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 America's Labor Market Information System
 Iowa Workforce Information NetworkOctober 5, 2006
Population Trends: The Changing Face of Iowa
by Mike BlankPrinter-friendly version of this articlePrinter-friendly version
Published Jan-11-2005

Iowa Grows More Diverse
Iowans are Educated

The 20th Century, saw a vast increase in the population of the United States—from 76 million inhabitants in 1900 to 281 million in 2000. When the century dawned, we were an agrarian nation with 72 percent of our population living on farms and rural areas. It is the automobile that did the most to change the face of the nation: in infrastructure, economics, and culturally. The century saw a movement of population, not just into cities, but to enumerable suburbs that surrounded them. Iowa has not escaped this trend.

In the 1990s, the people of Iowa grew older and more diverse. By 2000, the median age for all Iowans was 36.6, slightly higher than the National median of 35.3. Thirty-eight counties had a median age of at least 40. These were all in rural parts of the state. It is the growth of the baby-boom generation that has pushed the average age of the population higher. The state was fourth in terms population older than 65 (14.9 percent), behind Florida, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. However 2000 was the first census in half a century where the percent of Iowans over 65 was lower than the previous decade, falling from 15.3 to 14.9 percent. This was a result of the relatively low number of births in the 1920's and 1930's. The number of older Iowans can be expected to rise considerably as the leading edge of the baby-boom generation reaches age 65 in 2011.

Iowa and U.S. Population 1900 - 2000
Baby-boomers Reached Middle Age between 1990 and 2000
Iowa Grows More Diverse >>
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