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About Quality of Life in Iowa City

The Iowa City Public Library (www.icpl.org) and the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce (www.iowacityarea.com) have websites that provide detailed information about the greater Iowa City area (City of Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty) and Johnson County. Iowa City is located about 45 miles west of the Mississippi river along interstate 80. Its population is about 63,000, with adjacent communities of Coralville and North Liberty adding another 15,000 and 5,000 to the population of the greater metro area.

The University of Iowa offers the excitement of collegiate sporting and artistic events and makes the recreational facilities available to the public during regular scheduled hours. Yearly events include: Riverfest, Mennonite Relief Sale, Iowa Arts Festival, Jazz Fest, Hospice Road Race. Attractions: Museum of Natural History, Museum of Art, Amana Colonies, Plum Grove, Hancher Auditorium, Old Capitol National Historical Landmark, Heritage Museum, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum. Cultural facilities available in the area include: theater, historic sites, library, art gallery, opera, symphony, museum, ballet, arts council and historical society.

Johnson County is known as one of the "most educated" in the United States. Nearly half of all residents have earned bachelor's degrees, and 90% of adults have attained at least a high school diploma. Year after year, area students consistently achieve ACT scores that are significantly higher than national averages, and they win more than their share of National Merit Scholarships. County-wide unemployment is usually 2% or less.

In addition to the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College, the Iowa City area provides a variety of excellent K-12 educational opportunities. The Iowa City Community School District has an enrollment of about 10,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The district includes the nearby communities of Coralville, Hills, and North Liberty. In all, the district has 17 elementary schools, two junior high schools, two senior high schools, one alternative school for seventh through twelfth graders, as well as daycare and pre-school facilities. Iowa City is also home to Regina High School, a private Catholic institution, and Preucil School of Music, specializing in the Suzuki method of instruction.

Iowa City contains 41 public parks, 9 golf courses, 6 public swimming pools, river and lake access for boating and fishing. Three major hospitals are located in Iowa City and the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics is the largest teaching hospital in the United States.

Iowa City is well known as a tolerant and safe community. A wide variety of lifestyles are represented in the Iowa City population, with multi-cultural, multiple religions and international citizens attracted to diverse population and a welcoming attitude. The crime rate in Iowa City is very low, and it is regarded as a very safe community. AARP magazine has identified Iowa City as one of the top 15 place in the US to retire, commenting: "The main attraction, though, is a widely held sense of the place as a safe haven. Plus some small town friendliness; an urbane art, music and literary scene; and bustling downtown pedestrian mall. Residents can hear salsa music on the mall, the Kronos Quartet at the university--and cheer themselves hoarse (Go Hawkeyes!) at a weekend Big Ten football game."

“A new book by Forbes Magazine columnist Rich Karlgard describes Iowa City as an IQ Campus and one of the nicest cheap places to live in the country…If Iowa City were a student it would be class valedictorian” (Iowa City Press Citizen, Aug. 21, 2004). See more about Iowa City at Forbes website: www.forbes.

The median home price in the Iowa City area is about $148,000. Ample apartment and condominium housing is also available, much of it within easy walking or biking distance from the campus. Three bus systems service Iowa City, Coralville and the UI campus, making it feasible to live in Iowa City without needing a car.

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