Introduction to Waterloo, Iowa

Waterloo is situated along the banks of the Cedar River in Black Hawk County. The Midwest municipality is known for its diverse population and is recognized as one of Iowa's notable historic cities. It's home to the John Deere Factory Assembly Plant.


The area was earlier known as Prairie Rapids Crossing. In 1845 George and Mary Hanna arrived in a wagon train and created a settlement near the Cedar River. In 1861 the first passenger train arrived. The city experienced significant growth from 1895 to 1915. The population was estimated to have increased by 290%.

During this era manufacturing businesses, rail transportation and wholesale companies were flourishing. It became known as "The Factory City of Iowa." It was home to prominent companies such as Rath Packing, Galloway Company and Litchfield Manufacturing.


  • Touring the John Deere Tractor Assembly Plant is popular with tourists
  • The Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum provides information on wrestling, including the ancient Greeks, collegiate, professional and Olympic wrestling and pays tribute to Olympic wrestler Dan Gable
  • The National Cattle Congress hosts a prominent annual fair and offers a variety of events
  • The Galleria de Paca is a well known restaurant which showcases a complete reproduction of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling
  • The Waterloo Black Hawks play in the United States Hockey League
  • The Cedar Falls Raceway features IHRA Drag Racing

Museums and Culture

  • Grout Museum District offers the story of Waterloo
  • The Cedar Falls Community Theatre provides a variety of productions featuring community members
  • The Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center features live music, dance productions, opera and theatre productions
  • The George Wyth House and Viking Pump Museum showcases the former home of George Wyth, which features the Art Deco style from the 1920s
  • Rensselaer Russell House Museum offers mid-Victorian architecture and beautiful interiors and is one of the oldest houses in the county
  • The Victorian Home & Carriage House Museum dates back to the Civil War era and incldudes antique furnishings and artifacts
  • Waterloo Center for the Arts includes exhibits of Midwest art
  • Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra is popular in Northeast Iowa
  • The Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens is a beautiful acreage which features the regions plants, flowers and trees


Downtown Waterloo offers a large number of festivals and other events such as Friday'loo, My Waterloo Days, Tourd'Loo and the Iowa Irish Festival. The Lost Island Waterpark is popular with residents and visitors. The Isle Hotel and Casino is located in the area. The Cedar Valley Nature Trail connects Cedar Rapids with Waterloo and traverses through a collection of rural towns. It provides opportunities for hiking, bicycle riding as well as cross-country skiing during the winter.

Cedar Valley Trail System is a major location for outdoor activities. It's a large acreage which includes numerous lakes and offers an extensive amount of paved trails. Black Hawk Park includes trails for hiking, bicycle riding, cross-country skiing and mountain bike riding. The park provides fishing opportunities in the local river and a camping area which includes cabins. Other notable locations for outdoor activities are Deerwood Campground, George Wyth State Park and Hickory Hills State Park. There are numerous golf courses in the region.


Total Population 68,432
Male Share of the Population 49.2%
Female Share of the Population 50.8%
Senior Citizens 14.9%
Employed Population 16+ 31,579
Age of the Population 36


% of people married 43.6%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 21.3%
Median Earnings25+ $30,703
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $22,145
Median Earnings With High School Degree $26,542


Median Family Income $52,366
% Above Poverty Level 82.4%
% Below Poverty Level 17.6%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 16 minutes
% Working from Home 2.1%
% Walking and Biking to Work 2.5%
% Using Public Transportation 0.5%


People Living Alone 36%
Median Gross Rent $672
Median House Value $104,200


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 24.9%
US/American 0%
English 7%
Irish 11.9%

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

Waterloo Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 174 miles S of St. Paul, Minnesota
County Black Hawk
Metro Area Waterloo - Cedar Falls
Standard Zip Codes 50701, 50702, 50703, 50706, 50707
P.O. Box Zip Codes 50704
Company Zip Codes 50799
Phone Area Codes 319
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 42.492
Longitude -92.342

Waterloo Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


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

Distance 4.9 miles
Jan Temp 6 to 26 F
Apr Temp 36 to 60 F
Jul Temp 62 to 85 F
Oct Temp 38 to 63 F
Annual Precip 33.1 inches
Distance 23.4 miles
Jan Temp 9 to 26 F
Apr Temp 38 to 60 F
Jul Temp 63 to 85 F
Oct Temp 41 to 63 F
Annual Precip 34.7 inches
Station VINTON
Distance 28.6 miles
Jan Temp 9 to 26 F
Apr Temp 37 to 61 F
Jul Temp 62 to 84 F
Oct Temp 40 to 63 F
Annual Precip 34.2 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

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

Raymar (50707)

Washburn (50706)

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

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Cedar Falls 40,439 $81,996
Dunkerton 879 $70,139
Elk Run Heights 942 $60,694
Evansdale 4,777 $53,864
Hudson 2,391 $89,800

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

Waterloo Public Libraries

Waterloo Public Library
Waterloo, Iowa
(319) 291-4521

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Waterloo Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
(319) 272-8000
Emergency Service: Yes

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
(319) 235-3987
Emergency Service: Yes

Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
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Waterloo High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,845 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17

Serves 1,153 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.6

A Non-traditional School
Serves 242 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 9.3

Waterloo Colleges

Click school name for a detailed profile.

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