The 10 Cities In Iowa With The Highest Divorce Rates For 2021

We analyzed over 79 places in Iowa to identify the ones that have the highest rates of divorce.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our third time ranking the cities in Iowa with the highest divorce rates.

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If you're married, the thought of divorce has probably popped into your mind at least once.

Come on, admit it.

And if you're not married, let me tell you that there's gonna be a point at 2 a.m. when you have a crying baby and haven't slept in two months that it's gonna run through your head to run.



But, don't just take my word for it, take the word of the some 175,812 people living in Iowa over fifteen years of age who are divorced. Or compare that to the 28,339,199 dAmericans who are already divorced in 2021.

A lot of people make the decision to run away - or simply split up - across the Hawkeye State.

Isn't the divorce rate in America close to 50%? Yes indeed. But that's not quite what we're measuring; we are looking at counts and percentages of people over 15 years old who are currently divorced.

You typically calculate that 50% statistic as percent of marriages.

But we are just going to focus on the actual number of divorced people today -- what better way to measure marital misery than the straight count of people in Iowa it affects?

So now that we have you biting your nails, rethinking your world view, and pulling out your hair, let's take a look at the places in Iowa with highest rates of divorcees.

Let's quickly recap before we dive into the methodology and a closer look at the top ten places in IA.

What is the city in Iowa with the highest divorce rate? That would be Spirit Lake, with 13.0% of people over 15 years of age being divorced, per the most recent census data.

What is the overall Iowa divorce rate? According to the 2015-2019 Community Survey, the overall divorce rate in Iowa is 7.000000000000001%, which compares to the US divorce rate of 10.9%.

Alrighty, on to how we calculated the places with the highest divorce rates in Iowa.

For more Iowa reading, check out:

Spirit Lake, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,069
Divorce Rate: 13.0%
Divorcees: 527
Median Income: $54,293
More on Spirit Lake:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Maquoketa, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,010
Divorce Rate: 13.0%
Divorcees: 625
Median Income: $44,610
More on Maquoketa:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Oelwein, IA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,979
Divorce Rate: 12.0%
Divorcees: 573
Median Income: $41,849
More on Oelwein:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Newton, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,164
Divorce Rate: 12.0%
Divorcees: 1,455
Median Income: $48,481
More on Newton:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Nevada, IA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,754
Divorce Rate: 12.0%
Divorcees: 648
Median Income: $58,968
More on Nevada:  Cost Of Living

Knoxville, IA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,192
Divorce Rate: 12.0%
Divorcees: 690
Median Income: $47,844
More on Knoxville:  Cost Of Living

Algona, IA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,447
Divorce Rate: 11.0%
Divorcees: 479
Median Income: $51,476
More on Algona:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Oskaloosa, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,511
Divorce Rate: 11.0%
Divorcees: 1,012
Median Income: $47,429
More on Oskaloosa:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Independence, IA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,056
Divorce Rate: 11.0%
Divorcees: 532
Median Income: $54,097
More on Independence:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Fort Dodge, IA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 24,278
Divorce Rate: 11.0%
Divorcees: 2,136
Median Income: $40,886
More on Fort Dodge:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

How We Determined The Places In Iowa That Get Un-Hitched The Most

Since that this is the 58th category of rankings we are compiling for the site, we had a pretty good idea where to find data on marriage and divorce in America — the U.S. Census Bureau. Because who likes tracking misery more than the U.S. government?

Specifically, we looked at the 2015-2019 American Community Survey specifically table S1201 -- Marital Status.

Pretty straight forward on that front -- we just had to extract the following column of data:

  • Population 15 Years and Over -> Divorced

There's some kinda interesting/fun/sad data in there like .1% of female Americans aged 15-19 are divorced, but 0% of males (That's probably a rounding issue, but still).

But the national data is for another day, today the analysis focuses on the 80 places in Iowa with a population of over 5,000.

We ranked each of these places by the percentage of divorcees over 15 years of age from highest to lowest. We crowned the divorce capital of Iowa the place with the highest incidence of divorcees, Spirit Lake.

And if you're trying to avoid divorce, check out Sioux Center, the city with the lowest divorce rate in Iowa.

Getting Some Closure In Iowa After Untying The Know

Besides just coming up with what we thought would be a great new blog/book title, "Untying the Knot In Iowa: Life After Divorce", we now have a sense of what places in the Hawkeye State don't pay much attention to the whole "'til death do we part" phrase.

Try to keep in mind that the reason cities rank where they do in Iowa could be because of the age, education, and income distribution, as all of those things impact the rate of divorce.

And, in all honestly, that's probably for the best. It's much better to get out of a toxic relationship than stay it.

Just make sure you have your running shoes ready to go.

For more Iowa reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Cities With The Highest Divorce Rates In Iowa

Rank City Divorce Rate
1 Spirit Lake, IA 13.0%
2 Maquoketa, IA 13.0%
3 Oelwein, IA 12.0%
4 Newton, IA 12.0%
5 Nevada, IA 12.0%
6 Knoxville, IA 12.0%
7 Algona, IA 11.0%
8 Oskaloosa, IA 11.0%
9 Independence, IA 11.0%
10 Fort Dodge, IA 11.0%
11 Winterset, IA 11.0%
12 Anamosa, IA 11.0%
13 Boone, IA 11.0%
14 Centerville, IA 10.0%
15 Ottumwa, IA 10.0%
16 Clinton, IA 10.0%
17 Fort Madison, IA 10.0%
18 Mason City, IA 10.0%
19 Burlington, IA 10.0%
20 Creston, IA 10.0%
21 Indianola, IA 10.0%
22 Webster City, IA 10.0%
23 Manchester, IA 10.0%
24 Waterloo, IA 9.0%
25 Altoona, IA 9.0%
26 Red Oak, IA 9.0%
27 Keokuk, IA 9.0%
28 Grinnell, IA 9.0%
29 Grimes, IA 9.0%
30 Carroll, IA 9.0%
31 Clarinda, IA 9.0%
32 Clear Lake, IA 9.0%
33 Des Moines, IA 9.0%
34 Charles City, IA 9.0%
35 Cedar Rapids, IA 9.0%
36 Perry, IA 8.0%
37 Osceola, IA 8.0%
38 Norwalk, IA 8.0%
39 Ankeny, IA 8.0%
40 Vinton, IA 8.0%
41 Muscatine, IA 8.0%
42 Washington, IA 8.0%
43 Marshalltown, IA 8.0%
44 Atlantic, IA 8.0%
45 Council Bluffs, IA 8.0%
46 Marion, IA 8.0%
47 Hiawatha, IA 8.0%
48 Davenport, IA 8.0%
49 Iowa Falls, IA 8.0%
50 Dubuque, IA 8.0%
51 Johnston, IA 7.0%
52 Sioux City, IA 7.0%
53 West Des Moines, IA 7.0%
54 Bondurant, IA 7.0%
55 Eldridge, IA 6.0%
56 Spencer, IA 6.0%
57 Waukee, IA 6.0%
58 Bettendorf, IA 6.0%
59 Le Mars, IA 6.0%
60 Estherville, IA 6.0%
61 Mount Pleasant, IA 6.0%
62 Pleasant Hill, IA 6.0%
63 Urbandale, IA 6.0%
64 North Liberty, IA 6.0%
65 Waverly, IA 5.0%
66 Fairfield, IA 5.0%
67 Clive, IA 5.0%
68 Pella, IA 4.0%
69 Asbury, IA 4.0%
70 Coralville, IA 4.0%
71 Decorah, IA 4.0%
72 Glenwood, IA 4.0%
73 Cedar Falls, IA 4.0%
74 Orange City, IA 3.0%
75 Storm Lake, IA 3.0%
76 Denison, IA 3.0%
77 Iowa City, IA 3.0%
78 Ames, IA 2.0%
79 Sheldon, IA 2.0%
80 Sioux Center, IA 0.0%

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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.


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