Iowa Population 2020


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 Gender and Religion Statistics

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

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, Census, and Statehood 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 Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Iowa was:

  • White: 90.28%
  • Black or African American: 3.51%
  • Asian: 2.40%
  • Two or more races: 2.10%
  • Other race: 1.25%
  • Native American: 0.37%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.10%

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.

Iowa Population Projections

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.

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. 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%).

Iowa has been considered one of the least diverse states, with a population that is mostly white. Iowa is one of ten states that have a white population that exceeds 90%. The state has, however, seen a significant increase in its population of Hispanics. Between 2000 and 2014, the Hispanic population increased by over 110%, and future growth is expected to continue so that the state will approach close to half a million Hispanic residents by 2050.

Iowa Growth Rate

Iowa Population Rank

Iowa Population 2020

Polk County

  • Population487,204
  • Density849.41 per sq km
  • Growth Since 201012.68%
  • State Population Rank1
  • % of State15.44%

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 Percentage
Black or African American109,9113.51%
Two or More Races65,7702.10%
Some Other Race39,1681.25%
American Indian and Alaska Native11,5490.37%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander3,1290.10%

Iowa Population Pyramid 2020

Iowa Median Age







Iowa Adults

There are 2,402,470 adults, (513,312 of whom are seniors) in Iowa.

Iowa Age Dependency


Age Dependency Ratio


Old Age Dependency Ratio


Child Dependency Ratio

Iowa Sex Ratio







Iowa Households and Families

Iowa Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Iowa Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Non Family54.3%45.7%


Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
Non Family456,3451.2754.3


Average Family Size


Average Household Size


Unmarried (Opposite Sex)


Unmarried (Same Sex)

Iowa Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade65,4823.15%
9th to 12th Grade101,2274.86%
High School Graduate648,13731.14%
Some College441,08721.19%
Associates Degree238,42311.46%
Bachelors Degree395,82019.02%
Graduate Degree191,1979.19%

Iowa Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
Other Race21,27211,3862,320
Multiple Races19,69117,6385,509
Native American7,1076,0011,165

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 93.97%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 46.31%.

Name Average Male Female
Less Than High School$27,099$31,691$19,843
High School Grad$31,892$40,031$23,914
Some College$36,517$45,238$29,575
Bachelors Degree$50,897$62,079$42,114
Graduate Degree$64,984$77,271$59,515


Average Earnings


Average Male


Average Female

Iowa Language

Iowa Language by Age

Iowa Language

92.03% of Iowa residents speak only English, while 7.97% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 4.04% of the population.

Iowa Poverty

Iowa Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate


Overall Poverty Rate


Male Poverty Rate


Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Iowa

The race most likely to be in poverty in Iowa is Black, with 33.31% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Iowa is White, with 9.70% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.40%. Among those working part-time, it was 18.48%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 18.82%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School21.68%
High School10.71%
Some College8.12%
Bachelors or Greater3.58%
Name Poverty
Female Unemployed37.93%
Male Unemployed28.32%
Female Employed8.19%
Male Employed5.35%

Iowa Income

Iowa Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Married Families$85,265$103,190
Non Families$33,108$45,352

Iowa Marital Status

Iowa Marital Status

Marriage Rates


Overall Marriage Rate


Male Marriage Rate


Female Marriage Rate

Iowa Married by Age and Sex

Iowa Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.

Iowa Marital Status by Race

Iowa Veterans


Number of Veterans


Male Veterans


Female Veterans

War Veterans
First Gulf War30,413
Second Gulf War27,176
World War II9,554
Age Group Veterans
65 to 7453,611
35 to 5440,219
55 to 6430,708
18 to 3414,147
Name Veterans % of Total
2 or More1,6535.73%

$Iowa Veterans by Education


Veteran Poverty Rate


Veteran Disability Rate

Iowa Employment Status


Labor Force Participation


Employment Rate


Unemployment Rate

Iowa Place of Birth

Origin of Non-Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens


Born in Iowa


Native Born


Foreign Born


Non Citizen

Place of Birth

94.83% of Iowa residents were born in the United States, with 70.44% having been born in Iowa. 3.20% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.