We all love the biggest cities that the Hawkeye State has to offer. You know the places like Des Moines and Cedar Rapids which make all the headlines.
But there are a bunch of other great large cities in Iowa that don't get as much love.
We're going to change that right now.
Using the most recent Census data, we can tell you about all the places in Iowa with a focus on the biggest. We update the data each year and this is our fourth time doing this.
You can click here to see a full table of the full of the 100 biggest cities in Iowa, along with every other place over 1,000 people big. It is sortable by clicking on the headers.
Read on below to see more on the biggest cities. Or for more reading on places to live in Iowa, check out:
We've been ranking and dissecting cities in the Hawkeye State for over 4 years now -- making this actually the fourth time we've run the numbers. We always use the best data, the US Census. In this case, that means we are using the 2013-2017 American Community Survey.
It what is probably the most simple analysis we run each year, we ranked every place in Iowa from biggest to smallest. The biggest city this year? That would be Des Moines.
The smallest? Keota, although there are places smaller than 1,000 people not listed here, so keep that in mind as we take a look at the top ten.
Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Iowa. It is also the county seat of Polk County. A small part of the city extends into Warren County. It was incorporated on September 22, 1851, as Fort Des Moines, which was shortened to "Des Moines" in 1857. It is on and named after the Des Moines River, which likely was adapted from the French colonial name, Rivire des Moines, meaning "River of the Monks". The city's population was 203,433 as of the 2010 census. The five-county metropolitan area is ranked 89th in terms of population in the United States with 634,725 residents according to the 2016 estimate by the United States Census Bureau.
Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in Iowa and is the county seat of Linn County. The city lies on both banks of the Cedar River, 20 miles north of Iowa City and 100 miles northeast of Des Moines, the state's capital and largest city. It is a part of the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor of Linn, Benton, Cedar, Jones, Johnson, and Washington counties. Until massive flooding in 2008, the city's government was headquartered in the Veterans Memorial Building, near the Linn County Courthouse and jail on Mays Island in the Cedar River; Cedar Rapids was one of a few cities in the world, along with Paris, France, with governmental offices on a municipal island.
Davenport is the county seat of Scott County in Iowa and is located along the Mississippi River on the eastern border of the state. It is the largest of the Quad Cities, a metropolitan area with a population estimate of 382,630 and a CSA population of 474,226; it is the 90th largest CSA in the nation. Davenport was founded on May 14, 1836 by Antoine Le Claire and was named for his friend, George Davenport, a colonel who was stationed at nearby Fort Armstrong during the Black Hawk War. According to the 2010 census, the city had a population of 99,685. The city appealed this figure, arguing that the Census Bureau missed a section of residents, and that its total population was more than 100,000. The Census Bureau estimated Davenport's 2011 population to be 100,802.
Sioux City is a city in Woodbury and Plymouth counties in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 82,684 in the 2010 census, which makes it the fourth largest city in Iowa. The bulk of the city is in Woodbury County, of which it is the county seat, though a small portion is in Plymouth County. Sioux City is located at the navigational head of the Missouri River. Often the city and surrounding area is referred to as Siouxland, especially by the local media and residents. The city is home to several cultural points of interest including the Sioux City Public Museum, Sioux City Art Center and Sergeant Floyd Monument, which is a National Historical Landmark. The city is also home to Chris Larsen Park, commonly referred to as -the Riverfront,- includes the Anderson Dance Pavilion, Sergeant Floyd Riverboat Museum and Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Sioux City is the primary city of the five-county Sioux City, IA-NE-SD Metropolitan Statistical Area, with a population of 168,825 in 2010 and a slight increase to an estimated 168,921 in 2012. The Sioux City-Vermillion, IA-NE-SD Combined Statistical Area had a population of 182,675 as of 2010 and has grown to an estimated population of 183,052 as of 2012.
Iowa City is a city in Johnson County, Iowa, United States. It is the home of the University of Iowa and county seat of Johnson County, at the center of the Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population at 74,398 in 2016, making it the state's fifth-largest city. Iowa City is the county seat of Johnson County. The metropolitan area, which encompasses Johnson and Washington counties, has a population of over 164,000.
Waterloo is a city in and the county seat of Black Hawk County, Iowa, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census the population decreased by 0.5% to 68,406; the 2014 Census estimates the population at 68,364, making it the sixth-largest city in the state. The city is part of the Waterloo - Cedar Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is the more populous of the two cities.
Ames is a city located in the central part of Story County, Iowa, United States. It is located approximately 30 miles north of Des Moines, and had a 2010 population of 58,965. The U.S. Census Bureau designates the Ames metropolitan statistical area as encompassing all of Story County; combined with the Boone, Iowa micropolitan statistical area, the pair make up the larger Ames-Boone combined statistical area. While Ames is the largest city in Story County, the county seat is in the nearby city of Nevada 8 miles east of Ames.
West Des Moines is a city in Polk, Dallas, and Warren counties in the US state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 56,609. West Des Moines is the second-largest city in the Des Moines metropolitan area and the tenth-largest city in Iowa. It ranked 94th in Money magazine's list of the "100 Best Places to Live and Launch" in 2008, 77th and 57th on the 100 Best Places to Live in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and 18th on the Hipster Cities of 2015.
Council Bluffs is a city in and the county seat of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, United States. The city is the most populous Omaha suburb and a principal city in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area. It is located on the east bank of the Missouri River, across from Omaha, Nebraska. Council Bluffs was known, until at least 1853, as Kanesville. It was the historic starting point of the Mormon Trail. Kanesville is also the northernmost anchor town of the other emigrant trails, since there was a steam powered boat to ferry their wagons, and cattle, across the Missouri River.
Dubuque is the county seat of Dubuque County, Iowa, United States, located along the Mississippi River. In 2013, its population was 58,253, making it the tenth-largest city in the state.
We hope that you find the big city, or really any city, that's right for you. Below is a list of the rest of the biggest cities along with every other place in Iowa.
Have fun snacking around in the Hawkeye State!
For more reading on Iowa, check out:
|8||West Des Moines||62,999||54,731||15.1%|
|140||La Porte City||2,496||2,637||-5.3%|
|286||Elk Run Heights||1,014||1,029||-1.5%|
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