Why Iowa?

   Iowa has it all: a strong workforce, exciting business opportunities, quality schools, and safe communities.  Read the quick facts below about business in Iowa, our workforce, our schools, our quality of life, and our tax advantages.

Iowa Business

Iowa is the 6th lowest nationally in business costs. (Economy.com Inc, 2003)

Iowa has an educated workforce where nearly 80% of employees have finished high school.

Top 10 in academic research and development  (National Science Foudation)

According to the US Census Bureau, Iowa has the 7th shortest commute time to work in the nation. With an average commute time of 18.1 minutes, Iowans have more time to spend with their families and for leisure.

12th on the Cost of Business Index  (Economy.com, 2003)

5th for The Best States for E-Commerce (Progressive Policy Institute, 2002)

17th on the State Competitiveness Index (Beacon Hill Institute of Suffolk University, 2004)

4th on the State Liability Systems Ranking (Harris Interactive, Inc., 2004)


Iowa’s workforce consists of 1.6 million workers

Iowa's annual unemployment rate has been substantially below the national figure in recent years. In 2004, the U.S. unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, while Iowa had a rate of 4.8 percent

Iowa has an educated, productive workforce that takes pride in the quality and excellence of its work. With an educated workforce, there are the advantages of lower start-up costs, training costs, and fewer accidents. 

Iowa Schools

Among the top 10 states for "technology sophistication" in K-12 schools  (Market Data Retrieval)

Iowa is home to 3 state universities in the top 100  (Kiplinger)

Iowa ranks 6th in the nation overall for getting a quality education. (Business Facilities magazine, February 2004)

Iowa’s Public School Graduation Rate in 2004 was 90.4% (Annual Condition of Education Report 2004)

Iowa ranks 1st in the U.S. on average composite scores for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), with an average score of 1195 - above the national average of 1026. (The College Board 2004)

Iowa ranks as the 8th smartest state in the 2004 Smartest State Ranking (Morgan Quitno Press 2004)

Quality of Life

Iowa offers one of the nation's best standards of living, consistently securing one of the top spots in Morgan Quitno's best rating for best place in the United States to live. High housing standards, relatively larger homes at lower costs and easy access to shopping and recreation events mean Iowa residents get more for their money. Living costs in Iowa communities are lower than many communities in other states.

Here are some other reasons why Iowa is a great place to live:

  • Iowa is ranked as the 4th Most Livable State in the nation, according to Morgan Quitno’s annual study of the best state in which to live. Iowa’s low cost of living and affordable housing make this a great place to live the American Dream. Over the past decade, Iowa has consistently ranked in the top 10 and in the past seven years, Iowa has steadily ranked in the top 4.     (2004)
  • Iowa ranks as the 9th Safest state in Morgan Quitno’s Safest and Most Dangerous State Ranking (Morgan Quitno 2004)

Tax Advantages

Iowa offers many incentives for businesses that bring new growth and economic development to the state. For more information on tax incentives for enterprise zone programs, new capital investment programs, or new jobs and income programs, click here.

Local Tax Abatement

Iowa law allows cities and counties to abate local property taxes for value added to industrial real estate. The maximum amount of actual value added to a  new or expanded facility which is eligible to be exempt from taxation is:

Year One:
Year Two:
Year Three:
Year Four:
Year Five:

75 percent
60 percent
45 percent
30 percent
15 percent



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