Regional Stats & Data

Our Location

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is located in Eastern Iowa and is comprised of Benton, Linn, and Jones Counties with a population of 276,520. The largest city in our MSA is Cedar Rapids with a population of 137,710. Interstate 380 connects the region to Interstate 80 just 13 miles south of Cedar Rapids. The Eastern Iowa Airport located just southwest of Cedar Rapids provides access to 17 nonstop destinations via 5 passenger carriers.

Cedar Rapids MSA.jpg

Regional Demographics & Economic Indicators

Click to view this data in a PDF to download or print.

See how Iowa compares to other states with the IEDA 50 States Comparison tool.

Occupation and Wage

Select occupations to learn and compare wage data with this demo interactive dashboard. Members of the Economic Alliance have access to the full version of Wage Dashboard. If you would like access to the full version, email Lucy Schneekloth at

Existing Industry Data

Insights from business leaders drive priorities and initiatives the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance chooses to undertake related to business recruitment and retention, workforce development community development, business support, public policy, quality of life and other issues. Find a list of Major Employers here.

We get input in a variety of ways, but one of the most comprehensive tools we use is called a Synchronist Survey, which provides in-depth analytics we can also compare to similar data on a state and national basis.

Each year the Economic Alliance conducts in-person interviews with interstate commerce companies to generate annual existing industry data. In 2018, we met with 104 C-level executives, plant managers, and site leaders and are pleased to provide and highlight a few of the major outcomes from this research. Review the full 2018 Existing Industry Report below.

Existing Industry 2018 Report Cover

Regional economic indicators including population and wages, quality of place and economic development necessary data for strategic opportunity can be found here.

As we continue to work toward our common goal of improving the competitive landscape of our interstate commerce companies, the Economic Alliance uses this data for workforce strategies, developing economic development marketing opportunities and determining industry sector-specific needs.

The Existing Industry Report includes Regional Economic Indicator data, which was sourced by: Cost of Living Index by ACCRA,, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census and Bureau of Economic Analysis.

State & Local Financial Incentive Assistance

  • Beyond the list of advantages the state's business climate provides, Iowa offers an assortment of financial assistance programs to support companies in an expansion or relocation mode. The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance will work with you and evaluate programs available to your company at both local and state levels to determine the best possible package for your project.
Program Description
High Quality Jobs Program Provides direct financial assistance and tax credits to qualifying businesses to offset the costs incurred to locate, expand and/or modernize. The direct financial assistance typically is in the form of a forgivable loan and a zero or low interest loan. The tax credits include an Investment tax credit against your Iowa corporate income tax liability; a refund on construction-related sales tax; and an increase in the Iowa statutory research activities tax credit, which is refundable if you don’t have an Iowa corporate income tax liability.

The wage threshold for this program has recently increased. Read full details on the Iowa Economic Development Authority's website.
Iowa Jobs Training Program (260F) Provides little to no cost job training services to current employees of eligible businesses by helping companies train current employees with new skills, and working with local community colleges which assess training needs, determine funds available and provide training.
Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program (260E) Provides businesses expanding their work force with new employee training. The program made available through Iowa’s community colleges is administered locally by Kirkwood Community College. The program is funded through the new employees’ withholding taxes at no cost to the employee or the company. For more information, visit
Brownfield/Grayfield Redevelopment Tax Credits Program Provides tax credits to projects for redeveloping brownfield or grayfield sites in Iowa. The tax credits are based upon a percentage of the qualifying expenditures made to redevelop a qualifying site. You may use the tax credits to offset Iowa corporate income tax liability or you may be sell the credits to entities that can use them. Allocations of tax credits are typically made annually in August or September.

If you're interested in applying for this program, the online application for fiscal year 2019 opens July 1. Economic Alliance members can utilize our expertise is the application process and can reach out to Mike Lukan for more information.
Iowa RISE Improvements Program Provides funding for public roadway improvements that directly support expanding businesses.
Iowa Industrial Property Tax Exemption Available to qualifying businesses for value added to real estate through new construction and/or renovation. This exemption is graduated over five years to help reduce your start-up and operating costs.
Iowa Urban Revitalization Property Tax Exemption Available to qualifying businesses for value added to real estate through new construction and/or renovation. This exemption is graduated over ten years to help reduce your start-up and operating costs.
Tax Increment Financing Available to qualifying businesses that build new facilities or substantially expand existing facilities. Cities or counties may refund a portion of the value added property taxes for a specified period of time
Workforce Housing Tax Incentive Program The Workforce Housing Tax Incentive Program is a statewide program that focuses development in existing communities. Housing businesses utilizing WHTIP will produce a net increase in affordable housing units in their community of operation. In return, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) can provide a sales and use tax refund and an investment tax credit based on qualifying new investment.

WHTIP is further designed to encourage housing development where existing public infrastructure already exists – vacant lots, dilapidated properties, and mixed use buildings to suggest a few. Communities with a severe housing need can work with IEDA to seek designation as a Distressed Workforce Housing Community. This designation allows WHTIP assistance to be provided towards new housing development on previously undeveloped land.

Largest Employers in ICR Iowa

Cedar Rapids Metro Statistical Area and ICR Iowa are home to industry leaders in Electronic Equipment & Design, Insurance & Financial, Healthcare, Logistics & Distribution and many more innovative industries. The following is a selection of the largest employers, public sector and private sector, in ICR Iowa. For a complete list, contact us at 319/398.5317.

15 Largest Public Service Companies   15 Largest Private Companies
  Employees Location   Employees Location
University of Iowa 22,827 Iowa City, IA Collins Aerospace 9,000 Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, IA
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics 11,551 Iowa City, IA Transamerica 2,600 Cedar Rapids, IA
UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital 2,979 Cedar Rapids, IA Whirlpool 3,200 Amana, IA
Cedar Rapids Community School District 2,879 Cedar Rapids, IA Hy-Vee 2,356 Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, IA
Mercy Medical Center 2,140 Cedar Rapids, IA Nordstrom Direct 2,150 Cedar Rapids, IA
Iowa City Community School District 1,700 Iowa City, IA Pearson Educational Measurement 1,765 Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, IA
Veterans Health Administration 1,562 Iowa City, IA ACT, Inc. 1,243 Iowa City, IA
City of Cedar Rapids 1,309 Cedar Rapids, IA Quaker Foods & Snacks 920 Cedar Rapids, IA
Four Oaks 1,100 Cedar Rapids, IA Riverside Casino 901 Riverside, IA
Linn-Mar Community School District 987 Marion, IA Alliant Energy - Interstate Power and Light 845 Cedar Rapids, IA
Mercy Iowa City 900 Iowa City, IA International Automotive Components 785 North Liberty, IA
College Community School District 850 Cedar Rapids, IA Kinze Manufacturing 725 Williamsburg, IA
Kirkwood Community College 810 Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, IA Hibu 723 Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County Board of Supervisors 762 Cedar Rapids, IA Vangent 700 Coralvile, IA
Grant Wood Area Education Agency 487 Cedar Rapids, IA General Mills 650 Cedar Rapids, IA

Laborshed Analysis

Laborshed Analysis

The 2021 Laborshed Analysis shows the distribution of the workers irrespective of natural or political boundaries, as well as provides community economic developers and existing or prospective employers a flexible tool to understand the local labor market, employment center and make informed expansion and site selection decisions.

Transportation & Location

Our central location allows companies to enjoy many low-cost transportation options whether it is interstate highway, rail or air.

Iowa railroad map


Interstate 380 runs north and south through downtown Cedar Rapids, and has easy, close connections to Interstate 80 and only two hours from Interstate 35 – two of the nation’s most prominent interstate highways – and allowing access to all four domestic borders. The Cedar Rapids area is the only area that can serve Minneapolis, MN; Milwaukee, WI; Chicago, IL; St. Louis, MO; and Omaha, NE by freight carrier in a one-day round-trip as permitted by federal regulation. See the map at


The Cedar Rapids region is well-known for being a rail-hub and providing reliable, easy access to the principal rail lines throughout North America. The Union Pacific, Canadian National Railroad, Iowa Interstate, Iowa Northern, and Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway Co. (CRANDIC) companies all offer access in Cedar Rapids, and provide connections to the BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern, Canadian Pacific, Kansas City Southern Lines, Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad, and Chicago Central. See the Travero rail map..


ICR IOWA has multiple domestic and international connections through direct flights available at The Eastern Iowa Airport (CID). Nearly one-third of the country’s population is within an hour flight of our area.

Eastern Iowa Airport (CID)

The Eastern Iowa Airport has nonstop commercial service to 17 destinations including: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, Orlando, Orlando-Sanford, Phoenix Sky Harbor, Phoenix-Mesa, Punta Gorda/Ft. Meyers, Sarasota and St. Petersburg/Clearwater, and is ranked in the Top 10 of airports in the seven-state Midwestern region, based on number of non-stop destinations and number of daily flights. This ranking includes airports in major metropolitan areas including Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul and St. Louis.

The airport is also served by air cargo carriers FedEx, UPS and DHL shipping approximately 20,000 tons of cargo annually.

The Eastern Iowa Airport is an asset and benefit to our business community, see how in this short video. Learn more about CID's air service formula for attracting and retaining air service in the area here.


Available Buildings, Land & Certified Sites

The Economic Alliance offers an integrated, innovative, “one-stop shop” for site selection consultants or companies researching expansion or relocation options. As available sites and buildings change constantly, the Economic Alliance utilizes Location One Information System (LOIS), an online data database of listings for available commercial and industrial properties, to help you determine the best option for success. 

Iowa's first certified Super Park and Mega Park were announced in 2016.

Super Park and Mega Park map in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

The Economic Alliance, in partnership with the Eastern Iowa Airport, City of Cedar Rapids, utility providers, private land owners and various other partners, led efforts to certify 582 acres in Cedar Rapids as a State of Iowa certified Super Park. See the video for more information on the Super Park. (30 second clip available)

Alliant Energy also announced plans for Big Cedar Industrial Center, a 1,300-acre Mega commercialand industrial park on the southwest edge of Cedar Rapids. The Mega site is located adjacent to the proposed intermodal facility which was also announced and awarded federal funds in 2016.

Map of the Marion Enterprise Center, business park in Marion, Iowa

Additionally, the Marion Enterprise Center (MEC) is a 184 acre business park located on the east side of the city of Marion, Iowa, near north-south state highway 13 and along east-west highway 151. MEC is jointly developed by the Marion Economic Development Corporation and the City of Marion. The building sites that are available can be flexibly split and/or combined to meet the specific requirements of a project.

Foreign Trade Zones

The Cedar Rapids area and Economic Alliance have a strong record of supporting international trade, a key component of the region's healthy economic climate.

The Eastern Iowa Airport has been designated one of a limited number of Foreign Trade Zones in the Midwest. With the FTZ No. 175 status, Cedar Rapids is rapidly becoming an important hub for international trade, and is the United States' largest national exporter on a per capita basis.

A Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) is a site within the United States where foreign and domestic merchandise is considered to be in the stream of international commerce. Foreign and domestic merchandise may enter this zone without a formal customs entry, the payment of customs duties, or federal and state use/excise taxes and personal property taxes. Firms may also perform manufacturing or processing operations, packing or inspection checks and a variety of other tasks using imported goods before duties are paid. Scrap or rejected goods not entering the commerce of the United States are never taxed. By using a number of cost saving strategies, firms may use Foreign-Trade Zones to decrease operational costs associated with customs duties.

Advantages of Using a Foreign-Trade Zone

  • Limit the requirement to pay customs duty on arrival of merchandise
  • Eliminate duty on re-exported merchandise
  • Eliminate duty on damaged or unmarketable items
  • Defer duty payments, until goods are ready for sale
  • Limit non-value added costs while manipulation or processing merchandise in the FTZ
  • Store both bonded and non-bonded merchandise within the FTZ
  • Reduced insurance rate on merchandise stored in the FTZ

Targeted research and data requests are a benefit included with membership of the Economic Alliance. For more information, please contact us at at 319/398.5317, or become a member today!

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