City and Metropolitan Living

If there’s one thing Iowa’s cities do best, it’s be the best.
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Think about it: being the “best” has its benefits: Imagine yourself in the best region for economic strength. The best place for business and careers. The best place to make a living. The best college town. The best place to raise a family. The best place for young adults, young professionals, the middle class and recent college grads. Iowa has it all.

Iowa’s three most populous metropolitan areas consistently top national rankings for growth, economic strength and quality of life.

But it’s not just about being the best; our cities have also been ranked as the top happiest, hippest, healthiest, safest, most affordable, easiest, cleanest, fastest-growing, strongest, richest and least-stressed places in the country. The lowest cost of living in the U.S.? In Iowa. The shortest commute to work? In Iowa. The cleanest air? Iowa again.

You get the picture. Iowa’s cities are doing it right. And if you’re lucky enough to live in one of them, you’ll be happy knowing that nearly everything around you is working in your favor.

The Cedar Rapids Iowa City Corridor was ranked number one for job growth in the country by the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago.


Population: 66,200+
Unemployment rate: 2.4%
Cost of living index: 98*

Greater Des Moines

Population: 650,000+
Unemployment rate: 3.6%^
Cost of living index: 83*

Iowa City/Cedar Rapids

Population: 500,000+
Unemployment rate: 2.8%^
Cost of living index: 97*

Quad Cities

Population: 380,000+
Unemployment rate: 4.1%^
Cost of living index: 88*

*100 is average for the U.S.  (Sperling’s)
^Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 2017
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