Introduction to Mason City, Iowa

Mason City, Iowa, in Cerro Gordo county, is located 63 miles NW of Waterloo, Iowa (center to center) and is 124 miles S of St. Paul, Minnesota. There are 29,172 residents in the city.

Mason City History

Mason City is the county seat of the Cerro Gordo County, which was founded in 1851. The county was named after the Battle of Cerro Gordo. The early settlers of the place were the Freemasons and it is from here that the city has derived its name. Mason city is renowned for its heritage in music. The city is the hometown of Meredith Wilson who was famous for "The Music Man".

Mason City and nearby Attractions

  • Charles H. MacNider Museum
  • Meredith Willson Music Museum
  • Kinney Pioneer Museum
  • McIntosh Woods State Park
  • Lime Creek Nature Center
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Stockman House

Things To Do In Mason City

Tourists can visit the Africa and North America Wildlife Museum and the Van Horn's Antique Truck Museum. The Clear Lake State Park and the Pilot Knob State Park includes facilities for camping, fishing, and boating. They also have shelters for picnic. The Southport Mall, Southbridge Mall, and Regency Square Mall are favorite shopping haunts. There are also a number of churches in the city. Mason City hosts a number of festivals including the Fiber Arts Festival, Greek Festival, North Iowa Band Festival, and the Iowa Independent Film Festival every year.

Mason City Transportation

Rochester International Airport provides air transportation facilities.

Mason City Higher Education

Higher education facilities are provided by the North Iowa Area Community College and Hamilton College - Mason City Branch. One can also opt for the Hawkeye Community College and the University of Northern Iowa.


Total Population 27,643
Male Share of the Population 49%
Female Share of the Population 51%
Senior Citizens 18.3%
Employed Population 16+ 14,228
Age of the Population 43


% of people married 44.9%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 20.9%
Median Earnings25+ $31,040
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $23,294
Median Earnings With High School Degree $24,740


Median Family Income $59,735
% Above Poverty Level 85.3%
% Below Poverty Level 14.7%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 15 minutes
% Working from Home 2.6%
% Walking and Biking to Work 5.4%
% Using Public Transportation 1.5%


People Living Alone 38.8%
Median Gross Rent $622
Median House Value $102,300


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 13.6%
US/American 0%
English 9.5%
Irish 13.3%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Mason City Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 63 miles NW of Waterloo, Iowa (center to center)
Nearest Large City 124 miles S of St. Paul, Minnesota
County Cerro Gordo
Standard Zip Codes 50401
P.O. Box Zip Codes 50402, 50467
Phone Area Codes 641
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 43.153
Longitude -93.2

Mason City Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


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

Distance 0.9 miles
Jan Temp 3 to 23 F
Apr Temp 34 to 56 F
Jul Temp 61 to 83 F
Oct Temp 37 to 60 F
Annual Precip 34.5 inches
Distance 6.7 miles
Jan Temp 5 to 23 F
Apr Temp 36 to 57 F
Jul Temp 61 to 83 F
Oct Temp 37 to 60 F
Annual Precip 34.4 inches
Station OSAGE
Distance 21.3 miles
Jan Temp 3 to 21 F
Apr Temp 35 to 56 F
Jul Temp 61 to 82 F
Oct Temp 37 to 60 F
Annual Precip 34.4 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

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

Central Heights (50401)

Emery (50401)

Freeman (50401)

Hanford (50401)

Portland (50401)

Winnebago Heights (50401)

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

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Clear Lake 7,675 $63,613

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Mason City Public Libraries

Mason City Public Library
225 2ND ST SE
Mason City, Iowa
(641) 421-3668

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Mason City Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
(641) 422-7000
Emergency Service: Yes

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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Mason City High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,261 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.6

A Non-traditional School
Serves 94 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.7

Additional Details
Mason City Colleges
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