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Iowa Population by Race and Ethnicity

Iowa the 31st largest U.S. state by population has a racially and ethnically diverse population. As of 2020, White (Non-Hispanic) are the largest group in Iowa followed by Hispanic or Latino Americans. 

also read about the Population of Iowa

Ethnic and Racial Percentage

In 2020, the White alone (non-Hispanic) population was the largest racial or ethnic group in Iowa, comprising 82.69% of the total population. It was followed by the Hispanic or Latino population whose share was 6.77

Black or African American was the third largest group at 4.05%. Two or more races are at 3.41% and Asians at 2.35%

The ethnic composition of  Iowa is as follows

Race and OriginActual PopulationPercentage 2020
White alone2,638,20182.69%
Hispanic or Latino215,9866.77%
Black or African American alone129,3214.05%
Two or more races108,6733.41%
Asian alone75,0172.35%
American Indians and Alaska Natives alone9,0790.28%
Some Other Race alone8,4870.27%
Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander 5,6050.18%

Source: US Census 2020

also read Iowa Population by Religion

*US Census recognized five racial categories (White, Black or African American, Asian American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) as well as people of two or more races. It also classified respondents as "Hispanic or Latino" or "Not Hispanic or Latino", identifying Hispanic and Latino as an ethnicity (not a race), which comprises the largest minority group in the nation.

Ancestry in Iowa

As per Census Studies and estimate German, Irish, and English have made the five largest ancestry groups in Iowa. In 2020, 4.6% of the population considered themselves to be of only American ancestry (regardless of race or ethnicity). Many of these were of English, Scotch-Irish or European descent; however, their families have lived in the state for so long they choose to identify as having “American” ancestry or do not know their ancestry.

The Largest Ancestry in Iowa is as follows

9French (except Basque)54,6861.7%
14Subsaharan African31,3011.0%
20French Canadian8,1370.3%
25West Indian1,8240.1%

Source: US Census 2020

also read about Cities and Counties in Iowa

European Ancestry in Iowa

Non-Hispanics Whites account for nearly 82.69% of Iowa’s population. German, Irish, English, and Norwegians have made up the largest European ancestry groups in Iowa. As per the Census report German Americans made up 31.1% of the population and number Close to 1 million.

Irish Americans made up 12.6% of the population and numbered over 396,356. English Americans made up 7.3% of the population and numbered close to 230,855 followed by Norwegian ancestry at 4.6% of the population and numbered close to 145,407

Besides the Europeans who make good numbers are Dutch (3.6%), Swedish (2.6%), Italian (2.0%), French (1.7%), Czech (1.6%), Scottish (1.4%), Danish (1.4%) and Polish (1.2%)

Hispanics and Latinos in Iowa

Hispanics and Latinos are the second-largest groups in Iowa after non-Hispanic white. Around 6.77% of Iowa’s Population claim Hispanic or Latin American ethnicity. Mexican (4.3%), Puerto Rican (0.2%), and Cuban (0.1%) are the main Hispanic group.

African Americans in Iowa

As of 2020, those of African ancestry accounted for 4.05% of Iowa’s population. Polk County has the largest population of African Americans of any Iowa county. The top 5 counties in Iowa with African-American populations are Polk (38,096), Linn (14,773), Scott (14,298), Black Hawk (12,769), and Johnson (12,736).

About 19.0%  percent of the African American population living in Des Moines in 2020. Des Moines has the largest population (25,011) of African Americans in any city in Iowa. Other top cities are Cedar Rapids (14,338), Davenport (12,187), Waterloo (12,150), and Iowa City (7,664).

Asian Americans in Iowa

Asian Americans are a sizable minority group in Iowa. Americans of Asian descent formed 2.35%  percent of the population. Its ethnic Asian population has grown rapidly since the late 1990s; the majority are Indians, Filipinos, Vietnamese, and ethnic Chinese. 

The top 5 counties in Iowa with Asian populations are Polk (20,095), Johnson (9,174), Story (7,849), Linn (5,187), and Scott (4,626). The Top 5 Cities in Iowa with Asian populations are Des Moines (16.9% of total Asians in Iowa)), Ames (9.7%), Iowa City (8.8%), Cedar Rapids (5.3%), and West Des Moines (5.1%)

Native Americans in Iowa

Native Americans made up 0.28% of Iowa’s population and number over 9,079 individuals as of 2020. 

Pacific Islanders in Iowa

Americans with origins from the Pacific Islands are the smallest minority in Iowa.  They made up 0.18 percent of Iowa’s population and number over 5,605 individuals as of 2020. 

Multi-Race in Iowa

Multiracial individuals are also a visible minority in Iowa. People identifying as multiracial form 3.41%  percent of the population, and number around 108,673 people. 

Race and Ethnicity in Iowa 2024 | Ancestry in Iowa