Iowa Business Council

Iowa’s 5-year population growth was only 1%.

Community Challenge

Two-thirds of Iowa counties hit their population peak by 1950. The availability of a skilled workforce is a major area of concern for all employers. If we want job creators to remain in our state, we must address this issue. Iowa’s population growth must be accelerated to ensure long-term economic prosperity.

The Big Idea

When people leave the state, so do businesses and jobs. By advocating for sensible immigration reform, we can address our waning population and diversity challenges while developing policies that result in business opportunities and expansion in both rural and urban areas of Iowa.In order to reverse Iowa’s sluggish population trends, our elected officials must find common ground on ways to bring new people into our state. Community leaders from all backgrounds should work with policymakers to modernize the current immigration system in an effort to increase our population and enhance our talent pipeline.Expanding legal pathways into Iowa can be used as a viable tool to recruit talent and spur innovation.


Creating a welcoming and inclusive culture will yield the long-term results essential to help Iowa thrive. While recruitment is an important step in population growth, people need to feel secure in their communities to see themselves staying in Iowa. Retention efforts cannot be ignored. Once people get to Iowa, they have to see themselves living here. This is where local and regional civic leaders can play a pivotal role in improving their community’s population challenges. Successfully implementing commonsense immigration reform now will lead to growth and more opportunities for generations to come.

100 East Grand Avenu Suite 220 | Des Moines, IA 50309 | (515) 246-1700 |

You May Also Like

Community State Bank

Above (L to R): Sefika Sarkic, Angelica Gonzalez Nieto, Melanie Moore, Kurt Gibson, Kate ...

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)

What is JLL? JLL is a commercial real estate firm that works with retail, ...

Des Moines University

Angela Walker Franklin, Ph.D., President & CEO During my career in academic leadership, a ...