These Are The 10 Most Diverse Cities In Iowa


We used data and science to determine the most diverse cities in Iowa.

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Most Diverse Cities In IA

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Race relations in America seem to be hitting a tipping point.

While we still haven’t dealt with racism as a society, the election of Donald Trump to the presidency has only flamed the tensions that have been mounting for years.

Part of the reason for that tension? The country as a whole continues to self segregate across race, income, and party lines. But it’s not all bad on the race relations front.

There are parts of Iowa where there’s a high level of diversity — where people of all walks of life come together. We decided to shine a light on those places today.

Using a standard measure of diversity, we ranked all 81 cities in Iowa from most to least diverse. Here’s a look at the top ten:

  1. Storm Lake (Photos)
  2. Denison (Photos)
  3. Perry (Photos)
  4. Marshalltown (Photos)
  5. Des Moines (Photos)
  6. Sioux City (Photos)
  7. Waterloo (Photos)
  8. Coralville (Photos)
  9. Davenport (Photos)
  10. Fairfield (Photos)

Storm Lake took the number one over all spot for diversity in Iowa.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. To see where Iowa ranked as a state, we have a ranking of the most diverse states in Ameria.

You can also check out the whitest places in Iowa for a look at the opposite side of the coin.

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How We Determined The Most Diverse Cities In Iowa

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 2011-2015 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:

  • 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*
  • Hispanic or Latino
* Not hispanic or latino

We limited our analysis to non-CDPs with a population greater than 5,000 people. That left us with 81 cities.

We then calculated the HHI for each city by finding the racial breakdown of a city in percent terms, squaring them, and then adding the squares together. This left us with scores ranging from 3398 (Storm Lake) to 9654 (Vinton).

Finally, we ranked each city based on the HHI with a lower score being more diverse than a high score. Storm Lake took the distinction of being the most diverse, while Vinton was the least diverse city.

Read on for more information on how the cities in Iowa ranked for diversity or, for a more general take on diversity in america, head over to our ranking of the most diverse cities in America.

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1. Storm Lake

Storm Lake, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 10,814
HHI: 3,398
% White: 41.41%
% African American: 4.5%
% Asian: 13.74%

2. Denison

Denison, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,383
HHI: 4,491
% White: 48.92%
% African American: 1.38%
% Asian: 0.61%

3. Perry

Perry, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,086
HHI: 4,865
% White: 59.71%
% African American: 1.51%
% Asian: 1.1%

4. Marshalltown

Marshalltown, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,770
HHI: 4,897
% White: 64.24%
% African American: 2.27%
% Asian: 4.17%

5. Des Moines

Des Moines, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 208,020
HHI: 4,960
% White: 68.22%
% African American: 10.75%
% Asian: 5.31%

6. Sioux City

Sioux City, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 82,792
HHI: 5,471
% White: 71.53%
% African American: 3.37%
% Asian: 2.95%

7. Waterloo

Waterloo, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 68,432
HHI: 5,630
% White: 73.03%
% African American: 15.71%
% Asian: 1.72%

8. Coralville

Coralville, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 20,038
HHI: 5,705
% White: 74.1%
% African American: 9.56%
% Asian: 9.05%

9. Davenport

Davenport, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 101,863
HHI: 5,913
% White: 75.58%
% African American: 11.03%
% Asian: 2.09%

10. Fairfield

Fairfield, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,739
HHI: 5,939
% White: 76.04%
% African American: 2.52%
% Asian: 10.09%

There You Have It – Diversity Across Iowa

If you’re looking for a scientific breakdown of diversity across Iowa, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the least diverse places in Iowa:

  1. Vinton
  2. Manchester
  3. Grimes

For more Iowa reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Diverse Cities In Iowa

City Rank HHI Population
Storm Lake 1 3,398 10,814
Denison 2 4,491 8,383
Perry 3 4,865 8,086
Marshalltown 4 4,897 27,770
Des Moines 5 4,960 208,020
Sioux City 6 5,471 82,792
Waterloo 7 5,630 68,432
Coralville 8 5,705 20,038
Davenport 9 5,913 101,863
Fairfield 10 5,939 9,739
Iowa City 11 6,100 71,832
Muscatine 12 6,129 23,888
West Des Moines 13 6,708 61,266
Mount Pleasant 14 6,789 8,575
Ames 15 6,798 62,815
Ottumwa 16 6,844 24,758
Estherville 17 7,129 6,091
Clive 18 7,193 16,634
Pleasant Hill 19 7,256 9,099
Cedar Rapids 20 7,262 128,829
Sioux Center 21 7,297 7,312
Burlington 22 7,366 25,537
North Liberty 23 7,370 14,972
Fort Dodge 24 7,431 24,789
Bettendorf 25 7,469 34,663
Council Bluffs 26 7,494 62,309
Washington 27 7,507 7,348
Fort Madison 28 7,568 10,832
Hiawatha 29 7,570 7,150
Shenandoah 30 7,711 5,062
Grinnell 31 7,749 9,132
Webster City 32 7,783 7,869
Keokuk 33 7,787 10,705
Clinton 34 7,831 26,413
Urbandale 35 7,908 42,099
Anamosa 36 7,926 5,518
Dubuque 37 8,011 58,409
Charles City 38 8,023 7,500
Iowa Falls 39 8,128 5,198
Orange City 40 8,150 6,147
Asbury 41 8,212 5,014
Mason City 42 8,250 27,643
Waukee 43 8,251 16,956
Clarinda 44 8,255 5,476
Le Mars 45 8,410 9,757
Harlan 46 8,445 5,029
Sheldon 47 8,454 5,024
Cherokee 48 8,458 5,147
Johnston 49 8,477 19,550
Red Oak 50 8,477 5,588
Ankeny 51 8,515 51,489
Maquoketa 52 8,535 6,029
Oskaloosa 53 8,536 11,558
Altoona 54 8,597 15,808
Cedar Falls 55 8,618 40,439
Oelwein 56 8,646 6,275
Marion 57 8,648 36,311
Clear Lake 58 8,654 7,675
Eldridge 59 8,657 6,017
Pella 60 8,694 10,316
Knoxville 61 8,696 7,245
Nevada 62 8,760 6,799
Creston 63 8,808 7,886
Spencer 64 8,816 11,186
Carroll 65 8,844 10,020
Centerville 66 8,857 5,431
Waverly 67 8,862 10,013
Decorah 68 8,872 8,009
Indianola 69 8,875 15,165
Atlantic 70 8,878 6,929
Boone 71 8,896 12,631
Independence 72 9,026 5,986
Newton 73 9,037 15,147
Winterset 74 9,091 5,159
Glenwood 75 9,180 5,243
De Witt 76 9,184 5,283
Norwalk 77 9,193 9,671
Algona 78 9,286 5,494
Grimes 79 9,388 9,509
Manchester 80 9,549 5,106
Vinton 81 9,654 5,197

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