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.
See: Geographic Terms & Concepts
Counties & County Equivalents
Interactive Map of Iowa Counties | Static Overview Map of Iowa Counties
There are 99 counties in Iowa. All counties in Iowa are functioning governmental units; each governed by a county board of supervisors.
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 (CDPs))
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 Statistical Areas
There are 7 Metropolitan and 17 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.
Iowa has 364 unified school districts. View Iowa Public and Private Schools.
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.