These Are The 10 Iowa Cities With The Largest Black Population For 2018


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

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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 100,660 – at 3.2% 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 2018:

  1. Waterloo (Photos)
  2. Coralville (Photos)
  3. Davenport (Photos)
  4. Hiawatha (Photos)
  5. Des Moines (Photos)
  6. Fairfield (Photos)
  7. Burlington (Photos)
  8. Anamosa (Photos)
  9. Iowa City (Photos)
  10. Fort Dodge (Photos)

Waterloo took the number one over all spot for the largest Black population in Iowa for 2018. 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.

How We Determined The Cities In Iowa With The Largest Black Population For 2018

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 2012-2016 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 80 cities.

We then calculated the percent of residents that are Black or African American. The percentages ranked from 15.6% 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 Norwalk was the least African American city.

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.

1. Waterloo

Waterloo, Iowa

Source: Public domain

Population: 68,357
% African American: 15.64%
# Of African American Residents: 10,689
Percent Change Since 2010: 5.27%
More on Waterloo: Data | Jobs

Waterloo is a city in and the county seat of Black Hawk County, Iowa, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census the population decreased by 0.5% to 68,406; the 2014 Census estimates the population at 68,364, making it the sixth-largest city in the state. The city is part of the Waterloo – Cedar Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is the more populous of the two cities.

2. Coralville

Coralville, Iowa

Population: 20,078
% African American: 11.31%
# Of African American Residents: 2,270
Percent Change Since 2010: 31.44%
More on Coralville: Data | Jobs

Coralville 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. The population was 18,907 at the 2010 census.

3. Davenport

Davenport, Iowa

Population: 102,305
% African American: 11.3%
# Of African American Residents: 11,561
Percent Change Since 2010: 13.54%
More on Davenport: Data | Jobs

Davenport is the county seat of Scott County in Iowa and is located along the Mississippi River on the eastern border of the state. It is the largest of the Quad Cities, a metropolitan area with a population estimate of 382,630 and a CSA population of 474,226; it is the 90th largest CSA in the nation. Davenport was founded on May 14, 1836 by Antoine Le Claire and was named for his friend, George Davenport, a colonel who was stationed at nearby Fort Armstrong during the Black Hawk War. According to the 2010 census, the city had a population of 99,685. The city appealed this figure, arguing that the Census Bureau missed a section of residents, and that its total population was more than 100,000. The Census Bureau estimated Davenport’s 2011 population to be 100,802.

4. Hiawatha

Hiawatha, Iowa

Population: 7,160
% African American: 11.19%
# Of African American Residents: 801
Percent Change Since 2010: 139.1%
More on Hiawatha: Data | Jobs

Hiawatha is a city in Linn County, Iowa, United States. It is a suburb located north of Cedar Rapids and is part of the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 7,024 in the 2010 census, an increase from 6,480 in 2000.

5. Des Moines

Des Moines, Iowa

Population: 212,859
% African American: 10.74%
# Of African American Residents: 22,851
Percent Change Since 2010: 18.04%
More on Des Moines: Data | Jobs

Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Iowa. It is also the county seat of Polk County. A small part of the city extends into Warren County. It was incorporated on September 22, 1851, as Fort Des Moines, which was shortened to “Des Moines” in 1857. It is on and named after the Des Moines River, which likely was adapted from the French colonial name, Rivire des Moines, meaning “River of the Monks”. The city’s population was 203,433 as of the 2010 census. The five-county metropolitan area is ranked 89th in terms of population in the United States with 634,725 residents according to the 2016 estimate by the United States Census Bureau.

6. Fairfield

Fairfield, Iowa

Population: 9,942
% African American: 10.03%
# Of African American Residents: 997
Percent Change Since 2010: 519.25%
More on Fairfield: Data | Jobs

Fairfield is a city in, and the county seat of, Jefferson County, Iowa, United States. It has a population totaling 9,464 people according to the 2010 census. It is a Midwestern city surrounded by rolling farmlands filled with corn, soybean, cattle, and hogs with a median family income of $46,138. The city became the county seat in 1839 with 110 residents and grew to 650 by 1847. Its library was established in 1853, and it held its first fair in 1854. Early architecture includes work by George Franklin Barber and Barry Byrne, who trained under Frank Lloyd Wright.

7. Burlington

Burlington, Iowa

Population: 25,492
% African American: 7.96%
# Of African American Residents: 2,030
Percent Change Since 2010: 16.67%
More on Burlington: Data | Jobs

Burlington is a city and the county seat of Des Moines County, Iowa, United States. The population was 25,663 in the 2010 census, a decline from the 26,839 population in the 2000 census. Burlington is the center of a micropolitan area including West Burlington, Iowa, and Middletown, Iowa, and Gulfport, Illinois. Burlington is the home of Snake Alley, once labelled the crookedest alley in the world.

8. Anamosa

Anamosa, Iowa

Population: 5,459
% African American: 7.07%
# Of African American Residents: 386
Percent Change Since 2010: 18.04%
More on Anamosa: Data | Jobs

Anamosa is a city in Jones County, Iowa, United States. The population was 5,533 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Jones County.

9. Iowa City

Iowa City, Iowa

Population: 72,385
% African American: 6.99%
# Of African American Residents: 5,063
Percent Change Since 2010: 76.1%
More on Iowa City: Data | Jobs

Iowa City is a city in Johnson County, Iowa, United States. It is the home of the University of Iowa and county seat of Johnson County, at the center of the Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city’s population at 74,398 in 2016, making it the state’s fifth-largest city. Iowa City is the county seat of Johnson County. The metropolitan area, which encompasses Johnson and Washington counties, has a population of over 164,000.

10. Fort Dodge

Fort Dodge, Iowa

Population: 24,626
% African American: 6.11%
# Of African American Residents: 1,505
Percent Change Since 2010: 5.02%
More on Fort Dodge: Data | Jobs

Fort Dodge is a city in and the county seat of Webster County, Iowa, United States, along the Des Moines River. The population was 25,206 in the 2010 census, an increase from 25,136 in the 2000 census. Fort Dodge is a major commercial center for North Central and Northwest Iowa. It is located on U.S. Routes 20 and 169.

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. Norwalk
  2. Red Oak
  3. De Witt

For more Iowa reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most African American Cities In Iowa

Rank City Population % African American
1 Waterloo 68,357 15.64%
2 Coralville 20,078 11.31%
3 Davenport 102,305 11.3%
4 Hiawatha 7,160 11.19%
5 Des Moines 212,859 10.74%
6 Fairfield 9,942 10.03%
7 Burlington 25,492 7.96%
8 Anamosa 5,459 7.07%
9 Iowa City 72,385 6.99%
10 Fort Dodge 24,626 6.11%
11 Cedar Rapids 129,537 5.98%
12 Clarinda 5,431 5.63%
13 North Liberty 16,984 5.62%
14 Keokuk 10,628 4.97%
15 Clinton 26,148 4.78%
16 Storm Lake 10,768 4.58%
17 Mount Pleasant 8,491 4.4%
18 Dubuque 58,535 4.07%
19 Urbandale 41,578 3.7%
20 West Des Moines 61,624 3.63%
21 Sioux City 82,666 3.61%
22 Bettendorf 35,048 3.4%
23 Pleasant Hill 9,406 3.32%
24 Charles City 7,496 3.3%
25 Ottumwa 24,709 3.12%
26 Fort Madison 10,769 3.1%
27 Grinnell 9,112 3.01%
28 Muscatine 23,909 2.95%
29 Ames 64,073 2.92%
30 Eldridge 6,122 2.78%
31 Carroll 9,990 2.69%
32 Denison 8,326 2.43%
33 Waverly 10,049 2.32%
34 Cedar Falls 40,828 2.3%
35 Perry 7,876 2.17%
36 Marion 37,198 2.11%
37 Clive 17,022 2.1%
38 Boone 12,609 2.08%
39 Council Bluffs 62,326 1.95%
40 Estherville 6,027 1.91%
41 Decorah 7,985 1.9%
42 Mason City 27,546 1.9%
43 Oskaloosa 11,538 1.89%
44 Johnston 19,491 1.74%
45 Washington 7,368 1.7%
46 Newton 15,090 1.56%
47 Creston 7,877 1.55%
48 Iowa Falls 5,176 1.53%
49 Marshalltown 27,637 1.52%
50 Shenandoah 5,030 1.45%
51 Waukee 16,955 1.33%
52 Glenwood 5,233 1.3%
53 Cherokee 5,113 1.25%
54 Ankeny 53,413 1.21%
55 Centerville 5,404 1.0%
56 Harlan 5,008 0.94%
57 Pella 10,280 0.89%
58 Le Mars 9,826 0.89%
59 Independence 6,005 0.82%
60 Clear Lake 7,644 0.76%
61 Altoona 16,692 0.73%
62 Orange City 6,153 0.65%
63 Webster City 7,825 0.59%
64 Sioux Center 7,370 0.56%
65 Indianola 15,343 0.55%
66 Knoxville 7,236 0.53%
67 Vinton 5,166 0.48%
68 Manchester 5,083 0.47%
69 Nevada 6,796 0.47%
70 Spencer 11,172 0.42%
71 Sheldon 5,015 0.42%
72 Maquoketa 6,025 0.41%
73 Atlantic 6,817 0.31%
74 Oelwein 6,195 0.31%
75 Algona 5,496 0.11%
76 Winterset 5,158 0.02%
77 Grimes 10,422 0.02%
78 De Witt 5,264 0.02%
79 Red Oak 5,547 0.0%
80 Norwalk 9,944 0.0%

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