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.


2024 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

  • Working age Iowans remain optimistic about the direction of the state.      
  • 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.
  • 52% of voters think public services in Iowa are adequate or better for what they pay in income taxes. 


  • Dissatisfaction with professional opportunities in Iowa have increased from 35% in 2022 to 42% in 2024.  
  • 47% of respondents feel the state’s entertainment options are inferior to those in other states.
  • 46% of voters say services are at least adequate for what they pay in property taxes, whereas 40% believe services are subpar or worse. 

Working Iowan Priorities

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