Iowa Small Towns Project

The Iowa Small Towns Project is an integrated research and extension effort to better understand the conditions and issues facing small Midwestern communities in the 21st century. Since 1994, residents living in 99 Iowa small towns (expanded to 125 in 2024) have been surveyed to learn about their assessment of local services and amenities, social conditions, participation in local organizations, and perceptions of local quality of life. To our knowledge, no other project examines aspects of community life for such a large number of small towns over two decades. This allows us to provide truly unique insights into the changes occurring in small towns across Iowa and the Midwest.