Iowa Lakes Corridor Population

Iowa Lakes Corridor


Total Population


Growth Rate


Median Age


Diversity Index



springtime riverWe have compiled several statistics about our area in this section. If you do not find the information you are looking for, please contact us at the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation and we will do our best to find the data you need.

You can also reference the information compiled by LOIS here »


The Iowa Lakes Corridor region covers 1,920 square miles and has a population density of 33.3 per mile. According to the US Census Bureau, the total population of the region in 2010 was 63,896. From 2000 to 2010, the region decreased by 1,338, a decrease of 1.05 percent. Three of the four counties lost population while Dickinson County posted an increase of 243. The 2010 US Census results are posted below.

*2010 data comes from the US Census Bureau.
*2018-2019 data comes from the American Community Survey.

Buena Vista County Population 2019 – 19,620

Albert CityAltaLakesideLinn GroveMarathon
2010 – 6992010 – 1,8832010 – 5962010 – 1542010 – 237
2018 – 6252018 – 2,1522018 – 7172018 – 190 2018 – 242
NewellRembrandtSioux RapidsStorm LakeTruesdale
2010 – 8762010 – 2032010 – 7752010 – 10,6002010 – 81
2018 – 9652018 – 1712018 – 7912018 – 10,6722018 – 123

Clay County Population 2019 – 16,016

DickensEverlyFostoriaGillett GroveGreenville
2010 – 1852010 – 6032010 – 2312010 – 492010 – 75
2018 – 2282018 – 5972018 – 2432018 – 252018 – 64
2010 – 3342010 – 702010 – 4462010 – 11,2332010 – 141
2018 – 3682018 – 392018 – 3392018 – 11,0922018 – 162

Dickinson County Population 2019 – 17,258

Arnolds ParkLake ParkMilfordOkobojiSpirit Lake
2010 – 1,1262010 – 1,1052010 – 2,8982010 – 8072010 – 4,840
2018 – 1,1732018 – 1,2012018 – 2,9892018 – 8812018 – 5,021
SuperiorTerrilWahpetonWest Okoboji 
2010 – 1302010 – 3672010 – 3412010 – 289 
2018 – 2262018 – 3722018 – 3722018 – 308 

Emmet County Population 2019 – 9,208

2010 – 9262010 – 662010 – 6,360
2018 – 9452018 – 622018 – 5,859
2010 – 942010 – 4222010 – 197
2018 – 542018 – 4802018 – 198


Housing & Income



Total Housing Units


Owner Occupied


Renter Occupied




Median Home Value


Average Home Value


Growth Rate

Household Income


Per Capita Income


Income Projection

Median Household

$55,674 $59,516

Average Household

$73,748 $80,654

Per Capita

$31,091 $34,052

Quality of LIfe

Average Household Income

Average household income for each community in the region is listed below. The average household income for each county is:

Buena Vista – $52,683
Clay – $56,338
Dickinson – $55,603
Emmet – $51,497

Buena Vista County Clay County Dickinson County Emmet County 
Albert City$46,210Dickens$50,625Arnolds Park$48,320Armstrong$42,469
Alta$57,500Fostoria$69,464Lake Park$60,750Dolliver$63,750
Linn Grove$40,000Gillett Grove$24,375Okoboji$68,571Gruver$40,313
Marathon$43,125Greenville$43,125Spirit Lake$52,514Ringsted$39,219
Sioux Rapids$57,734Rossie$24,000Terril$40,500  
Storm Lake$49,044Royal$53,750Wahpeton$80,000  
Truesdale$40,500Spencer$45,838West Okoboji$56,750  




Total Businesses


Total Employed


Workers 16+


2021 Manufacturing Businesses






2021 Retail Trade Businesses






2021 HealthCare/Social Assist






2021 Accommodation/Food Service






2021 Educational Services - Businesses






2021 Food Service/Drinking Estab






High School


High School








Average Commute Time

0 min.

Resident Commuters


Non-Resident Commuters


Drive Alone






Work At Home


Workforce Occupations

The Iowa Lakes Corridor region is home to a very dynamic and diverse collection of industries, skills, abilities and work experiences. 2019 data collected by Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) reveals the following about the region’s workforce:

  • 80.3% employed
    • 19.4% willing to change employment for the right opportunity
  • 7.2% unemployed
    • 61.3% willing/able to re-enter the workforce
  • 4.2% homemakers
    •  44.7% willing to re-enter the workforce
  • 8.3% retired
    • 24.7% willing to re-enter the workforce

More than two-thirds of the residents have some education/training beyond high school. Commuting data indicates those residents willing to change or accept new employment in the region are willing to commute an average of 21 miles one way.

Check out the complete copy of the 2019 Laborshed Analysis. Fringe Benefits are a key factor in a resident’s decision to change or accept new employment opportunities. 

For detailed information about an industry cluster or community in the region, please contact us. We will work with you and Iowa Workforce Development to provide the information needed to help in your business decisions.

Wages (Salary)

The following table is based on research conducted in 2019 for the regional Laborshed Study. Education levels and median salary and wave levels for employees by their industry, are provided. 

IndustryEducationMedian Wage
 Some Level Beyond High SchoolAssociate DegreeUndergraduate Degree

Trade Certification/
Vocational Training

Salary Wages (per year)Non-Salary Wages (per year)
Agriculture, Forestry & Mining75.0%16.7%50.0%0.0%$50,000*
Transportation, Communication & Utilities66.7%20.0%20.0%6.7%$60,000$17.80
Wholesale & Retail Trade70.2%12.3%24.6%7.0%$55,000$12.25
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate92.3%30.8%53.8%0.0%$80,000$13.25
Health Care & Social Services87.2%30.8%33.3%5.2%*$16.00
Personal Services88.2%23.5%23.5%17.7%$35,000$12.00
Entertainment & Recreation******
Professional Services92.3%30.8%38.5%7.6%$41,500$15.34
Public Administration & Government83.3%16.7%50.0%8.3%$53,000$16.88

* Insufficient survey data/refused

Fringe Benefit Profile

A Regional Fringe Benefit Profile was completed for the Iowa Lakes Corridor region by Iowa Workforce Development in 2011. 485 businesses in the region were sent the survey, and 52% of them, 252, provided responses.

Highlights from this study include:

63.5% of employers in the Iowa Lakes Corridor offer a fringe benefit package in addition to wage compensation

8.4% of employers offering a benefits package are union negotiated

The average hours worked to be considered full-time is 38 per week

  • 91.8% of businesses surveyed employ at least one full-time employee
  • 62.3% of businesses surveyed employ at least one part-time employee
  • 22.5% of businesses surveyed employ at least one temporary/seasonal employees

Percent of Employers Offering Health/Medical Insurance by Industry

IndustryPercent offering
Waste Management55.6%
Food Service23.1%
Health Care/Social Assistance70.6%
Wholesale/Retail Trade66.7%
Information Services80%

Percent of Employers Offering Insurance Options

  • Medical – 50.4%
  • Prescription Drugs – 44.3%
  • Dental Coverage – 22.1%
  • Vision Insurance – 16%

For Accidental Death and Dismemberment for full-time employees, coverage is determined by one of three methods:

  • 12.3% total annual salary
  • 21.4% percent/specified number of annual salary
  • 43.9% flat rate

For Life Insurance for full-time employees, coverage is determined by one of three methods:

  • 8% total annual salary
  • 17% percent/specified number of annual salary
  • 50% flat rate
  • 38.6% offer additional life insurance that employees may purchase beyond coverage employer provides

For Short-Term Disability for full-time employees, 52.8% of employers have a waiting period prior to employees being able to utilize short-term disability.

For Long-Term Disability for full-time employees, 71.1% of employers use a percent of salary to determine coverage. Average percent used to calculate the benefit is 62% of salary.

Percent of Employers Offering Insurance by Employment Numbers (All Industries)

Employment RangePercent Offering
1-24 employees56.9%
25-49 employees93.3%
50-99 employees91.7%
100-249 employees100%
250+ employees61.1%

In industry cluster results, 100% of employers that responded to the survey in both advanced manufacturing and biosciences said they offer a benefit package.

Click here to download the 2011 Fringe Benefit Profile. ( 1.2 MB )

Leading Employers

Major Employers

The Iowa Lakes Corridor region is home to a diverse and dynamic group of employers. In total, there are more than 2,300 business establishments within the four-county region. Employers with more than 50 employees are listed below. The top employers in the region as of 2013 can be found here.

Value-Added AgricultureProduct/ServiceLocation
Dakota PackPork processingEstherville – Emmet County
Daybreak FoodsEgg-breaking facilityEstherville – Emmet County
Estherville FoodsEgg productsEstherville – Emmet County
Rembrandt EnterprisesEgg-laying and egg productsRembrandt – Buena Vista County
TysonTurkey and pork processingStorm Lake – Buena Vista County
Art’s Way ManufacturingAgricultural equipmentArmstrong – Emmet County
Brown Medical IndustriesOrthopedic appliances; medical & hospital equipmentSpirit Lake – Dickinson County
Simonsen Iron WorksATV accessoriesSpencer – Clay County
DFS, Inc.Animal Feed ProductsNewell – Buena Vista County
Eaton CorporationHydraulic systemsSpencer – Clay County
GKN WheelWheels for ag and construction equipmentArmstrong & Estherville – Emmet County
Maurer ManufacturingGrain and misc. trailersSpencer – Clay County
Merrill ManufacturingValves and pipe fittingsStorm Lake – Buena Vista County
Metal Works, Inc.Cupolas and ridge ventsSpencer – Clay County
Morton BuildingsMetal buildingsSpencer – Clay County
Nolin MillingGrain handling equipmentDickens – Clay County
Northern Iowa Die CastingAluminum die casting; die casting productsLake Park – Dickinson County
Polaris IndustriesVictory & Indian motorcycles and ATVsSpirit Lake – Dickinson County
Pure FishingWorld headquarters; fishing bait, tackle, rod & reelsSpirit Lake – Dickinson County
RANCO FertiserviceFertilizer blenders, augers, conveyorsSioux Rapids – Buena Vista County
Rosenboom Machine & ToolHydraulic cylindersSpirit Lake – Dickinson County
Shine Brothers Corp.Scrap metal processingSpencer – Clay County
Polaris IndustriesGlobal Electric Motorcars (GEMs)Milford – Dickinson County
Tecton IndustriesPrecision machiningSpencer – Clay County
Valero RenewablesEthanolAlbert City – Buena Vista County
VanderHaag's IncUsed Truck sales, parts, service & equipmentSpencer - Clay County
Financial ServicesProduct/ServiceLocation
Bank MidwestFinancial ServicesSpirit Lake – Dickinson County
Bank PlusFinancial ServicesEstherville – Emmet County
Citizens 1st National BankFinancial ServicesStorm Lake – Buena Vista County
Community State BankFinancial ServicesSpencer – Clay County
Farmer’s Savings BankFinancial ServicesMilford – Dickinson County
Farmer’s Trust & Savings
Financial ServicesSpencer – Clay County
First State BankFinancial ServicesSioux Rapids – Buena Vista County
Heritage Bank NAFinancial ServicesStorm Lake – Buena Vista County
Home State BankFinancial ServicesRoyal – Clay County
North Star BankFinancial ServicesEstherville – Emmet County
Northwest BankFinancial ServicesSpencer - Clay County;

Spirit Lake, Arnold's Park, Okoboji, Milford - Dickinson County;

Storm Lake - Buena Vista County
Security Trust & Savings
Financial ServicesStorm Lake – Dickinson County
State BankFinancial ServicesSpencer – Clay County
The State BankFinancial ServicesSpirit Lake – Dickinson County
US BankFinancial ServicesSpencer – Clay County
Iowa Lakes Electric CooperativeEnergy UtilityEstherville – Emmet County
KAPCOContract assemblySpirit Lake – Dickinson County
Buena Vista UniversityHigher EducationStorm Lake – Buena Vista County
Iowa Lakes Community CollegeHigher EducationEstherville – Emmet County
Avera Holy Family HealthMedicalEstherville – Emmet County
Buena Vista Regional Medical CenterMedicalStorm Lake – Buena Vista County
Lakes Regional Health CenterMedicalSpirit Lake – Dickinson County
Spencer Community HospitalMedicalSpencer – Clay County
Estherville Community SchoolsEducationEstherville – Emmet County
Okoboji School DistrictEducationOkoboji & Milford – Dickinson County
St, Luke Homes & Services, Inc.Long-Term HealthcareSpencer - Clay County
Spencer Community SchoolsEducationSpencer – Clay County
Spirit Lake Community SchoolsEducationSpirit Lake – Dickinson County
Storm Lake Community SchoolsEducationStorm Lake – Buena Vista County


The Community Profile of our region can be custom-generated by you.  Simply click in the category box and you should see "all", then click in the "select a location" box and you should see "Iowa Lakes Corridor."  Then several options will appear in the third box and allow you to customize the report you wish to generate about our region.  Select the options from those provided and at the bottom click "run report."  If you don't find what you are looking for, contact us at any time and we will assist you in finding the information.

Government and Taxation

Property taxes and sales tax provide financial resources to our local governments and school districts to fund infrastructure, public safety, parks and recreation and public education that contribute to the high quality of life in the Iowa Lakes Corridor region. The Iowa sales tax rate is 6% and all communities in the Corridor have a 1% local option sales tax – 7% total. Communities utilize the local option sales tax to keep property taxes low and to help fund amenities and special projects.

Property tax rates vary from county to county, community to community and school district to school district. Property taxes on commercial property are based on 100% market value; residential values are rolled-back each year and are actually levied on less than 50% of the assessed value of the property. The levy rates for each community are provided below and are calculated per $1,000 of assessed value. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact us at the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation.

Buena Vista County

Albert City
School [11.25779]
City [12.43005]
County [6.53457]
Combined Levy [30.22241]

School [9.90468]
City [10.59032]
County [6.53457]
Combined Levy [27.02957]

School [15.47035]
City [8.09923]
County [6.53457]
Combined Levy [30.10415]

Linn Grove
School [18.01522]
City [8.64802]
County [6.53457]
Combined Levy [33.19781]

School [10.77532]
City [15.68547]
County [6.53457]
Combined Levy [32.99536]

School [12.43157]
City [14.25908]
County [6.53457]
Combined Levy [33.22522]

School [11.43253]
City [9.36739]
County [6.53457]
Combined Levy [27.33449]

Sioux Rapids
School [11.43253]
City [14.28467]
County [6.53457]
Combined Levy [32.25177]

Storm Lake
School [15.47035]
City [13.84485]
County [6.53457]
Combined Levy [35.84977]

School [11.25779]
City [12.24629]
County [6.53457]
Combined Levy [30.03865]

Clay County

School [13.02858]
City [8.10000]
County [5.52545]
Combined Levy [26.65403]

School [8.42409]
City [10.70077]
County [5.52545]
Combined Levy [24.65031]

Okoboji School District
School [9.30025]
City [8.10000]
County [5.52545]
Combined Levy [22.9257]

Spencer School District
School [13.02858]
City [8.10000]
County [5.52545]
Combined Levy [26.65403]

Gillett Grove
School [13.02858]
City [12.82392]
County [5.52545]
Combined Levy [31.37795]

School [8.42409]
City [7.79098]
County [5.52545]
Combined Levy [21.74052]

School [11.43253]
City [16.27615]
County [5.52545]
Combined Levy [33.23413]

School [8.42409]
City [8.10000]
County [5.52545]
Combined Levy [22.04954]

School [8.42409]
City [10.01147]
County [5.52545]
Combined Levy [23.96101]

School [13.02858]
City [11.99999]
County [5.52545]
Combined Levy [30.55402]

School [11.43253]
City [12.85845]
County [5.52545]
Combined Levy [29.81643]

Dickinson County

Arnolds Park
School [9.30025]
City [4.95000]
County [2.90066]
Combined Levy [17.15091]

Lake Park
School [9.69799]
City [13.16502]
County [2.90066]
Combined Levy [25.76367]

School [9.30025]
City [13.08111]
County [2.90066]
Combined Levy [25.28202]

Okoboji School District
School [9.30025]
City [4.75000]
County [2.90066]
Combined Levy [16.95091]

Spirit Lake School District
School [8.18067]
City [4.75000]
County [2.90066]
Combined Levy [15.83133]

Spirit Lake
School [8.18067]
City [10.54400]
County [2.90066]
Combined Levy [21.62533]

Spirit Lake School District
School [8.18067]
City [8.10000]
County [2.90066]
Combined Levy [19.18133]

Estherville School District
School [16.29629]
City [8.10000]
County [2.90066]
Combined Levy [27.29695]

School [11.67416]
City [9.48913]
County [2.90066]
Combined Levy [24.06395]

School [9.30025]
City [3.23368]
County [2.90066]
Combined Levy [15.43459]

West Okoboji
School [9.30025]
City [3.00092]
County [2.90066]
Combined Levy [15.20183]

Emmet County

School [9.50245]
City [11.20086]
County [6.31744]
Combined Levy [27.02075]

School [16.29629]
City [8.10000]
County [6.31744]
Combined Levy [30.71373]

School [16.29629]
City [15.95037]
County [6.31744]
Combined Levy [38.56410]

School [16.29629]
City [8.10000]
County [6.31744]
Combined Levy [30.71373]

School [9.50245]
City [15.78319]
County [6.31744]
Combined Levy [31.60308]

School [16.29629]
City [8.10000]
County [6.31744]
Combined Levy [30.71373]

Available Real Estate

A low cost of living and affordable housing prices are important factors when considering relocating to a community or region. The Corridor has a variety of housing choices for all – lakefront, countryside, condo, traditional, modern – own or rent – and our median housing values are generally low, lower than the statewide average for Iowa and well below the national average.

To see what is available visit Multiple Listing Services in the region:

Search additional areas at

Higher Education

Buena Vista University

Higher EducationBuena Vista University is a unique and welcoming campus in picturesque lakeside surroundings.

The 60-acre campus is situated on the shores of beautiful Storm Lake, a 3,200-acre natural lake. The northwest Iowa city of Storm Lake is an attractive, professional community of approximately 10,000 people. The University is dedicated to providing the best educational facilities in the region, the most recent being the $26 million Estelle Siebens Science Center, which opened in 2004.

Buena Vista University is a nationally recognized leader in innovation. In 2020, the Lamberti Center for Rural Entrepreneurship plans to launch innovative programming. The Center strives to enhance economic growth in rural communities by launching new businesses, creating new jobs, and educating the next generation of business leaders.

Buena Vista University is:

  • Ranked number 32 in Regional Universities Midwest in U.S. News & World Report
  • Named one of the nation’s leading schools encouraging student leadership in The Templeton Guide: Colleges that Encourage Character Development
  • Ranked fourth best business school in Iowa for entrepreneurship on

For more information about Buena Vista University visit

Iowa Lakes Community College

Located in the picturesque Iowa Great Lakes Region, Iowa Lakes offers several locations throughout a five-county service area: Algona, Emmetsburg, Estherville, Spencer and Spirit Lake. Classes are offered either full time or part time; days, evenings or weekends; via television, fiber optics or with a professor in the classroom; and via the Internet with online courses. College transfer, career option, technical or vocational courses, one class at a time, or continuing education classes are possible.

One of Iowa’s premier community colleges, the faculty and staff at Iowa Lakes recognize learning is lifelong. Continuing education is an emphasis of the college. General interest courses are available to adults and older learners. Customized training is specifically designed for area businesses and industry. Training can be provided at the business or at Iowa Lakes – all on a schedule convenient to the business and employees.

Iowa Lakes is also the primary regional supplier of re-licensure courses, Adult Basic Education, high school completion (GED), high school diploma credit courses, the displaced homemaker/single parent program, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), and short term vocational training.

Iowa Lakes is accredited by the Iowa Department of Education, the Veterans Administration, as well as the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

For more information about Iowa Lakes Community College, visit

Iowa Central Community College

It is the philosophy of Iowa Central Community College, as a comprehensive community college, to aid in developing our citizens’ capabilities to the maximum. Iowa Central provides a flexible program to satisfy the needs of the individual and the needs of the community. An educational environment is planned to provide experiences for those who desire pre-professional courses, improvement of educational or technical skills, or developmental programs for self-enrichment. This environment can be on campus or on-site. In concert with this mission, Iowa Central offers:

  • College transfer courses
  • Career and technical training
  • General education
  • Recreation and personal enrichment programs
  • Economic development, community service activities for people with diverse interests, needs, backgrounds and skills
  • Adult basic education

Iowa Central Community College was organized in 1966 with a broad mandate to offer a vast array of educational opportunities to the residents of its nine-county area. Iowa Central was built on the firm foundation of three area junior colleges which had been operating since the 1920s by the local public school systems.

In 1975, Iowa Central joined with Buena Vista College in Storm Lake in a cooperative venture whereby students can earn a bachelor’s degree attending evening classes. The students’ first two years are completed at Iowa Central and the final two years at Buena Vista at the Fort Dodge Center.

Iowa Central Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

For more information about Iowa Central Community College, visit


A company’s roadmap to success is sure to be enhanced with the Corridor’s prime Midwest location and our ability to reduce supply and distribution costs. We are at the heart of an eight state market of 926,182 businesses and 35.3 million people with a total of over $901.7 billion in personal income.

Highway 71 travels north and south, and highways 9 and 18 journey east and west providing easy access to any place in the Corridor. Interstate 90 is minutes north on Highway 71 and Interstate 29 is located approximately 1 hour west on Highway 18.

Distance to Major Midwest Markets

CityDays by Motor FreightDistance in Miles
St. Louis1529
Kansas City1318
Des Moines1187

The Corridor is served by a variety of common carriers, providing interstate, intrastate, and local freight services. Among these are heavy and lightweight haulers, liquid or dry bulk, oversized, and other specialty haulers. In addition to these common carriers, Spencer is home to a regional hub for UPS and is served by all major parcel carriers. Rail service is provided by Union Pacific, Canadian National and the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad. Click for an Iowa Railroad Map.

The Northwest Iowa Regional Airport is located in Spencer. Runway 12-30 is 100′ x 6000′. Runway 18-36 is 75′ x 5000′. Both runways are concrete grooved and are lit by remote 3 intensity lighting system. Private aircraft from ultra lights to high performance jets use the airport. There is an ILS on Runway 12. The facility is at an elevation of 1,339 feet at a distance of about 3 miles from Spencer. This is a full-service regional airport. Air taxi service and charter service is available through the Fixed Base Operator, Leading Edge Aviation. Estherville, Milford, Spirit Lake and Storm Lake also operate municipal airports. Two commercial airports with cargo air facilities are located within 90 minutes or less of the region (Sioux City and Sioux Falls).


Our region is home to quality, ample, and reliable utility providers. They include: