A wise sage once said:
“She works hard for the money…”
And these places in Iowa definitely treat her right.
You see, these are the places in Iowa where the cost of living is the lowest; where your salary goes the furthest. And when if you have the luxury of choosing where to live in the Hawkeye State, then the cost of living should play a role in the decision.
So we did the hard for you and crunched the numbers to find the cities that have lower food, energy, and housing costs. After the dust settled on our analysis of the 80 largest places in Iowa, we were left with this set of the best value for your money.
- Fort Dodge (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Webster City (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Iowa Falls (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Perry (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Charles City (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Storm Lake (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Marshalltown (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Centerville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Carroll (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Boone (Photos | Homes For Sale)
So listen up Bettendorf (the most expensive place in Iowa) as we explain how we created this ranking. You could learn some things from the rest of the state.
And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Iowa and the cheapest places in the country:
How We Determined The Cheapest Places To Live In The Hawkeye State For 2018
There are basic necessities that you have to buy no matter where in the country you live. Those things include:
- Health Insurance
You can then compare the cost of these things in each of the places in Iowa to figure out which is the least expensive.
What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” that normalizes to 100 for an average place in the United States.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 80 places in Iowa that have more than 5,000 people.
And just so you can better understand how the cost of living index works, 100 is the average cost of a place in the United States. A score of 90 means that the place cost 10% less than average. A score of 90 means it’s 10% less expensive.
San Francisco has a score of 243 meaning it’s almost 2.5 times as expensive as the average place in the country.
Fort Dodge is a city in and the county seat of Webster County, Iowa, United States, along the Des Moines River. The population was 25,206 in the 2010 census, an increase from 25,136 in the 2000 census. Fort Dodge is a major commercial center for North Central and Northwest Iowa. It is located on U.S. Routes 20 and 169.
Webster City is a city in Hamilton County, Iowa, United States. The population was 8,070 at the United States 2010 Census. It is the county seat of Hamilton County. Webster City is known as ‘Boone River Country’, as the Boone River meanders along the east side of the city.
Iowa Falls is a city in Hardin County, Iowa, United States. Iowa Falls is the home of Ellsworth Community College. It is also a regional transportation center, located along U.S. Routes 20 and 65 and the Canadian National and Union Pacific Railroads. The population was 5,238 at the 2010 census. A landmark in the city is its movie theater. Built as the Metropolitan Opera House in 1899, it presented plays, operas, and vaudeville in the town during the first half of the twentieth century, and today is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Perry is a city in Dallas County, Iowa, United States, along the North Raccoon River. The population was 7,702 at the 2010 Census. It is part of the Des Moines-West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Charles City is a city in Floyd County, Iowa, United States. The population was 7,652 at the 2010 census a decrease of 160, or 2%, from 7,812 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Floyd County. Charles City is a significant commercial and transportation center for the area, located on U.S. Highways 18 and 218, Iowa Highway 14, and the Canadian National and Iowa, Chicago and Eastern Railroads.
Storm Lake is a city in Buena Vista County, Iowa, United States. The population was 10,600 in the 2010 census, an increase from 10,076 in the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Buena Vista County. Storm Lake is home to Buena Vista University, originally Buena Vista College. Tyson Foods operates a large hog slaughterhouse, meat packing plant, and turkey processing plant in Storm Lake.
Marshalltown is a city in, and the county seat of, Marshall County, Iowa, United States. The population was 27,552 in the 2010 census, compared to 26,009 in 2000.
Centerville is a city in and the county seat of Appanoose County, Iowa, United States. The population was 5,528 in the 2010 census, a decline from 5,924 in 2000. After the turn of the 20th century Centerville had a booming coal mining industry that attracted many European immigrants. The city today remains the home of many Swedish-Americans, Italian-Americans, Croatian-Americans, Albanian-Americans and others descended from immigrants who worked in the mines.
Carroll is a city in and the county seat of Carroll County, Iowa, United States, located along the Middle Raccoon River. The population was 10,103 in the 2010 census, down from three people in the 10,106 population in the 2000 census.
Boone is a city in Des Moines Township, and county seat of Boone County, Iowa, United States. It is the principal city of the Boone, Iowa Micropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Boone County. This micropolitan statistical area, along with the Ames, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area comprise the larger Ames-Boone, Iowa Combined Statistical Area. The population of the city was 12,661 at the 2010 census.
There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Iowa Cheapskate
If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Iowa, this is an accurate list of the cheapest places to call home.
Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Iowa according to the data:
For more Iowa reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Iowa
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Iowa
- 10 Safest Places In Iowa
Detailed List Of The Cheapest Places In Iowa
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