Iowa

The Hawkeye State
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State Highlights
  • Total Latino Population

    173,594

  • Median Age of Latinos

    23.4

  • Median Income of Latinos 16+

    $42,447

  • # of Latino Registered Voters

    21,000

  • Latinos Without Health Insurance

    15.9%

  • Latino Homeownership

    52.4%

  • Latinos as % of All Under 18

    9.5%

Untitled-1

From 2000 to 2014, the Latino population in Iowa increased by 108.1% and accounted for 49.9% of the state’s total population growth. 1

In 2014, Iowa’s Latino population totaled 173,594 and constituted 5.6% of the state’s total population. 2

Much of the Latino population is concentrated in Des Moines, Davenport, and Sioux City. 3 The two counties with the largest Latino populations were Polk and Woodbury. 4

In 2014, Iowa’s Latino citizen voting age population numbered 52,000. 5

Furthermore, Latino registered voters totaled 21,000 and constituted 1.3% of all registered voters in the state. 6

Approximately 52.4% of Latino registered voters cast ballots during the November 2014 elections. 7

2014

Iowa passed IA S2347, which provided funds for a project focused on supporting international refugees with learning, literacy, and assimilation skills. 8

76.6% of Latinos were citizens of the United States (68.0% were native born and 8.5% were naturalized). 9

32.0% of Latinos were foreign born. 10

62.0% of Latinos 5-years of age and older spoke Spanish. 11

Of Latino Spanish-speakers 5-years of age and older, 54.9% spoke English “very well”, 21.7% spoke English “well”, 17.3% spoke English “not well”, and 6.1% spoke English “not at all.” 12

The median age of Latinos was 23.4 years compared to 39.8 years for Whites. 13

40.1% of Latinos were under 18 years of age compared to 22.3% of Whites. 14

Latinos comprise 9.5% of all persons under the age of 18. 15

Of Latinos 25-years of age and older, 40.1% had less than a high school diploma (compared to 7.1% of Whites), 24.2% had a high school diploma, GED, or alternative credential (compared to 32.4% of Whites), 22.8% had some college or an Associate’s degree (compared to 33.0% of Whites), 8.7% had a Bachelor’s degree (compared to 18.8% of Whites), and 4.3% had a Graduate degree (compared to 8.8% of Whites). 16

Median household incomes totaled $42,447 for Latinos and $54,863 for Whites (in 2014 inflation-adjusted dollars). 17

15.9% of Latinos lacked health insurance compared to 5.3% of Whites. 18

52.4% of Latino households were owner occupied (compared to 73.2% of White households) and 47.6% were renter occupied (compared to 26.8% of White households). 19

8.0% of Latinos were unemployed compared to 4.0% of Whites. 20

The number of Latino-owned businesses grew 206.6% over a 10-year period, going from 1,536 in 2002 to 4,709 in 2012. 21 22

In 2012, receipts for Latino-owned businesses totaled $1.5 million, representing an increase of 218.4% from 2007. 23 24

In 2012, Latino-owned businesses employed 5,885 people with an annual payroll of $154,251. 25

In 2015, the Latino purchasing power in Iowa totaled $3.8 billion. 26

From 2000 to 2014, Iowa’s immigrant population increased 68.3%, growing from 91,085 in 2000 to 153,321 in 2014 (immigrant share of 4.9% in 2014). 27

In 2014, 24.3% of immigrants living in Iowa entered the U.S. before 1990, 23.8% entered between 1990 and 1999, 26.1% entered between 2000 and 2009, and 25.8% entered after 2010. 28

According to a U.S. Census Bureau 2014 estimate, 37.0% of immigrants living in Iowa were born in Latin America, 38.4% were born in Asia, 12.8% were born in Europe, 9.1% were born in Africa, and 2.6% were born in other regions. 29

35.7% of all immigrants in Iowa were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2014. 30

In 2012, 62,809 people (or 3.6% of all registered voters in Iowa) were newly naturalized citizens or U.S. born children of immigrants. 31

In 2014, foreign-born workers totaled 97,969 and made-up 5.7% of Iowa’s workforce. 32

Between 2009 and 2013, 22,000 undocumented immigrants held permanent jobs in Iowa, representing 66% of the undocumented civilian population. 33 In 2008, The Perryman Group found that removing undocumented immigrants from Iowa would result in a $1.4 billion loss in economic activity and a $613.4 million loss in gross state product, as well as a loss of 8,819 jobs. 34

Undocumented immigrants in Iowa paid $36.3 million in state and local taxes in 2012. 35

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