Are you considering moving to the Midwestern region of the United States? Or are you considering moving to one of the top 15 states in the country? What if we told you that you can have both those things in one single state? Yes! We’re talking about Iowa, or the Hawkeye State, as it is also known!
- Des Moines, Iowa.min.jpg
- Sabula, Iowa.min.jpg
- Palm reading.min.jpg
- Maquoketa Caves, Iowa.min.jpg
- Sioux City, Iowa.min.jpg
- The University of Iowa in Iowa City.min.jpg
- Iowa State Capitol.min.jpg
- Swinging Bridge in Columbus Junction, Iowa.min.jpg
- Figge Art Museum, Iowa.min.jpg
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- Iowa is considered one of the best states to live in America, and the number one state in the Midwest
- Des Moines at night
Moving to Iowa means you’ll have access to one of the best healthcare systems in the country, as well as access to high-quality higher education and jobs in different fields.
In addition to having a thriving economy, Iowa also has beautiful natural attractions and lots of history to tell. If you’re considering moving to the Hawkeye State, here everything you need to know!
Pros and Cons
Even though Iowa is considered the 12th best state in the country, we can’t say that the Hawkeye State is flawless. Like every other state, living in Iowa has both its advantages and disadvantages. Want to know more? Here are the 14 pros and cons of moving to Iowa!
- If you’re an outgoing person, you’ll love moving to Iowa; there are lots of friendly and generous people all across this state!
- While you won’t find beaches or mountains in Iowa, there’s plenty of nature to enjoy in the Northeast region of the state.
- Cost of
- One of the biggest pros of moving to Iowa is that the Hawkeye State has one of the lowest costs of living in the country!
- One thing you should know about Iowa is that the major cities in this state have a thriving economy, which means you’ll find plenty of job opportunities available in Iowa!
- Ranking at #14, Iowa has one of the lowest crime rates in the country, with 267 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, whereas the national average is 379 crimes/100,000 people.
- Access to
- Iowa is one of the best states for health care, and it is the 6th best state for health care access. Only 7.3% of the population in Iowa doesn’t have health insurance (the national average is 12.9%).
- Considering that Iowa has a low cost of living, the real estate market in this state is also accessible, and you can find nice houses at affordable prices.
- If you’re moving to Iowa from states such as California, for instance, it might take a while before you get used to Iowa’s harsh (even brutal) winters.
- No major
- Are you a sports fan? Before you move to Iowa, you should know that there are no major league teams in this state — you’ll have to travel to nearby cities in order to watch any major league match.
- Not a lot
of things to do
- Iowa is not the best state for entertainment, truth be told. If you’re moving to Iowa from major cities, you’1l certainly notice the difference as you won’t find lots of things to do.
- Getting to
- According to locals, you’ll probably have a hard time moving around town, especially if you move to smaller towns.
- Unfortunately, if you’re into nature, you’ll only find trees and such in Northeast Iowa.
- Small town
- Although it is an up-and-coming state, Iowa is a mixture of big cities and small towns. What does that mean? It means that you’ll live in a big city but have to deal with small-town culture!
shops and such
- Iowa residents report that, if you move to smaller towns, you’ll have a hard time finding shops and grocery stores. In some towns, there are no large stores (such as Walmart), and you’ll have to drive to the nearest city in order to find them!
- There are several fun facts about Iowa, including the fact that it has an island-city even though there are no beaches in this region!
- Aerial view of Sabula, a city in Iowa
If you’re considering moving to Iowa, then you should get to know your future home. This state is really interesting, even though it is not as populous or as large as other states. Here are 6 fun facts about Iowa!
- An island-city: Even though Iowa is a land-locked state, it is home to an island city. Sabula, in Jackson County, wasn’t originally an island. But the construction of a lock and dam flooded the lowlands permanently and isolated Sabula, which became an island!
- Two vowels: An interesting fact about the Hawkeye State is that it is the only U.S. state that begins with two vowels: I-o-wa!
- Not as conservative: While Iowa is considered a conservative state, it was actually the 3rd state to declare that same-sex marriages should be allowed, as well as being the first state to allow women to practice law back in the 1860s!
- Sliced bread: You’ll probably agree with us that sliced bread is one of the best inventions of mankind. Did you know that the first bread-slicing machine was invented in Iowa?
- Movie stars: Iowa is home to several famous people, but none as globally popular as John Wayne and Donna Reed, two legendary movie stars! In fact, you can even visit John Wayne’s childhood home in Winterset, Iowa.
- Hogs and Humans: According to a report, there were over 24 million hogs in Iowa as of March 2020. On the other hand, there are only 3,1 million people living in this state — which means that there are more hogs in Iowa than actual human beings!
Funny State Laws
- Like many other states, Iowa has a few hilarious laws. One of these laws declares that palm reading is illegal! Read more about it below
- A woman having her palms read
Every U.S. state has its fair share of laws that were created in the past centuries and that sound incredibly nowadays. We understand that things were different back then, but we can’t help laughing at these laws. Here are 5 funny laws in Iowa!
- Men with a mustache: According to the state of Iowa, a man with a mustache is forbidden by law from kissing a woman while in public!
- Hurry up: In Fort Madison, Iowa, firefighters are required to practice for 15 minutes before they go out to the rescue. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?
- No winking: If you are a man and you’re moving to Ottumwa, Iowa, keep in mind that it’s illegal for men to wink at stranger women in this city.
- Kissing for 5 minutes: The state of Iowa has a law that forbids people from kissing for more than 5 minutes. We wonder what Iowa has against kissing!
- Palm reading: Are you a palm reader? Be aware that it’s illegal to read palms within the limits of the city of Cedar Rapids!
Weather and Climate
Like other Midwest states, Iowa has a humid continental climate. In other words, this state experiences hot summers and very cold winters. Iowa’s geographical formation and position are not very favorable to the weather: this state is not near any major oceans, it doesn’t have any mountains, and its tree cover is declining. All these factors affect the weather directly, and residents may experience severe variation throughout the year. In the summer, temperatures are usually between 90 °F and 100 °F, even though it is the rainiest season in the state. During wintertime, temperatures are also severe; they usually go below 0 °F, and may even reach -20 °F in January!
- In Iowa, you won’t find any beaches or mountains — but you’ll still get to visit some pretty amazing places, including the Maquoketa Caves
- A family visiting the Maquoketa Caves in Iowa
If you move to Iowa, you have to keep three things in mind: you won’t find any mountains, you won’t find any beaches, and you find any national parks in this state. But don’t worry! That doesn’t mean you can’t find great natural attractions to visit in Iowa. The Hawkeye State is home to beautiful state parks and wonderful natural sites. Here are some places you can visit in Iowa!
- Maquoketa Caves
- Ledges State Park
- Effigy Mounds
- Spirit Lake
- Loess Hills
Fortunately for Iowa residents, the Hawkeye State is one of the safest states in the country in terms of natural disasters. Unlike other states, there are only a handful of disasters that have happened in this state throughout the years. According to reports, the worst natural disaster that took place in Iowa was a blizzard that happened over 80 years ago. These are the natural disasters that can occur in Iowa:
Moving Prices from Major Cities
If you’re considering moving to Iowa, then you’re probably wondering how much you’re going to spend in the process. Luckily for you, our free moving costs calculator can help you calculate the estimated costs you’re going to have when you move to the Hawkeye State! Here are the moving prices to Iowa from 6 major cities in the United States:
- Moving price from Chicago to Iowa: $1874 – $3123
- Moving price from New York City to Iowa: $2920 – $4867
- Moving price from Boston to Iowa: $3183 – $5306
- Moving price from Dallas to Iowa: $2365 – $3942
- Moving price from Miami to Iowa: $3522 – $5871
- Moving price from Los Angeles to Iowa: $3703 – $6172
Housing / Real Estate
As we mentioned previously, Iowa has one of the lowest costs of living in the United States, as well as being one of the most affordable states for housing in the country! The median home price in the country is approximately $272,400 — in Iowa, on the other hand, you can purchase homes for around $161,000! However, not all cities in Iowa are that affordable. In Bettendorf, for instance, median home prices are well above $300,000! As to renting, if you move to Des Moines, you’ll pay approximately $915 for an apartment.
Price of Living
- If you’re moving to Iowa, that means you’ll be moving to one of the most affordable states in the country!
- View of Downtown Sioux City in Iowa
Now that we’re talking numbers, you’re probably wondering how much it costs to live in Iowa on average. The cost of living index in this state is 91, whereas the U.S. cost of living index is 100 — this means that Iowa is incredibly affordable! If you’re curious about how much a family of 2 adults and 2 children would spend, here are the prices of living in 5 different areas of Iowa!
Sioux City (metro area)
Dubuque (metro area)
Des Moines/West Des Moines (metro area)
Cedar Rapids (metro area)
Waterloo/Cedar Falls (metro area)
According to the U.S. Census, the estimated population of Iowa in 2019 was a little over 3,1 million people, which makes Iowa the 15th least populated state in the country. However, this number represents growth in the population of approximately 3.6% since the last Census (2010). More than half of the population is composed of women, and over 17% are persons 65 years and over. The racial distribution of Iowa is the following:
- White (alone): 90,6%
- Hispanic or Latino: 6.3%
- Black or African American (alone): 4.1%
- Asian (alone): 2.7%
- Two or more races: 2.0%
- Iowa is home to a few of the best universities in the Midwest, including the University of Iowa, which is one of the 100 best universities in the country!
- Aerial view of the campus of the University of Iowa
Iowa is at the 18th position on the ranking of best states for education. While its universities are some of the best in the Midwest, the Hawkeye State still has a lot to improve on its Pre-K-12 systems. Almost half of Iowa’s population attended college, and a little over 91% graduated from high school, which is significantly above the national average of 85.3%. Below are the best high schools and universities in Iowa.
- Maharishi School
- Rivermont Collegiate
- Ames High School
- West Senior High School
- Valley High School
- University of Iowa
- Iowa State University
- Drake University
- Clarke University
- Cornell College
Healthcare and Medical Institutions
Iowa is the 20th best state for health care. It has one of the best health care accesses in the country, as well as having high quality and being affordable. However, Iowa’s health care system was once considered one of the top 10 best in the country and has now fallen several positions. Still, if you move to Iowa, you’ll have access to some of the best hospitals in the United States. Here are the top 5 hospitals in Iowa!
- University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (Iowa City)
- MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center (Des Moines)
- Mary Greeley Medical Center (Ames)
- Mercy Medical Center (Cedar Rapids)
- MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center (Sioux City)
Tourism / Attractions
- Unlike other states in the region, tourism is not Iowa’s strong suit. Still, you can visit historic sites, museums, parks, and beautiful landscapes in Iowa!
- Front view of the iconic Iowa State Capitol building
While Iowa is not necessarily known for being a tourism state, this state has incredible tourist attractions that you can visit. In the Hawkeye State, you can find museums, parks, landscapes, and historic sites that will amaze you! If you’re moving to this state, here are the top-rated tourist attractions in Iowa!
- The African American Museum of Iowa
- Maquoketa Caves State Park
- The State Capitol
- National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium
- Des Moines Art Center
If you’re considering moving to Iowa, there are some things you should know. First of all, the Hawkeye State is primarily known for being a farm state. That means that, depending on where you move to, you’ll probably find yourself living in a rural area. To help you choose an ideal location, here are 4 top cities in Iowa:
- Des Moines
- This city is both the capital and the most populous city in Iowa. Des Moines is especially known for being a haven for insurance industries and is home to several multinational companies.
- Iowa City
- Home to the best university in the state, Iowa City was also the capital of Iowa. In this city, you can visit the Old Capitol Building and some incredible museums.
- Sioux City
- Home to a little over 82,000 residents, Sioux City is known for its historic sites that are open to the public, including the Sergeant Floyd Monument and Chris Larsen Park.
- Located at the Tri-State Area, Dubuque is home to less than 60,000 people. It is a popular city among students, given that it has 5 different universities in its territory.
As of March 2021, Iowa had the seventh-lowest unemployment rate in the United States, at 3.7, which means that almost half of the state’s population is currently employed. Iowa is considered the best state for economic opportunity, and its job growth percentage is almost above the national average. These are the top hiring companies in Iowa:
- Rockwell Collins
- Casey’s General Stores
- Principal Financial Group
- University of Iowa
If you’re moving to Iowa, you can look for job opportunities on the state’s official website.
The median household income in Iowa was a little over $60,500 in 2019, which was below the national median household income of $68,703. Still, Iowa is one of the best 10 states for employment and has a poverty rate that is below the national average. A farm state, Iowa is known for its corn production and for its hog creation. Here are the top industries in Iowa:
- Insurance industry
- Advanced manufacturing
- Food production
- Renewable energy industry
Things to do in Iowa
- It may be surprising for some people, but there are tons of fun activities you can do in Iowa, including crossing a swinging bridge or visiting the future birthplace of a popular fiction character!
- The swinging bridge in Columbus Junction, IA is also known as “Lover’s Leap Swinging Bridge”
For some people, the sorts of activities they’ll find in a place are dealbreakers when it comes to moving. If you’re considering relocating to Iowa, you’re probably wondering what you’ll be able to do in your free time, especially considering Iowa’s “flyover state” status. The truth is that there are plenty of things you can do in Iowa, as we’ll list below!
- Elwood, the Giant Gnome: If you’re visiting the campus of the Iowa State University in Ames, there’s something that you must see. It’s Elwood, the world’s tallest garden gnome!
- Lover’s Leap Swinging Bridge: In Columbus Junction, Iowa, there’s a popular location among tourists and locals: it’s the Lover’s Leap Swinging Bridge, which dates back to the 1880s.
- Captain James T. Kirk’s Birthplace: Are you a Star Trek fan? On the show, it is known that one of the main characters, Captain James T. Kirk, was born in Iowa in 2228. You can already visit his future birthplace in Iowa!
- Matchstick Marvels Museum: Have you ever seen sculptures created entirely out of matchsticks? No? Well, you can see them at the Matchstick Marvels Museum and Iowa. You certainly won’t regret visiting this museum!
- Villisca Ax Murder House: If you’re into murder mysteries and horror stories, you must visit the Villisca Ax Murder House, where 8 people were murdered in the early 20th century.
- Des Moines Art Center: For all art lovers moving to Iowa, the Des Moines Art Center is one of the most important art galleries in the Midwest. Among its exhibits, you’ll find works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Claude Monet, and Paul Gauguin!
- American Gothic House: Another place to visit if you’re an art lover is the American Gothic House. This house served was originally seen in the background of one of Grant Wood’s most popular paintings.
- National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium: If you’re moving to Iowa and you have kids, you can take them to the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. There, they can learn about the history of American rivers and also see plenty of animals!
If you’re relocating to Iowa, one of the first things you’ll need to do in your new state is to learn how to get around. If you have a car, a GPS can easily help you. Now, if you’re going to rely on public transportation, you’ll need to know what are the main means of transportation in Iowa. Here are 8 of them:
|DART (Des Moines)||One-way: $1.75|
|The Jule (Dubuque)||One-way: $1.50|
|Citibus (Davenport)||One-way: $1.00|
|Iowa City Transit (Iowa City)||One-way: $1.00|
|HIRTA (Central Iowa Counties)||One-way: $2.50 – $5.00|
|Cedar Rapids Transit (Cedar Rapids)||One-way: $1.50|
|CyRide (Ames)||One-way: $1.00|
|Metropolitan Transit Authority (Waterloo, Cedar Falls)||One-way: $1.50|
Crime and Safety
When it comes to crime and safety, Iowa is considered the 14th-safest state in the country and one of the safest states in Midwest America. The number of violent crimes per 100,000 residents in Iowa is over 100 points lower than the national average of 379 crimes per 100,000 people. According to different sources, here are the 5 safest cities in Iowa:
- Harpers Ferry
Acquire a New Driver’s License in Iowa
Regardless of where you’re moving to, one of the first things you have to do is to transfer your driver’s license to your new location. If you’re relocating to Iowa, you’ll have to acquire a new driver’s license within the first 30 days of moving to this state. Here’s a step-by-step list of what you have to do:
- Bring your documentation (proof of identity, proof of birth, proof of Social Security number, 2 proofs of Iowa residency).
- Take a vision test.
- If you pass the test, you’ll have to pay the required fees and have your picture taken at the DMV.
- Once all of that is done, you’ll surrender your out-of-state license and receive your new Iowa driver’s license within 21 days!
Road Safety, Highways, and Routes
In 2020, there were over 330 car crash fatalities in Iowa. More than 240 of these fatalities were male drivers between 20 and 24 years old. According to reports, most road accidents in Iowa are caused by distracted driving, especially because of cellphone use while driving. If you’re moving to Iowa, here are the main highways and routes in this state:
- Iowa 3
- Iowa 9
- Iowa 27
- Iowa 92
- Iowa 2
- The Figge Art Museum in Davenport is the most important museum of that region in Iowa, but it’s also important for the state of Illinois!
- Front view of the Figge Art Museum in Iowa
If you think that Iowa only has farms and cornfields, we have to tell you that you’re kind of wrong. The Hawkeye State is also home to amazing natural attractions, it offers plenty of activities — and it has some of the best museums in the Midwest! Here are 5 museums you can visit in Iowa!
- National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
- Figge Art Museum
- Iowa Aviation Museum
- Des Moines Art Center
- Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
In the end, is moving to Iowa worth it?
Iowa is considered one of the 12 best states to live in America, and the best state to live in the Midwest. Home to more farms than most other states and to a hog population that is larger than its human population, Iowa is a great state for those who work in agriculture and for those who work in the insurance industry. The Hawkeye State is also home to a few of the best higher education institutions in the country, as well as some of the best hospitals. Iowa is considered one of the safest states in the United States — and its growing economy is inviting to people of all backgrounds!
How to Move to Iowa
- If you’re considering moving to Iowa, one of the first things you have to do is start planning ahead. Read more tips below!
- Person writing down a checklist on paper
If you’re moving to Iowa, you’ll find that there’s quite a lot to do ahead of actually moving. You have to plan ahead, search for the best moving quotes, pack your belongings, and do many other things. The entire process of moving can be quite stressful and overwhelming — unless you read our 10 tips on how to move to Iowa. They’ll certainly come in handy!
- The very first thing you need to do before moving is planning ahead. Ideally, you should start planning 6 to 8 weeks in advance. Our downloadable moving checklist can come quite in handy during this process!
- If you have way too many items, you might want to get rid of them (by donating or selling them) prior to moving. This way you can save money when you move to Iowa!
- Get Moving
- Another way of saving money before you move to Iowa is by getting moving quotes from different movers. Our free moving costs calculator can help you with that!
- After you get moving quotes, you’ll have to choose between different movers and book the company that suits your needs and your budget the most.
- Visit Your
- If you’re still unsure whether moving to Iowa is worth it, you can always visit the Hawkeye State before making a decision and get a feel of the town you’re thinking of moving to!
- If you decide that you’re going through with moving to Iowa, it’s time to start packing! Some movers provide you with boxes (it’s included in the moving package). Alternatively, you can also buy moving boxes!
- An Essentials box is the box where you’ll store all of your essential items, such as towels, clean sheets, a set of clothes, toothbrushes, among others.
- One of the hardest parts of moving is having to leave behind beloved friends and family members. Our recommendation is that you start saying your farewells a couple of weeks prior to moving.
- Get Some
- We have already mentioned how stressful it can be to relocate. That’s why you should get some rest before you move to Iowa!
- Enjoy the
- Once the big day has arrived, you should try your best to enjoy the move! It’s not every day that you get to start fresh somewhere new!
Moving Services to Help you Relocate to Iowa
Now that you know what you have to do prior to moving to Iowa, you’ll also need to know what kinds of services are offered by movers. Most moving companies offer the same services — but some moving services are only offered by very specific movers. Here are 9 moving services to help you relocate to Iowa!
- As its name suggests, furniture transportation is the service offered by movers who will transport your furniture to Iowa!
- Residential movers will help you relocate a house (the items of a house, that is) to Iowa. If you’re moving an office, there’s another service for that.
- Are you a piano player? You can move a piano to Iowa at lower rates than buying a new piano — all you have to do is contact the right mover.
- Art and
- Some moving companies are specialists in transporting fragile items such as art and antique pieces. If you’re moving art and antiques to Iowa, you’ll have to get in touch with these companies.
- Hot Tub
- Large items such as hot tubs can also be transported, although at higher rates. If you’re thinking of moving a hot tub to Iowa, you should get a moving quote from your chosen mover.
- Pool Table
- Pool tables fit in the category of bulky items. Not all movers work with these items, but most of them do. If you’re moving a pool table to Iowa, you can find more information on our website!
- As mentioned above, you can hire residential movers, but you can also hire office/commercial movers. If you were unsure whether it’s possible to move an office to Iowa, we’re here to tell you that there are movers who specialize in office moving!
- Are you making a cross-country move or long-distance move to Iowa? Some movers only offer local services, but most moving companies can help you with long-distance moving!
- Sometimes, you have to move earlier than expected even when you have planned ahead. In that case, you can hire a last-minute mover to help you!