The 10 Iowa Cities With The Largest Black Population For 2021


We used science and data to determine which cities in Iowa have the largest African American population.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the cities in Iowa with the largest African American population.

The Black community is one of the fastest growing communities in America this decade.

There are now 42 million people who identify as Black or African American living in America, making up 12% of the total population. According to the most recent American Community Survey, the Black population in iowa is 113,560 - at 3.6% of the total population of iowa.

The percentage growth of Blacks in America is the third largest percentage change for any race according to the Census's race and ethnicity definition. As most scholars and historians agree, an increase in the diversity in America is a good thing.

We agree.

But how has the increase in the black population impacted iowa? Which cities and towns in iowa have seen the greatest increase in its Black population?

We broke down the most recent census data to determine the cities in iowa with the largest African American population in 2021:

  1. Waterloo
  2. Hiawatha
  3. Coralville
  4. Fairfield
  5. Davenport
  6. Des Moines
  7. Iowa City
  8. Burlington
  9. Cedar Rapids
  10. Fort Dodge

What's the blackest city in Iowa? Waterloo took the number one over all spot for the largest Black population in iowa for 2021. See if it ranked as one of the most african american cities in America.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked.

To see where iowa ranked as a state on diversity, we have a ranking of the most diverse states in America.

And if you already knew these places were Black, check out the best places to live in iowa or the most diverse places in iowa.

The 10 Blackest Cities In Iowa For 2021

1. Waterloo

Waterloo, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 67,912
% African American: 16.59%
# Of African American Residents: 11,267
Percent Change Since 2010: 10.96%
More on Waterloo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

2. Hiawatha

Hiawatha, IA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 7,333
% African American: 13.54%
# Of African American Residents: 993
Percent Change Since 2010: 196.42%
More on Hiawatha: Real Estate | Data | Photos

3. Coralville

Coralville, IA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 21,103
% African American: 13.37%
# Of African American Residents: 2,822
Percent Change Since 2010: 63.4%
More on Coralville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

4. Fairfield

Fairfield, IA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,290
% African American: 11.9%
# Of African American Residents: 1,224
Percent Change Since 2010: 660.25%
More on Fairfield: Real Estate | Data | Photos

5. Davenport

Davenport, IA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 102,169
% African American: 11.21%
# Of African American Residents: 11,451
Percent Change Since 2010: 12.46%
More on Davenport: Real Estate | Data | Photos

6. Des Moines

Des Moines, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 215,636
% African American: 10.91%
# Of African American Residents: 23,518
Percent Change Since 2010: 21.49%
More on Des Moines: Real Estate | Data | Photos

7. Iowa City

Iowa City, IA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 74,950
% African American: 8.21%
# Of African American Residents: 6,157
Percent Change Since 2010: 114.16%
More on Iowa City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

8. Burlington

Burlington, IA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 24,974
% African American: 8.16%
# Of African American Residents: 2,037
Percent Change Since 2010: 17.07%
More on Burlington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

9. Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 132,301
% African American: 7.61%
# Of African American Residents: 10,066
Percent Change Since 2010: 51.92%
More on Cedar Rapids: Real Estate | Data | Photos

10. Fort Dodge

Fort Dodge, IA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 24,278
% African American: 6.68%
# Of African American Residents: 1,621
Percent Change Since 2010: 13.12%
More on Fort Dodge: Real Estate | Data | Photos

How We Determined The Cities In iowa With The Largest Black Population 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:

  • Hispanic or Latino
  • 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*
* Not Hispanic or latino

Our particular column of interest here was the number of people who identified as Black or African American.

We limited our analysis to non-CDPs with a population greater than 5,000 people. That left us with 76 cities.

We then calculated the percent of residents that are Black or African American. The percentages ranked from 16.6% to 0.0%.

Finally, we ranked each city based on the percent of Black population with a higher score being more Black than a lower score. Waterloo took the distinction of being the most Black, while Grimes was the least African American city. You can download the data here.

Read on for more information on how the cities in iowa ranked by population of African American residents 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 - Black Populations Across Iowa

If you're looking for a breakdown of African American populations across Iowa according to the most recent data, this is an accurate list.

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

  1. Grimes
  2. Manchester
  3. Red Oak

For more Iowa reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most African American Cities In Iowa

Rank City % African American Population
1 Waterloo 16.59% 67,912
2 Hiawatha 13.54% 7,333
3 Coralville 13.37% 21,103
4 Fairfield 11.9% 10,290
5 Davenport 11.21% 102,169
6 Des Moines 10.91% 215,636
7 Iowa City 8.21% 74,950
8 Burlington 8.16% 24,974
9 Cedar Rapids 7.61% 132,301
10 Fort Dodge 6.68% 24,278
11 Anamosa 6.15% 5,476
12 North Liberty 5.51% 18,829
13 Dubuque 5.17% 58,196
14 Denison 5.06% 8,337
15 Clinton 4.98% 25,416
16 Ottumwa 4.67% 24,545
17 Perry 4.62% 7,599
18 Keokuk 4.59% 10,324
19 Mount Pleasant 4.54% 8,581
20 Clarinda 4.21% 5,388
21 West Des Moines 4.12% 65,606
22 Muscatine 4.05% 23,774
23 Urbandale 3.96% 43,441
24 Storm Lake 3.95% 10,558
25 Sioux City 3.95% 82,531
26 Clive 3.75% 17,167
27 Grinnell 3.65% 9,031
28 Fort Madison 3.62% 10,513
29 Newton 3.24% 15,164
30 Charles City 3.23% 7,396
31 Ames 3.09% 66,023
32 Decorah 2.92% 7,701
33 Oelwein 2.89% 5,979
34 Johnston 2.87% 21,406
35 Pleasant Hill 2.75% 9,871
36 Webster City 2.48% 7,732
37 Cedar Falls 2.46% 40,983
38 Estherville 2.45% 5,796
39 Mason City 2.42% 27,200
40 Council Bluffs 2.41% 62,355
41 Waukee 2.35% 20,785
42 Bettendorf 2.34% 35,919
43 Waverly 1.94% 10,094
44 Pella 1.75% 10,231
45 Ankeny 1.74% 61,938
46 Washington 1.74% 7,313
47 Oskaloosa 1.65% 11,511
48 Marion 1.54% 39,328
49 Marshalltown 1.53% 27,053
50 Iowa Falls 1.46% 5,122
51 Altoona 1.45% 18,458
52 Centerville 1.3% 5,458
53 Sheldon 1.23% 5,128
54 Norwalk 1.02% 10,978
55 Maquoketa 0.9% 6,010
56 Algona 0.81% 5,447
57 Creston 0.8% 7,784
58 Boone 0.71% 12,487
59 Nevada 0.67% 6,754
60 Knoxville 0.64% 7,192
61 Eldridge 0.58% 6,529
62 Clear Lake 0.57% 7,597
63 Glenwood 0.56% 5,326
64 Vinton 0.55% 5,103
65 Sioux Center 0.53% 7,534
66 Orange City 0.41% 6,127
67 Atlantic 0.39% 6,669
68 Spencer 0.37% 11,052
69 Le Mars 0.26% 9,941
70 Independence 0.21% 6,056
71 Indianola 0.18% 15,802
72 Carroll 0.17% 9,904
73 Winterset 0.17% 5,260
74 Red Oak 0.0% 5,362
75 Manchester 0.0% 5,019
76 Grimes 0.0% 12,839

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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.