These Are The 10 Most Successful Cities In Iowa

We looked at the data to determine where the best of the best are living in Iowa.

Chris Kolmarby Chris KolmarRankings - 2 years ago

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What is success? Is it the amount of money you have in your bank account, at any given point? Is it that feeling you get after delivering a killer presentation, or even a pretty decent bar joke?

Or is it something bigger–something wholly unnamable, undefinable, immeasurable, and totally subjective?

Probably so.

But here at Zippia, we like things that we can neatly measure and then expound upon. So yes, with the Power of Math, we have determined the unarguable, totally objective 10 most successful cities in Iowa. And here they are:

  1. Clive
  2. Grimes
  3. Waukee
  4. Johnston
  5. Sioux Center
  6. North Liberty
  7. Urbandale
  8. Pleasant Hill
  9. Norwalk
  10. Orange City

If you are trying to argue already with our unarguable list, keep reading. There’s a method to this madness.

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How We Determined The Most Successful Cities In Iowa

The first thing that comes to most capitalist minds in terms of success is–money. After all, rich people must be successful, right?

Meh. Maybe. But we think there’s a bit more that goes into it than that. So we looked at this set of criteria from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey:




1. Clive

Clive, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 16,246Median Income: $91,696
Poverty Level: 2.4%
Unemployment Rate: 2.2%

2. Grimes

Grimes, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 9,037Median Income: $78,504
Poverty Level: 1.7%
Unemployment Rate: 2.2%

3. Waukee

Waukee, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,944Median Income: $78,786
Poverty Level: 6.6%
Unemployment Rate: 0.6%

4. Johnston

Johnston, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,874Median Income: $94,821
Poverty Level: 5.4%
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%

5. Sioux Center

Sioux Center, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 7,218Median Income: $64,238
Poverty Level: 7.4%
Unemployment Rate: 0.5%

6. North Liberty

North Liberty, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,503Median Income: $72,470
Poverty Level: 8.1%
Unemployment Rate: 0.7%

7. Urbandale

Urbandale, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 41,157Median Income: $79,909
Poverty Level: 4.5%
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%

8. Pleasant Hill

Pleasant Hill, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,011Median Income: $73,224
Poverty Level: 5.9%
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%

9. Norwalk

Norwalk, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 9,444Median Income: $80,406
Poverty Level: 1.3%
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%

10. Orange City

Orange City, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,130Median Income: $62,273
Poverty Level: 5.2%
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%

Measuring Success

If you’re still looking at this post thinking, “Surely, such superficial methods can’t possibly measure a city, or rather, the individuals that make up that city’s success!” well, you’re probably right.

But we like to measure things, and when it comes to success, we feel pretty successful in our approach. Congrats to Clive and our winners. And for those who didn’t make the cut, well, better luck next year.

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Detailed List Of The Most Successful Cities In Iowa

Rank City Median Income Poverty Rate Unemployment Rate
1 Clive $91,696 2.4% 2.2%
2 Grimes $78,504 1.7% 2.2%
3 Waukee $78,786 6.6% 0.6%
4 Johnston $94,821 5.4% 3.6%
5 Sioux Center $64,238 7.4% 0.5%
6 North Liberty $72,470 8.1% 0.7%
7 Urbandale $79,909 4.5% 3.9%
8 Pleasant Hill $73,224 5.9% 2.7%
9 Norwalk $80,406 1.3% 4.5%
10 Orange City $62,273 5.2% 2.4%
11 Bettendorf $74,529 5.1% 4.3%
12 Ankeny $75,069 7.2% 3.6%
13 Glenwood $62,824 9.0% 2.6%
14 West Des Moines $70,882 7.7% 4.3%
15 Altoona $66,730 5.5% 5.1%
16 Marion $62,532 6.4% 4.8%
17 Algona $50,280 10.0% 1.6%
18 Coralville $59,822 11.2% 3.5%
19 Sheldon $46,646 9.0% 2.4%
20 Le Mars $49,459 8.2% 3.7%
21 Decorah $50,361 9.9% 2.8%
22 Independence $51,169 9.4% 4.2%
23 Pella $57,096 9.3% 4.7%
24 Carroll $44,972 10.4% 0.8%
25 De Witt $58,438 9.0% 5.5%
26 Eldridge $56,154 4.7% 6.6%
27 Hiawatha $51,630 10.2% 4.6%
28 Clear Lake $47,147 13.3% 3.6%
29 Waverly $62,337 8.6% 6.9%
30 Cedar Rapids $54,465 12.5% 5.7%
31 Cherokee $44,014 13.0% 3.4%
32 Spencer $44,467 11.1% 4.4%
33 Estherville $47,513 11.8% 5.3%
34 Nevada $55,654 11.6% 6.4%
35 Indianola $52,131 9.6% 7.1%
36 Vinton $52,679 12.6% 6.3%
37 Harlan $42,400 16.2% 1.9%
38 Perry $45,691 15.3% 4.4%
39 Washington $48,708 9.7% 7.3%
40 Manchester $43,194 12.4% 4.9%
41 Atlantic $38,902 13.5% 2.2%
42 Storm Lake $44,164 13.4% 5.1%
43 Dubuque $46,806 13.9% 6.1%
44 Muscatine $44,535 13.3% 5.9%
45 Newton $45,421 14.0% 6.1%
46 Grinnell $45,079 17.3% 4.8%
47 Mount Pleasant $45,977 22.8% 4.5%
48 Boone $45,012 13.6% 6.1%
49 Oelwein $39,800 16.0% 3.8%
50 Marshalltown $48,750 13.6% 7.6%
51 Iowa Falls $46,394 12.7% 9.3%
52 Webster City $39,729 13.0% 5.3%
53 Clarinda $43,519 12.6% 6.5%
54 Sioux City $43,629 15.2% 6.1%
55 Council Bluffs $45,204 15.0% 7.0%
56 Shenandoah $41,310 20.0% 4.2%
57 Mason City $42,009 15.6% 5.9%
58 Davenport $45,424 16.7% 6.7%
59 Denison $45,366 23.1% 5.9%
60 Cedar Falls $52,678 24.8% 7.1%
61 Iowa City $42,119 32.2% 4.6%
62 Knoxville $41,723 15.4% 6.3%
63 Des Moines $46,430 17.8% 8.4%
64 Creston $40,551 15.5% 6.2%
65 Clinton $41,848 16.4% 6.3%
66 Fairfield $39,044 17.9% 5.3%
67 Charles City $37,275 16.3% 5.8%
68 Fort Madison $41,875 13.6% 10.2%
69 Maquoketa $36,431 18.7% 5.0%
70 Winterset $39,598 13.4% 11.0%
71 Ames $42,373 36.4% 6.2%
72 Waterloo $41,461 17.3% 9.6%
73 Centerville $34,524 16.0% 7.8%
74 Anamosa $41,793 16.9% 13.2%
75 Burlington $37,223 18.8% 8.6%
76 Oskaloosa $39,385 20.7% 9.9%
77 Fort Dodge $38,380 19.2% 10.7%
78 Ottumwa $38,095 21.4% 10.1%
79 Keokuk $33,040 23.6% 9.8%
80 Red Oak $33,977 20.4% 13.4%

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