Introduction to Altoona, Iowa

Altoona, Iowa, in Polk county, is located 8 miles E of Des Moines, Iowa (center to center) and 131 miles E of Omaha, Nebraska. The city is in the Des Moines area. There are 10,345 residents in Altoona.

Altoona History

Altoona was officially incorporated on March 11, 1876. The name Altoona is derived from the latin word "Altus" which means high because the city was located on a high point on the Des Moines Valley Railroad. The city was named by Julian B. Bausman.

Altoona and nearby Attractions

  • Des Moines Art Center
  • Science Center of Iowa
  • State Historical Society of Iowa
  • Iowa State Capitol
  • Big Creek State Park
  • Walnut Woods State Park

Things To Do In Altoona

While in Altoona, tourists can visit the Living History Farms to see the replica of an Indian village or even have a look at the International Wrestling Institute and Museum. There are many parks in the city like the Prairie Heritage Park, Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, and Lions Park. Visitors can also experience Adventureland and the other amusement and theme parks in the city. The City of Altoona also has many churches.

Altoona Transportation

Air transportation is available from Des Moines International Airport.

Altoona Higher Education

The Des Moines Community College, Drake University, Iowa State University, Iowa Central Community College, and many other colleges and universities offer higher educational facilities.


Total Population 15,317
Male Share of the Population 47%
Female Share of the Population 53%
Senior Citizens 10.9%
Employed Population 16+ 8,204
Age of the Population 34


% of people married 57.5%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 31.8%
Median Earnings25+ $43,559
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $32,457
Median Earnings With High School Degree $31,071


Median Family Income $86,707
% Above Poverty Level 94.5%
% Below Poverty Level 5.5%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 22 minutes
% Working from Home 2.9%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.6%
% Using Public Transportation 0.5%


People Living Alone 21.7%
Median Gross Rent $735
Median House Value $158,800


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 13.7%
US/American 0%
English 7%
Irish 12.9%

Altoona Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 8 miles E of Des Moines, Iowa (center to center)
Nearest Large City 131 miles E of Omaha, Nebraska
County Polk
Metro Area Des Moines
Standard Zip Codes 50009
Phone Area Codes 515
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 41.644
Longitude -93.464

Altoona Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station ANKENY
Distance 7.3 miles
Jan Temp 9 to 28 F
Apr Temp 37 to 60 F
Jul Temp 64 to 86 F
Oct Temp 39 to 63 F
Annual Precip 33.3 inches
Distance 13 miles
Jan Temp 12 to 29 F
Apr Temp 40 to 61 F
Jul Temp 66 to 86 F
Oct Temp 42 to 64 F
Annual Precip 34.7 inches
Distance 28.1 miles
Jan Temp 11 to 29 F
Apr Temp 38 to 61 F
Jul Temp 65 to 86 F
Oct Temp 42 to 64 F
Annual Precip 35 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Altoona, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Adventureland Estates (50009)

Ivy (50009)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Ankeny 49,488 $91,072
Bondurant 4,332 $65,703
Carlisle 4,062 $72,417
Des Moines 206,702 $55,177

Altoona Public Libraries

Altoona Public Library
Altoona, Iowa
(515) 967-3881

library logo

More Information for Librarians

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
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Altoona High Schools

1301 1ST AVE N
A Non-traditional School
Serves 69 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.3

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