Polk County, Iowa

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Polk County
Polk County Court House
Polk County Court House
Official seal of Polk County
Seal
Map of Iowa highlighting Polk County
Location within the U.S. state of Iowa
Map of the United States highlighting Iowa
Iowa's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 41°41′06″N 93°34′13″W / 41.685°N 93.570277777778°W / 41.685; -93.570277777778
Country United States
State Iowa
FoundedJanuary 13, 1846
Named forJames K. Polk
SeatDes Moines
Largest cityDes Moines
Area
 • Total592 sq mi (1,530 km2)
 • Land574 sq mi (1,490 km2)
 • Water18 sq mi (50 km2)  3.0%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2018)
487,204
 • Density751/sq mi (290/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district3rd

Polk County is a county in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 430,640,[1] making it Iowa's most populous county, hosting over 14% of the state's residents; the county seat is Des Moines,[2] which is also the capital city of Iowa.

Polk County is included in the Des Moines–West Des Moines, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area.[3]

History[edit]

On January 13, 1846, the legislative body of the Indiana Territory authorized creation of twelve counties in the Iowa Territory,[4] with general descriptions of their boundaries. On January 17 they further enacted a resolution setting the effective date of the county government for Jasper and Polk Counties as March 1, 1846.[5] Polk County's name referred to United States President James K. Polk, who served from 1845 to 1849.

The first courthouse, a two-story structure, was built in Des Moines in 1846. Rapid settlement and commercial growth in the county soon rendered this building insufficient, so construction of a larger building was initiated in 1858. Due to construction delays and the onset of the Civil War, the structure was not completed until 1866; the present courthouse was erected in 1906, and in 1962 it was extensively renovated and enlarged.[6]

Geography[edit]

According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 592 square miles (1,530 km2), of which 574 square miles (1,490 km2) is land and 18 square miles (47 km2) (3.0%) is water.[7] The county is bisected by the Des Moines River.

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Townships[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18504,513
186011,625157.6%
187027,857139.6%
188042,39552.2%
189065,41054.3%
190082,62426.3%
1910110,43833.7%
1920154,02939.5%
1930172,83712.2%
1940195,83513.3%
1950226,01015.4%
1960266,31517.8%
1970286,1017.4%
1980303,1706.0%
1990327,1407.9%
2000374,60114.5%
2010430,64015.0%
Est. 2018487,204[8]13.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790–1960[10] 1900–1990[11]
1990–2000[12] 2010–2018[1]

2010 census[edit]

The 2010 census recorded a population of 430,640 in the county, with a population density of 756.371/sq mi (292.037/km2). There were 182,262 housing units, of which 170,197 were occupied.[13]

2000 census[edit]

2000 Census Age Pyramid for Polk County

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 374,601 people, 149,112 households, and 96,624 families residing in the county; the population density was 658 people per square mile (254/km²). There were 156,447 housing units at an average density of 275 per square mile (106/km²); the racial makeup of the county was 88.34% White, 4.84% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 2.63% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.22% from other races, and 1.66% from two or more races. 4.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 25.9% were of German, 10.6% Irish, 9.0% English and 8.4% American ancestry.

There were 149,112 households out of which 32.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.00% were married couples living together, 10.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.20% were non-families. 28.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.04.

Age spread: 25.70% under the age of 18, 9.40% from 18 to 24, 32.20% from 25 to 44, 21.50% from 45 to 64, and 11.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $46,116, and the median income for a family was $56,560. Males had a median income of $37,182 versus $28,000 for females; the per capita income for the county was $23,654. About 5.30% of families and 7.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.70% of those under age 18 and 6.40% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The Iowa Department of Corrections Iowa Correctional Institution for Women is in Mitchellville and in Polk County.[15]

In the first third of the 20th century, Polk County was primarily Republican, backing its candidates in all presidential elections from 1896 to 1932 except for 1912 & 1916. From 1936 to 1980, the county was a swing county, only failing to back the national winner during that period in 1960 & 1968. Starting with the 1984 election, the county has become consistently Democratic like many midsize urban counties, backing the party's candidate in every presidential election from that point forward.

Presidential Elections Results[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 40.4% 93,492 51.7% 119,804 7.9% 18,259
2012 42.0% 96,096 56.1% 128,465 1.9% 4,321
2008 41.8% 89,668 56.4% 120,984 1.8% 3,757
2004 47.3% 95,828 51.9% 105,218 0.8% 1,572
2000 45.9% 79,927 51.5% 89,715 2.6% 4,525
1996 39.0% 60,884 53.7% 83,877 7.3% 11,345
1992 38.1% 63,708 47.0% 78,585 14.9% 24,965
1988 40.4% 57,854 59.0% 84,476 0.6% 814
1984 48.3% 71,413 51.0% 75,413 0.7% 1,022
1980 44.6% 64,156 43.1% 61,984 12.3% 17,618
1976 45.2% 62,316 52.2% 71,917 2.6% 3,530
1972 53.0% 70,245 44.6% 59,169 2.5% 3,245
1968 45.1% 51,814 45.9% 52,731 8.9% 10,239
1964 33.3% 37,280 66.3% 74,194 0.4% 479
1960 53.7% 64,077 46.2% 55,091 0.1% 66
1956 54.0% 62,392 45.9% 53,025 0.1% 74
1952 54.0% 60,934 45.1% 50,867 0.9% 982
1948 41.5% 33,742 55.7% 45,289 2.9% 2,348
1944 44.1% 36,629 55.4% 46,072 0.5% 417
1940 44.3% 41,245 55.4% 51,647 0.3% 301
1936 42.6% 33,819 55.7% 44,274 1.7% 1,367
1932 49.5% 34,023 45.9% 31,517 4.6% 3,132
1928 67.7% 42,290 31.6% 19,725 0.8% 498
1924 62.2% 37,491 11.1% 6,665 26.7% 16,114
1920 66.8% 36,073 30.2% 16,281 3.0% 1,632
1916 45.8% 11,295 50.0% 12,327 4.2% 1,034
1912 20.7% 4,665 32.1% 7,239 47.3% 10,671
1908 58.0% 12,555 36.6% 7,924 5.4% 1,161
1904 72.5% 14,113 15.9% 3,086 11.6% 2,259
1900 64.7% 12,628 31.7% 6,180 3.6% 703
1896 60.2% 11,127 38.4% 7,087 1.4% 257

Population ranking[edit]

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Polk County.[17]

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)

1 Des Moines City 203,433
2 West Des Moines (partially in Dallas County) City 56,609
3 Ankeny City 45,582
4 Urbandale (partially in Dallas County) City 39,463
5 Johnston City 17,278
6 Clive (partially in Dallas County) City 15,447
7 Altoona City 14,541
8 Norwalk (mostly in Warren County) City 8,945
9 Pleasant Hill City 8,785
10 Grimes (partially in Dallas County) City 8,246
11 Windsor Heights City 4,860
12 Carlisle (partially in Warren County) City 3,876
13 Bondurant City 3,860
14 Polk City City 3,418
15 Saylorville CDP 3,301
16 Mitchellville (partially in Jasper County) City 2,254
17 Granger (partially in Dallas County) City 1,244
18 Elkhart City 683
19 Runnells City 507
20 Alleman City 432
21 Sheldahl (partially in Boone and Story Counties) City 319

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ United States Office of Management and Budget. "Update of Statistical Area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses" (PDF). pp. 5, 36. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 14, 2006. Retrieved July 21, 2006.
  4. ^ The counties were Boone, Clarke, Dallas, Decatur, Jasper, Lucas, Madison, Marshall, Polk, Story, Warren, and Wayne.
  5. ^ The History of Polk County, Iowa: Containing a History of the County, Its Cities, Towns, &c. Union Historical Co. 1880. pp. 419, 425.
  6. ^ Polk County[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". US Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  8. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  13. ^ "Population & Housing Occupancy Status 2010". US Census Bureau – American FactFinder. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  15. ^ Iowa Correctional Institution for Women Archived July 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Iowa Department of Corrections. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 27, 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  17. ^ 2010 Census

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°41′06″N 93°34′13″W / 41.68500°N 93.57028°W / 41.68500; -93.57028