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Report shows rural Iowans make more than urban Iowans

by Ben Nuelle

LISTEN: money-matters-11-1-16

An Iowa State University report shows rural Iowans make more than urban Iowans.

In September, the U.S. Census Bureau released a report focused on urban and rural income trends in America.

ISU Sociologist David Peters wanted to know more about rural vs. urban incomes in Iowa.

He says the new information he found surprised him.

“Despite recent concerns of a decline in rural Iowa’s income, this proved not to be the case. Over the last decade rural households are doing well and, in fact, are doing better than urban Iowans and better than other rural areas in this country. The statistics certainly fly counter to the narrative that you can’t make a living in rural Iowa.”

The 2015 median household income in rural Iowa was $60,223, almost 11 percent higher than urban incomes ($51,705).

Rural Iowans also have become wealthier than rural residents in other states.

“So even though we are still in the same general region, same general natural amenities and agricultural systems, there something about Iowa and the nature of the state, nature of jobs, education of people, that allows for higher income growth. I was a little bit surprised that Missouri did not have a higher income growth and that we were higher than some of the other surrounding states,” Peters says.

Peters adds this proves counter to popular belief you actually can live in rural Iowa and earn a good living.