60,435 (10th best)
Median Home Price: $138,600 (46th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (15th best)
More on Cedar County: PhotosData

5. Palo Alto County

Emmetsburg, IA

Biggest Place: Emmetsburg
Population: 9,155
Median Income: $49,109 (45th best)
Median Home Price: $86,600 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.0% (4th best)
More on Palo Alto County: PhotosData

6. Benton County

Belle Plaine, IA

Biggest Place: Vinton
Population: 25,720
Median Income: $61,222 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $143,000 (43rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (23rd best)
More on Benton County: PhotosData

7. Marion County

Knoxville, IA

Biggest Place: Pella
Population: 33,197
Median Income: $57,412 (15th best)
Median Home Price: $144,800 (42nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (26th best)
More on Marion County: PhotosData

8. Bremer County

Sumner, IA

Biggest Place: Waverly
Population: 24,663
Median Income: $64,264 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $153,200 (37th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (12th best)
More on Bremer County: PhotosData

9. Hardin County

Iowa Falls, IA

Biggest Place: Iowa Falls
Population: 17,324
Median Income: $51,821 (35th best)
Median Home Price: $90,400 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (18th best)
More on Hardin County: PhotosData

10. Iowa County

Marengo, IA

Biggest Place: Williamsburg
Population: 16,326
Median Income: $55,099 (25th best)
Median Home Price: $139,500 (45th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.8% (2nd best)
More on Iowa County: PhotosData

There You Have It – The Best Counties In Iowa To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Iowa can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in Iowa according to the data:

  1. Wapello County
  2. Appanoose County
  3. Buena Vista County

For more Iowa reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Iowa

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Grundy County 1 12,373 $61,606 $127,100
Winneshiek County 2 20,789 $57,009 $159,400
Kossuth County 3 15,226 $54,231 $95,800
Cedar County 4 18,389 $60,435 $138,600
Palo Alto County 5 9,155 $49,109 $86,600
Benton County 6 25,720 $61,222 $143,000
Marion County 7 33,197 $57,412 $144,800
Bremer County 8 24,663 $64,264 $153,200
Hardin County 9 17,324 $51,821 $90,400
Iowa County 10 16,326 $55,099 $139,500
Dallas County 11 78,074 $78,918 $204,700
Sioux County 12 34,621 $63,466 $147,700
Carroll County 13 20,555 $53,785 $121,800
Dickinson County 14 17,046 $57,914 $170,500
Humboldt County 15 9,607 $47,478 $90,200
Madison County 16 15,661 $60,326 $163,000
Plymouth County 17 24,972 $60,339 $143,000
Fremont County 18 7,019 $52,922 $99,300
Mills County 19 14,841 $66,203 $154,200
Warren County 20 48,170 $67,090 $165,200
Delaware County 21 17,445 $59,452 $123,200
Howard County 22 9,430 $49,199 $98,300
Linn County 23 218,076 $60,989 $148,600
O’brien County 24 14,055 $52,474 $107,800
Audubon County 25 5,793 $47,048 $66,300
Clay County 26 16,478 $48,888 $111,600
Story County 27 94,834 $51,201 $167,800
Chickasaw County 28 12,164 $48,013 $103,700
Boone County 29 26,411 $54,513 $122,900
Johnson County 30 142,006 $56,808 $202,400
Harrison County 31 14,335 $55,845 $107,800
Dubuque County 32 96,359 $56,154 $153,000
Greene County 33 9,083 $47,264 $86,400
Cherokee County 34 11,752 $51,590 $86,300
Keokuk County 35 10,234 $45,227 $79,500
Franklin County 36 10,393 $47,524 $86,400
Jones County 37 20,481 $55,507 $130,300
Jasper County 38 36,715 $55,503 $118,600
Washington County 39 22,115 $56,864 $127,500
Mitchell County 40 10,757 $52,564 $110,500
Lucas County 41 8,700 $48,768 $84,700
Union County 42 12,539 $45,934 $88,100
Fayette County 43 20,391 $47,711 $89,600
Monroe County 44 7,964 $47,515 $93,400
Cerro Gordo County 45 43,303 $47,788 $115,900
Poweshiek County 46 18,622 $50,725 $128,100
Polk County 47 459,159 $61,684 $161,100
Clarke County 48 9,273 $46,510 $94,900
Wright County 49 12,891 $46,071 $76,700
Scott County 50 171,116 $56,454 $150,900
Allamakee County 51 14,001 $48,089 $116,200
Muscatine County 52 42,949 $55,971 $126,600
Davis County 53 8,768 $49,696 $104,500
Monona County 54 9,013 $41,455 $80,100
Pottawattamie County 55 93,198 $53,260 $128,500
Tama County 56 17,423 $53,833 $103,300
Emmet County 57 9,820 $45,536 $84,700
Mahaska County 58 22,324 $49,599 $109,100
Jefferson County 59 17,662 $45,257 $110,700
Clinton County 60 47,972 $50,067 $110,900
Des Moines County 61 40,114 $44,516 $98,000
Decatur County 62 8,210 $38,467 $79,200
Woodbury County 63 102,426 $49,010 $104,300
Page County 64 15,552 $46,128 $85,800
Black Hawk County 65 132,821 $50,348 $133,800
Webster County 66 37,050 $42,196 $90,000
Lee County 67 35,172 $44,568 $88,100
Marshall County 68 40,735 $54,193 $104,600
Montgomery County 69 10,380 $42,641 $80,700
Buena Vista County 70 20,445 $49,942 $106,200
Appanoose County 71 12,602 $40,817 $79,300
Wapello County 72 35,242 $42,494 $81,400

Like HomeSnacks on Facebook:

Facebook Discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *