2020 Census Reveals Increase In Iowa’s Diversity

United States Census Bureau / Census taker with resident.

By Kassidy Arena, Iowa Public Radio 

The 2020 Census results revealed Black, Indigenous, Asian and Hispanic populations grew significantly in the state over the past decade. 

Iowa’s total population increased, but for the first time, the number of people who identified as “white alone” decreased. The number of Hispanic and Latino Iowans nearly doubled since 2010. And, most of them are young people. The median age of Latinos in Iowa is about 24. That’s compared to the total state’s median age of almost 39.


Jessica Trinidad, the deputy state director for young adults for the Iowa League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), said there is a whole new generation of young Latinos looking to be involved in the state.

“[There is] a lot of interest, you know, with this younger generation of getting involved in, and being out there in the community, helping and becoming activists, and getting involved in and making a difference in the community,” Trinidad said.

She moved to Iowa in the early 2000s when she explained “we were just a few here and there.” But now, she described Latino communities in Iowa as strong and active.

Des Moines has the most Latinos, followed by other urban areas like Sioux City and Ames, along with smaller cities like Marshalltown and Davenport with significant Latino populations as well.

“I think that that says that we are…we’re here to stay and this is home and we’re just going to continue to grow and contribute to the state for sure,” Trinidad said.

Another group that saw an increase was people who marked two or more races on their form. 


In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated people of color were likely undercounted. The bureau is not expected to release 2020 undercounting rates until next year.


State Data Center Iowa Demographics:

White alone: 84.5%

Two or more races: 5.6%

Black or African American alone: 4.1%

Some other race alone: 2.8%

Asian alone: 2.4%

American Indian and Alaska Native alone: 0.5%

Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander alone: 0.2%

Not Hispanic or Latino: 93.2%

Hispanic or Latino origin (any race): 6.8%

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