Most Diverse Cities In Iowa For 2020

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

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the most diverse places in Iowa.

Most Diverse Cities In Iowa

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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 80 cities in Iowa from most to least diverse.

So what city is the most diverse in Iowa? According to the most Census data, 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.

And if you already knew these places were diverse, check out:

The 10 Most Diverse Places In Iowa For 2020

Storm Lake, IA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,672

HHI: 3,205
% White: 37.2%
% African American: 4.2%
% Asian: 19.3%
More on Storm Lake: PhotosData

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.

Denison, IA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,358

HHI: 4,165
% White: 42.8%
% African American: 4.4%
% Asian: 3.8%
More on Denison: PhotosData

Denison is a city in Crawford County, Iowa, United States, along the Boyer River. The population was 8,298 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Crawford County.

Perry, IA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,667

HHI: 4,444
% White: 55.7%
% African American: 5.0%
% Asian: 1.1%
More on Perry: PhotosData

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.

Des Moines, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 215,932

HHI: 4,629
% White: 65.4%
% African American: 10.9%
% Asian: 6.5%
More on Des Moines: PhotosData

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.

Marshalltown, IA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 27,275

HHI: 4,632
% White: 60.9%
% African American: 1.1%
% Asian: 5.1%
More on Marshalltown: PhotosData

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.

Sioux City, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 82,486

HHI: 5,194
% White: 69.2%
% African American: 3.9%
% Asian: 3.5%
More on Sioux City: PhotosData

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.

Coralville, IA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,645

HHI: 5,215
% White: 70.1%
% African American: 12.0%
% Asian: 10.9%
More on Coralville: PhotosData

Coralville 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.

Fairfield, IA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,216

HHI: 5,245
% White: 70.6%
% African American: 2.4%
% Asian: 9.0%
More on Fairfield: PhotosData

Fairfield 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.

Waterloo, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 68,134

HHI: 5,349
% White: 70.9%
% African American: 16.0%
% Asian: 2.3%
More on Waterloo: PhotosData

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.

Muscatine, IA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 23,864

HHI: 5,696
% White: 72.4%
% African American: 3.6%
% Asian: 0.7%
More on Muscatine: PhotosData

Muscatine is a city in Muscatine County, Iowa, United States. The population was estimated at 23,968 in 2015, an increase from 22,697 in the 2000 census. The county seat of Muscatine County, it is located along the Mississippi River. The local business association says that the name Muscatine is not used by any other community.

How we determined the most diverse cities in Iowa for 2020

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 2014-2018 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 80 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 3,205 (Storm Lake) to 9,700 (Carroll).

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 Carroll was the least diverse city. You can download the data here.

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.

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. Carroll
  2. Manchester
  3. Spirit Lake

For more Iowa reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Diverse Cities In Iowa For 2020

Rank City Population HHI
1 Storm Lake, IA 10,672 3,205
2 Denison, IA 8,358 4,165
3 Perry, IA 7,667 4,444
4 Des Moines, IA 215,932 4,629
5 Marshalltown, IA 27,275 4,632
6 Sioux City, IA 82,486 5,194
7 Coralville, IA 20,645 5,215
8 Fairfield, IA 10,216 5,245
9 Waterloo, IA 68,134 5,349
10 Muscatine, IA 23,864 5,696
11 Davenport, IA 102,318 5,782
12 Iowa City, IA 74,566 5,788
13 Ottumwa, IA 24,676 6,142
14 Osceola, IA 5,021 6,163
15 Ames, IA 65,937 6,450
16 Hiawatha, IA 7,281 6,528
17 Mount Pleasant, IA 8,528 6,541
18 West Des Moines, IA 64,400 6,604
19 Cedar Rapids, IA 131,360 6,859
20 Estherville, IA 5,859 6,944
21 Webster City, IA 7,779 6,973
22 Bettendorf, IA 35,793 7,087
23 Clive, IA 17,195 7,116
24 Fort Dodge, IA 24,417 7,179
25 Burlington, IA 25,127 7,188
26 Council Bluffs, IA 62,478 7,215
27 North Liberty, IA 18,357 7,230
28 Anamosa, IA 5,461 7,254
29 Charles City, IA 7,413 7,458
30 Sioux Center, IA 7,499 7,477
31 Pleasant Hill, IA 9,736 7,487
32 Urbandale, IA 42,881 7,616
33 Fort Madison, IA 10,614 7,674
34 Keokuk, IA 10,412 7,676
35 Clarinda, IA 5,398 7,687
36 Washington, IA 7,345 7,737
37 Clinton, IA 25,637 7,809
38 Grinnell, IA 9,223 7,819
39 Eldridge, IA 6,399 7,832
40 Orange City, IA 6,115 7,848
41 Dubuque, IA 58,340 7,871
42 Mason City, IA 27,309 7,917
43 Waukee, IA 19,344 7,967
44 Iowa Falls, IA 5,124 7,982
45 Johnston, IA 20,767 8,020
46 Cedar Falls, IA 41,202 8,118
47 Sheldon, IA 5,132 8,119
48 Red Oak, IA 5,434 8,214
49 Le Mars, IA 9,894 8,239
50 Oskaloosa, IA 11,505 8,357
51 Maquoketa, IA 6,026 8,378
52 Ankeny, IA 59,152 8,386
53 Creston, IA 7,832 8,428
54 Waverly, IA 10,075 8,443
55 Marion, IA 38,699 8,529
56 Boone, IA 12,529 8,575
57 Asbury, IA 5,469 8,590
58 Grimes, IA 11,930 8,620
59 Clear Lake, IA 7,644 8,622
60 Pella, IA 10,273 8,653
61 Spencer, IA 11,092 8,664
62 Bondurant, IA 5,826 8,676
63 Newton, IA 15,167 8,694
64 Decorah, IA 7,765 8,701
65 Knoxville, IA 7,200 8,705
66 Altoona, IA 17,936 8,733
67 Oelwein, IA 6,050 8,751
68 Glenwood, IA 5,276 8,835
69 Centerville, IA 5,487 8,866
70 Nevada, IA 6,798 8,875
71 Independence, IA 6,027 8,886
72 Atlantic, IA 6,709 8,888
73 Norwalk, IA 10,568 9,089
74 Indianola, IA 15,653 9,108
75 Algona, IA 5,455 9,121
76 Vinton, IA 5,124 9,151
77 Winterset, IA 5,203 9,244
78 Spirit Lake, IA 5,021 9,304
79 Manchester, IA 5,037 9,481
80 Carroll, IA 9,899 9,700

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About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.