These Are The 10 Most Boring Places To Live In Iowa


We used data and science to identify which places in Iowa are total snoozefests.

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I need to be brutally honest right from the get go and tell you Iowa is probably the most boring state in the entire country, and yes, I’ve considered North Dakota, New Hampshire and Montana. The only time most Americans even remember Iowa is part of the United States when they catch an airing of “The Music Man” on Turner Classic Movies.

Iowa’s universities are known for absolutely one thing: winning national championships in wrestling. When your claim to fame is dominance in the most boring sport on the planet, you’ve officially ascended to the top of the boring pyramid. Honestly, I’d rather watch badminton players play golf.

With that in mind, using science, we’ve somehow managed to differentiate between Iowa’s nauseatingly boring places and those that are only yawn inducing.

  1. Atlantic
  2. Clear Lake
  3. Spencer
  4. Johnston
  5. Washington
  6. Webster City
  7. Clinton
  8. Bettendorf
  9. Charles City
  10. Newton
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How we determined the most boring places to live in Iowa

To figure out how boring a place is, we rely on a complex algorithm that factors in things we generally think make people exciting, and then we figure out which cities have the least number of those exciting people. Here are some of the things people tend to think of as making a city’s population boring:

  • Population density (Lower is more boring)
  • Lots of Old People
  • Lots of REALLY Old People
  • Lots of Married People
  • Lots of People With Young Children

Then, our algorithm generates several lists of the cities that have plenty of residents with high rankings in all of these categories. After a crunching of the numbers, a list of all of the cities magically appears listing them from most boring to most exciting.

Read on below to learn more about the cities with the most boring residents in Iowa.

For this list, we used every Iowa city that qualified for our rankings based on having a population of at least 7,000 residents. This keeps us from prejudicing our rankings by including very small pockets of retired people.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

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1. Atlantic

Most Boring Places To Live In Iowa

Source: wikipedia

Population over 35: 58%
Homes with residents over 65: 41%
Married households: 57%
Average resident age: 43
Households with children: 28%

Atlantic is one of the smallest communities in Iowa to have its own daily newspaper, and heaven knows what sort of daily material is considered newsworthy in Iowa’s most boring city.

To be fair, Fairfield is Iowa’s oldest city, ranking first in average age. The dullness of Atlantic’s residents has to do not only with the age of its population, but the degree to which they are spread across the landscape.

Atlantic’s inhabitants rank 4th in average age, 5th in the percentage of the population over 35 years of age, and 3rd in the number of households containing people 65 or older.

Making matters worse, Atlantic has the 4th lowest population density in the state, which means that folks living there need to travel great distances just to bore each other.

2. Clear Lake

Most Boring Places To Live In Iowa

Source: wikipedia

Population over 35: 58%
Homes with residents over 65: 41%
Married households: 56%
Average resident age: 43.5
Households with children: 25%

Clear Lake is appropriately named, because it seems like you have to swim across a lake to find your neighbors. That’s because Clear Lake has the lowest population density in Iowa, making it a difficult place to find people to hang out with.

Of course, when you find people to hang out with in Clear Lake, you may end up hanging out in a bingo hall, because Clear Lake is home to the 3rd oldest residents in Iowa in terms of average age.

Sadly, Clear Lake doesn’t even have any children to brighten the mood (or reduce the average resident age), because it ranks toward the bottom of the list for having households with kids.

3. Spencer

Most Boring Places To Live In Iowa

Source: Public Domain

Population over 35: 60%
Homes with residents over 65: 40%
Married households: 54%
Average resident age: 43.7
Households with children: 27%

I know what you’re thinking: “Spencer has that big fair every year! It attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year! Spencer isn’t boring!”

Slow down, Usain Bolt. That’s why we come up with lists like this; to keep you from getting tricked.

Just because boring people host activities to attract exciting people to their cities, that doesn’t make the boring people less boring. It only makes you a sucker for falling for their tricks.

Spencer has the 2nd oldest population in Iowa for qualifying cities, along with the 2nd highest population percentage over 35 years of age. And, no, they don’t have very many kids, either.

4. Johnston

Most Boring Places To Live In Iowa

Source: wikipedia

Population over 35: 53%
Homes with residents over 65: 28%
Married households: 63%
Average resident age: 38.1
Households with children: 43%

Johnston has experienced explosive growth over the last decade. In fact the only things overflowing more than Johnston’s population numbers are the diapers in Johnston households.

That’s right; I said diapers, because Johnston ranks 3rd in Iowa for its percentage of married households and first overall for its percentage of households with children.

Unfortunately, this also means Johnston likely ranks first in percentage of boring Facebook photos showing off the faces of children that only a mother could love (#mybabyisbetterthanyours). When your idea of a fun evening consists of seeing how many “likes” your fourth child’s baby photos can get you, the excitement in your life is over with (#timetochangeanotherdiaper).

5. Washington

Most Boring Places To Live In Iowa

Source: wikipedia

Population over 35: 57%
Homes with residents over 65: 43%
Married households: 53%
Average resident age: 41.8
Households with children: 30%

Washington is one of the oddest inclusions on this list. Yes, it has the 8th oldest overall population in Iowa, but nothing else really stands out that you might think would land it in the number five spot overall.

And then you see it: Even though Washington has the 12th highest population percentage over 35, it has the 2nd highest percentage of homes containing a resident over 65.

That is a really head scratching statistic, and I’m left to assume people in Washington just like moving their grandparents in to live with them. And if THAT doesn’t scream “boring,” I don’t know what does.

6. Webster City

Most Boring Places To Live In Iowa

Source: Public Domain

Population over 35: 59%
Homes with residents over 65: 37%
Married households: 51%
Average resident age: 40.7
Households with children: 28%

Webster City has Iowa’s 9th highest age average and its 4th highest population percentage over 35, all of which is made worse by having Iowa’s 6th lowest population density.

If Webster City residents should be feeling inadequate about anything, it’s how dull they are.

7. Clinton

Most Boring Places To Live In Iowa

Source: wikipedia

Population over 35: 56%
Homes with residents over 65: 40%
Married households: 48%
Average resident age: 40.4
Households with children: 29%

On the bright side, Clinton is not Atlantic. That’s about all Clinton has going for it, because in terms of statistical readings, the two cities have a lot in common.

Clinton’s population density issue is actually worse that Atlantic’s; Clinton ranks 3rd in terms of low density. Aside from that, that only thing truly eye catching is Clinton’s percentage of households containing senior citizens, which is 9th highest in Iowa.

Again, this just goes to show you how much population density can skew rankings. Even if Clinton’s residents were exciting (don’t worry; they’re not), it takes too much effort to find another person in Clinton to share any excitement with.

8. Bettendorf

Most Boring Places To Live In Iowa

Source: wikipedia

Population over 35: 58%
Homes with residents over 65: 37%
Married households: 60%
Average resident age: 40.6
Households with children: 32%

Bettendorf lies within the Quad Cities region, which I assume means that cities therein are four times as boring as regular cities.

Bettendorf ranks 7th in Iowa for the percentage of its population over 35, 9th in percentage of married households, and 11th for overall age rank.

We also can’t overlook the fact that Bettendorf ranks first in the most-German-sounding-name category. This name is a telltale sign the city was founded by German immigrants, and the Midwest’s German immigrants weren’t exactly known for the way they spiced up the evening.

EVERYONE knows all the Midwest’s hot spots have French or Native American names. Go ahead and name me a fun Midwestern city with a German sounding name. Right. I didn’t think so.

9. Charles City

Most Boring Places To Live In Iowa

Source: wikipedia

Population over 35: 58%
Homes with residents over 65: 42%
Married households: 48%
Average resident age: 41.9
Households with children: 27%

The word “tractor” was invented in Charles City. Tractors equate to farming, farming equates to boring, and boring equates to Charles City. My logic is infallible.

Even if my logic isn’t rock solid, my numbers are. Charles City has the 8th highest percentage of residents over 35, the 7th highest average resident age, and the 4th highest percentage of households with an inhabitant over the age of 65.

Age rankings like those will make your city boring even if it invented the word “awesome.”

10. Newton

Most Boring Places To Live In Iowa

Source: wikipedia

Population over 35: 59%
Homes with residents over 65: 39%
Married households: 47%
Average resident age: 43
Households with children: 28%

With a name like Newton, what else did you expect? To be on this list, right? Whether you’re talking about a fig newton or Isaac Newton, it’s just not a name that generates excitement.

You know what’s as boring as washing machines? Newton’s citizens.

The average age for Newtonians makes them the 5th oldest city in our rankings, and it has Iowa’s 3rd highest percentage of residents over the age of 35.

Seriously, Newton’s last big technological innovation involved Maytag washing machines. So, you know we’re not exactly dealing with a technological dynamo.

Closing out the books on boring in Iowa

On a list like this, there are usually no winners, but since Iowa is undoubtedly the most boring state in the United States, the cities on this list are all top contenders for the title of “Most Boring City in the World.” And THAT, my friends, is an accomplishment.

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32 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Boring Places To Live In Iowa

  1. Obviously you idiots that did the survey have never been to any of theses towns. Maybe you should get off your asses and your computers, move out of your mom’s basement and travel! Get a life!

  2. Apparently you are neither old, married, or have young children. Using the criteria above, you must be young, living the single life, not believing in marriage, and childless. You probably were born out of wedlock and a slow pace of life resulting in less stress and heart ailments is just up your alley! I would love to know if Sam Sparkes has ever visited Iowa or any of these “boring” cities on his list.

  3. Yes, Atlantic Iowa should get a zoo, an amusement park, perhaps a racetrack and all the other things that a town of 7,000 couldn’t support so that it can go bankrupt! That would make sense. Then we could be on the poorest city list too! Perhaps we could host the Olympics some year!

  4. What Moron Conducted this Poll???? Did you Even GO to Clear Lake??? Wow…Save the Ink on your Next Letter 2 the Editor You STINK

  5. I’m from Oklahoma but my daughter-in-law is from Iowa. I love her and her family. I have never met an unfriendly Iowan and thanks for the corn Iowa.

    1. How many actual Iowans have you met? I’ve lived here for several years, & can safely say that the rudest people I’ve ever met are from Iowa. People always talk about how rude folks from the northeast are, well, I’ve known several of them as well, & to a one, they were far nicer than people from Iowa.

      1. You obviously haven’t lived in any other places than the Midwest or your ass would already have been beat in a big city. You are lucky to have been born an Iowan…

  6. Apparently the author doesn’t care about animals or science, either, given the slam on the universities. Iowa State (Ames) is pretty much universally acknowledged as the world capital of veterinary medicine. Not to mention Van Allen (astronomy, maybe the author doesn’t know that word).

  7. What a decieved person been in lot states and countrys life is what you make it until you give your life to Jesus. then everyday becomes more exciting Old or young God has a plan for you . IF citys towns are boring for you try Jesus. Iam never bored Life is exciting Think what us believers have to look forward to in the next life . you can call him anytime.Hestands at the door and knocks the door of your heart . HAVE YOU EVER KNOCKED ON A DOOR GOING OUT THATS THE POINT HES OUTSIDE!!!!

    1. Perhaps you can work on your grammar, syntax & overall ability to communicate before trying to proselytize to people here. If your message is illegible then nobody is going to pay attention to it. Of course most intelligent people won’t pay attention to religious ravings & rantings anyway.

  8. Next time you decide to write a crap article about something you clearly know nothing about, do some real research. Better yet don’t write trash like this at all. Yes we all have a right to freak out about this, sorry your disclaimer was also as useless as this article. Start doing something worthwhile because you do stink.

  9. Newton is on the list? Sounds like somebody has never been to the Iowa Speedway! To those commenting, the author has never been to these towns, only ranked them by using government figures.. Clearly the government knows nothing about these towns!

  10. As for complex computer algorithms — garbage in, garbage out — not to mention faulty interpretation of the results.

    First of all, there are a lot of places in Iowa as boring or more boring than listed here. Second, every state in the nation has places like this. Third, the overpriced yuppie city of Johnston is a suburb of Des Moines; so, I’m not sure, given the broader landscape, how this classifies as a boring place. If Johnston is boring, then surely Grimes, right next door to Johnston, would be even more boring.

    However, I do agree with the comment on Johnston having boring Facebook baby photos. But we must remember, that this is a FB psychological disease, which has swept the entire nation. For some reason, modern parents (especially women) think everyone wants to, relentlessly and continuously, see pictures of their babies; especially since their babies are obviously better than everyone else’s babies. This narcissistic phenomenon is nothing more than one big psychological circle jerk, which is definitely not limited to Johnston, IA.

    The bottom line is that this article was probably written by some young inexperienced punk, who is trying be cute and to make a name for himself on the internet. I just hope that when he has children, he doesn’t BORE us with their fat little faces on Facebook.

  11. I have the unfortunate position of living in Clinton, Iowa my entire 55 years on the planet! It is without hesitation that I must point out that your article is wrong!!! ClintonClinton at the very least should have ranked number 2, and I personally believe it is number 1, or at least gives #1 a run for the most boring city, not just in Iowa, but the nation! It is also run by idiots that tax the Hell out of everything they can! The city charges more for sewer to carry away water than the water company charges for the water and bringing it to your house under pressure! The same city officials have built all new schools, want to build a new library and police station, bought all new garbage trucks, bought and implemented new management and billing systems for the garbage pick up and sewer billing at huge costs to the taxpayer here! By the way the new systems either didn’t work and were abandoned or screwed up so bad that sewer bills to residents got to be upwards of $1,000 before residents received a bill! We are now getting buried in city debt! Our fire chief came to the city for a fire boat with a price tag of over $700,000! The council, finally said no to spending so he got the money from businesses! Clinton has never needed a fireboat, but now we house, maintain and train our fire department on an unneeded toy! If you really want to get us started write about terrible city managements!

    1. My question for you Jon is why are you still living there after 55 years if you are truly that miserable. You are making yourself and those around you even more miserable than you already are. I feel sorry for you just after reading that ridiculous post. Move on or ship out.

  12. If these are the 10 most boring, you obviously haven’t visited much of the Midwest. That’s okay though, we don’t want a bunch of snooty bitches here.

  13. Most boring article I have ever read. Most boring writer I have ever read. Stupidest article I have ever read. How were “qualifying” cities even determined? In Iowa every incorporated town is legally a city, therefore, qualifying for inclusion. The writer clearly showed he had absolutely no knowledge of his subject. It wasn’t worth reading. It was not factual, nor was it “tongue in cheek” poking fun at Iowa. To quote a Raygun t-shirt, “IOWA – 75% vowels, 100% Awesome.” (Actually, Ohio is 75% vowels, but since the vowels are A, E, I, O, U and sometimes W and Y, Iowa is more than 75% vowels,)

  14. Um, what about the Newton speedway? I think NASCAR races make the city a bit more exciting. (Even if they do just turn left for hours on end.). And the population density is complete baloney. Given that at least 1/3 of the land within Clinton’s official city limits is farmland, the “population density” is very misleading. I’m willing to bet that Clear Lake is in a similar situation. And you want an even more German sounding town than Bettendorf? How about Guttenburg (GUH-tin-buhrg) or Luxemburg? Maybe Fredericksburg? This article is probably the stupidest thing I have read all day. Whoever wrote this must be a boring person, since they’re so closed minded and biased. And whatever so-called “research” that was done for this article wouldn’t even be sufficient enough to write an acceptable elementary school quality research paper. I was expecting an article that was, at the least, unbiased and based on research that was actually thoroughly conducted. Instead I got something that looks to be written by a crabby middle schooler with nonexistent work ethic. Needless to say, I’m very disappointed.

  15. All but 5 years of my life have been spent in Iowa(the other in Kansas City) and yes Iowa can be boring at times, but I live closest to Clear Lake and it’s far from boring. Had you actually visited some of these towns vs using an algorithm to base your research, maybe you would have some actual evidence to support this ridiculous article.

  16. Unfortunately I live in Iowa & I can’t think of a single place here that isn’t boring as hell. There could easily be a Top 100 list on this. This is the worst state I’ve even been in, let alone lived in.

    Do you know why it’s always so damned windy here? Because Iowa blows.

  17. I normally do not post anything on these types of “pointless” posts. However, this one hits close to the heart. After growing up and graduating from Webster City, then moving to Seattle, WA and then Mpls, MN for over a span of 11 years and back to Iowa, I feel that I can give it to you straight from the heart. I left WC for the “big city” and guess where I decided to bring my 3 kids back to grow up at? Webster City, Iowa… You can bash the town all you want, but it has roots that run deeper than only the people that grew up here know. It is home. It is God’s Country. Coming from a born and raised girl to big city back to “home”. This article only makes me laugh, as it should the true people of small town home grown Iowa towns. I would rather be back here than with a large group of people whom refuse to bathe, vaccinate, and over populate. Go Hawkeyes!!

  18. Having grown up in Iowa, I agree that there is a paucity of diverse experiences available in most Iowa towns. Also, when you meet people the conversation is usually pretty damn predictable, not a whole lot of imagination behind much of what’s said. Obviously there’s exceptions, Iowa city is a pretty lively place. I think the boringness of many small towns is the leading cause for drug problems. People turn these unhealthy, stupid thrills because they can’t find anything else interesting to do. But having traveled the world and having lived in NYC for the last 35 years (definitely not a boring place), I nominate Osage, Iowa as the most boring place I’ve ever been. Let’s all make an effort to have an original thought today, and communicate it in an interesting way. Cheers!

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