Iowa is the only state in the union that has not doubled in population since 1900. This slow population growth has created an acute talent problem for economic growth as the labor shortage inhibits attraction and expansion opportunities. The Iowa Chamber Alliance moved Talent Attraction to the top of our priority agenda in 2019 and created the annual Talent Poll to better understand Iowa’s strengths and weaknesses. Iowa needs to find new people willing to move to the state by first understanding what working age Iowans find attractive about living here.


2023 Results

Overall, the majority of Iowans feel joy and trust about living in the state of Iowa but have an overall dissatisfaction with the state’s career opportunities. To attract new Iowans, we need to better promote our low cost of living, “Iowa Nice”, and outdoor recreation opportunities while focusing on expanding the state’s entertainment options and promoting the economy.

Iowa’s Strengths

  • Most Iowans believe the state is on the right track and expect the state’s economy will either continue to improve or remain the same.
  • Iowa’s K-12 and post-secondary schools are considered superior to those in most other states.
  • Iowans who chose to stay in the state did so due to the low cost of living, safety, friendly people, and small-town feel.
  • 65% of Iowans feel that Iowa is less expensive than most other states. 


  • Many Iowans are dissatisfied with the job opportunities in the state.
  • 45% of respondents feel the state’s entertainment options are inferior to those in other states.
  • 68% of Iowans feel property taxes are too high.

Working Iowan Priorities

  • Stopping inflation and the rising cost of living 
  • Improving public education 
  • Lowering taxes and creating a better quality of life