DES MOINES– New population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau indicate North Liberty has doubled in size in the last ten years, while three-quarters of Iowa's incorporated places lost population this decade.
The Census Bureau estimated that 700 cities lost population, 228 gained, and 18 had no change between April 1, 2000 and July 1, 2008.
Iowa's total population was 3,002,555, up by 2.6 percent since the 2000 census.
Biggest gainers were cities located in metropolitan counties and cities with populations greater than 10,000. Incorporated places in Iowa's metropolitan counties grew by 8.5 percent while those in non-metropolitan areas declined by 4.2 percent. The number of Iowans living in cities larger than 10,000 increased by more than 6 percent, while the population in cities under 5,000 dropped by 1 percent. Cities with populations between 5,000 and 10,000 grew by nearly 3 percent.
The latest estimates show Ankeny with the largest numeric gain among Iowa cities, adding more than 15,000 residents since the 2000 census. Two other Des Moines suburbs, Urbandale and West Des Moines, ranked second and third, posting gains of 9,297 and 9,023 respectively over eight years. At the same time, four of Iowa's nine core metropolitan cities – Des Moines, Dubuque, Sioux City, and Waterloo – declined in population since the 2000 census.
The fastest growing city in Iowa was Waukee in Dallas County, which grew by more than 140 percent in this decade. Three other cities also more than doubled in size: Fairfax in Linn County, and North Liberty and Shueyville in Johnson County.
Des Moines continued to be Iowa's largest city with an estimated population of 197,052; the smallest is Le Roy with an estimated population of eight. Maharishi Vedic City was incorporated in 2001 and is not included in these comparisons of change between 2000 and 2008.
These estimates for July 1, 2008 do not reflect population changes that occurred as a result of the floods of June 2008. It is expected that the population effects of the 2008 floods will become more apparent when estimates for 2009 are released next year.
Populations of Iowa cities from 1850 to 2007 can be found on the State Library of Iowa's State Data Center web site at www.iowadatacenter.org .
The U.S. Census Bureau's Population Estimates Branch prepared the latest population estimates in partnership with the Federal-State Cooperative Program for Population Estimates. The State Library of Iowa is a member of the Cooperative Program.
Population estimates for cities are based on the housing unit method. Comparisons to Census 2000 reflect modifications to the Census 2000 population as documented in the Count Question Resolution program, updates from the Boundary and Annexation Survey, and geographic program revisions. Caution is urged in making year-to-year comparisons of population estimates. When the Census Bureau releases new population estimates for the current year, it also revises estimates for previous years in the decade.