Iowa Cities With The Largest Black Population For 2020

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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the cities in Iowa with 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 107,471 – at 3.4% 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 2020:

  1. Waterloo (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Hiawatha (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Coralville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Des Moines (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Davenport (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Burlington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Iowa City (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Anamosa (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Cedar Rapids (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Fort Dodge (Photos | Homes For Sale)

What’s the blackest city in Iowa? Waterloo took the number one over all spot for the largest Black population in iowa for 2020. 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 2020

Waterloo, IA

Source: Public domain
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Population: 68,134
% African American: 16.01%
# Of African American Residents: 10,907
Percent Change Since 2010: 7.42%
More on Waterloo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Hiawatha, IA

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Population: 7,281
% African American: 15.05%
# Of African American Residents: 1,096
Percent Change Since 2010: 227.16%
More on Hiawatha: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Coralville, IA

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Population: 20,645
% African American: 12.05%
# Of African American Residents: 2,487
Percent Change Since 2010: 44.01%
More on Coralville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Des Moines, IA

Source: Public domain
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Population: 215,932
% African American: 10.94%
# Of African American Residents: 23,630
Percent Change Since 2010: 22.07%
More on Des Moines: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Davenport, IA

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Population: 102,318
% African American: 10.92%
# Of African American Residents: 11,174
Percent Change Since 2010: 9.74%
More on Davenport: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Burlington, IA

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Population: 25,127
% African American: 8.47%
# Of African American Residents: 2,128
Percent Change Since 2010: 22.3%
More on Burlington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Iowa City, IA

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Population: 74,566
% African American: 8.12%
# Of African American Residents: 6,054
Percent Change Since 2010: 110.57%
More on Iowa City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Anamosa, IA

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,461
% African American: 7.38%
# Of African American Residents: 403
Percent Change Since 2010: 23.24%
More on Anamosa: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Cedar Rapids, IA

Source: Public domain
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Population: 131,360
% African American: 6.92%
# Of African American Residents: 9,087
Percent Change Since 2010: 37.14%
More on Cedar Rapids: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in Iowa and is the county seat of Linn County. The city lies on both banks of the Cedar River, 20 miles north of Iowa City and 100 miles northeast of Des Moines, the state’s capital and largest city. It is a part of the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor of Linn, Benton, Cedar, Jones, Johnson, and Washington counties. Until massive flooding in 2008, the city’s government was headquartered in the Veterans Memorial Building, near the Linn County Courthouse and jail on Mays Island in the Cedar River; Cedar Rapids was one of a few cities in the world, along with Paris, France, with governmental offices on a municipal island.

Fort Dodge, IA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 24,417
% African American: 6.71%
# Of African American Residents: 1,639
Percent Change Since 2010: 14.38%
More on Fort Dodge: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

How We Determined The Cities In iowa With The Largest Black Population For 2020

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 2014-2018 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 16.0% 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 Manchester 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. Manchester
  2. Red Oak
  3. Grimes

For more Iowa reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most African American Cities In Iowa

Rank City % African American Population
1 Waterloo 16.01% 68,134
2 Hiawatha 15.05% 7,281
3 Coralville 12.05% 20,645
4 Des Moines 10.94% 215,932
5 Davenport 10.92% 102,318
6 Burlington 8.47% 25,127
7 Iowa City 8.12% 74,566
8 Anamosa 7.38% 5,461
9 Cedar Rapids 6.92% 131,360
10 Fort Dodge 6.71% 24,417
11 North Liberty 5.07% 18,357
12 Dubuque 5.01% 58,340
13 Perry 4.97% 7,667
14 Clinton 4.85% 25,637
15 Mount Pleasant 4.6% 8,528
16 West Des Moines 4.52% 64,400
17 Denison 4.41% 8,358
18 Ottumwa 4.32% 24,676
19 Keokuk 4.3% 10,412
20 Storm Lake 4.2% 10,672
21 Sioux City 3.86% 82,486
22 Muscatine 3.65% 23,864
23 Bettendorf 3.48% 35,793
24 Urbandale 3.41% 42,881
25 Fort Madison 3.3% 10,614
26 Grinnell 3.3% 9,223
27 Charles City 3.22% 7,413
28 Newton 2.93% 15,167
29 Clarinda 2.8% 5,398
30 Ames 2.49% 65,937
31 Webster City 2.46% 7,779
32 Fairfield 2.43% 10,216
33 Cedar Falls 2.41% 41,202
34 Mason City 2.41% 27,309
35 Johnston 2.39% 20,767
36 Estherville 2.39% 5,859
37 Pleasant Hill 2.33% 9,736
38 Decorah 2.33% 7,765
39 Marion 2.29% 38,699
40 Waverly 2.29% 10,075
41 Oelwein 2.1% 6,050
42 Clive 2.06% 17,195
43 Council Bluffs 1.97% 62,478
44 Washington 1.89% 7,345
45 Oskaloosa 1.86% 11,505
46 Iowa Falls 1.8% 5,124
47 Ankeny 1.6% 59,152
48 Glenwood 1.5% 5,276
49 Algona 1.32% 5,455
50 Waukee 1.24% 19,344
51 Marshalltown 1.1% 27,275
52 Centerville 1.09% 5,487
53 Altoona 0.93% 17,936
54 Norwalk 0.93% 10,568
55 Nevada 0.93% 6,798
56 Maquoketa 0.83% 6,026
57 Creston 0.8% 7,832
58 Boone 0.71% 12,529
59 Eldridge 0.67% 6,399
60 Clear Lake 0.63% 7,644
61 Sioux Center 0.59% 7,499
62 Orange City 0.54% 6,115
63 Sheldon 0.51% 5,132
64 Knoxville 0.5% 7,200
65 Vinton 0.49% 5,124
66 Atlantic 0.46% 6,709
67 Le Mars 0.39% 9,894
68 Spencer 0.36% 11,092
69 Pella 0.36% 10,273
70 Carroll 0.34% 9,899
71 Winterset 0.17% 5,203
72 Independence 0.12% 6,027
73 Indianola 0.1% 15,653
74 Grimes 0.03% 11,930
75 Red Oak 0.0% 5,434
76 Manchester 0.0% 5,037

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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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