Iowa City, IA drone view of campus

Courtesy of The University of Iowa, Office of Strategic Communication

Best Places to Live in the US in 2022 Sponsored by: eXp RealtyeXp Realty

Iowa City, IA is the #46 Best City to Live in the USA

Old Iowa Capitol Building in Iowa City
iStock/rruntsch
Iowa City, IA
Quality of Life
Liv Score

619
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 74
Demographics 42
Economy 66
Education 57
Health 74
Housing 54
Infrastructure 45
Amenities 47

Why Iowa City is one of the best cities to live in

Located in the eastern portion of the state of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, is a growing city that offers a little bit of everything. Residents can enjoy an amazing arts scene (its murals are gorgeous), eclectic eateries, craft breweries, a collection of cute boutiques, interesting museums (Old Capitol is a must-visit) and much, much more. Plus, the area is highly centered on community, making it one of the best places to live in the U.S. 

Here in Iowa City, residents can find plenty of local events to attend, get involved in their city (several volunteer opportunities exist) and just connect with those around them. Another great part about the city? It offers residents fantastic medical care close to home (think Mercy Iowa City and University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics). And when it comes to outdoor recreation, the area offers plenty of parks that make you want to get outside and explore.  

What are Iowa Citys major industries and employers?

Key industries in the Iowa City area include education technology, advanced manufacturing, medical technology, and finance and insurance.

What are the major colleges and universities in Iowa City?

The University of Iowa & Kirkwood Community College – Iowa City Campus

What is the weather like in Iowa City? 

Enjoy four seasons – cold winters, cool springs, hot summers and mild autumns. However, the weather isn’t the reason people love living here. 

What is there to do outside in Iowa City?

Road cycling or gravel biking through Iowa City’s rolling cornfields. For camaraderie and route inspiration, join the Iowa City Cycling Club. Looking for something dog-friendly? Have fun with your pup at Thornberry Off-Leash Dog Park.

Iowa City, IA is Remote-Ready

What makes Iowa City a great place for remote workers?

Looking for a sense of community? Iowa City has its residents covered. The city is home to several coworking and maker spaces that remote workers can join, including Cowork CollectiveMERGE and Fab Lab. Plus, through ICR’s Wingman Program, newcomers are matched with a ‘wingman’ to help them get settled in town, answer questions and help make connections.  

What Locals Love in Iowa City, IA

What is the best local bookstore in Iowa City?

Iowa City is big on bookworms. The city is the world’s third UNESCO City of Literature, and the designation recognizes Iowa City’s commitment to literature through events, education, publishing, translation, libraries and bookstores. You’ll fall in love with the collection of books and the atmosphere at Prairie Lights

How do you spend a weekend in Iowa City?

Take in the gorgeous murals that can be found all over downtown, then choose among its many eateries when your stomach starts to rumble. During the fall, join more than 69,000 people at Kinnick Stadium for some Hawkeye football. 

What can you do for free in Iowa City?

Check out the local goods sold at Iowa City Farmers Market (May through October). 

Whats the best way to spend happy hour in Iowa City?

Savor pizza and beer at Sanctuary. 

Whats something only locals know about Iowa City?

Gene’s, a favorite among locals, is a ’70s-themed lounge named after UI grad Gene Wilder.

Is Iowa City, IA a good place to live?

A thriving arts scene, excellent health care and a growing job market make Iowa City a best place to live in Iowa.

Thinking of Moving to Iowa City?

What is the Iowa City, IA real estate market like?

As a city resting on the banks of the Iowa River, Iowa City real estate has something to offer for people in all stages of life. You’ll find older homes with lots of character and near downtown on the north side, while the eastside is known for its abundance of split-level and ranch style homes in quiet neighborhoods within walking distance of schools. Go even further east and you’ll come across new construction homes for sale in Iowa City in a modern craftsman style. On Iowa City’s south end you’ll come across more split-levels and ranches that make great starter homes and then on the west side you’ll find old stately homes with well-to-do yards, especially in the Manville and University Heights neighborhoods. As you can see, there’s something for everyone here and there are plenty of Iowa City real estate agents willing to help you find the right home for you.

Quick Facts About Iowa City, IA

Average Commute
16.4
Median Home Value
$273,880
Med. Household Income
$48,148
Total Population
75,849
Walk Score
43
Median Property Tax
$4,041

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