These Are The 10 Trashiest Cities In Iowa

These are the places in Iowa with the most drug-addicted, violent, welfare receiving populations.

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out.

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Do you know anyone whom you’d refer to as Trashy? Most likely. Either there’s someone at your job, in your neighborhood, or in your family that you’d throw that label on.

Essentially, Trashy is everywhere.

While calling someone Trashy might be a mean-spirited way of ridiculing or poking fun at a particular demographic, it can also serve as a way to express disdain about the way someone lives their life. It isn’t as derogatory as using other racial slurs, and in fact, the term has a bit of humor associated with it, making it the focus of pop culture.

Take for instance Jerry Springer, Honey Boo Boo, Kid Rock, Eminem, Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite and even Cousin Eddie in National Lampoon movies.

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, trashy is defined as:

“A term used broadly to define a person or group of persons whom embody the concepts of ignorance, racism, violence, alcoholism, poverty, and anglo-saxon ancestry. Similarly used with the term ‘cracker,’ ‘hillbilly’ or ‘redneck’.”

So, using some data crunching, we should be able to measure where the most Trashy communities in the state of Iowa are actually located.

After pouring over data, watching too many fist fights and perusing illiterate Facebook comments, we’ve determined these are the most Trashy cities in Iowa:

  1. Keokuk (Photos)
  2. Red Oak (Photos)
  3. Fort Dodge (Photos)
  4. Dubuque (Photos)
  5. Marshalltown (Photos)
  6. Des Moines (Photos)
  7. Ottumwa (Photos)
  8. Mason City (Photos)
  9. Council Bluffs (Photos)
  10. Centerville (Photos)

Time to take some meth and stay up all night with us as we go through the cities one by one. And before you say we’re some kind of reverse racist, you can also check out the most Ghetto city in Iowa.

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How we determined the most trashy cities in Iowa?

Using publicly available government data, as well as Google Maps, we were able to collect the data on the following trashy metrics:

  • Cities where there are lots of white people
  • Cities where residents are poorer than average
  • Cities where a high number of residents are high school dropouts
  • High drug use
  • Higher than average Payday Loan Outlets and Dollar Stores
  • Violent cities (measured in aggravated assaults)
  • Cities with a high number of residents on welfare

We used the government Census for most of the data. For drug use and violence, we used FBI data, and for Cash Advance Outlets, we used Google Maps.

Simple, right?
We limited the analysis to non-CDPs that have over 5,000 people.
Then, we ranked each place from 1 to 70 for each of the trashy criteria.

Next, then averaged all the ranks to create a “trashy index”.

In the end, Keokuk ended up being the the most trashy city in the Hawkeye State.


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1. Keokuk

Keokuk, Iowa

Population: 10,904
Estimated Trashy: 2,204
Welfare population: 17%

Toss back a Budweiser, and suck down another Camel, Keokuk, cause you’re the whitest trash of all in Iowa. Iowa’s southern most city ranks in the top 10% for several categories, including number of residents on welfare, most amount of high school dropouts, as well as a high number of aggravated assaults.

2. Red Oak

Red Oak, Iowa

Source: Public domain

Population: 7,196
Estimated Trashy: 2,674
Dollar Stores: 4

Red Oak’s population is as close to 100% white as you can possibly get. This city in Montgomery County was in the top 5 for poor, uneducated white residents, and ranks high for Dollar Stores per capita. With the large number of Dollar Stores, I guess you can say you are creating jobs Red Oak; and for that, you should be proud.

3. Fort Dodge

Fort Dodge, Iowa

Population: 25,203
Estimated Trashy: 7,283
High school dropouts: 17%

Fort Dodge is situated in the middle of nowhere Iowa. This is one of the ‘most white’ cities on this list, and judging by the numbers, this place is pretty damn trashy. This city in Webster County ranks in the top 5 for three separate trashy metrics, including number of aggravated assaults, and for a large percentage of high school dropouts.

4. Dubuque

Dubuque, Iowa

Population: 58,301
Estimated Trashy: 10,999
Payday Loan Outlets: 8

Chances are, if you and your kid(s) moved in with someone after two dates, than you might be from Dubuque. The “Key City” ranks fifth in the state for aggravated assaults (meaning drunken fist fights), and is 8th in the state for number of payday loan stores per capita.

5. Marshalltown

Marshalltown, Iowa

Population: 26,517
Estimated Trashy: 7,225
Assaults: 7th for small cities in IA

According to online forums, Marshalltown is known as America’s trailer park. If you’re from this city in Marshall County, there is a good chance you know someone who did not graduate from high school. And, if you’re a dead-beat dad named Rick who snorts Tylenol (because he can’t afford adderall), and you moved to Cedar Rapids with your sister’s best friend, you might be from Marshalltown.

6. Des Moines

Des Moines, Iowa

Population: 206,200
Estimated Trashy: 40,439
Thefts per capita: 3rd

Des Moines is located where the 80 and the 35 meet in the middle of Iowa. Though only two-thirds of the population is white, the number of drug-related crimes and aggravated assaults, combined with the high number of poor dropouts, makes this trashy central for Polk County.

7. Ottumwa

Ottumwa, Iowa

Population: 29,200
Estimated Trashy: 7,439
Payday Loan Outlets: 6

Statistically, Ottumwa ranks in the top 20 in a few categories, including number of dollar stores per capita, as well as number of poor, uneducated residents.

Ottumwa residents who want to move up in the world make the trek to the big city of Davenport to become assistant managers at a Walmart. Just make sure you have a valid license and a working automobile before exiting– cuz ain’t nobody got time for that!

8. Mason City

Clinton, Iowa

Source: Public domain

Population: 29,200
Estimated Trashy: 8,439
Dollar Stores: 5

Sadly, a large percentage of the population in Mason City has income based on welfare, workers comp, unemployment benefits, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The “River City” ranks very high for number of check cashing outlets and dollar stores. For much of the population, it’s as if Tonya Harding and Eminem got together and had a baby.

9. Council Bluffs

Council Bluffs, Iowa

Population: 62,800
Estimated Trashy: 15,439
Payday Loan Outlets: 6

Located on the Nebraska/Iowa border is Council Bluffs (aka Counciltucky). Here a large number of people live on disability or work at one of the 5 or so Dollar Stores in town.

Just because you shop at the local dollar store does not make you ‘country chic,’ Council Bluffs, it makes you trashy. A lot of your trash must be getting into fist fights on 50% off day, because you are 3rd for aggravated assaults.

10. Centerville

Centerville, Iowa

Population: 6,800
Estimated Trashy: 1,439
Thefts per capita: 7th

Rounding out the list of the ten most trashy cities in Iowa brings us to Centerville. Located where the 2 and 5 meet, this is where the high class trashy live. You think you’re all that now that you have multiple bargain stores and a Super Walmart where you can show off your pajamas.

There You Have It

According to the official dictionary definition of Trashy, and based on stereotypes that the internet says are true, using science to determine the most Trashy cities in a state can’t be too far off.

If you’re analyzing cities in Iowa with lots of angry welfare recipients, single mothers and where people have lots of options for payday cash loans, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the least trashy places in Iowa:

  1. Orange City
  2. Bettendorf
  3. Johnston

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