About the DOT

Iowa farmer on tractor
DID YOU KNOW? With populations of 15
people each, Beaconsville and Decatur are
the two smallest towns in Iowa. (2016)



56,271.55 square miles in total area (includes 402.2 square miles of water); ranks 23rd in the nation in total area. (2006)

Geographic center

In Story County, 5 miles northeast of Ames


3,007,856 (July 1, 2009, U.S. Census estimate)

Per capita personal income (dollars per person)

36,680 (2008, Iowa Workforce Development)

Governmental jurisdictions

99 counties and 947 incorporated towns and cities; city populations range from 11 in Beaconsfield to 198,652 in Des Moines (Iowa League of Cities, April 2010)

Labor force

1,685,100 persons in labor force, rate of unemployment 6.8 percent (Iowa Workforce Development March 2010)

Commodity flow

The top five commodities shipped to, from and within Iowa (calculated in tons and listed in order) in 2006 were cereal grains, coal, gravel, other foodstuff, and animal feed; when calculated according to the value of the products shipped, the top commodities shipped were machinery, coal, motorized vehicles, other foodstuffs, and mixed freight. (U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Commerce, 2007 Commodity Flow Survey. The survey was conducted in 1993, 1997, 2002, and most recently in 2007. View the complete survey report.

Shipment characteristics

Trucks transport 82.9 percent of the shipments originating in Iowa, according to the total value of the commodities, this is followed by rail at 6.6 percent, water at .9 percent, air at .4 percent, and other modes 2.5 percent. When measured according to tons shipped, trucks transport 81.4 percent of goods, rail 13.9 percent, water 2.8 percent, and other modes .8 percent. Commodities originating in Iowa travel an average of 10 miles by truck, 836 miles by rail, 1,203 by water, and 1,116 by air. (2007 Commodity Flow Survey)

Travel characteristics

Information on topics such as household fleet, vacation travel, long-distance travel, congestion, and energy use, visit the U.S. DOT, Federal Highway Administration's National Household Travel Survey website.