Iowa City, Iowa

Iowa City Business Signs

Iowa City is located on the eastern edge of the present-day U.S. state of Iowa, along the Iowa River.  Iowa City was once the capitol city of Iowa.  Prior to colonization by the United States, this area had previously been inhabited by the Woodland and Oneota peoples.  Iowa City, Iowa itself was established following an act of Legislative Assembly of the Iowa Territory on January 21st, 1839.  The Capitol Building in Iowa City would not be completed until 1842.  Iowa City, Iowa, as one can imagine, was named after the Iowa River.

Today, according to a 2016 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau, Iowa City, Iowa has a total population of 74,398 people.  This makes it the 5th most populous city in the state of Iowa.  The Iowa City metropolitan area, according to that same estimate, has a total population of 164,357 people.

Back in 2008, Forbes Magazine named Iowa City, Iowa as the second-best small metropolitan area for doing business in the United States.  Indeed, this hasn’t changed.  According to Iowa City, Iowa’s 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s top employers include the University of Iowa and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, which are responsible for a whopping 24,627 jobs, while Iowa City Community School District comes in a far second, responsible for 1,600 jobs.

The University of Iowa’s campus is home to one of the most impressive landmarks in the state of Iowa.  The Iowa Old Capitol Building, which was built in 1842 by architect John F. Rague in the Greek Revival Architectural Style, is now considered a U.S. National Historic Landmark and listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  Obviously, it no longer serves its original function.  Other buildings located within Iowa City, Iowa which are also listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places include, but are certainly not limited to, Bethel AME Church, Johnson County Courthouse, Linsay House, Muscatine Avenue Moffitt Cottage Historic District, Old Brick, Old Post Office, Pentacrest, St. Mary’s Church, and Park House Hotel.  Iowa City, Iowa is also home to City Plaza, or Pedestrian Mall, which hosts the annual Iowa City Jazz Festival and Iowa City Arts Festival along with serving as the home of the Iowa City Public Library.

The University of Iowa, which was established in 1847, is a flagship public research university and the oldest university in the state.  As of Fall semester 2016, the University of Iowa had a $1.259 billion endowment, with 33,334 students enrolled into its various programs in total.  The University is split into eleven colleges.  The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has been named “one of America’s Best Hospitals” for the 25th year in a row.  Additionally, the University of Iowa was a pioneer when it came to the development of the Master of Fine Arts Degree.

In fact, it is home to the world-renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop.  This graduate-level creative writing program has included graduates such as John Irving, Flannery O’Connor, T.C. Boyle, and countless other prominent U.S. authors.  This workshop also includes the “nation’s leading Non-Fiction Writing Program, the Iowa Playwrights’ Workshop, the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and the International Writing Program.”  For these prestigious programs, Iowa City, Iowa was awarded in 2008 by UNESCO as the only City of Literature located in North America.

As for sports, the University of Iowa’s Iowa Hawkeyes, who play in NCAA Division I’s Big Ten Conference, have won seven national team titles not recognized by the NCAA and 25 NCAA national team championships.  The most successful Hawkeyes teams have undoubtedly been that of men’s wrestling, responsible for 23 of those NCAA national team championships.

Own a small business in and/or around the Iowa City, Iowa area?  Thought about starting up one?  These resources could help:

Apply for a Business License in Iowa City, Iowa:

University of Iowa Small Business Development Center:

Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce:

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Grady’s Graphics

Cedar Rapids, IA

Scott Grady



Decorah, IA

Brian Peterson