These Are The 10 Happiest Places In Iowa

We analyzed over 80 places in Iowa to determine where it’s all rainbows and sunshine.

Chris Kolmarby Chris KolmarRankings - 2 years ago

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There’s a search that we are all on that dwarfs our job or career search — the search for happiness.

And as we all know, where we live and the job we have can all play a big part in our overall sense of contentment and happiness. For that reason, we took a dive into a the most recent census data to help you identify which places in Iowa have the biggest smile of them all.

On our happy data journey, we settled on seven criteria to help determine which Iowa places are the happiest. The criteria include things like having insurance, owning a home, and having a job.

As it turns out, life is all rainbows and butterflies in Grimes, the happiest place in Iowa.

Don’t start feeling sad, there’s plenty of happy to go around as life is still pretty sweet in the following “Happiest Places in the Hawkeye State”:

  1. Grimes
  2. Orange City
  3. Waukee
  4. Urbandale
  5. Johnston
  6. Clive
  7. Algona
  8. Sioux Center
  9. Bettendorf
  10. Carroll
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There’s Nothing We’d Rather Do Than Measure Happiness In The Hawkeye State

There’s a bunch of different studies out there that try to measure what makes people truly happy. And while we all know that money doesn’t buy happiness, it definitely removes anxieties and helps keep you healthy. It’s just that anything past about $70,000 a year doesn’t help as much.

So what else besides money contributes to your happiness? Well we think the following certainly do:

  • Being well educated (Population with at least a bachelor’s degree)
  • Having a job (As measured by the unemployment rate)
  • A short commute to work (God do people hate traffic)
  • Low cost of living
  • Having a family (Getting, and staying married, has a ton of happiness benefits, on average)
  • Owning a home (That’s a big plus)
  • And the poverty rate (Money definitely helps out)

That’s a ton of fun — and happiness — for the whole family, backed by science. The data all comes from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey.

After we decided on the criteria, we gathered the data for the 80 places in Iowa with over 2,000 people.

We then ranked each place from one to 80 for each of the seven criteria with a score of one being the happiest (Any ties were given to the larger place).

Next, we averaged the seven rankings into a Happiness Index for each place with the lowest overall Index being crowned “Happiest Place In Iowa”.

Read on for more happy information about the top ten or skip to the end to see a list of how every places in Iowa ranked. Our apologies to Le Mars which ranked 11th overall and just missed the list.

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1. Grimes

Grimes, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 9,037People Who Own Their Home: 81.5%
Married Adults: 65.5%

2. Orange City

Orange City, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,130People Who Own Their Home: 76.3%
Married Adults: 56.1%

3. Waukee

Waukee, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,944People Who Own Their Home: 79.6%
Married Adults: 61.9%

4. Urbandale

Urbandale, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 41,157People Who Own Their Home: 77.8%
Married Adults: 62.4%

5. Johnston

Johnston, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,874People Who Own Their Home: 75.7%
Married Adults: 63.2%

6. Clive

Clive, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 16,246People Who Own Their Home: 72.6%
Married Adults: 61.9%

7. Algona

Algona, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,513People Who Own Their Home: 68.6%
Married Adults: 54.6%

8. Sioux Center

Sioux Center, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 7,218People Who Own Their Home: 72.7%
Married Adults: 52.3%

9. Bettendorf

Bettendorf, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 34,247People Who Own Their Home: 72.7%
Married Adults: 59.4%

10. Carroll

Carroll, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 10,051People Who Own Their Home: 64.8%
Married Adults: 50.4%

Detailed List Of Happiest Places In Iowa

City Rank Population People Who Own Their Home Married Adults
Grimes 1 9,037 81.5% 65.5%
Orange City 2 6,130 76.3% 56.1%
Waukee 3 15,944 79.6% 61.9%
Urbandale 4 41,157 77.8% 62.4%
Johnston 5 18,874 75.7% 63.2%
Clive 6 16,246 72.6% 61.9%
Algona 7 5,513 68.6% 54.6%
Sioux Center 8 7,218 72.7% 52.3%
Bettendorf 9 34,247 72.7% 59.4%
Carroll 10 10,051 64.8% 50.4%
Le Mars 11 9,783 71.2% 53.9%
Ankeny 12 49,488 72.1% 60.3%
Independence 13 5,955 67.9% 54.9%
Norwalk 14 9,444 68.7% 60.7%
Eldridge 15 5,908 70.2% 56.8%
Sheldon 16 5,047 57.4% 59.2%
Pleasant Hill 17 9,011 72.7% 61.6%
Pella 18 10,343 60.0% 52.2%
Altoona 19 15,317 69.5% 57.5%
North Liberty 20 14,503 66.6% 48.7%
Waverly 21 9,998 68.4% 49.5%
Marion 22 35,809 71.6% 54.1%
Decorah 23 8,058 61.6% 38.4%
Harlan 24 5,047 67.6% 54.5%
Clear Lake 25 7,718 62.1% 56.9%
Spencer 26 11,177 63.4% 54.9%
West Des Moines 27 59,815 56.6% 54.3%
Atlantic 28 6,983 62.4% 53.1%
De Witt 29 5,297 68.5% 56.8%
Cherokee 30 5,203 64.1% 45.8%
Nevada 31 6,794 65.7% 54.5%
Manchester 32 5,126 60.3% 50.7%
Glenwood 33 5,253 60.6% 48.4%
Estherville 34 6,177 66.1% 49.1%
Creston 35 7,846 63.2% 50.7%
Muscatine 36 23,857 62.5% 50.5%
Washington 37 7,315 62.1% 54.5%
Hiawatha 38 7,109 57.8% 48.0%
Vinton 39 5,211 65.2% 47.1%
Cedar Rapids 40 128,009 63.7% 46.9%
Shenandoah 41 5,079 60.5% 55.0%
Grinnell 42 9,136 57.7% 38.2%
Webster City 43 7,905 57.7% 52.6%
Mason City 44 27,775 63.9% 45.2%
Coralville 45 19,677 53.4% 47.8%
Dubuque 46 58,068 60.2% 44.8%
Denison 47 8,370 65.2% 51.4%
Clarinda 48 5,490 58.6% 44.2%
Marshalltown 49 27,749 60.9% 51.7%
Maquoketa 50 6,064 62.6% 52.8%
Storm Lake 51 10,743 57.3% 46.1%
Iowa Falls 52 5,193 57.5% 48.6%
Indianola 53 15,014 65.4% 44.4%
Boone 54 12,619 61.7% 48.7%
Clinton 55 26,611 61.7% 47.0%
Knoxville 56 7,257 61.1% 54.1%
Oelwein 57 6,321 61.4% 45.8%
Cedar Falls 58 40,009 60.4% 42.3%
Burlington 59 25,559 61.4% 47.1%
Perry 60 7,986 58.3% 49.5%
Mount Pleasant 61 8,682 59.4% 40.1%
Sioux City 62 82,719 60.3% 46.3%
Charles City 63 7,562 56.6% 45.7%
Fairfield 64 9,615 55.7% 39.8%
Ottumwa 65 24,847 61.9% 48.2%
Iowa City 66 70,597 46.2% 32.8%
Oskaloosa 67 11,555 57.7% 46.1%
Waterloo 68 68,392 59.2% 44.1%
Ames 69 61,276 40.0% 33.5%
Newton 70 15,139 56.0% 45.3%
Fort Madison 71 10,929 61.0% 45.7%
Centerville 72 5,480 50.8% 49.0%
Council Bluffs 73 62,261 58.4% 44.7%
Winterset 74 5,165 54.2% 52.6%
Davenport 75 101,316 56.6% 44.4%
Fort Dodge 76 24,846 55.0% 38.1%
Red Oak 77 5,644 55.1% 48.0%
Keokuk 78 10,742 55.0% 43.9%
Des Moines 79 206,702 56.4% 43.3%
Anamosa 80 5,526 56.8% 40.7%

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