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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 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. The project has been supported by grants from USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, with continuing support is provided by Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Department of Sociology.

News

Publications

“What you need to know about Iowa's redistricting process.”  River to River, Iowa Public Radio
“Experts Explain Initial Results From The 2020 U.S. Census And Where Iowans Are Living.”  River to River, Iowa Public Radio
“Growing, and growing more diverse: Some of the most interesting findings in the new census of Iowa.” Des Moines Register
“Des Moines' immigrant population grew by 20,000 people in the last decade.” WOI-TV News
“Census: Iowa Population Grows 4.7%, Keeps 4 US House Seats.” WHO-TV News
NSF awards grant to study impacts and responses to COVID-19 in Iowa small towns.
NSF awards $1.5 million grant to study smart shrinkage using ISTP data
“Why leadership styles matter in rural Iowa.” ISU News Service

More News
Impact of COVID-19 in Small Towns
Census 2020 Population by Race
“Is Social Capital as a Determinant of Community Attachment?” Sociological Spectrum
“Is Community Attachment a Determinant of Actual Migration? An Estimate of the Social Capital, Linear‐Development, and Systemic Approaches.” Social Science Quarterly 
"Trust and White Ethnic Diversity in Small Town Iowa." Sociological Quarterly
Community Resiliency in Declining Small Towns: Impact of Population Loss on Quality of Life over 20 Years.” Rural Sociology
“Community Entitativity and Civic Engagement.” City and Community
“White Ethnic Diversity in Small Town Iowa: A Multilevel Analysis of Community Attachment.” Rural Sociology 

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