Today’s Des Moines Register features a long front-page story by Daniel Finney and Jeffrey Kummer on Storm Lake (Buena Vista County) as one of Iowa’s most diverse communities, and expected trends in the state’s demographics between now and 2020. I encourage you to click through and read the whole thing. After the jump I’ve enclosed a few excerpts and one graphic from the feature. Separate, shorter pieces examine diversity trends in the Des Moines metro area (Polk and Dallas counties), Webster County (including the Fort Dodge area), and Butler County (the least diverse in Iowa).
On Monday, Michael Barbaro of the New York Times examined Iowa’s population shift from rural to urban and suburban areas as “a potent but unpredictable undercurrent in a closely fought Senate race.” I’ve enclosed a few excerpts at the end of this post. Barbaro interviewed people northwest Iowa’s heavily white Pocahontas County, as well as in downtown Des Moines, the far western suburbs in Dallas County, and Denison (Crawford County), a town where almost half the residents are Latino.
I spent some time in Denison last fall and was impressed by the vibrant downtown, with more locally-owned shops and restaurants than I’ve seen in most Iowa towns of similar size. One resident told me that approximately 75 percent of students in Denison’s public schools are Latino. That has helped the area avoid the steep enrollment declines and school closures seen in Pocahontas, as Barbaro recounts, and in so many other communities.
Any relevant comments are welcome in this thread.