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Counties in Iowa

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Counties in the United States

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County-Related Pages
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Iowa has 99 counties.[1]

Types of local government

Local government in Iowa consists of 99 counties and 947 cities. In addition, there are 527 special districts and 166 independent school districts.[2]

Further classifications:

Cities in Iowa are classified in one of two ways:

  • Home rule charter city: of which there are 5 (Clinton, Fort Dodge, Marion, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids)
  • General law city: of which there are 942


  • Counties are also authorized to adopt a home rule charter, but currently none have done so.

Initiative process availability

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in Iowa
  • Charter cities

In Iowa, initiative is only available in charter cities. State statues mandate an initiative process for citizens to propose charter amendments through petition. Charter cities also have authority to permit an initiative process for ordinances.[3]

The Iowa Supreme Court, in City of Clinton v. Sheridan, 530 N.W.2d 690 (Iowa 1995), held that general law cities are prohibited from adopting local initiative and referendum measures. The rationale is that state statutes grant municipal legislation power to city councils (Iowa Code § 364), and a city provision allowing electorate-initiated ordinances would improperly contradict these statutes. Authority could be granted through future state legislation. The court confirmed that charter cities can grant initiative and referendum power within the charter for local ordinances/measures. A recent Iowa Supreme Court case discusses the legislative versus administrative limits of this process (Berent v. City of Iowa City, 738 N.W.2d 193 (Iowa, 2007)).[4]

County website evaluations

See also: Evaluation of Iowa county websites

As of 2009:

  • 33 counties posted their budgets online.
  • 63 counties included information on their websites about public government meetings.
  • 41 included information about the county's elected officials.
  • 61 included information about the county's administrative officials.
  • 36 counties gave information about permits and zoning in the county.
  • 10 of the counties put information on their websites about audits that the county government has had performed.
  • One county gave information about contracts with county vendors.
  • Zero county websites disclosed whether the county belonged to any government sector lobbying associations.
  • Eight counties provided information on how to request public records using the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
  • 36 county websites provided some information about county taxes.

Counties without websites

As of March 2009, 19 of Iowa's 99 counties had no website.

List of counties

Map of Iowa counties
County County seat
Adair County, Iowa Greenfield, Iowa
Adams County, Iowa Corning, Iowa
Allamakee County, Iowa Waukon, Iowa
Appanoose County, Iowa Centerville, Iowa
Audubon County, Iowa Audubon, Iowa
Benton County, Iowa Vinton, Iowa
Black Hawk County, Iowa Waterloo, Iowa
Boone County, Iowa Boone, Iowa
Bremer County, Iowa Waverly, Iowa
Buchanan County, Iowa Independence, Iowa
Buena Vista County, Iowa Storm Lake, Iowa
Butler County, Iowa Allison, Iowa
Calhoun County, Iowa Rockwell City, Iowa
Carroll County, Iowa Carroll, Iowa
Cass County, Iowa Atlantic, Iowa
Cedar County, Iowa Tipton, Iowa
Cerro Gordo County, Iowa Mason City, Iowa
Cherokee County, Iowa Cherokee, Iowa
Chickasaw County, Iowa New Hampton, Iowa
Clarke County, Iowa Osceola, Iowa
Clay County, Iowa Spencer, Iowa
Clayton County, Iowa Elkader, Iowa
Clinton County, Iowa Clinton, Iowa
Crawford County, Iowa Denison, Iowa
Dallas County, Iowa Adel, Iowa
Davis County, Iowa Bloomfield, Iowa
Decatur County, Iowa Leon, Iowa
Delaware County, Iowa Manchester, Iowa
Des Moines County, Iowa Burlington, Iowa
Dickinson County, Iowa Spirit Lake, Iowa
Dubuque County, Iowa Dubuque, Iowa
Emmet County, Iowa Estherville, Iowa
Fayette County, Iowa West Union, Iowa
Floyd County, Iowa Charles City, Iowa
Franklin County, Iowa Hampton, Iowa
Fremont County, Iowa Sidney, Iowa
Greene County, Iowa Jefferson, Iowa
Grundy County, Iowa Grundy Center, Iowa
Guthrie County, Iowa Guthrie Center, Iowa
Hamilton County, Iowa Webster City, Iowa
Hancock County, Iowa Garner, Iowa
Hardin County, Iowa Eldora, Iowa
Harrison County, Iowa Logan, Iowa
Henry County, Iowa Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Howard County, Iowa Cresco, Iowa
Humboldt County, Iowa Dakota City, Iowa
Ida County, Iowa Ida Grove, Iowa
Iowa County, Iowa Marengo, Iowa
Jackson County, Iowa Maquoketa, Iowa
Jasper County, Iowa Newton, Iowa]]
Jefferson County, Iowa Fairfield, Iowa
Johnson County, Iowa Iowa City, Iowa
Jones County, Iowa Anamosa, Iowa
Keokuk County, Iowa Sigourney, Iowa
Kossuth County, Iowa Algona, Iowa
Lee County, Iowa Fort Madison, Iowa and Keokuk, Iowa
Linn County, Iowa Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Louisa County, Iowa Wapello, Iowa
Lucas County, Iowa Chariton, Iowa
Lyon County, Iowa Rock Rapids, Iowa
Madison County, Iowa Winterset, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Oskaloosa, Iowa
Marion County, Iowa Knoxville, Iowa
Marshall County, Iowa Marshalltown, Iowa
Mills County, Iowa Glenwood, Iowa
Mitchell County, Iowa Osage, Iowa
Monona County, Iowa Onawa, Iowa
Monroe County, Iowa Albia, Iowa
Montgomery County, Iowa Red Oak, Iowa
Muscatine County, Iowa Muscatine, Iowa
O'Brien County, Iowa Primghar, Iowa
Osceola County, Iowa Sibley, Iowa
Page County, Iowa Clarinda, Iowa
Palo Alto County, Iowa Emmetsburg, Iowa
Plymouth County, Iowa Le Mars, Iowa
Pocahontas County, Iowa Pocahontas, Iowa
Polk County, Iowa Des Moines, Iowa
Pottawattamie County, Iowa Council Bluffs, Iowa
Poweshiek County, Iowa Montezuma, Iowa
Ringgold County, Iowa Mount Ayr, Iowa
Sac County, Iowa Sac City, Iowa
Scott County, Iowa Davenport, Iowa
Shelby County, Iowa Harlan, Iowa
Sioux County, Iowa Orange City, Iowa
Story County, Iowa Nevada, Iowa
Tama County, Iowa Toledo, Iowa
Taylor County, Iowa Bedford, Iowa
Union County, Iowa Creston, Iowa
Van Buren County, Iowa Keosauqua, Iowa
Wapello County, Iowa Ottumwa, Iowa
Warren County, Iowa Indianola, Iowa
Washington County, Iowa Washington, Iowa
Wayne County, Iowa Corydon, Iowa
Webster County, Iowa Fort Dodge, Iowa
Winnebago County, Iowa Forest City, Iowa
Winneshiek County, Iowa Decorah, Iowa
Woodbury County, Iowa Sioux City, Iowa
Worth County, Iowa Northwood, Iowa
Wright County, Iowa Clarion, Iowa


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