Top 7 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Iowa

Top 7 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Iowa

Backlit picture of cornstalks in Iowa

Are you considering moving to Iowa? Moving can be an extremely exciting process; it’s a journey to new beginnings. While it’s refreshing to most people, it can also be super nerve-racking. There is a lot to consider before relocating to a new state. Fortunately, we’re going to discuss the 7 key things to factor into your decision before packing your furniture and putting a down payment on a house in lovely Iowa.

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1. Cost of Living

The low cost of living in Iowa is a widely appreciated benefit. US News has ranked Iowa as the 6th most affordable state in the nation.

To put things into perspective, the current median house price in Iowa is approximately $210,484, while the national average stands at about $412,000. Iowa is known to be relatively inexpensive from the housing market to groceries and beyond!

2. Weather

Iowa experiences all four seasons, with harsh, cold winters and hot, humid summers. The weather also tends to be pretty unpredictable. Temperatures and climates can fluctuate quite a bit within the seasons.

It’s important to be aware of the natural disasters that can occur in this state. Iowa is susceptible to floods, tornados, and severe storms. If you plan on living in Iowa, you may want to financially prepare for these natural disasters and double-check that your insurance covers these occurrences!

3. Political Environment

Iowa is currently considered a Red state, which means the majority vote for the Republican Party in elections. This is subject to change as Iowa is considered a swing state. Swing states fluctuate between a Republican and Democrat voting majority.

It’s also important to note that politics are a big deal here! Iowa gets the first vote in the presidential election process and potential candidates certainly prioritize campaigning here.

Candidates seek to win over Iowans due to the caucus system in the state. Caucusgoers deliver speeches in these organized meetings to support candidates they are in favor of.

The state is fairly diverse in political climate, depending on the geographic location. Urban areas, such as Des Moines and Iowa City, tend to have democratic populations. On the other hand, the state’s rural areas are generally Republican voters.

If it is important to be surrounded by like-minded people in terms of politics, this may be something to consider.

4. Rural Areas

This land-locked state has the highest corn production rates in the country. A majority of the land is used for agricultural purposes, and about a third of the population lives in rural areas. However, throughout recent years, more people have been migrating to the state’s urban areas.

There is the best of both worlds here, so it’s up to you to decide whether you’d prefer a peaceful rural space or a lively, populated urban area to call home.

5. Crime Rate

A state’s crime rate is critical in deciding if it’s the right place to reside. Luckily, Iowa is ranked 15th in public safety. This makes it a great place to settle down and retire or raise a family! Generally, people report feeling pretty safe in this state.

6. Education

Good education leads to more opportunities and success. The Hawkeye State has an abundance of quality universities, such as Iowa State University and the University of Iowa. It even ranks 13th overall in education!

A good portion of residents here are college-educated, and high school graduation rates remain above 89%. Iowa provides good quality education, however, if this factor is extremely important to you, there are other states that have even higher standards.

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7. Employment

Each state comes with a different set of employment opportunities. In many instances of relocation, people are seeking good jobs that pay well. In Iowa, the median household income lies at about $65,000.

The state also has a decently low unemployment rate! As for the economy, it ranks 31st compared to the other U.S. states. The state’s most prominent industry is certainly food production and processing; Iowa’s rich farms and booming agriculture are notable.

Iowa scored lower in the business environment category regarding economy but ranks rather high in employment. This goes to show that Iowa is a good place to settle as a young adult transitioning into the professional world.


Depending on your values, lifestyle, and preferences, you may perceive certain things about Iowa as undesirable, while someone else may see them as a total benefit. Many individuals may view the harsh weather and rural areas as reasons not to move to Iowa, while others are drawn to the low cost of living, friendly residents, and safety.

Taking into account all of these different factors and determining how valuable they are to you will help you make the choice to bite the bullet. Hopefully, learning these 7 things before moving to the Hawkeye State increased your confidence in making the right choice!

Olivia is an undergraduate student at University of South Florida studying Health Sciences and pursuing the Physician Assistant career. She is from a small town in Massachusetts and enjoys taking day trips to Boston! Olivia's interests include health, weightlifting, writing, and watching movies.