Dec 7, 2022 - News

Iowa's quality of life ranks 18th in the U.S.

Illustration of the Iowa State Capitol building with lines radiating from it.

Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

One of the top-selling tourism points from people in Iowa is the state's low cost-of-living in comparison to the quality of life.

Yes, but: A new analysis from the Washington Post shows the living standards in our state may not be as high as we like to think compared to our neighboring states.

Driving the news: The Post took numbers from a study published in the International Economic review that tries to answer the question:

  • "If you could choose what state you were born into, but not your race, gender, income or education, which state would be most likely to give you the best life?"
  • The study examines living standards in each state based on life expectancy, education, cost-of-living-adjusted spending, hours worked and inequality. The data comes from 2013-17.

By the number: Iowa ranks 18th in its "well-being rank."

  • The average household income here is around $49,000, while spending is around $38,000.
  • The state's average life expectancy is 79.3 years old and 37% of people ages 25-29 have a college degree.
  • The average amount of annual hours worked is 1,055 hours.

Yes, but: All our neighboring states are outperforming us, except for Missouri

  • Minnesota, which is the second-ranked state in the U.S., has a higher income ($51.3K) and comparable spending ($41.8) to Iowa.
  • But the life expectancy is higher at 80.7 years and college-educated young adults are near 44%.

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