These Are The 10 Places In Iowa With The Worst Work–Life Balance

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings - 3 years ago
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Everyone knows those people that sacrifice their personal life in pursuit of their career.

The ones that get to work before everyone and stay late on Friday nights.

Well, there are some places in every state where the whole town takes on that ethos and Iowa is no exception.

We at Zippia decided to look at data from the most recent American Community Survey from the Census Department to identify which of the 83 biggest places in Iowa need to put down the computer and think of getting out more.

After burning the midnight oil, we were left with this set of ten places in the Hawkeye State that have the worst work–life balance:

  1. North Liberty
  2. Council Bluffs
  3. Glenwood
  4. Hiawatha
  5. Des Moines
  6. Anamosa
  7. Fort Madison
  8. Manchester
  9. Mount Pleasant
  10. Altoona

Read on to see how we identified these workaholics and more information on the top ten.

How We Determined The Places In Iowa With The Worst Work–Life Balance

There are certain characteristics that all workaholics share. Namely, they put the job above all else and derive part of their identity from it.

They are the busy boasters, the ones that don’t mind putting in the extra hours.

With that in mind, we identified this set of criteria from the American Community Survey to help pick out the places that could use a vacation:

  • Commute time (Longer is worse)
  • Hours worked per week(Higher is worse)
  • % Of Married Households (Lower rate is a worse work–life balance)

Basically, if you spend so much time getting to work and working that you haven’t had time for a date in two years, your work–life balance might be a bit out of whack.

We then ranked each place from one to 83 for each criteria, with one being the worst in any given category.

Finally, we took the average rank across all criteria, with the place posting the lowest overall score “earning” the title “Place with the Worst Work–Life Balance in Iowa”.

Read on to learn the specifics of the ten places in the Hawkeye State that need to go out to the park right now.

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1. North Liberty

Places With The Worst Work Life Balance In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,944
Average Hours Worked: 41
Average Commute Time (mins): 21

The workaholics in North Liberty take the top spot as the place with the worst work–life balance in Iowa.

The small city ranks as having the highest average hours worked per week of any place in Iowa. Mix that with the fifth longest average commute and you have a community that’s more married to the job than any other place in the Hawkeye State.

2. Council Bluffs

Places With The Worst Work Life Balance In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 62,094
Average Hours Worked: 39
Average Commute Time (mins): 19

Council Bluffs ranks as the second worst place for work–life balance in Iowa.

The city ranks in the bottom 30% for all criteria without necessarily “standing out” in any particular area. It’s worst rank is in the commute time criteria, for which it ranks as the 14th worst in Iowa.

So people in Council Bluffs spend a little too long getting to and from work relative to the rest of the state.

3. Glenwood

Places With The Worst Work Life Balance In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,269
Average Hours Worked: 39
Average Commute Time (mins): 23

The third worst place for work–life balance goes to Glenwood.

The small town ranks as having the 3rd longest commute in Iowa and an amount of time spent at work that ranks in the bottom 30%.

On the brighter side, the median income of Glenwood is the top 20%, so at least they get paid for the extra time spent in the car.

4. Hiawatha

Places With The Worst Work Life Balance In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,058
Average Hours Worked: 39
Average Commute Time (mins): 17

Located north of Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha places north of Cedar Rapids on the list of places with the worst work–life balance.

The town ranks as having the eighth least percentage of married households in Iowa and in the bottom 50% of places for commute and hours worked.

5. Des Moines

Places With The Worst Work Life Balance In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 205,415
Average Hours Worked: 38
Average Commute Time (mins): 19

Des Moines, the biggest place on the list, ranks as the fifth worst for work–life balance.

With so many great things to do in town, it’s a shame that the residents spend the greater part of their day on the commute to and from work or just generally a work.

6. Anamosa

Places With The Worst Work Life Balance In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,550
Average Hours Worked: 37
Average Commute Time (mins): 25

Anamosa ranks as the sixth worst place for work–life balance in Iowa on the back of its commute time.

The small town has the worst average commute of any place in Iowa. The commute here is 10 minutes longer each way than a typical commute in Iowa. That might not sound like a lot, but do it 200 days a year and you are spending an extra 33 hours a year traveling. That’s 33 hours less to spend with the family or, really, doing anything else.

7. Fort Madison

Places With The Worst Work Life Balance In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,045
Average Hours Worked: 38
Average Commute Time (mins): 18

The seventh worst place for work–life balance in the Hawkeye State goes to Fort Madison.

It has fortified its spot on this list due to a low percentage of married households and a relatively long average commute time.

8. Manchester

Places With The Worst Work Life Balance In Iowa

Source: City of Manchester

Population: 5,145
Average Hours Worked: 39
Average Commute Time (mins): 19

The smallest place in our top ten, Manchester ranks as the eighth worst place for work–life balance.

The town ranks in the bottom 30% for both hours worked per week and commute time.

9. Mount Pleasant

Places With The Worst Work Life Balance In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,688
Average Hours Worked: 39
Average Commute Time (mins): 15

The county seat of Henry County takes the ninth seat on our life of the places with the worst work–life balance in Iowa.

It ranks as having the fifth lowest number of married households in the Hawkeye State. Because there’s no time to get married when you have to work all the time.

10. Altoona

Places With The Worst Work Life Balance In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,954
Average Hours Worked: 40
Average Commute Time (mins): 21

And rounding out the top ten places with the worst work–life balance in Iowa goes to Altoona.

With the fifth longest commute and fifth most hours worked of any place in Iowa, you could make the case that Altoona should appear higher on the list. However, the town is able to maintain a solid clip of families for all its working hours — it has the eighth highest percentage of married households in the Hawkeye State.