These Are The 10 Most Expensive Cities In Iowa


We used science and data to determine which cities in Iowa that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Iowa does this very well. Families love the Hawkeye State’s beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state — and that’s how we’re going to help you.

These are the places in Iowa that cost a pretty penny — the most expensive cities in the state. After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Iowa:

  1. Bettendorf (Photos)
  2. Eldridge (Photos)
  3. Coralville (Photos)
  4. Iowa City (Photos)
  5. North Liberty (Photos)
  6. Johnston (Photos)
  7. Clive (Photos)
  8. Sioux Center (Photos)
  9. Urbandale (Photos)
  10. West Des Moines (Photos)

If you’re wondering, Charles City is the most affordable city in Iowa.

Read on to see why these places cost so much more than average. Or check out the most affordable places in Iowa.

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How We Determined The Most Expensive Cities In Iowa

There are basic necessities that you have to buy no matter where in the country you live. Those things include:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Gas
  • Health Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

You can then compare the cost of these things in each of the places in Iowa to figure out which is the most expensive.

For reference, the United State averages a cost of living 100. A score below 100 means that the city has a below average cost of living while a score over 100 has a high cost of living for that category.

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.

The city with the highest cost of living index, Bettendorf, rank as being the most expensive.

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1. Bettendorf

Bettendorf, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 34,247
Services Index: 99
Groceries Index: 100
Housing Index: 91
Healthcare Index: 92
Transportation Index: 102
Utilities Index: 100

2. Eldridge

Eldridge, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,908
Services Index: 99
Groceries Index: 100
Housing Index: 89
Healthcare Index: 92
Transportation Index: 102
Utilities Index: 100

3. Coralville

Coralville, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,677
Services Index: 93
Groceries Index: 94
Housing Index: 97
Healthcare Index: 102
Transportation Index: 92
Utilities Index: 107

4. Iowa City

Iowa City, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 70,597
Services Index: 93
Groceries Index: 94
Housing Index: 97
Healthcare Index: 102
Transportation Index: 92
Utilities Index: 107

5. North Liberty

North Liberty, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,503
Services Index: 93
Groceries Index: 94
Housing Index: 89
Healthcare Index: 102
Transportation Index: 92
Utilities Index: 107

6. Johnston

Johnston, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,874
Services Index: 92
Groceries Index: 93
Housing Index: 124
Healthcare Index: 97
Transportation Index: 91
Utilities Index: 92

7. Clive

Clive, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 16,246
Services Index: 92
Groceries Index: 93
Housing Index: 115
Healthcare Index: 97
Transportation Index: 91
Utilities Index: 92

8. Sioux Center

Sioux Center, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 7,218
Services Index: 95
Groceries Index: 95
Housing Index: 89
Healthcare Index: 102
Transportation Index: 96
Utilities Index: 91

9. Urbandale

Urbandale, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 41,157
Services Index: 92
Groceries Index: 93
Housing Index: 101
Healthcare Index: 97
Transportation Index: 91
Utilities Index: 92

10. West Des Moines

West Des Moines, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 59,815
Services Index: 92
Groceries Index: 93
Housing Index: 100
Healthcare Index: 97
Transportation Index: 91
Utilities Index: 92

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck

Well there you have it, the places in Iowa that have the highest cost of living, with Bettendorf ranking as the most exensive city in the Hawkeye State.

If you’re curious, here are the most least expensive cities in Iowa:

  1. Charles City
  2. Centerville
  3. Fort Dodge

For more Iowa reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Iowa

City Rank Population Services Groceries Healthcare Housing Transportation Utilities
Bettendorf 1 34,247 99 100 92 91 102 100
Eldridge 2 5,908 99 100 92 89 102 100
Coralville 3 19,677 93 94 102 97 92 107
Iowa City 4 70,597 93 94 102 97 92 107
North Liberty 5 14,503 93 94 102 89 92 107
Johnston 6 18,874 92 93 97 124 91 92
Clive 7 16,246 92 93 97 115 91 92
Sioux Center 8 7,218 95 95 102 89 96 91
Urbandale 9 41,157 92 93 97 101 91 92
West Des Moines 10 59,815 92 93 97 100 91 92
Waukee 11 15,944 92 93 97 98 91 92
Marion 12 35,809 93 94 102 76 92 107
Pleasant Hill 13 9,011 92 93 97 96 91 92
Cedar Falls 14 40,009 90 97 100 86 127 80
Dubuque 15 58,068 103 98 96 71 90 136
Orange City 16 6,130 95 95 102 76 96 91
Ankeny 17 49,488 92 93 97 92 91 92
Glenwood 18 5,253 95 95 102 75 96 91
Cedar Rapids 19 128,009 93 94 102 74 92 107
Davenport 20 101,316 99 100 92 68 102 100
Decorah 21 8,058 90 97 100 76 127 80
Pella 22 10,343 92 93 97 88 91 92
Waverly 23 9,998 90 97 100 75 127 80
Ames 24 61,276 86 91 97 91 97 85
De Witt 25 5,297 99 100 92 67 102 100
Grimes 26 9,037 92 93 97 87 91 92
Altoona 27 15,317 92 93 97 87 91 92
Hiawatha 28 7,109 93 94 102 69 92 107
Muscatine 29 23,857 99 100 92 63 102 100
Spencer 30 11,177 104 105 111 59 98 76
Norwalk 31 9,444 92 93 97 84 91 92
Sheldon 32 5,047 104 105 111 58 98 76
Indianola 33 15,014 92 93 97 80 91 92
Council Bluffs 34 62,261 95 95 102 67 96 91
Le Mars 35 9,783 95 95 102 67 96 91
Independence 36 5,955 90 97 100 67 127 80
Winterset 37 5,165 92 93 97 74 91 92
Clinton 38 26,611 99 100 92 56 102 100
Harlan 39 5,047 95 95 102 59 96 91
Estherville 40 6,177 104 105 111 52 98 76
Vinton 41 5,211 93 94 102 58 92 107
Clear Lake 42 7,718 94 93 91 73 90 93
Anamosa 43 5,526 93 94 102 57 92 107
Sioux City 44 82,719 95 95 102 58 96 91
Waterloo 45 68,392 90 97 100 61 127 80
Des Moines 46 206,702 92 93 97 70 91 92
Grinnell 47 9,136 92 93 97 69 91 92
Manchester 48 5,126 93 94 102 55 92 107
Nevada 49 6,794 86 91 97 68 97 85
Maquoketa 50 6,064 103 98 96 49 90 136
Washington 51 7,315 90 95 94 59 91 102
Mount Pleasant 52 8,682 90 95 94 59 91 102
Boone 53 12,619 86 91 97 65 97 85
Carroll 54 10,051 86 91 97 63 97 85
Newton 55 15,139 92 93 97 59 91 92
Denison 56 8,370 95 95 102 50 96 91
Atlantic 57 6,983 95 95 102 50 96 91
Marshalltown 58 27,749 86 91 97 58 97 85
Red Oak 59 5,644 95 95 102 47 96 91
Storm Lake 60 10,743 86 91 97 57 97 85
Shenandoah 61 5,079 95 95 102 46 96 91
Burlington 62 25,559 90 95 94 53 91 102
Clarinda 63 5,490 95 95 102 46 96 91
Knoxville 64 7,257 92 93 97 55 91 92
Oskaloosa 65 11,555 92 93 97 55 91 92
Mason City 66 27,775 94 93 91 56 90 93
Creston 67 7,846 92 93 97 54 91 92
Algona 68 5,513 94 93 91 56 90 93
Cherokee 69 5,203 95 95 102 43 96 91
Fairfield 70 9,615 90 95 94 51 91 102
Perry 71 7,986 86 91 97 54 97 85
Iowa Falls 72 5,193 86 91 97 53 97 85
Webster City 73 7,905 86 91 97 53 97 85
Oelwein 74 6,321 90 97 100 42 127 80
Fort Madison 75 10,929 90 95 94 47 91 102
Ottumwa 76 24,847 90 95 94 47 91 102
Keokuk 77 10,742 90 95 94 43 91 102
Fort Dodge 78 24,846 86 91 97 49 97 85
Centerville 79 5,480 92 93 97 45 91 92
Charles City 80 7,562 94 93 91 46 90 93

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