These Are The 10 Gayest Places In Iowa


We looked at years of data to determine which Iowa cities have the most pride

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When the Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of same-sex marriages, America generally, and the gay community specifically, celebrated. Same-sex marriages, and the gay and lesbian movement is more mainstream than ever.

While the national discussion has been brought to the forefront, at the state level, conversations continue.

Did you know that an estimated 0.24% of Iowa residents is gay? That ranks 46 in the nation. That means there are a total of 129,000 gay households in The Hawkeye State.

Our goal with this post is to use data and science to determine the gayest cities in Iowa.

After analyzing 137 cities with over 1,000 households, we’ve determined these are The Gayest Cities in Iowa:

  1. Carter Lake (Photos | Jobs)
  2. West Burlington (Jobs)
  3. North Liberty (Photos | Jobs)
  4. West Branch (Photos | Jobs)
  5. Rock Valley (Jobs)
  6. Maquoketa (Photos | Jobs)
  7. Emmetsburg (Photos | Jobs)
  8. Carlisle (Jobs)
  9. Creston (Photos | Jobs)
  10. Pleasant Hill (Photos | Jobs)

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked.For more Iowa reading, check out:

1. Carter Lake

Carter Lake, Iowa

Households: 1,473
Gay Households: 59
% Gay Households: 4.01%
More on Carter Lake: Comment | Data | Jobs

2. West Burlington


Households: 1,303
Gay Households: 26
% Gay Households: 2.0%
More on West Burlington: Comment | Data | Jobs

3. North Liberty

North Liberty, Iowa

Households: 6,553
Gay Households: 110
% Gay Households: 1.68%
More on North Liberty: Comment | Data | Jobs

North Liberty is a city in Johnson County, Iowa, United States. It is a suburb of Iowa City and part of the Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area.

4. West Branch

West Branch, Iowa

Households: 1,089
Gay Households: 15
% Gay Households: 1.38%
More on West Branch: Comment | Data | Jobs

5. Rock Valley


Households: 1,304
Gay Households: 16
% Gay Households: 1.23%
More on Rock Valley: Comment | Data | Jobs

6. Maquoketa

Maquoketa, Iowa

Source: Public domain

Households: 2,675
Gay Households: 32
% Gay Households: 1.2%
More on Maquoketa: Comment | Data | Jobs

Maquoketa is a city in Jackson county in the U.S. state of Iowa. Located on the Maquoketa River, it is the county seat of Jackson County.

7. Emmetsburg

Emmetsburg, Iowa

Households: 1,566
Gay Households: 17
% Gay Households: 1.09%
More on Emmetsburg: Comment | Data | Jobs

8. Carlisle


Households: 1,579
Gay Households: 13
% Gay Households: 0.82%
More on Carlisle: Comment | Data | Jobs

9. Creston

Creston, Iowa

Households: 3,389
Gay Households: 26
% Gay Households: 0.77%
More on Creston: Comment | Data | Jobs

Creston is a city in and the county seat of Union County, Iowa, United States. The population was 7,834 at the 2010 census.

10. Pleasant Hill

Pleasant Hill, Iowa

Households: 3,565
Gay Households: 23
% Gay Households: 0.65%
More on Pleasant Hill: Comment | Data | Jobs

Pleasant Hill is a city in Polk County, Iowa, United States. The population was 8,785 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Des Moines-West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of July, 2005, Pleasant Hill has been given a US Postal code, 50327.

How do you determine the best cities for same-sex households in Iowa?

In order to rank the gayest cities in Iowa, we used the 2011-2016 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census. We looked at:

  • Percentage of all households that are unmarried, same sex partners

We limited the analysis to non-CDPs that have over 1,000 households.

We ranked each place from 1 to 137 with the city containing the highest percentage of unmarried, same sex partners households being the most gay.

In the end, Carter Lake ended up being the the most gay place with 4.01% gay households.

Read on below to learn more about the gayest places in Iowa. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the places in the state from gayest to straighest.

There You Have It — The Most LGBT Friendly Cities in Iowa

If you’re looking at the number of gay households in Iowa, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the least gay places in Iowa:

  1. Winterset
  2. Indianola
  3. Fort Madison

For more Iowa reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Gayest Cities In Iowa

Rank City % Gay Households Gay Households Households
1 Carter Lake 4.01% 59 1,473
2 West Burlington 2.0% 26 1,303
3 North Liberty 1.68% 110 6,553
4 West Branch 1.38% 15 1,089
5 Rock Valley 1.23% 16 1,304
6 Maquoketa 1.2% 32 2,675
7 Emmetsburg 1.09% 17 1,566
8 Carlisle 0.82% 13 1,579
9 Creston 0.77% 26 3,389
10 Pleasant Hill 0.65% 23 3,565
11 New Hampton 0.64% 10 1,572
12 Belmond 0.6% 7 1,167
13 Hawarden 0.6% 6 1,003
14 Hiawatha 0.58% 17 2,956
15 Boone 0.57% 32 5,577
16 Council Bluffs 0.57% 141 24,814
17 Tama 0.56% 6 1,063
18 Clinton 0.56% 62 11,093
19 Keokuk 0.47% 20 4,269
20 Ankeny 0.47% 93 19,876
21 Perry 0.46% 13 2,827
22 Clear Lake 0.45% 15 3,349
23 Windsor Heights 0.43% 9 2,085
24 Marion 0.43% 63 14,803
25 Iowa City 0.42% 124 29,571
26 Grimes 0.41% 15 3,681
27 Davenport 0.34% 139 40,764
28 Waterloo 0.34% 97 28,606
29 Oelwein 0.34% 9 2,667
30 Des Moines 0.33% 278 83,141
31 West Des Moines 0.32% 86 26,790
32 Newton 0.31% 20 6,355
33 Le Mars 0.31% 13 4,156
34 Cedar Rapids 0.31% 166 53,977
35 Clive 0.29% 19 6,491
36 Sioux City 0.28% 88 31,091
37 Bettendorf 0.27% 38 13,998
38 Grinnell 0.26% 9 3,448
39 Mason City 0.26% 32 12,432
40 Decorah 0.24% 7 2,923
41 Coralville 0.23% 18 7,891
42 Ames 0.22% 55 24,643
43 Dubuque 0.21% 51 24,050
44 Cedar Falls 0.21% 30 14,507
45 Spencer 0.2% 10 4,962
46 Altoona 0.15% 9 6,187
47 Urbandale 0.11% 18 16,385
48 Burlington 0.07% 8 10,735
49 Marshalltown 0.07% 7 10,051
50 Ottumwa 0.06% 6 10,011
51 Fort Dodge 0.04% 4 9,811
52 Polk City 0.0% 0 1,348
53 Orange City 0.0% 0 2,021
54 Oskaloosa 0.0% 0 4,883
55 Osceola 0.0% 0 2,082
56 Osage 0.0% 0 1,584
57 Onawa 0.0% 0 1,270
58 Norwalk 0.0% 0 3,708
59 Pella 0.0% 0 3,789
60 Adel 0.0% 0 1,641
61 Spirit Lake 0.0% 0 2,487
62 Robins 0.0% 0 1,215
63 Wilton 0.0% 0 1,149
64 Williamsburg 0.0% 0 1,319
65 West Union 0.0% 0 1,139
66 West Liberty 0.0% 0 1,136
67 Webster City 0.0% 0 3,385
68 Waverly 0.0% 0 3,435
69 Waukon 0.0% 0 1,781
70 Waukee 0.0% 0 6,304
71 Washington 0.0% 0 3,120
72 Vinton 0.0% 0 2,222
73 Tipton 0.0% 0 1,415
74 Tiffin 0.0% 0 1,074
75 Story City 0.0% 0 1,497
76 Storm Lake 0.0% 0 3,508
77 Nevada 0.0% 0 2,771
78 Sioux Center 0.0% 0 2,305
79 Sibley 0.0% 0 1,082
80 Shenandoah 0.0% 0 2,207
81 Sheldon 0.0% 0 2,202
82 Sergeant Bluff 0.0% 0 1,509
83 Rock Rapids 0.0% 0 1,082
84 Red Oak 0.0% 0 2,498
85 Muscatine 0.0% 0 9,357
86 Jesup 0.0% 0 1,122
87 Mount Pleasant 0.0% 0 3,000
88 Eldridge 0.0% 0 2,218
89 Eagle Grove 0.0% 0 1,391
90 Dyersville 0.0% 0 1,799
91 Denison 0.0% 0 2,647
92 De Witt 0.0% 0 2,135
93 Cresco 0.0% 0 1,588
94 Clarion 0.0% 0 1,147
95 Clarinda 0.0% 0 2,112
96 Cherokee 0.0% 0 2,313
97 Charles City 0.0% 0 3,386
98 Estherville 0.0% 0 2,419
99 Chariton 0.0% 0 1,963
100 Carroll 0.0% 0 4,332

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