HomeDiscover Cedar RapidsAbout Us > Recognition and Rankings

About Us

View or print our national rankings handout

Cedar Rapids is one of few communities in the nation to boast so many essential City Departments earning the top accreditation in their field, speaking to the City's professionalism and spirit of continuous improvement:

  • Building Services Department, Code Enforcement Division — American Association of Code Enforcement (accredited 2024)
  • Fire Department — Center for Public Safety Excellence Commission on Fire Accreditation (accredited 2018, reaccredited 2023)
  • Police Department —Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (accredited 2019; reaccredited 2023)
  • Parks & Recreation — Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (accredited 2021)
  • Public Works — American Public Works Association Accreditation (accredited 2023)
  • Library — State Library of Iowa (accredited 2023)

Cedar Rapids is ranked one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in the U.S. by Livability.com (2024). The list, with no official order, ranked cities among factors including economic strength, cost of living, amenities, efficient transportation, air quality, safety, education quality and more. Based on the publication's "Quality of Life LivScore," Cedar Rapids jumped nine spots in 2024, up to #41 over its previous #50 position in 2023 and 2022. Iowa City is the only other community in Iowa to be featured on the list in 2024.

In a study by Consumer Affairs, Cedar Rapids was ranked a Top 20 best city in America for retirement in 2024, at #17. In a similar study, Bankrate ranked Iowa as the best state in which to retire in 2023.  Affordability was a primary consideration, with median home prices in Iowa significantly lower than the national average — helping retirees make their fixed income stretch further than in other states. Wallethub also ranked Cedar Rapids among the Top 100 Best Places to Retire in 2023.

WalletHub ranked Cedar Rapids as the #45 Happiest City in America in 2024. The list ranked cities according to their overall level of happiness, determined by analyzing key indicators such as depression rate, income-growth rate, and average leisure time spent per day.

Cedar Rapids ranked #23 Safest City in America by WalletHub (2023) across three key dimensions: Home & Community Safety, Natural-Disaster Risk and Financial Safety.

Cedar Rapids has the #22 Best Job Market in America in 2023 according to SmartAsset and a Top 50 Best City for Jobs in America in 2023 according to WalletHub. The SmartAsset list ranked cities according to unemployment rates, income, local affordability, jobs offering healthcare and commute times. In the WalletHub comparison, Cedar Rapids reached #44 on a list on which the key metrics included job opportunities, employment growth and outlook, unemployment rate, and others.

MoneyGeek.com ranked Cedar Rapids as the #7 Best Mid-Sized City to Make a Living in 2023. The list compared cities with a population between 100,000–500,000, whose residents have relatively low costs of living and high salaries, ensuring a high quality of life with the most "bang for your buck."

On a Forbes Health list comparing 256 U.S. cities, Cedar Rapids earned a fourth-place tie as a City with the Best Air Quality in 2023. The list used the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Air Quality Index (AQI) data. In the same comparison, Forbes Health recognized Cedar Rapids as the #5 City Where it is the Easiest to Breathe, across seven specific metrics — with a particular prioritization on air quality — including smoking, asthma, COPD, and number of vehicle miles driven.

WalletHub ranked Cedar Rapids the 23rd Best Place to Raise a Family out of more than 180 U.S. Cities (2023) — up five spots from 2022. The personal-finance website also named Cedar Rapids the 35th Best Place for a Summer Job (2023).

Cedar Rapids ranked #21 Cities with the Lowest Cost of Living in America by Niche.com (2023)

Cedar Rapids has reached a new era for growth, with the American Growth Project recognizing Cedar Rapids as a Top 15 Fastest-Growing Midsize City in 2023 on their study of the fastest-growing economies among America's Top 100 Midsize Cities. In 2020, Cedar Rapids was named a 'mini megacity to watch' by Construction Dive.

Cedar Rapids ranked #6 in Rental Market & Affordability out of 182 of the most-populated U.S. cities, and #14 Best Place to Rent in America by personal finance website WalletHub (2023).

The American Lung Association recognized Cedar Rapids on their list of Cleanest U.S. Cities by Short-term Particle Pollution in 2023.

Cedar Rapids offers world-class healthcare, with Mercy Medical Center on PINC AI™ and Fortune's 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals list in 2023 and UnityPoint Health — St. Luke's Hospital recognized as a Newsweek World's Best Hospitals in 2023.

Iowa is a Top Ten state in affordability according to the Forbes Home list of Cheapest States To Live In For 2023. Researchers analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and compared average salaries, living expenses and other factors, ranking Iowa as 8th in the nation under their matrix. Iowa's findings included housing costs to be 24% below the national average.

Cedar Rapids has Iowa's Best-Tasting Drinking Water according to the Iowa Section of the American Water Works Association's (2022) Best of the Best Tap Water Taste Test. The City also earned this distinction in 2010 and 2013.

In 2022, the Cedar Rapids Public Library earned the prestigious Jerry Kline Community Impact Prize, recognizing the organization as a vital community asset. The award is only given to one public library in the nation each year, based on the degree of its impact on the community.

Business Insider named Cedar Rapids the #2 City Where Buying a Home is a Good Deal (2022) thanks in part to its low median home prices and flourishing arts scene. Niche.com ranked Cedar Rapids the #13 Best City to Buy a House in America (2023).

Cedar Rapids ranked #4 Best Midwest City for Millennials by The Ascent (2022) based on cost of living, home prices, homeowners insurance premiums, car insurance premiums and social equity.

Cedar Rapids ranked #6 Best Place for Career Opportunities and #10 Best Place to Live on a $65,000 Salary by SmartAsset (2022). Cedar Rapids’ high median earnings, low median monthly housing costs, and low unemployment rate contributed to these findings.

Cedar Rapids is the U.S. City with the 21st-Lowest Cost of Living according to Business Insider (2023).

Cedar Rapids was named Iowa’s Best City for Young Families by Insurify (2021) across metrics such as real estate market, diversity in local schools, access to parks and outdoor recreation, and residential and road safety.

Cedar Rapids ranks 23rd Best Run City in America by WalletHub (2023) — and has maintained top-30 status in this comparison since 2017.

Cedar Rapids ranked #44 Best U.S. City for Jobs by WalletHub (2022), taking into consideration employment growth, job opportunities, average starting salary, family-friendliness and more.

Cedar Rapids ranked 3rd in the list of Top 20 Fastest Metro Areas to Save for Your First Home (2022), according to a study published by RentCafe.

Named #32 Most Livable Mid-Sized Cities by SmartAsset (2022).

Cedar Rapids was named a Top 10 LGBTQ-friendly travel destination in the world! (2021), citing Cedar Rapids as a city known for its diversity and inclusion.

Cedar Rapids ranked 13th Best City in the US for First Time Home Buyers, 2021.

Cedar Rapids was named one of the least-sinful cities in the nation in 2021.

Iowa tied as the number one state to retire in the US! MoneyRates evaluated the country’s best states for retirees based on economic factors (cost of living, property taxes, and unemployment), crime and safety (violent and property crime rates), lifestyle factors (older population and average temperatures), and health care conditions (nursing facility capability, life expectancy, and health care costs).

Cedar Rapids ranked the #1 best place in America for Children five years in a row! (2015 - 2019) and remains in the top three for 2020.

Cedar Rapids was ranked one of the best cities to start from scratch because of our great job and social opportunities.

Awarded the 2020 Most Caring City in Iowa. Cedar Rapids has the highest share of individuals working in altruistic fields statewide, including social work, healthcare, counseling, firefighting, teaching, and more. 

Business Insider named Cedar Rapids #11 in the top American cities to live in after the pandemic

Cedar Rapids Named #2 Most Recession-Resistant City 2020

Cedar Rapids is listed as one of the best places to relocate for people seeking a tight-knit community centered around residents in the 2020 Livability.com article 6 Reasons to Leave the Big City - and Where to Live Instead.

Cedar Rapids ranked Best City to Live and Work 2020 by Zippia.com

Cedar Rapids ranks #34 of Cities with the Most Affordable Homes in the US for 2020. The study found that 96 percent of homes are affordable for the average household living here.

Cedar Rapids was named #2 on the list of the Ten Best Home Base Cities for Road Trippers.

Cedar Rapids is #8 in the ranking of Top 10 Cities for Living the American Dream.

Cedar Rapids was named #4 on the list of Best American Cities to work in Tech 2019.

Cedar Rapids made Money's list of Top 100 Best Place to Live 2019.

Cedar Rapids was ranked #50 Best Places to Live in the US by Livability in 2019.

The City of Cedar Rapids has been recognized with a Walk Friendly Bronze Designation by the Walk Friendly Communities program. Cedar Rapids is the only community in Iowa to have this distinction, and one of only four communities across the country to receive a designation for this round. 

Cedar Rapids earned a Certified 4-STAR Community designation from the STAR Communities organization for comprehensive sustainability efforts.  STAR Communities is the leading, national framework for measuring and designating community performance. Learn more about STAR:

  • STAR Report – This STAR-provided document gives a great look into Cedar Rapids’ successes, opportunities, and comparison with other cities.
  • STAR Infographic – Offers a glimpse into the City’s STAR success and context for completing the assessment.
  • Sustainable City Government Timeline – This document provides a look at past and future sustainability efforts.

Cedar Rapids scored a perfect 100 on the Municipal Equality Index Scorecard.

Cedar Rapids ranked #18 Most Secure Place to Live for mid-sized cities in the U.S. (Farmers Insurance Group) 

Cedar Rapids received a Healthy Hometown Community Award, recognizing accomplishments in health improvement initiatives. 

Cedar Rapids ranked #15 in the nation of the most popular cities in America to relocate to

Cedar Rapids was ranked #16 in the nation and was recognized as one of eight medium-sized metro areas with a high density of Inc. 5000 companies. Each year, Inc. Magazine publishes its list of the fastest-growing businesses in America—the Inc. 5000.  To qualify, companies must be independent, privately owned, located in the United States, and meet certain revenue thresholds. Of qualifying companies, those with the fastest three-year revenue growth rates are selected. Inc. 5000 firms exhibit very high growth compared with their peers, which makes them vital to the economy.

Iowa ranked #1 state in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

Cedar Rapids ranked #2 in the list of Top 10 Places for Teachers by SmartAsset.

Iowa was named the best state in the nation for retirement by MoneyRates.com.

Cedar Rapids was named All-America City by the National Civic League. The award shines a spotlight on trail-blazing efforts to bring all aspects of a community together to tackle the most pressing local issues. Our application and presentation focused on recovery efforts after the flood of 2008.  Cedar Rapids was also awarded the first-ever social media award for the creative use of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to tell the story of Cedar Rapids and encourage community engagement during the competition.

Cedar Rapids was designated the 15th certified Blue Zones Community® in the nation

Cedar Rapids made the top ten 2017 Best Cities for New Grads  rated by GoodCall.com

Cedar Rapids ranked #4 in SmartAsset's Best Cities of 2016

Cedar Rapids named #3 Happiest City in America

Cedar Rapids ranked #6 on the top 10 list of best American cities for technology workers.

Cedar Rapids named #8 on the list of top ten Best Affordable Places to Live, by Livability.com

Cedar Rapids ranked #6 top city for living the American Dream 

Cedar Rapids named #7 Best City to Make a Living 

Google named Cedar Rapids the 2015 eCity of Iowa. The award recognizes the strongest online business communities in each state as the digital capitals of America.

Cedar Rapids was ranked 3rd in the list of top 10 places where poverty is falling fastest, due to our low unemployment rate and quality employment opportunities.
Cedar Rapids is the #1 best city in the nation for kids! To find the best cities for kids, SmartAsset looked at data on 13 different metrics to find cities that provided good environments for children in many ways.  Learn more at SmartAsset.com.
Cedar Rapids was named one of the 10 Best Affordable Places to Live, by Livability.com.
Cedar Rapids ranked #5 happiest zip code in America by movoto.com 
Cedar Rapids ranked #1 Best Small City to Live and Work  (creditdonkey.com)
Ranked #6 for “10 Best Midsize Cities to Move To”   (Movoto.com)
BadCredit.org featured Cedar Rapids, IA as #11 among America's 20 most financially responsible cities

Cedar Rapids ranked #9 for Top 10 Best Places to Retire 2013 in Livability.com's "Top 10 Best Places to Retire" ranking.  (Livability.com)

Cedar Rapids is one of the Top 10 Fourth Economy Communities, according to Fourth Economy Consulting. Linn County is ranked #4 because we are ideally positioned to attract modern investment and managed economic growth. (Fourth Economy Community Index)

Cedar Rapids is one of America's Best Cities on the Rise, according to Smarter Travel. We ranked #11 as an exceptional, up-and-coming destination offering more than meets the eye. (Smarter Travel.com) 

Cedar Rapids is one of the Best Places for Affordable Homes, according to CNN, Fortune, and Money magazine. We ranked #4 for median home price and median family income. (CNNMoney.com)

Cedar Rapids is one of the Best Places for Business & Careers, according to Forbes magazine. Our city is ranked #33 out of the 200 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S., based on the cost of doing business, job growth, education, employment, housing, and quality of life. (Forbes.com)

Cedar Rapids' Job Growth has Topped National Levels by 7 %, according to TIME magazine. We are considered a growing boomtown. (TIME)

Cedar Rapids is one of the top 12 Best Cities for High Paying Jobs, according to Kiplinger. We are ranked #7 because of our below-average unemployment and above-average income growth. (Kiplinger)

© 2024  Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 101 First Street SE

Powered By Revize Login