Whether a city is large or small is completely relative to every individual person. To some people who grow up in towns of 2,000 people, they may consider a town like Waterloo (population of about 67,000) huge. To someone who grows up in Des Moines, they might consider a town like Ames small. City size is all in the eye of the beholder. I think that's how that saying goes anyway...

Unsplash - Austin Goode
Unsplash - Austin Goode

If you put together a list of the best cities in Iowa, with a population between 25,000 and 100,000 which would you consider "the best?" Thankfully, our friends over at Wallet Hub have done that work for us. I would like to point out that I think a lot of people would also argue that whatever "the best is," is also a relative term but that's for a different day.

One of the beautiful things about Iowa is the amount of smaller towns that make up the entire state. If you go with Wallet Hub's study and use towns of 25,000-100,000, you have a ton of cities from Iowa to choose from. As a matter of fact, there are only 3 cities in Iowa you can't use, according to Iowa Demographics. Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport all have populations of over 100,000. Which smaller city in Iowa have they deemed "the best?"

Source: WalletHub

On their chart, they compared 1,300 different cities in the United States. They used 43 different indicators for their findings that range from housing costs, school systems, quality of life, safety, and the number of restaurants per capita, to name a select few. The top-rated city in Iowa is... Ankeny. According to Iowa Demographics, Ankeny has a population of a little over 70,000 people.

According to Wallet Hub, two of the biggest benefits of living in Ankeny are affordability and economic health. When it comes to affordability, Ankeny is the 54th ranked city out of the 1,300 they compared, and 77th ranked city for economic health.

There was also another smaller city in Iowa that received some love, as their findings show Marion as the second-best smaller city when it came to housing costs. There are plenty of other cities in Iowa that made the list as well. Marion, Sioux City, Iowa City, Waterloo, Ames, and Council Bluffs to name a few.

I will add, I tend to take these studies with a grain of salt. As I previously mentioned, city size is a pretty relative term. I grew up in Minneapolis, a city with a population of close to 3 million people. I'd normally consider a town of 70,000 to be fairly small. My fiance and parents both grew up in towns of less than 5,000 people. They'd both likely agree that 70,000 people is a booming metropolis.

I found it pretty cool to find a study about smaller cities when you and I both know, smaller cities make up this great state.

10 Myths About Iowa That Even Some Natives Believe

Iowa is an ag state with more heads of hog than human, but there's a lot more to us than crops and critters. How many people actually know that, however?

What Non-Iowans Think of Iowa

Iowa is the capital of the Midwest! Ok, that's unofficial, but it's my stance. Here's what NON Iowans think of us.


More From K92.3