Census shows more people moving to Cedar Rapids

Iowa City and Des Moines among fastest growing areas in the country.

Downtown Cedar Rapids in an aerial photograph in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette-KCR
Downtown Cedar Rapids in an aerial photograph in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

CEDAR RAPIDS — After experiencing a net loss of residents moving elsewhere in the United States three of the past four years, Cedar Rapids reversed course and saw more people moving and staying in 2014, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

The city gained 205 people from domestic migration, a positive swing of nearly 1,000 people compared with a net loss of 759 people in 2013, according to the 2014 census estimates for counties, metropolitan and micropolitan areas.

“I think a lot of that has to do with us starting to solve a lot of the housing issues we've been dealing with post-flood,” said Jasmine Almoayed, economic development liaison for Cedar Rapids.

Cedar Rapids also continues an increase in international migration, up 335 people in 2014, according to the estimates.

Programs such as ROOTs, or Rebuilding Ownership Opportunities Together, restocking the urban housing supply and the diversifying price points of living options appear to be aiding the rise, Almoayed said.

“We've had pretty successful programs, such as ROOTs,” Almoayed said. “I think we are starting to see more people moving back into Cedar Rapids.”

Net migration for select metropolitan statistical areas

Des Moines-West Des Moines 1146 4579 4176 5955 6862
Iowa City 105 1380 2055 1752 1305
Dubuque 120 358 351 442 140
Cedar Rapids 30 1404 -305 -427 540
Waterloo-Cedar Falls -7 -94 -252 294 47
Data provided by the U.S. Census.


Overall, the Cedar Rapids metropolitan statistical area has gained 5,945 people, or about 2 percent growth, up to 263,885 since the last decennial census in 2010. Linn County is up 3 percent to 217,751 since 2010.

“That is a good sign for Linn County,” Gary Krob, of the Iowa State Data Center, said of the population trends, particularly the increases in domestic migration.

In general, Iowa's metro areas and the influx of residents moving in internationally are fueling a slight uptick in Iowa's population, and offsetting flight in rural areas.

According to the latest estimates, Iowa's population is 3,107,126, up about 1.86 percent since 2010.

The metropolitan areas of Iowa City and Des Moines/West Des Moines rank as the No. 31 and No. 32, respectively, fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country since 2010, Krob said.

The Iowa City area has grown 7.7 percent up to 164,357 and Des Moines has grown 7.3 percent up to 611,549, according to census data. Ames is the 82nd fastest growing metropolitan area in the country, up 5 percent since 2010.

Dallas County, just west of Des Moines and Polk County, is the 13th fastest growing county with at least 10,000 people in the nation, Krob said. Dallas County has grown 17 percent since 2010.

After Dallas, Johnson, Polk, Story and Warren counties round out the top five fastest growing counties in Iowa.


However, only 31 of Iowa's 99 counties gained population since 2010, and all but Lyon County are a metropolitan or micropolitan area or are adjacent to one, Krob said.

“It's a little more of the same,” Krob said. “The state as a whole, the population is continuing to grow. Counties seeing population increases tend to be population centers.”

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