Iowa is pretty darn livable

April 1, 2008 —

According to Congressional Quarterly, Iowa is the fifth most livable state in the country. They make these designations based on quality-of-life indicators such as low crime and poverty, high income and education rates.

This ranking is based on the following factors, applied to all states:

Negative Factors
1. Percent Change in Number of Crimes: 2005 to 2006
2. Crime Rate
3. State Prisoner Incarceration Rate
4. Personal Bankruptcy Rate
5. Estimated Pupil-Teacher Ratio in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools
6. Rate of Public Libraries and Branches
7. Unemployment Rate
8. Percent of Nonfarm Employees in Government
9. Average Monthly Electric Bill for Residential Customers
10. Hazardous Waste Sites on the National Priority List per 10,000 Square Miles
11. State and Local Taxes as a Percent of Personal Income
12. Per Capita State and Local Government Debt Outstanding
13. Percent of Population Not Covered by Health Insurance
14. Births of Low Birthweight as a Percent of All Births
15. Teenage Birth Rate
16. Infant Mortality Rate
17. Age-Adjusted Death Rate by Suicide
18. Population per Square Mile
19. Poverty Rate
20. Percent of Female-Headed Families with Children Living in Poverty
21. State and Local Government Spending for Welfare Programs as a Percent of All Spending
22. Percent of Households Receiving Food Stamps
23. Deficient Bridges as a Percent of Total Bridges
24. Highway Fatality Rate
25. Fatalities in Alcohol-Related Crashes as a Percent of All Highway Fatalities 

Positive Factors
26. Per Capita Gross Domestic Product
27. Percent Change in Per Capita Gross Domestic Product: 2002 to 2006 (Adjusted to Constant 2000 Dollars)
28. Per Capita Personal Income
29. Change in Per Capita Personal Income: 2005 to 2006
30. Median Household Income
31. Estimated Public High School Graduation Rate
32. Percent of Population Graduated from High School
33. Expenditures for Education as a Percent of All State and Local Government Expenditures
34. Percent of Population With a Bachelor’s Degree or More
35. Books in Public Libraries Per Capita
36. Per Capita State Art Agencies’ Legislative Appropriations
37. Average Weekly Earnings of Production Workers on Manufacturing Payrolls
38. Job Growth: 2006 to 2007
39. Normal Daily Mean Temperature
40. Percent of Days That Are Sunny
41. Homeownership Rate
42. Domestic Migration of Population: 2005 to 2006
43 Marriage Rate
44. Percent of Eligible Population Reported Voting 

Full report


Courtney Tompkins has been part of the DMU marketing team since Nov. 2005 and loves promoting a school she believes in so thoroughly. Proud daughter and patient of DMU alumni, Courtney knows, first-hand, that Des Moines University is doing a world of good. A fan of all outdoor festivals, fruity drinks and nearly all edibles, she has a hard time narrowing down her list of favorite places to go and things to do but lists the Iowa State Fair as an all-time fave. She loves her 8-minute commute to DMU from Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines. She and husband Tyler are owned by three large dogs, Tonka, Tucker and Tank.