Across most of America, the African American and Hispanic communities comprise “most of the minority”. We’re not totally sure that’s a term, but it’s an accurate reflection of the state of race in America.
Asians are a “minority of the minority”, generally.
But not everywhere.
There are now over 17 million people who identify as Asian living in America, making up 5.6% of the total population. According to the most recent American Community Survey, the Asian population in Iowa is 66,187 – at 2.1% of the total population of Iowa.
And, unlike African Americans that fall under one group in the Census, Asian Americans have many sub-groups — Chinese, Filipino, and Indian being the three largest sub-groups.
So, what how does the Asian population stratify across Iowa? Which cities and towns in Iowa have seen the greatest increase in their Asian population?
We broke down the most recent census data to determine the cities in Iowa with the largest Asian population in 2018:
- Storm Lake (Photos | Jobs)
- Ames (Photos | Jobs)
- Coralville (Photos | Jobs)
- Iowa City (Photos | Jobs)
- West Des Moines (Photos | Jobs)
- Fairfield (Photos | Jobs)
- Mount Pleasant (Photos | Jobs)
- Des Moines (Photos | Jobs)
- Bettendorf (Photos | Jobs)
- Clive (Photos | Jobs)
Which city in Iowa had the largest Asian population?
Storm Lake took the number one over all spot for the largest Asian in Iowa for 2018. 14.96% of Storm Lake identify as Asian.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked.
To see where Iowa ranked as a state on diversity, we have a ranking of the most diverse states in America.
How We Determined The Cities In Iowa With The Largest Asian Population For 2018
We still believe in the accuracy of data — especially from the census. So that’s where we went to get the breakdown of race across Iowa.
That lead us to the Census’s most recently available data, the 2012-2016 American Community Survey data from the US Census.
Specifically, we looked at table B03002: Hispanic OR LATINO ORIGIN BY RACE. Here are the category names as defined by the Census:
- Hispanic or Latino
- White alone*
- Black or African American alone*
- American Indian and Alaska Native alone*
- Asian alone*
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone*
- Some other race alone*
- Two or more races*
Our particular column of interest here was the number of people who identified as Asian alone.
We limited our analysis to non-CDPs with a population greater than 5,000 people. That left us with 80 cities.
We then calculated the percent of residents that are Asian. The percentages ranked from 15.0% to 0.0%.
Finally, we ranked each city based on the percent of Asian population with a higher score being more Asian than a lower score. Storm Lake took the distinction of being the most Asian, while Eldridge was the least Asian city.
Read on for more information on how the cities in Iowa ranked by population of Asian residents or, for a more general take on diversity in America, head over to our ranking of the most diverse cities in America.
1. Storm Lake
Population: 10,768% Asian: 14.96%
# Of Asian Residents: 1,611
Percent Change Since 2010: 130.47%
More on Storm Lake: Write A Review | Data | JobsStorm 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.
Population: 64,073% Asian: 9.59%
# Of Asian Residents: 6,142
Percent Change Since 2010: 22.42%
More on Ames: Write A Review | Data | JobsAmes 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.
Population: 20,078% Asian: 9.19%
# Of Asian Residents: 1,846
Percent Change Since 2010: 23.73%
More on Coralville: Write A Review | Data | JobsCoralville is a city in Johnson County, Iowa, United States. It is a suburb of Iowa City and part of the Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 18,907 at the 2010 census.
4. Iowa City
Population: 72,385% Asian: 8.16%
# Of Asian Residents: 5,906
Percent Change Since 2010: 33.29%
More on Iowa City: Write A Review | Data | JobsIowa 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.
5. West Des Moines
Population: 61,624% Asian: 6.59%
# Of Asian Residents: 4,061
Percent Change Since 2010: 49.96%
More on West Des Moines: Write A Review | Data | JobsWest 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.
Population: 9,942% Asian: 6.37%
# Of Asian Residents: 633
Percent Change Since 2010: -37.2%
More on Fairfield: Write A Review | Data | JobsFairfield is a city in, and the county seat of, Jefferson County, Iowa, United States. It has a population totaling 9,464 people according to the 2010 census. It is a Midwestern city surrounded by rolling farmlands filled with corn, soybean, cattle, and hogs with a median family income of $46,138. The city became the county seat in 1839 with 110 residents and grew to 650 by 1847. Its library was established in 1853, and it held its first fair in 1854. Early architecture includes work by George Franklin Barber and Barry Byrne, who trained under Frank Lloyd Wright.
7. Mount Pleasant
Population: 8,491% Asian: 5.56%
# Of Asian Residents: 472
Percent Change Since 2010: 9.01%
More on Mount Pleasant: Write A Review | Data | JobsMount Pleasant is a city in and the county seat of Henry County, Iowa, in the United States. The population was 8,668 in the 2010 census, a decline from 8,751 in the 2000 census. It was founded in 1835 by pioneer Presley Saunders.
8. Des Moines
Population: 212,859% Asian: 5.49%
# Of Asian Residents: 11,685
Percent Change Since 2010: 34.4%
More on Des Moines: Write A Review | Data | JobsDes 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.
Population: 35,048% Asian: 5.19%
# Of Asian Residents: 1,819
Percent Change Since 2010: 179.42%
More on Bettendorf: Write A Review | Data | JobsBettendorf is a city in Scott County, Iowa, United States. Bettendorf is the fifteenth largest city in the U.S. state of Iowa and the fourth largest city in the “Quad Cities”. It is part of the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 33,217 at the 2010 census, and was estimated to be 35,505 by July 2015. Bettendorf is one of the Quad Cities, along with neighboring Davenport and the Illinois cities of Moline, East Moline and Rock Island. The Quad Cities has a population estimate of 382,630. In 2011, Bettendorf was named U.S. 95th Best Town by CNNMoney.
Population: 17,022% Asian: 4.65%
# Of Asian Residents: 792
Percent Change Since 2010: 111.76%
More on Clive: Write A Review | Data | JobsClive is a city in Dallas and Polk counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 Census the population is at 15,447. It is part of the Des Moines-West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area. Clive is known for its Greenbelt Park and trail system running through the entire community. Clive serves as the axis of the western Des Moines suburbs, being located between Urbandale, Waukee and West Des Moines along the major transportation corridors of I-35, I-80 and I-235. The City of Urbandale is to the north to northwest, the City of West Des Moines is to the southeast to southwest, the City of Waukee in Dallas County is to the west.
There You Have It – Asian Populations Across Iowa
If you’re looking for a breakdown of Asian populations across Iowa according to the most recent data, this is an accurate list.
If you’re curious enough, here are the least Asian places in Iowa:
For more Iowa reading , check out: