A new estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau shows an eastern Iowa town is the fastest growing.

“The fastest-growing city was Panorama Park — it’s a smaller town — the current population is 319, according to Gary Krob, coordinator of the State Data Center at the State Library of Iowa. “It is a small town, but they grew by almost 150 percent since 2010. And they are over by the Davenport area.” Another small town that saw a big increase is Tiffin near Iowa City. It’s population increased by 113 percent to 4,157.

The suburbs of Des Moines and nearby towns also continued to see growth. “Both Bondurant and Grimes were in the top five in the state of Iowa and they are here in the Des Moines metropolitan area. And then Waukee, Ankeny, Johnston, and West Des Moines all saw pretty significant growth since 2010,” Krob says.

Bondurant grew 80 percent to 6,958 and Grimes, increased by 79 percent to 14,804. Waukee grew nearly 75 percent (24,089 population), Ankeny nearly 48 percent (67,355 population)Johnston grew by 31 percent (22,582 population), and West Des Moines nearly 20 percent (67,899 population).

Krob says the growth patterns haven’t changed much.”Most of the smaller communities that we saw some large growth really are going to be centered around the metropolitan areas. Really that’s been pretty standard for us for quite a while,” he says.

He says the data now available doesn’t tell if the growth is people moving in from other parts of the state or from out of state.
“At some point we are going to start being able to look at some county migration data — not through this program — but through other census programs, so we can get a better sense of what is going on,” Krob says. “Historically what we have been seeing in our state, we do some movement of people living in Iowa to outside the state. We do see a significant amount of Iowans moving from rural counties to more metropolitan counties.”

Krob says the pace of the growth leads to speculation about what is happening. “You look at the slower growth rate for the state — but then you look at some of these metropolitan communities and see how quickly they’re growing — you do get a sense that is it not just people moving from the rural counties into the metropolitans,” he says, “that we are getting people moving from outside the state and outside the country into the state of Iowa.”

The data shows 213 cities have gained population since 2010 — while 712 have lost population, and 18 have had no change.