Sioux City, Iowa

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Sioux City
—  City  —
Motto: "Successful, Surprising, Sioux City"[1]
Woodbury County Iowa Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Sioux City Highlighted.svg
Location in Iowa
Coordinates: 42°29′53″N 96°23′44″W / 42.49806, -96.39556Coordinates: 42°29′53″N 96°23′44″W / 42.49806, -96.39556
Country Flag of the United States.svg United States
State Flag of Iowa.svg Iowa
Counties Woodbury, Plymouth
Founded 1854
Incorporated 1857
 • Mayor Mike Hobart
 • City manager Paul Eckert
 • City 56.0 sq mi (144.9 km2)
 • Land 54.8 sq mi (141.9 km2)
 • Water 1.2 sq mi (3.0 km2)  2.06%
Elevation 1,201 ft (366 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • City 82,684
 • Density 1,500/sq mi (570/km2)
 • Metro 144,360
Time zone Central (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) Central (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 51101, 51102, 51103, 51104, 51105, 51106, 51108, 51109, 51111
Area code(s) 712
FIPS code 19-73335
GNIS feature ID 0461653

Historic Fourth Street, Downtown.

Sioux City (play /ˌsˈsɪti/) is a city in Plymouth and Woodbury counties in the western part of the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 82,684 in the 2010 census, a decline from 85,013 in the 2000 census, which makes it currently the fourth largest city in the state.[2][3]

Sioux City is the primary city of the four-county Sioux City, IANESD Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), with a population of 143,005 in 2000 and a slight increase to an estimated 144,360 in 2009.[4] The Sioux City-Vermillion, IA-NE-SD Combined Statistical Area had a population of 156,503 as of 2000 and has grown to an estimated population of 157,850 as of 2009.[5]

Sioux City is at the navigational head of the Missouri River, about 95 miles north of the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area. Sioux City and the surrounding areas of northwestern Iowa, northeastern Nebraska and southeastern South Dakota are sometimes referred to as Siouxland, especially by the local media. Sioux City is the second largest city in the Sioux Falls-Sioux City, SD-IA-MN-NE Designated Market Area (DMA),with a population of 1,043,450.[6]

Money recognized Sioux City in its August 2010 issue of "Best Places To Live".[7] In 2008 and 2009, the Sioux City Tri-State Metropolitan Area was recognized by Site Selection as the top economic development community in the United States for communities with populations between 50,000 and 200,000 people.[8]

In 2011, The Daily Beast, an American news reporting website, placed Sioux City on their list of The Top 40 Drunkest Cities in America, with a ranking of 14th.[9]


The first people to live in this area were Native Americans. These inhabitants lived here thousands of years before any explorers from Spain or France arrived. Early French or Spanish fur traders were likely the first Europeans in the area. The first documented explorers to record their travels through this area were the Americans Meriwether Lewis and William Clark during the summer of 1804. Sergeant Charles Floyd, a member of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, died here on August 20, 1804, the only fatality during the two and a half-year expedition.[10]

In 1891, the Sioux City Elevated Railway was opened and became the third steam powered elevated rapid transit system in the world, and later the first electric-powered elevated railway in the world after a conversion in 1892. However, the system fell into bankruptcy and closed within a decade.[11]

The city gained the nickname "Little Chicago" during the Prohibition era due to its reputation for being a purveyor of alcoholic beverages.[12]

On July 19, 1989, United Airlines flight 232 crash landed at Sioux Gateway Airport, killing 111 persons.

Geography and climateEdit

Sioux City is located at 42°29′53″N 96°23′45″W / 42.49806, -96.39583 (42.497957, -96.395705).[13] Sioux City is at an altitude of 1,135 feet (345.9 m) above sea level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 56.0 square miles (144.9 km²), of which, 54.8 square miles (141.9 km²) of it is land and 1.2 square miles (3.0 km²) of it (2.06%) is water.


Climate chart for For Sioux City
temperatures in °Cprecipitation totals in mm
source: [1]

Sioux City is located very near the center of the North American continent, far removed from any major bodies of water. This lends the area a humid continental climate, with hot, humid summers, cold snowy winters, and wide temperature extremes. Summers can bring daytime temperatures that climb into the 90s Fahrenheit, and winter lows can be well below zero.

Climate data for Sioux City, Iowa
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71
Average high °F (°C) 28.7
Average low °F (°C) 8.5
Record low °F (°C) −26
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.59



Woodbury County Courthouse.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 3,965
1880 7,366 85.8%
1890 37,806 413.3%
1900 33,111 −12.4%
1910 47,828 44.4%
1920 71,227 48.9%
1930 79,183 11.2%
1940 82,364 4.0%
1950 83,991 2.0%
1960 89,159 6.2%
1970 85,925 −3.6%
1980 82,003 −4.6%
1990 80,505 −1.8%
2000 85,013 5.6%
2010 82,684 −2.7%
Iowa Data Center [3]

2010 censusEdit

The 2010 census recorded a population of 82,684 in the city, with a population density of 1,477/sq mi (570/km2). There were 33,425 housing units, of which 31,571 were occupied.[2]

2000 censusEdit

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 85,013 people, 32,054 households, and 21,091 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,551.3 people per square mile (599.0/km²). There were 33,816 housing units at an average density of 617.1 per square mile (238.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.23% White, 2.41% African American, 1.95% Native American, 2.82% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 5.27% from other races, and 2.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.89% of the population.

There were 32,054 households of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the city, the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 95.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,429, and the median income for a family was $45,751. Males had a median income of $31,385 versus $22,470 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,666. About 7.9% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.0% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.

The Sioux City Human Rights Commission is an impartial governmental agency that works to protect the rights of the population from discrimination.

Metropolitan areaEdit

As of the 2000 census, the Sioux City metropolitan area had 144,360 residents in four counties; the population was estimated at 143,157 in 2008.[15] As defined by the Office of Management and Budget, the counties comprising the metropolitan area are (in descending order of population):

Two of these counties, Union and Dixon, were added to the metro area in 2003. In reality, only Woodbury, Dakota, and Union counties contain any metropolitan character; Dixon County is entirely rural.

Plymouth County is not considered part of metropolitan Sioux City although the extreme north and northwest sides of the city spill over into Plymouth County.

Economy Edit

Floyd River2

The Floyd River in Sioux City

Missouri-Floyd Rivers Sioux City Iowa

Confluence of the Missouri and
Floyd River in Sioux City

American Pop Corn Company is based in Sioux City.

Top employers

Statistics from Sioux City's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report[16]

Rank Employer Number of
% of Total City
1   Tyson Fresh Meats 4,768   11.30%  
2   Sioux City Community School District 2,057   4.87%  
3   Mercy Medical Center 1,800   4.27%  
4   St. Luke's Regional Medical Center 1,229   2.91%  
5   City of Sioux City 1,024   2.43%  
6   185th Air Refueling Wing 950   2.25%  
7   Morningside College 880   2.09%  
8   Curly's Foods 700   1.66%  
8   Tri-State Nursing 700   1.66%  
10   MidAmerican Energy 659   1.56%  
Totals   14,767   34.99%  

Arts and culture Edit

Sergeant Floyd Monument, sunset

Sergeant Floyd Monument

  • The Sioux City Public Museum is located in a Northside neighborhood of fine Victorian mansions. The portico-and-gabled stone building was originally the home of the banker, John Peirce, and was built in 1890. The museum features Native American, pioneer, early Sioux City, and natural history exhibits. The museum will shortly be relocated downtown.
  • Chris Larsen Park, informally known as "The Riverfront," is the launching point for the riverboat casino and includes the Anderson Dance Pavilion, the Sergeant Floyd Riverboat Museum and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, opened in 2004. Massive Missouri River development began in 2005 with the opening of the MLR Tyme Marina area, which includes Beverly's, an upscale restaurant.
  • Grandview Park is located north of the downtown area, up from Rose Hill, between The Northside and The Heights. The Municipal Bandshell is located in the park with Sunday evening municipal band concerts. The Saturday in the Park music festival began in 1991 and is held there annually over a weekend around the Fourth of July. Behind the bandshell is a rose garden with an arbor and trellises which has been a site for outdoor weddings, prom and other special occasion photographs, and for children to play during the Sunday evening band concerts and other events. Downtown is also home to the largest historic theatre in Iowa, the Orpheum Theater.

Neighborhoods, commercial districts, and suburbsEdit


City neighborhoodsEdit

Nearby communitiesEdit

  • Elk Point, South Dakota is 15 miles north of Sioux City off of Interstate 29 with a population of 1,997 as of 2009.
  • Hinton, Iowa is 6 miles north of Sioux City on Highway 75 with a population of 836 as of 2009.
  • Lawton, Iowa is 8 miles on Highway 20 with a population of 790 as of 2009.
  • Le Mars, Iowa is 20 miles north of Sioux City off of Highway 75 with a population of 9,124 as of 2009.
  • Sergeant Bluff is a mainly residential suburb adjacent to the southern city limits of Sioux City with a population of 4,027 as of 2009, and is less than a mile east of the Sioux City Airport.

Parks and recreation Edit

  • Stone State Park is in the northwest corner of the city, overlooking the South Dakota/Iowa border. Stone Park is near the northernmost extent of the Loess Hills, and is at the transition from clay bluffs and prairie to sedimentary rock hills and bur oak forest along the Iowa side of the Big Sioux River. The park is used by picnickers, day hikers, and for mountain biking.
  • Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center is a destination nature preserve for Woodbury County, and is located within the boundaries of Stone State Park. The butterfly garden is unique to the area; wild turkeys and white-tail deer are commonly sighted from the well-marked trails.
  • Pulaski Park is named for the Polish General Kazimierz Pułaski, who fought in the American Revolution. This park features baseball diamond facilities, and is located in western Morningside along old U.S. Highway 75 (South Lewis Blvd.). It is largely built on the filled lakebed of Half Moon Lake, which was originally created in the 1890s by the excavation of fill dirt to build the approaches for the iron railroad bridge spanning the Missouri near the stockyards. The neighborhood on the bluff overlooking the park was historically settled by Lithuanian and Polish immigrants, many of whom worked in the meatpacking industry during the early 20th century.
  • Latham Park is located in a residential area of Morningside, and is the only privately owned and maintained open-to-the-public park within the city limits. It was left in trust in 1937 under the terms of Clara Latham's will; her family had built the house on 1-acre (4,000 m2) of ground in 1915. The house and grounds are currently being restored by the Friends of Latham Park.
  • First Bride's Grave is tucked in a corner pocket of South Ravine Park, lies a series of paths, trails, and steps leading to the grave of the First Bride of Sioux City, Rosalie Menard. She was the first bride of a non-native American to be wed in Sioux City, Iowa, thus receiving her title.
  • War Eagle Park is named for the Yankton Sioux chief Wambdi Okicize (d. 1851) who befriended early settlers. A monument overlooks the confluence of the Big Sioux and Missouri Rivers. The sculpture represents the chief in his role as a leader and peacemaker, wearing the eagle feather bonnet and holding the peace pipe.
  • Riverside Park is located on the banks of the Big Sioux River. One of the oldest recreational areas of the city, it is home to the Sioux City Boat Club and Sioux City Community Theater. The park is on land that once belonged to the first white settler in the area, Theophile Bruguier; his original cabin is preserved in the park.
  • Bacon Creek Park is located northeast of Morningside and features a scenic walking trail, dog park, picnic shelters, and playground equipment.

Golf courses, city parks, and aquatics: Sioux City is also home to several municipal public golf courses, including Floyd Park in Morningside, Green Valley near the Southern Hills, Sun Valley on the northern West Side, and Hidden Acres in nearby Plymouth County. Sioux City also has a number of private golf clubs, including Sioux City Country Club, and Whispering Creek Golf Club. The city has over 1,132 acres (5 km2) of public parkland located at 53 locations, including the riverfront and many miles of recreation trails. Five public swimming pools/aquatics centers are located within Sioux City neighborhoods.


Public Schools

The Sioux City Community School District serves 13,480 students[18] living in Sioux City; there are three public high schools West High School, North High School, East High School (grades 9-12), three public Middle Schools, West Middle, North Middle, and East Middle (grades 6-8), and 19 Elementary Schools (grades K-5).[19]

Because of sprawl, districts around Sioux City continue to grow at dramatic rates. South Sioux City, Hinton, North Sioux City, Lawton, Bronson, Elk Point, Jefferson, Vermillion, Le Mars, Hawarden, Akron, Westfield, Ponca, Sergeant Bluff, Wayne, Sioux Center, along with other school districts that serve many metro-area students.

Private Schools

Sioux City Bishop Heelan Catholic School is a centralized Catholic School System that includes eight schools: six elementary schools, all Pre K-6.
Sioux City Christian School's educates grades K-12.

Advanced Education

Sioux City is home to Morningside College, Briar Cliff University, Western Iowa Tech, St. Lukes College, Bellevue University and Tri-State Graduate Center.


Television stationsEdit

Radio stationsEdit

FM stations
AM stations


  • Sioux City Journal, daily newspaper serving the Sioux City metro area east into Western Iowa and north to the South Dakota border.
  • Dakota County Star, weekly newspaper serving northeast Nebraska.
  • Sioux City Hispanos Unidos, bi-weekly Spanish readers paper.
  • The Weekender, weekly arts and entertainment magazine serving the Sioux City metro area east into Western Iowa and north to the South Dakota border.
  • Siouxland Magazine, quarterly magazine with community/lifestyle features.


  • The Sioux City Bandits are an indoor arena football team that plays for the American Professional Football League (APFL). The Bandits play their home games at the Tyson Events Center. They have been to the Indoor Football League playoffs five times.
  • The Sioux City Explorers are a non affiliated baseball team playing in American Association of Independent Professional Baseball league. The Explorers play their home games at Lewis and Clark Park. They have been to the League playoffs four times.
  • The Sioux City Musketeers are a junior hockey team based in Sioux City. They play in the United States Hockey League (USHL). They play their home games at the Tyson Events Center. Their first year of hockey was in 1972. The Musketeers have won the gold cup in the 1985-1986 season, the National Runner-up twice (1993–94, 1995–96), the Anderson Cup twice (1981–82, 1985–86), the Clark Cup three times (1981–82, 1985–86, 2001–02), and were the West Division Playoff Champions for the 2004-05 season.



Interstate 29 is a major controlled-access highway in Sioux City and the surrounding area providing easy access of the 20 mile stretch covering Sioux City and the majority of its suburbs. It approaches the city from Omaha to the south before curving northwest along the Missouri River near downtown. The highway then enters South Dakota and curves back to the north as it approaches Sioux Falls. Interstate 129 is an auxiliary Interstate Expressway that connects South Sioux City, NE to the north side of Sioux City and works as a bypass for travelers to other surrounding suburbs. Interstate 129 also interconnects with U.S. Route 75 which is in expansion to interstate form connecting Sioux City to Worthington, Minnesota. U.S. Route 20, the longest road in the United States spanning 3,365 miles (5,415 km) is also in the works of expanding from a two-lane highway to four-lanes from Sioux City, Iowa to Dubuque, Iowa which will provide a faster and easier access for travel from the over crowded highway of Interstate 80 in Iowa.

Public/Mass Transit

Sioux City Transit, the local public transit organization, operates 16 bus lines within the city. Recently, the city added a new transfer station in Sioux City's Downtown Area. The Sioux City Paratransit serves members of the community who would otherwise not be able the travel by providing door to door service.

Sioux City also has several taxi companies that operate within the city.

Jefferson Lines runs long-distance bus routes to Sioux City. Non-Transfer destinations include Winnipeg, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Omaha. There is no Amtrak passenger train service that passes through northwest Iowa.

Air Travel

Several domestic airlines serve Sioux Gateway Airport.

Notable people Edit

Sister citiesEdit


  1. ^ City of Sioux City. "City of Sioux City". 
  2. ^ a b c "Population & Housing Occupancy Status 2010". United States Census Bureau American FactFinder. Retrieved May 5, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Data from the 2010 Census". State Data Center of Iowa. Retrieved May 5, 2011. 
  4. ^ US Census Bureau. "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2009". 
  5. ^ US Census Bureau. "Annual Estimates of the Population of Combined Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2009". 
  6. ^ "US Census 2000 Demographic Snapshot Comparison - Geography: Sioux City IA DMA". - Alteryx, LLC. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "CNN Money Best Places To Live". Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Sioux City Again Claims Tier 3 Crown". Site Selection Online. March 2009. Archived from the original on 28 July 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010. 
  9. ^ "USA's Drunkest Cities Are Milwaukee, Fargo And San Francisco". Medical News Today. January 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "The Lewis & Clark Expedition - A History Brief". Sioux City Public Library. Retrieved 28 July 2010. 
  11. ^ "Elevated Railway". Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  12. ^ Rebecca Sunshine Our Hometown: "Downtown Sioux City", KTIV NewsChannel, 4 July 20, 2008
  13. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  15. ^ Iowa Data Center. "Population Estimates and Components of Population Change for Iowa's Metropolitan Areas (2003 Definition): 2000-2008". Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  16. ^ "Statistical Section Table XVI". City of Sioux City, Iowa. March 2, 2010. pp. 21. Retrieved 2010-12-24. 
  17. ^ Dakota Dunes: Demographics
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "National Football League". Dave Croston. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  21. ^ "". Sharon Farrell. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  22. ^ "Find A Grave". William Lloyd Harding. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  23. ^ "Krewe de Charlie Sioux". Retrieved 28 July 2010. 
  24. ^ "Dancing and formality mark signing of sister city agreement". Sioux City Journal. 6 November 2003. Retrieved 28 July 2010. 

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