The 10 Most Diverse Cities In Iowa For 2021


We used data and science to determine the most diverse cities in Iowa.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the most diverse places in Iowa.


Most Diverse Cities In Iowa

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Race relations in America seem to be hitting a tipping point.

While we still haven't dealt with racism as a society, the election of Donald Trump to the presidency has only flamed the tensions that have been mounting for years.

Part of the reason for that tension? The country as a whole continues to self segregate across race, income, and party lines. But it's not all bad on the race relations front.

There are parts of Iowa where there's a high level of diversity -- where people of all walks of life come together. We decided to shine a light on those places today.

Using a standard measure of diversity, we ranked all 80 cities in Iowa from most to least diverse.

Here are the 10 most diverse places in Iowa for 2021:

  1. Storm Lake
  2. Denison
  3. Marshalltown
  4. Des Moines
  5. Perry
  6. Coralville
  7. Sioux City
  8. Fairfield
  9. Waterloo
  10. Osceola

So what city is the most diverse in Iowa? According to the most Census data, Storm Lake took the number one over all spot for diversity in Iowa.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. To see where Iowa ranked as a state, we have a ranking of the most diverse states in Ameria.

And if you already knew these places were diverse, check out:

The 10 Most Diverse Places In Iowa For 2021

Storm Lake, IA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 10,558

HHI: 3,131
% White: 37.5%
% African American: 3.9%
% Asian: 18.0%
More on Storm Lake: PhotosData

Denison, IA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,337

HHI: 4,136
% White: 41.3%
% African American: 5.1%
% Asian: 4.0%
More on Denison: PhotosData

Marshalltown, IA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 27,053

HHI: 4,556
% White: 59.8%
% African American: 1.5%
% Asian: 5.2%
More on Marshalltown: PhotosData

Des Moines, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 215,636

HHI: 4,671
% White: 65.7%
% African American: 10.9%
% Asian: 6.1%
More on Des Moines: PhotosData

Perry, IA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,599

HHI: 4,684
% White: 58.7%
% African American: 4.6%
% Asian: 0.2%
More on Perry: PhotosData

Coralville, IA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 21,103

HHI: 4,871
% White: 67.2%
% African American: 13.4%
% Asian: 11.1%
More on Coralville: PhotosData

Sioux City, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 82,531

HHI: 5,087
% White: 68.3%
% African American: 3.9%
% Asian: 3.4%
More on Sioux City: PhotosData

Fairfield, IA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,290

HHI: 5,200
% White: 70.5%
% African American: 11.9%
% Asian: 6.1%
More on Fairfield: PhotosData

Waterloo, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 67,912

HHI: 5,341
% White: 70.8%
% African American: 16.6%
% Asian: 2.2%
More on Waterloo: PhotosData

Osceola, IA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,103

HHI: 5,604
% White: 70.4%
% African American: 0.0%
% Asian: 1.2%
More on Osceola: PhotosData

How we determined the most diverse cities in Iowa for 2021

We still believe in the accuracy of data -- especially from the census. So that's where we went to get the breakdown of race across Iowa.

That lead us to the Census's most recently available data, the 2015-2019 American Community Survey data from the US Census.

Specifically, we looked at table B03002: HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY RACE. Here are the category names as defined by the Census:

  • White alone*
  • Black or African American alone*
  • American Indian and Alaska Native alone*
  • Asian alone*
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone*
  • Some other race alone*
  • Two or more races*
  • Hispanic or Latino
* Not hispanic or latino

We limited our analysis to non-CDPs with a population greater than 5,000 people. That left us with 80 cities.

We then calculated the HHI for each city by finding the racial breakdown of a city in percent terms, squaring them, and then adding the squares together. This left us with scores ranging from 3,131 (Storm Lake) to 9,285 (Manchester).

Finally, we ranked each city based on the HHI with a lower score being more diverse than a high score. Storm Lake took the distinction of being the most diverse, while Manchester was the least diverse city. You can download the data here.

Read on for more information on how the cities in Iowa ranked for diversity or, for a more general take on diversity in america, head over to our ranking of the most diverse cities in America.

There You Have It - Diversity Across Iowa

If you're looking for a scientific breakdown of diversity across Iowa, this is an accurate list.

If you're curious enough, here are the least diverse places in Iowa:

  1. Manchester
  2. Spirit Lake
  3. Winterset

For more Iowa reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Diverse Cities In Iowa For 2021

Rank City Population HHI
1 Storm Lake, IA 10,558 3,131
2 Denison, IA 8,337 4,136
3 Marshalltown, IA 27,053 4,556
4 Des Moines, IA 215,636 4,671
5 Perry, IA 7,599 4,684
6 Coralville, IA 21,103 4,871
7 Sioux City, IA 82,531 5,087
8 Fairfield, IA 10,290 5,200
9 Waterloo, IA 67,912 5,341
10 Osceola, IA 5,103 5,604
11 Davenport, IA 102,169 5,710
12 Muscatine, IA 23,774 5,734
13 Iowa City, IA 74,950 5,824
14 Ottumwa, IA 24,545 6,103
15 Ames, IA 66,023 6,352
16 West Des Moines, IA 65,606 6,475
17 Mount Pleasant, IA 8,581 6,524
18 Cedar Rapids, IA 132,301 6,681
19 Hiawatha, IA 7,333 6,728
20 Webster City, IA 7,732 6,785
21 Clive, IA 17,167 6,845
22 Pleasant Hill, IA 9,871 6,849
23 Sioux Center, IA 7,534 6,859
24 Estherville, IA 5,796 6,897
25 Fort Dodge, IA 24,278 7,027
26 Burlington, IA 24,974 7,139
27 Council Bluffs, IA 62,355 7,186
28 North Liberty, IA 18,829 7,215
29 Bettendorf, IA 35,919 7,247
30 Charles City, IA 7,396 7,352
31 Washington, IA 7,313 7,374
32 Clarinda, IA 5,388 7,415
33 Anamosa, IA 5,476 7,425
34 Urbandale, IA 43,441 7,440
35 Keokuk, IA 10,324 7,613
36 Grinnell, IA 9,031 7,661
37 Fort Madison, IA 10,513 7,684
38 Waukee, IA 20,785 7,686
39 Eldridge, IA 6,529 7,704
40 Clinton, IA 25,416 7,725
41 Dubuque, IA 58,196 7,734
42 Sheldon, IA 5,128 7,779
43 Johnston, IA 21,406 7,814
44 Mason City, IA 27,200 7,905
45 Cedar Falls, IA 40,983 8,002
46 Grimes, IA 12,839 8,163
47 Ankeny, IA 61,938 8,225
48 Oskaloosa, IA 11,511 8,279
49 Red Oak, IA 5,362 8,296
50 Clear Lake, IA 7,597 8,344
51 Iowa Falls, IA 5,122 8,361
52 Waverly, IA 10,094 8,369
53 Le Mars, IA 9,941 8,372
54 Creston, IA 7,784 8,373
55 Oelwein, IA 5,979 8,409
56 Orange City, IA 6,127 8,432
57 Newton, IA 15,164 8,436
58 Boone, IA 12,487 8,447
59 Marion, IA 39,328 8,476
60 Maquoketa, IA 6,010 8,495
61 Altoona, IA 18,458 8,519
62 Decorah, IA 7,701 8,586
63 Asbury, IA 5,557 8,638
64 Spencer, IA 11,052 8,679
65 Pella, IA 10,231 8,706
66 Atlantic, IA 6,669 8,795
67 Glenwood, IA 5,326 8,847
68 Centerville, IA 5,458 8,857
69 Independence, IA 6,056 8,868
70 Knoxville, IA 7,192 8,882
71 Nevada, IA 6,754 8,910
72 Norwalk, IA 10,978 8,936
73 Indianola, IA 15,802 9,035
74 Bondurant, IA 6,191 9,084
75 Algona, IA 5,447 9,098
76 Carroll, IA 9,904 9,099
77 Vinton, IA 5,103 9,103
78 Winterset, IA 5,260 9,156
79 Spirit Lake, IA 5,069 9,239
80 Manchester, IA 5,019 9,285

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About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.