Iowa Population 2016

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. As of 2016, the estimated population in Iowa is 3.1 million.

The last official population numbers for Iowa were taken during the last 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 current population of Iowa in 2016 is 3,123,899. The growth rate between the 2010 Census and 2015 estimates is 2.55%, which ranks 29th in the nation.

Estimates made by the US Census Bureau put the population of Iowa at 3,123,899. This estimate was taken in July 2015. This makes Iowa -- which ranks 26th in terms of land area -- the 30th most populous state in the US.

When breaking down Iowa's population, 72.2% were born in the state, 23.2% were born in a different state, 0.5% were born in Puerto Rico or abroad to American parents and 4.1% were foreign born. According to 2015 estimates, 91.8% of the population is White (86.7% non-Hispanic), 3.5% is Black or African American, 0.5% Alaska Native and American Indian, 2.4% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 1.8% are multiracial. Iowans are primarily of Western European descent, with the largest ancestry groups including German (35.7%), Irish (13.5%), English (9.5%), American (6.6%) and Norwegian (5.7%).

Interestingly, the 2012 population estimate was the first time the state ever topped 3 million in terms of population.

Iowa Population Density

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. The most populous city in Iowa is Des Moines, with over 210,000 residents, followed by Cedar Rapids (130,405) and Davenport (102,582). 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.

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.

Iowa Population in 2016 Source: Tim Kiser (w:User:Malepheasant)

Iowa Facts

  • The oldest city in Iowa is Dubuque.
  • The population of hogs living in Iowa exceeds the number of people. In 2013, there was a population of over 21 million hogs in the state.
  • Iowa produces more corn -- approximately 2.4 billion bushels per year -- than any other state.
  • Iowa's east and west borders are comprised completely of water from the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, and it is the only state that can claim this fact.
  • There are about 67 million chickens in Iowa, which produce almost 15 billion eggs per year.
  • Fort Atkinson was the first US government fort built to protect one Indian tribe from another.

Population Data via US Census

Year Population % Change Rank
2020 3,195,989 0.45% 31
2019 3,181,571 0.46% 31
2018 3,167,153 0.46% 30
2017 3,152,735 0.46% 30
2016 3,138,317 0.46% 30
2015 3,123,899 0.46% 30
2014 3,109,481 0.56% 30
2013 3,092,224 0.51% 30
2012 3,076,636 0.37% 30
2011 3,065,389 0.62% 30
2010 3,046,355 0.40% 30
2000 2,926,324 0.53% 30
1990 2,776,755 -0.48% 30
1980 2,913,808 0.31% 27
1970 2,824,376 0.24% 25
1960 2,757,537 0.51% 24
1950 2,621,073 0.32% 22
1940 2,538,268 0.27% 20
1930 2,470,939 0.27% 19
1920 2,404,021 0.78% 16
1910 2,224,771 -0.03% 15
1900 2,231,853 1.56% 10
1890 1,912,297 1.64% 10
1880 1,624,615 3.13% 10
1870 1,194,020 5.87% 11
1860 674,913 13.38% 20
1850 192,214 16.12% 28
1840 43,112 0.00% 29
Iowa Population by Race
Race Population Percentage
White 2,839,615 93.21%
Black or African American 91,695 3.01%
American Indian and Alaska Native 13,563 0.45%
Asian 54,232 1.78%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 2,419 0.08%
Two or more races 44,831 1.47%
Languages Spoken in Iowa
Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over 2,864,943 100.00%
Spanish 113,175 4.00%
German 12,465 0.40%
Chinese 8,290 0.30%
Serbocroatian 7,965 0.30%
French 5,440 0.20%
Pennsylvania Dutch 2,015 0.10%
Dutch 1,630 0.10%
Telugu 1,600 0.10%
Swahili 1,110 0.00%
Iowa County Populations
County Population Rank
Polk County 467,711 1
Linn County 219,916 2
Scott County 172,126 3
Johnson County 144,251 4
Black Hawk County 133,455 5
Woodbury County 102,782 6
Dubuque County 97,125 7
Story County 96,021 8
Pottawattamie County 93,671 9
Dallas County 80,133 10
Warren County 48,626 11
Clinton County 47,768 12
Cerro Gordo County 43,017 13
Muscatine County 43,011 14
Marshall County 40,746 15
Des Moines County 40,055 16
Webster County 37,071 17
Jasper County 36,827 18
Wapello County 35,173 19
Lee County 35,089 20
Sioux County 34,937 21
Marion County 33,294 22
Boone County 26,643 23
Benton County 25,658 24
Plymouth County 24,800 25
Bremer County 24,722 26
Mahaska County 22,324 27
Washington County 22,247 28
Buchanan County 21,062 29
Winneshiek County 20,709 30
Carroll County 20,498 31
Buena Vista County 20,493 32
Jones County 20,466 33
Fayette County 20,257 34
Henry County 19,950 35
Jackson County 19,444 36
Poweshiek County 18,550 37
Cedar County 18,340 38
Clayton County 17,644 39
Jefferson County 17,555 40
Delaware County 17,403 41
Hardin County 17,367 42
Tama County 17,337 43
Dickinson County 17,111 44
Crawford County 17,094 45
Clay County 16,507 46
Iowa County 16,401 47
Floyd County 15,960 48
Madison County 15,753 49
Page County 15,527 50
Hamilton County 15,190 51
Kossuth County 15,165 52
Butler County 14,915 53
Mills County 14,844 54
Harrison County 14,265 55
O'Brien County 13,984 56
Allamakee County 13,886 57
Cass County 13,427 58
Wright County 12,773 59
Appanoose County 12,529 60
Union County 12,469 61
Grundy County 12,435 62
Chickasaw County 12,097 63
Shelby County 11,927 64
Lyon County 11,745 65
Cherokee County 11,574 66
Louisa County 11,185 67
Hancock County 10,974 68
Mitchell County 10,832 69
Guthrie County 10,676 70
Winnebago County 10,609 71
Franklin County 10,295 72
Montgomery County 10,234 73
Keokuk County 10,163 74
Sac County 10,021 75
Calhoun County 9,818 76
Emmet County 9,769 77
Humboldt County 9,555 78
Howard County 9,410 79
Clarke County 9,259 80
Palo Alto County 9,133 81
Greene County 9,027 82
Monona County 8,979 83
Davis County 8,769 84
Lucas County 8,682 85
Decatur County 8,220 86
Monroe County 7,973 87
Worth County 7,569 88
Van Buren County 7,344 89
Adair County 7,228 90
Ida County 7,028 91
Pocahontas County 7,008 92
Fremont County 6,906 93
Wayne County 6,385 94
Taylor County 6,205 95
Osceola County 6,154 96
Audubon County 5,773 97
Ringgold County 5,068 98
Adams County 3,796 99