The 7 cheapest towns to live in Iowa

Iowa’s reputation as a budget-friendly destination is largely due to several factors that make living there an affordable proposition. One of the main reasons is the lower cost of housing in the state, as rent and mortgage payments tend to be more manageable than in many other states. This means that Iowans can find a suitable place to live without having to spend a large portion of their income on housing. Without further delay, here are the cheapest towns and cities to live in Iowa.


  • Ranked number one for affordability, Keokuk boasts a median household income of $39,779.
  • Nestled along the Mississippi River, this city of nearly 10,000 residents offers scenic beauty and recreational opportunities at Rand Park, Elks Fairview Golf Course, and Victory Park.

Fort Madison:

  • Another riverside gem, Fort Madison boasts a median household income of $42,694.
  • Unique geographic feature: the Mississippi River flows east to west here! Immerse yourself in history at Old Fort Madison, explore parks, indulge at Lost Duck Brewery, or marvel at writing instruments at the Sheaffer Pen Museum.


  • Located in northern Iowa, Waterloo offers ample opportunities with a population of approximately 67,000.
  • Discover amusement parks, museums, golf courses, and tranquil spaces like the Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanical Garden. Median household income: $47,327.


  • Thriving alongside the Mississippi River, Burlington presents a median household income of $47,540.
  • Enjoy riverside golfing, try your luck at the casino, or unleash your creativity at the Art Center of Burlington. Diverse offerings cater to all ages and interests.


  • As the county seat of Mahaska County, Oskaloosa features a vibrant community with a median household income of $47,429.
  • Explore William Penn University, savor diverse restaurants, or find solace in Edmundson Park, offering recreation trails, a fishing pond, and more.


  • This north-central city of nearly 25,000 residents presents a median household income of $40,866.
  • Bask in nature along the Des Moines River, enjoy parks, the aquatic center, or delve into history at The Fort Museum and Frontier Village.


  • Completing our list, Clinton stands proudly on the banks of the Mississippi River.
  • Median household income: $44,094. Explore the Bickelhaupt Arboretum, learn at the Sawmill Museum, engage the kids at the Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center, or unwind at Ericksen Community Center.