Iowa Gazetteer

Iowa - Basic Information

Became a State: December 28, 1846 - 29th State
Population: 3,046,355 (2010 Census) - Ranks 30th
Land Area: 55,857.1 square miles - Ranks 23rd
Population Density: 54.5 persons per square mile - Ranks 36th
Housing Units: 1,336,417 (2010 Census)
Housing Unit Density: 23.9 housing units per square mile
July 1, 2015 Estimates: Iowa Data and Demographics
State Capital: Des Moines
State Website: Official State of Iowa Website
Iowa State Flag
Iowa state flag

Iowa History

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The United States acquired the area of Iowa from France in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Iowa Territory was organized on June 12, 1838, from part of Wisconsin Territory; it included all of present-day Iowa, the eastern part of North Dakota and South Dakota, and the western part of Minnesota. Iowa was admitted to the Union on December 28, 1846, as the 29th state with generally the same boundary as the present state. The remaining part of the territory was unattached until the organization of Minnesota Territory in 1849. Nebraska and Iowa have made periodic adjustments to their boundary as the Missouri River has changed its course.

Census data for Iowa are available beginning with the 1840 census. The 1840 population includes the portion of Iowa Territory in present-day Minnesota west of the Mississippi River and a line drawn from its source northward to the Canadian boundary.

Iowa Geographical Areas

See: Geographic Terms & Concepts

Counties & County Equivalents

There are 99 counties in Iowa.  All counties in Iowa are functioning governmental units; each governed by a county board of supervisors.

Interactive Map of Iowa Counties | Static Overview Map of Iowa Counties

County Subdivisions

There are 1,661 county subdivisions in Iowa known as minor civil divisions (MCDs). There are 1,598 townships. There are 59 cities that are independent of any MCD and one city (Tabor) that is partially independent of any MCD creating 62 county subdivisions. There is also one unorganized territory (reservoir property in Polk County).

Iowa township officials have minimal powers and are under the fiscal authority of the county.  These townships, by agreement with the state, are classified as nonfunctioning MCDs by the Census Bureau.  The governing body for each township is the board of township trustees.

Places (Incorporated Cities, Towns & Census Designated Places)

Iowa has 1,009 places; 947 incorporated places and 62 census designated places (CDPs). The incorporated places are all cities.  There are 887 incorporated places that are dependent within county subdivisions.  Fifty-two cities are legally coextensive with county subdivisions, eight cities are independent of any township, and one city (Tabor) is independent of any township in Fremont County and dependent in Mills County.

Alphabetical List of Cities, Towns, CDPs and Other Populated Places
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q, R | S | T | U, V | W, X, Y, Z

Iowa Civil Features

Iowa Civil Features: Political Subdivisions, Native Areas, Land Grants, etc. - sorted by Census Class Codes.

Metropolitan and Micropolitan Stastical Areas

There are 8 Metropolitan and 15 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in Iowa. IA Metopolitan & Micropolitan Areas

Iowa ZIP Code Tabulation Areas

Iowa has 99 urban areas; 9 urbanized areas and 90 urban clusters. View Iowa ZIP Codes and ZIP Code Maps.

School Districts

Iowa has 364 unified school districts. View Iowa Public and Private Schools.

Congressional Districts

Iowa has 4 congressional districts. An interactive map shows the contact information for each Representative as well as the boundaries for each Iowa district. View Map of Iowa Congressional Districts.

State Legislative Districts

There are 50 state senate districts and 100 state house districts in Iowa.

American Indian Areas

Iowa has four federally recognized American Indian areas. There are three reservations and one trust land.

Iowa Physical, Cultural and Historic Features

  1. Iowa Physical Features such as lakes, islands, streams, valleys, summits, etc.
  2. Iowa Cultural Features such as schools, churches, hospitals, parks, dams, reservoirs, etc.
  3. Iowa Historical Features and Iowa Historic Landmarks

Iowa Maps

  • To find a ZIP Code: input the address in the top-left search box of any ZIP Code Map.
  • To find the County: input the address in the top-left search box of the interactive IA map.
  • To find the School Attendance Zone: input the address in the top-left search box of any IA school map

Iowa Census Data Comparison Tool

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