These Are The 10 Most Diverse Cities In Iowa For 2019


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

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our third time ranking the most diverse places in Iowa.


Most Diverse Cities In Iowa

Article continues below.

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 79 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:

How we determined the most diverse cities in Iowa for 2019

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 2013-2017 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 79 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 3,245 (Storm Lake) to 9,829 (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.

The 10 Most Diverse Places In Iowa For 2019

Storm Lake, IA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,738

HHI: 3,245
% White: 39.2%
% African American: 3.9%
% Asian: 16.4%
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

6
/10

Population: 8,361

HHI: 4,310
% White: 45.7%
% African American: 2.0%
% Asian: 3.5%
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

5
/10

Population: 7,747

HHI: 4,612
% White: 56.7%
% African American: 3.3%
% Asian: 0.9%
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.

Marshalltown, IA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 27,440

HHI: 4,712
% White: 62.0%
% African American: 1.2%
% Asian: 4.5%
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.

Des Moines, IA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 214,778

HHI: 4,753
% White: 66.5%
% African American: 10.7%
% Asian: 5.9%
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.

Fairfield, IA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,125

HHI: 5,181
% White: 70.5%
% African American: 9.8%
% Asian: 7.2%
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.

Coralville, IA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 20,250

HHI: 5,256
% White: 70.4%
% African American: 13.1%
% Asian: 9.4%
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.

Sioux City, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 82,568

HHI: 5,301
% White: 70.1%
% African American: 3.6%
% Asian: 3.3%
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.

Waterloo, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 68,146

HHI: 5,508
% White: 72.2%
% African American: 15.5%
% Asian: 2.1%
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.

Davenport, IA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 102,268

HHI: 5,792
% White: 74.7%
% African American: 11.6%
% Asian: 2.5%
More on Davenport: PhotosData

Davenport is the county seat of Scott County in Iowa and is located along the Mississippi River on the eastern border of the state. It is the largest of the Quad Cities, a metropolitan area with a population estimate of 382,630 and a CSA population of 474,226; it is the 90th largest CSA in the nation. Davenport was founded on May 14, 1836 by Antoine Le Claire and was named for his friend, George Davenport, a colonel who was stationed at nearby Fort Armstrong during the Black Hawk War. According to the 2010 census, the city had a population of 99,685. The city appealed this figure, arguing that the Census Bureau missed a section of residents, and that its total population was more than 100,000. The Census Bureau estimated Davenport’s 2011 population to be 100,802.

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. Algona

For more Iowa reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Diverse Cities In Iowa For 2019

Rank City Population HHI
1 Storm Lake, IA 10,738 3,245
2 Denison, IA 8,361 4,310
3 Perry, IA 7,747 4,612
4 Marshalltown, IA 27,440 4,712
5 Des Moines, IA 214,778 4,753
6 Fairfield, IA 10,125 5,181
7 Coralville, IA 20,250 5,256
8 Sioux City, IA 82,568 5,301
9 Waterloo, IA 68,146 5,508
10 Davenport, IA 102,268 5,792
11 Muscatine, IA 23,852 5,848
12 Iowa City, IA 73,415 5,889
13 Ottumwa, IA 24,705 6,348
14 Mount Pleasant, IA 8,467 6,558
15 Ames, IA 65,005 6,562
16 West Des Moines, IA 62,999 6,815
17 Hiawatha, IA 7,262 6,901
18 Clive, IA 17,134 7,039
19 Cedar Rapids, IA 130,330 7,052
20 Webster City, IA 7,830 7,109
21 Estherville, IA 5,930 7,126
22 Fort Dodge, IA 24,566 7,247
23 Burlington, IA 25,330 7,265
24 Council Bluffs, IA 62,317 7,273
25 Bettendorf, IA 35,293 7,376
26 Anamosa, IA 5,420 7,433
27 Sioux Center, IA 7,450 7,480
28 Urbandale, IA 42,222 7,514
29 North Liberty, IA 17,721 7,551
30 Pleasant Hill, IA 9,608 7,556
31 Fort Madison, IA 10,634 7,613
32 Keokuk, IA 10,484 7,658
33 Grinnell, IA 9,028 7,710
34 Washington, IA 7,358 7,733
35 Charles City, IA 7,427 7,738
36 Clinton, IA 25,892 7,935
37 Dubuque, IA 58,410 7,941
38 Waukee, IA 17,980 7,979
39 Orange City, IA 6,123 8,002
40 Mason City, IA 27,453 8,050
41 Le Mars, IA 9,861 8,114
42 Cedar Falls, IA 41,167 8,183
43 Iowa Falls, IA 5,132 8,204
44 Johnston, IA 20,172 8,237
45 Eldridge, IA 6,231 8,295
46 Asbury, IA 5,338 8,367
47 Red Oak, IA 5,475 8,406
48 Marion, IA 38,014 8,416
49 Clarinda, IA 5,377 8,431
50 Sheldon, IA 5,060 8,452
51 Oskaloosa, IA 11,531 8,463
52 Waverly, IA 10,052 8,478
53 Creston, IA 7,860 8,482
54 Altoona, IA 17,354 8,507
55 Ankeny, IA 56,237 8,509
56 Grimes, IA 11,139 8,519
57 Boone, IA 12,538 8,548
58 Pella, IA 10,243 8,577
59 Cherokee, IA 5,018 8,592
60 Bondurant, IA 5,457 8,612
61 Nevada, IA 6,790 8,647
62 Spencer, IA 11,132 8,665
63 Clear Lake, IA 7,612 8,697
64 Maquoketa, IA 5,954 8,698
65 Centerville, IA 5,503 8,763
66 Decorah, IA 7,850 8,807
67 Oelwein, IA 6,093 8,819
68 Knoxville, IA 7,202 8,878
69 Atlantic, IA 6,787 8,898
70 Newton, IA 15,085 8,910
71 Glenwood, IA 5,271 8,925
72 Independence, IA 6,013 8,976
73 Indianola, IA 15,489 9,079
74 Carroll, IA 9,937 9,086
75 Norwalk, IA 10,179 9,283
76 Winterset, IA 5,157 9,352
77 Algona, IA 5,488 9,401
78 Manchester, IA 5,047 9,705
79 Vinton, IA 5,141 9,829

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.