1. Cedar Rapids
Cedar Rapids has a population of 126,326 and is the second largest city in Iowa. Not only does it have a high concentration of public libraries, museums and parks, it has a below-average cost of living. In fact, the inexpensive housing is a great draw for the city, with home prices falling in at $44,000 below the national median.
Oskaloosa is located 60 miles southeast of Des Moines, and it has a population of 11,463. A relatively high median income and a healthy economy coupled with a low cost of living means that it’s quite an affordable and attractive place to live.
Decorah, a small community with a population of 8,127, has plenty going for it, from an interesting Scandinavian culture to great parks, and a virtually non-existent crime rate. Combine that with a low cost of living, and you’ve got a winning combination.
This sweet little southwestern Iowa town is home to 5,150 people. It's the second stop on the 2016 RAGBRAI tour. Plus, the excellent public schools and low cost of living make Shenandoah a great place to live.
Ankeny has a population of 45,562, making it a mid-sized city that offers all the right benefits of a big city, without actually being too big. Ankeny offers excellent amenities, cheap living, and a great school system.
6. Orange City
Orange City has a small population of 5,582 but big opportunities. With great schools, a low cost of living, and a super low crime rate, as well as a proud Dutch heritage, you get plenty of culture without the huge price tag.
Clive, population 15,447, is a city in the Des Moines metro area that offers great living opportunities, such as good employment rates, a low cost of living, and a great education.
Newton is just 30 minutes east of downtown Des Moines, which means that job and cultural opportunities are easily accessible, with a low unemployment rate and affordable house.
Spencer is a classic American town with low unemployment rates and plenty of small town amenities. The high employment rates coupled with low housing prices make this a great place to call home.
10. Charles City
Charles City, also known as America’s Hometown, has a population of 7,652, and plenty going for it. Add to that a below average cost of living, and you’ve got a winning combination.
Waverly, population 10,070, is an ideal place to live. With its close proximity to the larger city of Waterloo, with its cultural amenities and job opportunities, as well as its large number of parks and Wartburg College, there are plenty of reasons to want to live here. The affordable homes and growing incomes are icing on the cake.