Introduction to Decorah, Iowa

Decorah, Iowa, in Winneshiek county, is located 44 miles SW of La Crosse, Wisconsin (center to center) and 131 miles SE of St. Paul, Minnesota. Approximately 8,172 people live in Decorah.

Decorah History

Day Family was the first settler in Decorah in 1849. A large number of Norwegian settlements in the past years made Decorah famous as a Norwegian - American culture center. The city was named in the honor of Chief Waukon Decorah, who was a Winnebago and cooperated with the American settlers during the Black Hawk War.

Decorah and nearby Attractions

  • Vesterheim Norwegian - American Museum
  • Mary Christopher Park
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum
  • Winneshiek County Fairground
  • Olson Hall

Things To Do In Decorah

Tourists can visit several parks including the Mary Christopher Park, Will Baker Park, and Dunnings Spring Park. Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum is also a popular tourist destination. You can visit the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, Farm Park at Decorah, and the Porter House Museum if you area interested in the area's history. Fort Atkinson State Preserve offers a number of recreational facilities. Every year various festivals like the Winneshiek County Fair and the Nordic Fest are hosted by Decorah.

Decorah Transportation

La Crosse Municipal Airport provides facilities for air transportation.

Decorah Higher Education

Luther College is located in Decorah. The other colleges and universities that provide higher educational facilities include Northeast Iowa Community College - Calmar, Upper Iowa University, and Winona State University.


Total Population 8,058
Male Share of the Population 46.4%
Female Share of the Population 53.6%
Senior Citizens 20.7%
Employed Population 16+ 4,729
Age of the Population 31


% of people married 38.4%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 40.9%
Median Earnings25+ $32,149
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $8,693
Median Earnings With High School Degree $26,490


Median Family Income $66,712
% Above Poverty Level 89.3%
% Below Poverty Level 10.7%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 8 minutes
% Working from Home 7.1%
% Walking and Biking to Work 39%
% Using Public Transportation %


People Living Alone 39.5%
Median Gross Rent $584
Median House Value $147,500


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 5.5%
US/American 0%
English 10%
Irish 12.6%

Decorah Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 44 miles SW of La Crosse, Wisconsin (center to center)
Nearest Large City 131 miles SE of St. Paul, Minnesota
County Winneshiek
Standard Zip Codes 52101
Phone Area Codes 563
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 43.303
Longitude -91.785

Decorah Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


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

Distance 0.8 miles
Jan Temp 7 to 25 F
Apr Temp 36 to 59 F
Jul Temp 62 to 84 F
Oct Temp 40 to 61 F
Annual Precip 33.4 inches
Station WAUKON
Distance 15.4 miles
Jan Temp 5 to 23 F
Apr Temp 35 to 57 F
Jul Temp 62 to 82 F
Oct Temp 39 to 60 F
Annual Precip 31.8 inches
Station CRESCO 1 NE
Distance 16.8 miles
Jan Temp 3 to 22 F
Apr Temp 34 to 56 F
Jul Temp 60 to 82 F
Oct Temp 36 to 59 F
Annual Precip 35.6 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

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

Bluffton (52101)

Burr Oak (52101)

Freeport (52101)

Hesper (52101)

Locust (52101)

Nordness (52101)

Quandahl (52101)

Sattre (52101)

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

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Calmar 1,032 $49,688
Castalia 175 $64,375
Fort Atkinson 326 $47,143

Decorah Public Libraries

Decorah Public Library
Decorah, Iowa
(563) 382-3717
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Decorah Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
(563) 283-2911
Emergency Service: Yes

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Decorah High Schools

Serves 725 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.4

Decorah Colleges

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