Richest Cities In Iowa For 2020


We analyzed 79 places in Iowa to determine where the 1% live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our fifth time ranking the richest cities in Iowa.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

Wondering where the richest folks live in the Hawkeye State? Wonder no longer, because we've used science and data to take the guesswork out of determining the wealthiest places in Iowa.

The places in Iowa with the highest concentration of wealth are largely centered around the state's capital and biggest city, Des Moines. About half the cities on this list are suburbs of Des Moines, with Waukee being the richest of the rich suburbs. If you're looking for money in the eastern part of the state, North Liberty, situated between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, is your best bet. In any case, you don't usually have to travel far from Iowa's biggest cities to find the hordes of wealth.

How much do you need to have in the piggy bank to live in one of the richest places in Iowa? Well the good news is that Iowa has one of the lowests rent in America, so you won't need to break the bank if you're not looking to buy. The average median household income for cities on this list was around $80,000/year, with Clive having the highest earners statewide. If job stability is more important to you, then Bondurant's super low unemployment rate ought to be attractive.

So if you want to know what Iowan cities have corn made of gold, serve fried catfish with a side of caviar, and wear tuxedos to the state fair, read on.

Now you know where the hot spots of wealth are in Iowa. It shouldn't come as a shock that there was a good amount of overlap between the richest cities and the safest and best cities in Iowa. Money doesn't automatically make a city safe or great to live in, but it sure doesn't hurt.

So how did we come up with this list of Iowa's wealthiest places? We started by narrowing down our search to only cities with a population of at least 5,000, which left us with 80 cities to score. Then we looked for the cities with the lowest rates of poverty and unemployment and the highest median household incomes. That left us with only the most-moneyed spots in Iowa. But what city is the richest? According to the data, Waukee is the wealthiest city in Iowa for 2020.

If you're surprised a city you thought was super-flush wasn't in the top ten, check out the complete list below to see where it landed.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out some more reading about Iowa:

The 10 Richest Cities In Iowa For 2020

Waukee, IA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 19,344
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $87,433
Unemployment Rate: 0.7%
Poverty Rate: 4.5%
More on Waukee: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Waukee is a city in Dallas County, Iowa, United States. The population was 13,790 at the 2010 Census; a fast growth has been measured since as it is estimated there were 19,284 people living in Waukee in 2016. It is part of the Des Moines - West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Asbury, IA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,469
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $91,080
Unemployment Rate: 1.7%
Poverty Rate: 3.7%
More on Asbury: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Asbury is a city in Dubuque County, Iowa, United States, and a suburb of the city of Dubuque. It is part of the Dubuque, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 4,357 at the 2010 census. Asbury is the second-largest city in Dubuque County, surpassing Dyersville, Iowa to become the second-largest in the 2010 U.S. Census count. The city is largely a bedroom community, made up of spacious, new subdivisions whose residents work in Dubuque or Peosta, Iowa.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,826
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $82,332
Unemployment Rate: 0.0%
Poverty Rate: 5.2%
More on Bondurant: Real Estate | Data

Bondurant is a city in Polk County, Iowa, United States. The population was 3,860 in the 2010 census, an increase of 109% from the 1,846 population in the 2000 census. It is part of the Des Moines-West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Grimes, IA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 11,930
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $86,018
Unemployment Rate: 2.1%
Poverty Rate: 2.7%
More on Grimes: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Grimes is a city in Dallas and Polk counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 8,246 at the 2010 census. Grimes is part of the Des Moines-West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.

North Liberty, IA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 18,357
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $81,978
Unemployment Rate: 1.1%
Poverty Rate: 4.8%
More on North Liberty: Real Estate | Data | Photos

North Liberty 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.

Review Of North Liberty by HomeSnacks User

This city is a part of the Iowa City community. It has a wide spectrum of economics, which makes it a great place to learn about people, and gives plenty of opportunity to help others or be helped. It is a "bedroom" community with a rapidly growing population. The schools are bursting and a new elementary school is being built. A high school was just opened in 2017.

North Liberty is convenient. Biking is an option because of a great trail, and also because two grocery stores, banks, rec center, gym, post office, car repair.... are in such close proximity to much of the city.

Clive, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 17,195
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $101,616
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
Poverty Rate: 4.3%
More on Clive: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Clive 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.

Johnston, IA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 20,767
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Income: $98,552
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
Poverty Rate: 3.9%
More on Johnston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Johnston is a city in Polk County, Iowa, United States. The population was 17,278 in the 2010 census, an increase of almost 100% from the 8,649 population in the 2000 census. It is part of the Des Moines-West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Sioux Center, IA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 7,499
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Income: $73,856
Unemployment Rate: 0.5%
Poverty Rate: 5.7%
More on Sioux Center: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sioux Center is a city in Sioux County, Iowa, United States with a population of 7,048. Sioux Center is notable for its recent population boom, Dutch heritage, and agribusiness.

Norwalk, IA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,568
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 6)
Median Income: $82,289
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
Poverty Rate: 3.6%
More on Norwalk: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Norwalk is a city in Warren County, with some small portions extending into Polk County, in the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 8,945 at the 2010 census. The city is part of the Des Moines-West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area and is located just south of the Des Moines International Airport.

Urbandale, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 42,881
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Income: $89,569
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
Poverty Rate: 5.6%
More on Urbandale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Urbandale is a city in Polk and Dallas counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 39,463. It is part of the Des Moines-West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.

How We Determined The Richest Places In Iowa For 2020

Map Of The Richest Places To Live In Iowa
The first thing that comes to most people's minds when they think about determining the richest places is to simply identify personal incomes. After all, rich people have really high salaries.

However, we don't believe that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the "richest places". So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2014-2018 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income
  • Unemployment Rate

Median household income is the most digestible way to understand how rich a place really is. The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for more people to become rich. If more people are employed, the richer the future looks.

After we collected the data for all 80 places with more than 5,000 people in Iowa, we ranked each place from 1 to 80 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the richest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a "Rich Score" with the place having the lowest overall Rich Score, Waukee, crowned the "Richest City In Iowa For 2020". You can download the data here.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 80 places.

There You Have It - The Wealthiest Places In Iowa For 2020

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the richest places in Iowa, we weren't sure what we'd encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Iowa.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very top of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you're curious enough, here are the poorest cities in Iowa, according to data:

Poorest: Keokuk
2nd Poorest: Red Oak
3rd Poorest: Maquoketa

For more Iowa reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Richest Cities In Iowa

Rank City RichScore Median Income
1 Waukee 5.33 $87,433
2 Asbury 5.33 $91,080
3 Bondurant 5.67 $82,332
4 Grimes 7.0 $86,018
5 North Liberty 7.67 $81,978
6 Clive 9.0 $101,616
7 Johnston 9.33 $98,552
8 Sioux Center 9.67 $73,856
9 Norwalk 12.67 $82,289
10 Urbandale 15.0 $89,569
11 Altoona 16.0 $77,444
12 Ankeny 16.33 $81,627
13 Pleasant Hill 17.0 $78,406
14 Bettendorf 20.0 $78,676
15 West Des Moines 20.67 $74,787
16 Spirit Lake 21.67 $52,514
17 Pella 23.33 $64,770
18 Clear Lake 23.67 $55,674
19 Marion 24.0 $69,496
20 Iowa Falls 24.33 $49,521
21 Le Mars 24.33 $60,632
22 Manchester 25.0 $52,612
23 Decorah 25.33 $57,188
24 Eldridge 26.0 $69,710
25 Independence 26.0 $52,800
26 Waverly 26.33 $63,947
27 Sheldon 29.0 $48,563
28 Carroll 29.67 $47,692
29 Nevada 30.33 $57,965
30 Vinton 32.0 $51,178
31 Boone 32.67 $53,291
32 Orange City 32.67 $68,684
33 Cedar Rapids 33.33 $59,152
34 Mount Pleasant 33.67 $50,346
35 Indianola 33.67 $59,077
36 Algona 33.67 $51,759
37 Coralville 35.67 $65,387
38 Glenwood 35.67 $56,174
39 Winterset 36.0 $52,636
40 Webster City 36.67 $48,912
41 Muscatine 37.67 $52,030
42 Atlantic 42.33 $41,829
43 Cedar Falls 43.67 $60,068
44 Council Bluffs 45.67 $51,563
45 Sioux City 47.33 $53,281
46 Mason City 47.33 $49,656
47 Hiawatha 47.67 $44,188
48 Marshalltown 48.67 $50,612
49 Spencer 49.67 $45,838
50 Washington 50.33 $52,418
51 Osceola 50.33 $49,498
52 Dubuque 50.67 $52,298
53 Clarinda 51.0 $47,250
54 Davenport 52.0 $50,001
55 Estherville 54.0 $45,655
56 Oelwein 54.67 $40,017
57 Grinnell 56.67 $43,608
58 Denison 56.67 $53,074
59 Des Moines 57.33 $52,251
60 Newton 58.0 $47,071
61 Charles City 59.67 $37,852
62 Knoxville 60.33 $45,678
63 Creston 60.33 $43,432
64 Perry 61.0 $43,637
65 Waterloo 62.0 $46,297
66 Iowa City 62.0 $47,275
67 Clinton 62.0 $42,891
68 Storm Lake 62.67 $49,044
69 Fort Dodge 65.67 $40,271
70 Ames 65.67 $46,127
71 Burlington 66.33 $45,841
72 Fort Madison 69.0 $42,282
73 Oskaloosa 69.0 $44,708
74 Anamosa 69.33 $38,919
75 Centerville 69.67 $33,682
76 Ottumwa 70.0 $40,200
77 Fairfield 70.0 $36,266
78 Maquoketa 70.67 $44,307
79 Red Oak 74.67 $38,876
80 Keokuk 77.0 $39,058

How Is The Area In ?

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *