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Overview

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.

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.

People

Total Population 15,808
Male Share of the Population 47.1%
Female Share of the Population 52.9%
Senior Citizens 11.3%
Employed Population 16+ 8,656
Age of the Population 34

Families

% of people married 56.5%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 31.6%
Median Earnings25+ $44,830
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $36,154
Median Earnings With High School Degree $34,819

Wealth

Median Family Income $89,899
% Above Poverty Level 93.9%
% Below Poverty Level 6.1%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 21 minutes
% Working from Home 2.7%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.6%
% Using Public Transportation 0.9%

Housing

People Living Alone 22.3%
Median Gross Rent $773
Median House Value $160,400

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 13.3%
US/American 0%
English 7.4%
Irish 14.2%

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

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

Notes:

  • 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
Station DES MOINES AP
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
Station KNOXVILLE
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 51,489 $90,909
Bondurant 4,555 $69,219
Carlisle 4,120 $74,375
Des Moines 208,020 $56,196

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

Altoona Public Libraries

Library
Altoona Public Library
700 EIGHTH ST.SW
Altoona, Iowa
(515) 967-3881

library logo

More Information for Librarians

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Altoona High Schools

THE HARBOR-SOUTHEAST POLK ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL
1301 1ST AVE N
515-957-8811
A Non-traditional School
Serves 69 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.3

Study Online in Altoona
Additional Resources
Info for Altoona Government Officials


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