Iowa Population 2018

3,160,553

As of 2018, we estimate the population in Iowa is 3.16 million.

The last official population numbers for Iowa were taken during the most recent nationwide census of 2010 when it was declared that 3,046,355 people lived in the state. That represented a modest rise of 4.1% compared to the 2,926,324 people recorded in the census taken in 2000. It's estimated by the Census Bureau that the population of Iowa in 2015 was 3,123,899. The growth rate between the 2010 Census and 2015 estimates is 2.55%, which ranks 29th in the nation.

The 2010 Census marked a milestone for Iowa, as it crossed the 3 million mark. This makes Iowa the 30th most populous state in the US.

Situated in the midwest United States and often referred to as the "heartland of America," Iowa is situated in the middle of the country, both in terms of location and population.

Iowa Population Density and Area

Large areas of Iowa are flat and used as farmland and as such, the population density is relatively sparse. Overall, there is a surface area of 56,272 square miles (or 145,743 square kilometers) and this is the 26th largest state in the country in terms of land mass.

With regards to the exact density, average figures show that there are 54.5 people for every square mile. The population center is located in Marshall County in the city of Marshalltown. Iowa now has a predominantly urban population concentrated in these areas, with 61% of the total population living in urban areas by 2000. From 2000 to 2008, urban counties grew 8.5%, while rural counties declined by 4.2%. This trend is expected to continue.

The most populous city in Iowa is Des Moines, with over 210,000 residents, followed by Cedar Rapids (130,405) and Davenport (102,582).The largest county in Iowa by population is Polk County, with over 480,000 individuals counted in the population.

Iowa Demographics

Age/Sex, Race, Religion

The median age in Iowa is 38 years of age. The gender ratio is approximately 50.3% female and 49.7% male.

The racial diversity of Iowa is visible in the pie chart below, with 90.9% Caucasian, 3.3% African American, 2.1% Asian, 1.3% other race, 2% two races, and .4% Natives of North America.

In religious terms, Iowa shows its general preferences with 77% Christian based faith, 1% non-Christian based faiths, and 21% of the population identifying as non-affiliated with any religion.

Iowa Boundary, Statehood, and Census History

Iowa was acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and formed part of Louisiana Territory, renamed Missouri Territory in 1812. Iowa became a territory in 1838 and included present-day Minnesota and the Dakotas from the Mississippi River west to the Missouri River. Iowa was admitted as a State on December 28, 1846 with substantially its present boundaries.

Census coverage began in 1840, when it was limited to eastern Iowa, except for two settlements in present-day Minnesota that were included in Clayton County. The northwestern part of the State was not fully covered in the census until 1860.

Iowa Population Chart

Iowa Population History

Records relating to the growth of Iowa’s population can be traced back to 1840 when the official US Census confirmed that there were 43,112 people living here. Like most states across the US, however, those numbers had exploded ten years later and an impressive increase of 345.8% took them to 192,214.

Further significant rises occurred for the rest of the 19th century, but by the time the 1900s had rolled in, the growth had started to slow.

In fact, between 1900 and 1910, there was a slight drop in population figures by less than 1%. Although this wasn't a huge amount, population decreases within the US are rare, and Iowa went on to produce a similar set of figures in 1990 when the declared population of 2,776,755 had actually dropped by 4.7% from the numbers confirmed in 1980. Overall, those drops in figures make Iowa’s population in 2016 and the future hard to predict.

Iowa Population Growth

After the state's economy bottomed out in the 1980s, Iowa has slowly become more dependent on agriculture. There is still a good mix of finance and insurance services, government services, manufacturing and biotechnology, which has allowed the population of Iowa to increase faster than the United States as a whole.

Population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2013 showed that seven metro counties in Iowa carried the population growth of Iowa from 2010 to 2012, with Dallas County near the top nationally. Combined, they ranked 14th in the nation in terms of fastest growing counties, growing 8.8%. This is in keeping with the urbanization trend in the state.

The overall picture is one of growth and as such, the numbers within Iowa should continue rising steadily, with an estimated population of 3.17 million in 2020 and 3.32 million by 2030.

Population Data via US Census

Iowa Growth Rate

Iowa Population Rank

Year Pop % Change
20203,190,2370.47%
20193,175,3950.47%
20183,160,5530.47%
20173,145,7110.47%
20163,130,8690.40%
20153,118,4730.42%
20143,105,5630.51%
20133,089,8760.50%
20123,074,3860.35%
20113,063,6900.44%
20103,050,2230.42%
20002,926,3240.53%
19902,776,755-0.48%
19802,913,8080.31%
19702,824,3760.24%
19602,757,5370.51%
19502,621,0730.32%
19402,538,2680.27%
19302,470,9390.27%
19202,404,0210.78%
19102,224,771-0.03%
19002,231,8531.56%
18901,912,2971.64%
18801,624,6153.13%
18701,194,0205.87%
1860674,91313.38%
1850192,21416.12%
184043,1120.00%

Iowa Facts

Iowa Population in 2018Source: By Tim Kiser (w:User:Malepheasant) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], from Wikimedia Commons

Iowa Population Density by County

Polk County

  • Population481,830
  • Density840.04 per sq km
  • Growth Since 201011.48%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State15.32%

Iowa Population Growth Rate by County

Iowa has exhibited increases in the populations of its counties, as shown in data from the 2010 Census and 2015 estimates from the 2015 US Census Bureau. By far, Dallas County has seen the largest rate of growth during this 5-year period, posting an increase of 20.14%. Neighboring Polk County saw the 3rd highest rate of growth at 8.2%. Further east, Johnson County saw the 2nd highest rate of growth of 9.87%. Some other counties posted smaller but noticeable growth, including Story County with a rate of 7.13%, Sioux County at 3.57%, and Scott County at 3.85%.

There were also some areas that exhibited declining growth between 2010 and 2015. The highest decrease in population was posted in Fremont County, with a decline of over 7%. Other significant decreases were posted in the southern region of the state, including Adams County at 5.71%, Adair County at 5.7%, and Audobon County at 5.53%.

Population by Race

Race Population
White2,823,890
Black or African American103,052
Asian66,570
Two or More Races61,294
Some Other Race39,410
American Indian and Alaska Native9,951
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2,422

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey)

Iowa Population Pyramid 2018

0%2%4%6%8% Male Population0%2%4%6%8% Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S0101

Iowa Median Age

38


Total

36.7


Male

39.4


Female

Iowa Adults

There are 2,379,647 adults, (490,841 of which are seniors) in Iowa.

Iowa Age Dependency

64.5

Age Dependency Ratio

26

Old Age Dependency Ratio

38.5

Child Dependency Ratio

Iowa Sex Ratio

Female

1,563,601

50.33%

Male

1,542,988

49.67%

Iowa Households and Families

Iowa Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Iowa Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married87.3%12.7%
All71.1%28.9%
Male62.6%37.4%
Non Family54.2%45.8%
Female51.1%48.9%

71.1%

Rate of Home Ownership

Iowa Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All1,242,6412.4271.1
Married631,5533.0387.3
Non Family443,9771.2754.2
Female114,9173.1851.1
Male52,1943.1962.6

2.98

Average Family Size

2.42

Average Household Size

6.3%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.2%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Iowa Households

Iowa Education

Iowa Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade65,8213.20%
9th to 12th Grade104,1455.06%
High School Graduate656,68031.90%
Some College441,13421.43%
Associates Degree231,62911.25%
Bachelors Degree379,64918.44%
Graduate Degree179,7828.73%

Iowa Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White1,863,3381,743,831515,611
Hispanic79,83447,1389,466
Black53,70944,5629,681
Asian38,98532,73819,197
Other Race20,77410,5842,004
Multiple Races18,39816,0784,655
Native American6,2675,256925
Islander1,5011,157170

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 93.59%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 49.24%.

Iowa Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$36,544$43,136$29,984
Less Than High School$24,666$29,198$17,655
High School Grad$30,468$36,945$22,151
Some College$34,478$42,350$27,468
Bachelors Degree$47,214$58,004$40,237
Graduate Degree$61,606$72,767$54,629

$36,544

Average Earnings

$43,136

Average Male

$29,984

Average Female

Iowa Language

Iowa Language by Age

Iowa Language

92.50% of Iowa residents speak only English, while 7.50% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is Spanish, which is spoken by 3.91% of the population.

Iowa Poverty

Iowa Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White2,618,929270,74510.34%
Hispanic167,38739,93123.86%
Black95,93033,31434.73%
Multiple58,41013,64123.35%
Asian64,24711,78118.34%
Other38,0458,87523.33%
Native9,4792,90630.66%
Islander2,36363827.00%

12.30%

Overall Poverty Rate

11.06%

Male Poverty Rate

13.53%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Iowa

The race most likely to be in poverty in Iowa is Black, with 34.73% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Iowa is White, with 10.34% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.47%. Among those working part-time, it was 18.97%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 19.62%.

Iowa Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School22.64%
High School10.82%
Some College8.58%
Bachelors or Greater3.52%

Iowa Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed38.98%
Male Unemployed29.39%
Female Employed8.73%
Male Employed5.56%

Iowa Income

Iowa Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$54,570$70,708
Families$69,419$85,136
Married Families$79,468$95,909
Non Families$30,838$42,056

Iowa Marital Status

Iowa Marital Status

Marriage Rates

52.7%

Overall Marriage Rate

53.8%

Male Marriage Rate

51.7%

Female Marriage Rate

Iowa Married by Age and Sex

Iowa Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45To54.

Iowa Marital Status by Race

Iowa Veterans

Iowa Veterans by War

203,277

Number of Veterans

190,215

Male Veterans

13,062

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam74,787
First Gulf War30,140
Second Gulf War26,384
Korea24,452
World War II14,305

Iowa Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
75+53,969
65 to 7451,794
35 to 5443,418
55 to 6437,920
18 to 3416,176

Iowa Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White195,7318.91%
Black3,8745.63%
Hispanic2,9942.92%
2 or More1,7766.69%
Indian6819.13%
Asian5371.06%
Other5322.02%
Hawaiian1468.58%

Iowa Veterans by Education

6.21%

Veteran Poverty Rate

27.43%

Veteran Disability Rate

Iowa Employment Status

Iowa Employment by Age

67.7%

Labor Force Participation

64.5%

Employment Rate

4.5%

Unemployment Rate

Iowa Employment by Race

Iowa Employment by Education

Iowa Nativity

Iowa Citizenship Status

Data Sources
  1. Iowa Profile
  2. Iowa State Data Center
  3. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  4. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  5. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  6. Census QuickFacts
  7. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)