Iowa is the twenty-sixth largest state by area, with a population of 3,156,145 (U.S. Census Bureau, July 1, 2019). Throughout history, there have been important milestones that helped shape Iowa. Iowa officially became part of the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Iowa's experienced a population boom with the advent of the railroad during the mid-1800s. During the Civil War, Iowa's capital moved to Des Moines, and the University of Iowa established in Iowa City.
Today, Iowa's economy has a GDP of $192 billion (Bureau of Economic Analysis, July 1, 2018), which is driven by agriculture and food production, renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, services, and information technology. Many of the leading Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters in Iowa, including Principal Financial Group and Casey's General Stores, to name a few.
The most recognized cities in Iowa are Iowa City, Des Moines, and Cedar Rapids.
Iowa City is located in the eastern part of Iowa and has a population of 73,415. Iowa City is home to Amana Colonies, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, and Devonian Fossil Gorge. Over the last ten years, Iowa City's housing market has appreciated by 28.49%. When compared to the rest of the nation, Iowa City's housing prices are slightly higher, with the median home price of $202,200 and a median rent of $924.
Des Moines is the capital of Iowa and has a population of 214,778. Des Moines is home to Blank Park Zoo, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, and Iowa State Capitol. Over the last ten years, Des Moines' housing market has appreciated by 23.66%. When compared to the rest of the country, Des Moines' housing prices are more affordable, with the median home price of $123,300 and a median rent of $797.
Cedar Rapids is just 28 miles north of Iowa City and has a population of 130,330. Cedar Rapids is home to the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, Indian Creek Nature Center, and Palisades-Kepler State Park. Over the last ten years, Cedar Rapids' housing market has appreciated by 1.32% annually. When compared to the rest of the nation, Cedar Rapids' housing prices are significantly less, with the median home price of $138,500 and a median rent of $729.