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Iowa Profile

The Iowa Profile serves as a comprehensive data resource, offering policymakers and community leaders valuable insights across various domains such as housing, public health, safety, transportation, education, quality of life and economy.

The first of its kind tool provides customized reports and enables comparisons with other regions, empowering changemakers in community and economic development to make informed decisions based on regularly updated data from diverse sources. The tool provides essential information for designing effective programs and resources to foster opportunities for Iowans, communities and businesses to thrive.

Explore the five statewide dashboards linked below or scroll down to create your own interactive and customized regional dashboards.

  • Demographics

    Uncover key insights into the people that call our communities home.

  • Quality of Life

    Delve into the crucial elements shaping the well-being of Iowans and our communities.

  • Housing

    Explore regional housing landscapes and identify unmet housing needs and priorities.

  • Economy

    Explore data on the amount and types of jobs as well as details on the local labor force, average commute times and more.

  • Housing Forecast*

    Explore the projected demand for homes based on type and income by 2030.

    *Available Statewide and County only

View the “How to Create an Iowa Profile” Video Tutorial

 

1. “Select Report Type” from the from the dropdown in the upper right:

    • Demographics
    • Economy
    • Housing
    • Housing Forecast*
    • Quality of Life

*Housing Forecast available at state and county levels only.

 

2. Select the “Geography Type:”

    • County
    • Place (City | Other Census Designated Places)
    • Zip Code
    • Census Tract

 

3. Click on the map to confirm your Geography Type selection if not already highlighted in green.

You may select a Geography Type by:

  1. Selecting the area on the map using the zoom in/out tool on the lower right of the page.
    OR
  2. Typing it in the Location Search bar.
    • You must search for county by entering exactly as follows: Full county name, IA
    • If multiple options appear in the search bar dropdown list, click on the exact county name to populate the Location Search bar.

Comparison Areas:

    • If selecting Census Tract, Zip Code or Place (City), the system will automatically include the corresponding city/county and state comparison data as available.
    • Up to two comparison areas can be selected of the same Geography Type. For example, up to three census tracts or three counties can be compared to each other in one report (the selected Geography Type in addition to the two comparison regions of the same Geography Type).

Overlays (Optional):

    • Users have the option to add a Qualified Census Tract overlay, but this is not required.

Generate Dashboard

    • Click the “Generate Dashboard” button at the bottom to submit your request. (If you are unable to select the Generate Dashboard button, you need to click on the map first to highlight your selected Geography Type in green, then click the Generate Dashboard button.)
    • Your Dashboard will be generated immediately for download and will appear in the upper left corner of your screen.
    • Click on the “See My Dashboard” link to view your dashboard.

If generating a Housing Forecast dashboard for a county, the generated dashboard will default to the statewide Iowa Housing Forecast. Click on the “County Forecast” link on the left to view the county level Housing Forecast dashboard.

Select dashboard type and geographic region to explore dashboards and compare regions. Please follow the instructions above.

Iowa Profile FAQs

Is there a webinar training available?

View a recording of the webinar training here.

Can you compare to geographies outside of Iowa?

This Iowa Profile dashboard generator is designed to compare geographies within Iowa at the state, county, place, zip code, and census tract level. If you are interested in learning more about mySidewalk and exploring community data insights for geographies outside of Iowa, please reach out to mySidewalk

Is this data available at the city level?

Yes, in the Iowa Profile dashboard generator, select “Place” under geography types and the map will outline cities where the data is available. Places are defined by the census as concentrations of population density, so this geography level won’t cover all areas of the state. Select the cities you want to explore on the map and then generate a dashboard.

What is the source of the data you are showing?

We use numerous sources for data in these dashboards to enhance the data storytelling across Iowa. There is a source listed below each chart and a data definitions page will be added soon.

Looks like you can copy code to embed on web. Is that for each graph or all profile?

You can embed individual charts from your dashboards into a webpage, click the </> symbol next to the chart to copy the embed code. You can add a hyperlink for the whole dashboard to other web pages as well, just copy the URL of your dashboard.

Is there a way to change the source data on the reports?

About 50% of the data indicators in these dashboards are updated automatically, annually, based on when new data becomes available from the source. For example, ACS 5-Year Estimate data gets updated every December. HUD CHAS data gets updated in the fall (subject to change). The rest of the data in the dashboards is static from when you generate your dashboard. About once a year, the data sources in the Iowa Profile Dashboard Generator will be updated and IFA will announce the updates.

Is there a way to set the default of the link to exclude Iowa as a whole so it doesn't skew the data at the local level?

No, there is not an option to exclude state-level data from the dashboards, however, you can go through and deselect Iowa from the charts so it is only showing data at a smaller granularity.

Is there the ability to see major or largest employers in each county/community?

The dashboards don’t include data on top employers, but do include top industries.

Are projections only available for housing data?

There are a few additional charts throughout the dashboards, such as the demographics dashboard, that include projection data, but the Housing Forecast dashboard is the only dashboard exclusively looking at projection data. If you are interested in additional projection data, please let IFA know and we can explore adding it during future updates.

Recommendation on how to properly decide on comparison geographies?

It depends on what you want to learn using the Iowa Profile. The data tool enables you to compare across the same type of geographies, such as county to county or census tract to census tract. You could consider comparing your geography to your peer county, city, zip, or census tract. You could consider comparing geographies of similar areas or population density. All dashboards also include automatic comparisons to larger geographies than selected, such as state data.

Is CDFI or low-income data provided for selection in the dashboard?

There is low-income data in the dashboard on several of the dashboards, particularly on the demographics, economy, and housing dashboards. If you are interested in CDFI data, please let IFA know and we can explore it for future Iowa Profile updates.

What if we want to select all counties?

There isn’t an option to select all counties at once, you will need to download multiple dashboards. Some of the dashboards have maps looking at data across the whole state which may allow for comparison across counties or census tracts. Another place to look would be the state dashboards for that bigger-picture view of the data. The state dashboards are available at iowafinance.com/iowaprofile.

Since ACS data is being used significantly, does the website provide the user with any background on the margin of errors in the data?

The margin of error is not included in the dashboards, however, a data definitions page will be available soonto allow you to dive deeper into the data definitions and the methodology behind the data.

Is veteran status tracked in the demographic data?

Yes, you will find veteran status data at the bottom of the Demographics dashboard.

Will the dashboard be able to weight data?

Here are two resources on how we apportion the data in these dashboards and the mySidewalk data library, Getting data into modern custom boundaries and Census projects in mySidewalk.

Do other states have data like this?

Nebraska also has a dashboard generator. mySidewalk has a data library with over 4 billion data points with data from geographies from the national level down to the census block group. If you are interested in data for additional states and communities, reach out to mySidewalk to learn more about mySidewalk’s complete data library and data storytelling tools.

Is information on inflows and outflows available in this data?

The dashboards don’t contain origin-destination data. The data values in these dashboards belong to only one geography.

For strategic planning purposes, it's usually more relevant to compare a city's info to itself at some point in the past, is that going to be possible in a future iteration?

There is some historical data included throughout the dashboard, but if you are interested in additional data, please follow up with IFA and we can explore adding the historical data for future updates.

What if there is not a data amount for your community? Is there a recommend way to get that data updated/added?

For each data indicator, we included all data available from the original data source for all geography levels included in the Iowa Profile (state, county, place, zip, census tract). There may be geographies where there is no data available and that may be due to data availability, lack of data reporting, or a limit on the amount of data available, among other reasons.

Is there a data dictionary on the site?

A data definitions page will be available soon.

Are there any restrictions on how we can share info with the public or posting links to websites?

Data transparency is a top priority for IFA with the investment in this free-to-use data tool. Feel free to share the data dashboards, link to certain charts, embed them in your website, and post them on social media.

Looking for real-time data. Is it possible to track who uses certain amenities in the county, and where else they visit?

This data is not currently in the Iowa Profile, however if you are interested in specific data being added, please reach out to IFA and we will explore the data for future updates.

Is information about where people live vs work available in the platform?

There is data on the top industries people work in based on where they live and there is commuting time and distance data. These indicators can be found in the Economy dashboard.

19.6 minutes 19.6
minutes median commute time
14.5 miles median commute distance 14.5
miles median commute distance
2.4 people average household size 2.4
people average household size
$914 median rent 914
median rent
$181,600 median home value 181600
median home value
1955 Median year built – residential 1955
median year built - residential
Housing demand is expected to grow by 24,617 households by 2030. Learn More
17,181 of Iowa’s expected 2023 housing demand will need to be owner occupied and 7,436 will need to be rental homes. Learn More
Iowa’s homeownership rate is among the highest in the nation at 72.8%. Learn More

For program inquiries please reach out to:

Iowa Finance Authority Team

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