These Are The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In Iowa


We used data and science to determine the places in Iowa everyone wants to move to today.

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Is being in an area that’s growing quickly a good thing or a bad thing?

Depends on who you ask. Some want bigger, more exciting cities like Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, while others want peace and quiet like in Sheldon and Harlan, thank you very much.

But today we’re going to put opinions aside and just look at the cold hard facts — over the past five years, which cities in Iowa have the grown the fastest.

After getting knee deep in the Census’s American Community Survey, we emerged with this set of cities in the Hawkeye State that have people climbing over each other to get in:

  1. Waukee
  2. North Liberty
  3. Johnston
  4. Grimes
  5. Ankeny
  6. Altoona
  7. Pleasant Hill
  8. Eldridge
  9. Urbandale
  10. Norwalk

If you happen to be a resident of one of these communities, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on our list.

If you’re not–and you’re wondering why these places are kind of a big deal–keep reading. We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 places in Iowa are growing like weeds–but first, a bit about our methodology.

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How We Measured The Fastest Growing Cities In Hawkeye State

To figure out which cities are growing the most, we simply had to look at the growth rates for cities over the last five years, according to the American Community Survey put out by the census every year. Specifically:

  • Population in 2014
  • Population in 2010
  • Growth rate from 2010 to 2014 (The latest available data)

We ranked all 80 Iowa cities with a population over 5,000 people from highest growth rate to lowest.

The city with the highest growth rate during this time was crowned the fastest growing city in the Hawkeye State.

And for those of you who are a little rusty with their statistics, you can calculate the growth rate by the following formula:

[Population 2014 – Population 2010] / [Population 2010]

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1. Waukee

Waukee, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,944
Population 2010: 12,305
Growth Rate: 29.57%
Absolute Growth: 3,639

2. North Liberty

North Liberty, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,503
Population 2010: 11,889
Growth Rate: 21.99%
Absolute Growth: 2,614

3. Johnston

Johnston, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,874
Population 2010: 15,723
Growth Rate: 20.04%
Absolute Growth: 3,151

4. Grimes

Grimes, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 9,037
Population 2010: 7,653
Growth Rate: 18.08%
Absolute Growth: 1,384

5. Ankeny

Ankeny, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 49,488
Population 2010: 42,211
Growth Rate: 17.24%
Absolute Growth: 7,277

6. Altoona

Altoona, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 15,317
Population 2010: 13,757
Growth Rate: 11.34%
Absolute Growth: 1,560

7. Pleasant Hill

Pleasant Hill, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,011
Population 2010: 8,100
Growth Rate: 11.25%
Absolute Growth: 911

8. Eldridge

Eldridge, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,908
Population 2010: 5,319
Growth Rate: 11.07%
Absolute Growth: 589

9. Urbandale

Urbandale, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 41,157
Population 2010: 37,503
Growth Rate: 9.74%
Absolute Growth: 3,654

10. Norwalk

Norwalk, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 9,444
Population 2010: 8,622
Growth Rate: 9.53%
Absolute Growth: 822

Adding It Up

So there you have it, the fastest growing cities in Iowa are led by Waukee which has been growing a blistering pace these past five years relative to other places around the state.

It’ll be interesting to see if these places can keep growing at the same pace over the next five years. We’ll be here to let you know!
For more Iowa reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Fastest Growing Places In Iowa

City Rank Pop 2014 Pop 2010 Growth % Growth
Waukee 1 15,944 12,305 3,639 29.6%
North Liberty 2 14,503 11,889 2,614 22.0%
Johnston 3 18,874 15,723 3,151 20.0%
Grimes 4 9,037 7,653 1,384 18.1%
Ankeny 5 49,488 42,211 7,277 17.2%
Altoona 6 15,317 13,757 1,560 11.3%
Pleasant Hill 7 9,011 8,100 911 11.2%
Eldridge 8 5,908 5,319 589 11.1%
Urbandale 9 41,157 37,503 3,654 9.7%
Norwalk 10 9,444 8,622 822 9.5%
West Des Moines 11 59,815 54,731 5,084 9.3%
Clive 12 16,246 14,950 1,296 8.7%
Coralville 13 19,677 18,186 1,491 8.2%
Marion 14 35,809 33,293 2,516 7.6%
Ames 15 61,276 57,343 3,933 6.9%
Iowa City 16 70,597 66,758 3,839 5.8%
Bettendorf 17 34,247 32,490 1,757 5.4%
Cedar Falls 18 40,009 38,178 1,831 4.8%
Muscatine 19 23,857 22,819 1,038 4.5%
Sioux Center 20 7,218 6,916 302 4.4%
Storm Lake 21 10,743 10,357 386 3.7%
Perry 22 7,986 7,706 280 3.6%
Denison 23 8,370 8,077 293 3.6%
Indianola 24 15,014 14,546 468 3.2%
Davenport 25 101,316 98,325 2,991 3.0%
Orange City 26 6,130 5,967 163 2.7%
Hiawatha 27 7,109 6,932 177 2.6%
Waverly 28 9,998 9,754 244 2.5%
Marshalltown 29 27,749 27,096 653 2.4%
Des Moines 30 206,702 202,095 4,607 2.3%
Cedar Rapids 31 128,009 125,450 2,559 2.0%
Fairfield 32 9,615 9,451 164 1.7%
Council Bluffs 33 62,261 61,340 921 1.5%
Oskaloosa 34 11,555 11,393 162 1.4%
Creston 35 7,846 7,738 108 1.4%
Dubuque 36 58,068 57,504 564 1.0%
Sioux City 37 82,719 82,106 613 0.7%
Washington 38 7,315 7,261 54 0.7%
Waterloo 39 68,392 67,893 499 0.7%
Le Mars 40 9,783 9,719 64 0.7%
Nevada 41 6,794 6,753 41 0.6%
Winterset 42 5,165 5,138 27 0.5%
De Witt 43 5,297 5,286 11 0.2%
Carroll 44 10,051 10,047 4 0.0%
Sheldon 45 5,047 5,046 1 0.0%
Cherokee 46 5,203 5,205 -2 -0.0%
Iowa Falls 47 5,193 5,195 -2 -0.0%
Spencer 48 11,177 11,193 -16 -0.1%
Pella 49 10,343 10,359 -16 -0.2%
Ottumwa 50 24,847 24,889 -42 -0.2%
Burlington 51 25,559 25,604 -45 -0.2%
Independence 52 5,955 5,987 -32 -0.5%
Keokuk 53 10,742 10,802 -60 -0.6%
Mount Pleasant 54 8,682 8,743 -61 -0.7%
Decorah 55 8,058 8,115 -57 -0.7%
Vinton 56 5,211 5,262 -51 -1.0%
Algona 57 5,513 5,569 -56 -1.0%
Clear Lake 58 7,718 7,799 -81 -1.0%
Boone 59 12,619 12,764 -145 -1.1%
Maquoketa 60 6,064 6,135 -71 -1.2%
Manchester 61 5,126 5,187 -61 -1.2%
Mason City 62 27,775 28,125 -350 -1.2%
Atlantic 63 6,983 7,078 -95 -1.3%
Clarinda 64 5,490 5,566 -76 -1.4%
Charles City 65 7,562 7,667 -105 -1.4%
Grinnell 66 9,136 9,265 -129 -1.4%
Clinton 67 26,611 27,016 -405 -1.5%
Fort Madison 68 10,929 11,096 -167 -1.5%
Newton 69 15,139 15,371 -232 -1.5%
Oelwein 70 6,321 6,433 -112 -1.7%
Harlan 71 5,047 5,140 -93 -1.8%
Fort Dodge 72 24,846 25,323 -477 -1.9%
Glenwood 73 5,253 5,354 -101 -1.9%
Anamosa 74 5,526 5,634 -108 -1.9%
Centerville 75 5,480 5,593 -113 -2.0%
Webster City 76 7,905 8,125 -220 -2.7%
Knoxville 77 7,257 7,459 -202 -2.7%
Shenandoah 78 5,079 5,222 -143 -2.7%
Red Oak 79 5,644 5,814 -170 -2.9%
Estherville 80 6,177 6,388 -211 -3.3%

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