Sioux City, Iowa

"Sioux City" redirects here. For the 1994 film, see Sioux City (film).
Sioux City

Sioux City skyline.
Motto: "Successful, Surprising, Sioux City"[1]

Location in Iowa
Sioux City

Location in the United States

Coordinates: 42°29′53″N 96°23′44″W / 42.49806°N 96.39556°W / 42.49806; -96.39556Coordinates: 42°29′53″N 96°23′44″W / 42.49806°N 96.39556°W / 42.49806; -96.39556
Country United States
State Iowa
Counties Woodbury, Plymouth
Founded 1854
Incorporated 1857
  Mayor Bob Scott[2]
  City Manager Robert Padmore
  City 59.49 sq mi (152.5 km2)
  Land 58.35 sq mi (149.54 km2)
  Water 1.14 sq mi (2.95 km2)
Elevation 1,201 ft (366 m)
Population (2010)[4]
  City 82,684
  Estimate (2013[5]) 82,459
  Rank US: 4th in Iowa
393rd in the US.
  Density 1,461.7/sq mi (559.6/km2)
  Urban 106,494 (US: 292nd)
  Metro 168,714 (US: 241st)
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
Website City of Sioux City

Sioux City (/ˌsˈsɪti/) is a city in Woodbury and Plymouth counties in the western part of the State of Iowa. The population was 82,684 in the 2010 census, which makes it the fourth largest city in Iowa.[6][7] The bulk of the city is in Woodbury County, of which it is the county seat, though a small portion is in Plymouth County.

Sioux City is the primary city of the five-county Sioux City, IANESD Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), with a population of 168,825 in 2010 and a slight increase to an estimated 168,921 in 2012.[8] The Sioux City–Vermillion, IA–NE–SD Combined Statistical Area had a population of 182,675 as of 2010 and has grown to an estimated population of 183,052 as of 2012.[8]

Sioux City is at the navigational head, i.e. the most upstream point to which general cargo ships can travel, 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.

Money recognized Sioux City in its August 2010 issue of "Best Places To Live".[9]

In 2008, 2009,[10] 2012, 2013 and 2015 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. In March 2013, Site Selection also recognized Sioux City as the 4th Top Metro area in the Midwest Region behind 1st place Kansas City, 2nd place Minneapolis–Saint Paul and 3rd place Omaha-Council Bluffs. Sioux City was also ranked 1st in regards to Metro Populations between 50,000 and 200,000.[11]

Forbes placed the Sioux City metro in the Top 15 Best Small Places for Businesses and Careers[12] and ranked the area the #2 Most Livable Bargain Market.[13] 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.[14]


Waterfront, circa 1912

Iowa is in the tallgrass prairie of the North American Great Plains, historically inhabited by speakers of Siouan languages. The area of Sioux City was inhabited by Yankton Sioux when it was first reached by Spanish and French furtrappers in the 18th century. The first documented US citizens to record their travels through this area were Meriwether Lewis and William Clark during the summer of 1804. Sergeant Charles Floyd, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, died here on August 20, 1804, the only death during the two and a half-year expedition.[15]

Sioux City was laid out in the winter of 1854-55.[16]

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.[17]

The city gained the nickname "Little Chicago" during the Prohibition era due to its reputation for being a purveyor of alcoholic beverages.[18]

On July 19, 1989, United Airlines Flight 232 crash landed at Sioux Gateway Airport, killing 111 people, but 184 survived the crash and ensuing fire due to outstandingly quick performances by fire and emergency local teams that earned them several National Congress Medals, given by President George H. W. Bush in 1990.

Geography and climate


Sioux City is located at 42°29′53″N 96°23′45″W / 42.49806°N 96.39583°W / 42.49806; -96.39583 (42.497957, −96.395705).[19] 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 58.49 square miles (151.49 km2), of which, 57.35 square miles (148.54 km2) is land and 1.14 square miles (2.95 km2) is water.[3]


Typical of Iowa, Sioux City has a humid continental climate, with very warm, humid summers, cold, dry winters, and wide temperature extremes; it is part of USDA Hardiness zone 5a.[20] The normal monthly mean temperature ranges from 20.4 °F (−6.4 °C) in January to 74.3 °F (23.5 °C) in July. On average, there are 25 days that reach 90 °F (32 °C) or higher, 52 days that do not climb above freezing, and 17 days with a low of 0 °F (−18 °C) or below annually. The average window for freezing temperatures is October 1 thru April 26, allowing a growing season of 157 days. Extreme temperatures officially range from −35 °F (−37 °C) on January 12, 1912 up to 111 °F (44 °C) on July 4 and 17, 1936 as well as July 11, 1939; the record cold daily maximum is −22 °F (−30 °C) on February 8, 1899, while, conversely, the record warm daily minimum is 86 °F (30 °C) on August 18, 1936.

Precipitation is greatest in May and June and averages 27.7 in (700 mm) annually, but has ranged from 14.33 in (364 mm) in 1976 to 41.10 in (1,044 mm) in 1903. Snowfall averages 34.8 in (88 cm) per season, and has historically ranged from 6.9 in (18 cm) in 1895–96 to 65.9 in (167 cm) in 1961–62; the average window for measurable (≥0.1 in or 0.25 cm) snowfall is November 8 thru April 7, although snow in October occurs several times per decade. On May 14, 2013, the high temperature reached 106 °F (41 °C), setting a new all-time May record high, along with a 77 °F (43 °C) rise from the morning of the 12th.[21]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201582,821[26]0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[27]

2010 census

As of the census[4] of 2010, there were 82,684 people, 31,571 households, and 20,144 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,441.7 inhabitants per square mile (556.6/km2). There were 33,425 housing units at an average density of 582.8 per square mile (225.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 80.6% White, 2.9% African American, 2.6% Native American, 2.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 7.4% from other races, and 3.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.4% of the population.

There were 31,571 households of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.2% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.2% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.14.

The median age in the city was 33.7 years. 26.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.6% were from 25 to 44; 24% were from 45 to 64; and 12.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.2% male and 50.8% female.

2000 census

As of the census 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.

Age spread: 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.

Metropolitan area

As of the 2010 census, the Sioux City Metropolitan Area had 168,825 residents in five counties; the population was estimated at 168,921 in 2012.[8] As defined by the Office of Management and Budget, the counties comprising the metropolitan area are (in descending order of population):


The Floyd River in Sioux City
Confluence of the Missouri and
Floyd River in Sioux City
Top employers

Statistics from Sioux City's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report[28]

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

Sergeant Floyd Monument
External video
Bandshell Added to National Register of Historic Places, (0:56), KMEG14

Neighborhoods, commercial districts, and suburbs

Veteran's Memorial Bridge

City neighborhoods

Nearby communities

Parks and recreation

Stone State Park

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[31] 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).[32]

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

Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools is a centralized private Catholic School System that includes six schools: They teach preschool through twelfth grade.

Siouxland Community Christian School educates grades K-12.

Advanced education

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


Television stations

Radio stations

FM stations
AM stations



Tyson Events Center, with Gateway Arena to the left and Longlines Family Recreation Center to the right

The Sioux City Swine- Official City Rugby Team.



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 that connects South Sioux City, Nebraska to the south 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 expressway form connecting Sioux City to Worthington, Minnesota. U.S. Route 20, the longest road in the United States spanning 3,365 mi (5,415 km) is also in the works of expanding from a two-lane highway to four-lanes from Sioux City to Dubuque, Iowa which will provide faster and easier access comparable to Interstate 80 in Iowa.

Public transportation

Sioux City Transit, the local public transit organization, operates several bus lines within the city. Buses transfer downtown in the Martin Luther King Jr. Transportation Center at 505 Nebraska Street.[33] The Sioux City Paratransit serves members of the community who would otherwise not be able to travel by providing door to door service.[34]

Air travel

The city is served by Sioux Gateway Airport (SUX) 6 mi (9.7 km) to its south where American Airlines' affiliate American Eagle began service to Chicago in 2012.[35]
Charter flights are also available here.


Jefferson Lines runs long-distance bus routes to Sioux City. Non-Transfer destinations include Winnipeg, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Omaha.

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

There is no established water or rail passenger transportation in the area. Big Soo Terminal offers barge transportation.[36]

Notable people

Sioux City native Pauline (Friedman) Phillips, who used the pen name of Abigail Van Buren for her advice column "Dear Abby", was the twin sister of Esther (Friedman) Lederer, the author of the competing Ann Landers column.

Sister cities


  1. City of Sioux City. "City of Sioux City".
  2. "Mayor Bob Scott", "Sioux City Journal" January 3, 2012. Retrieved on January 8, 2012.
  3. 1 2 "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
  4. 1 2 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
  5. "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  6. "Population & Housing Occupancy Status 2010". United States Census Bureau American FactFinder. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
  7. "Data from the 2010 Census". State Data Center of Iowa. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
  8. 1 2 3 US Census Bureau. "Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas".
  9. "CNN Money Best Places To Live". Retrieved 6 January 2011.
  10. "Sioux City Again Claims Tier 3 Crown". Site Selection Online. March 2009. Archived from the original on 28 July 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  11. "'Houston, We Have a Winner'". Site Selection Online. March 2013. Archived from the original on 29 March 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  12. "Best Small Places for Businesses and Careers". June 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  13. Fulmer, Melinda (2011). "2011 MSN Real Estate Most Livable Bargain Markets - 2. Sioux City, Iowa-Neb.-S.D.". Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  14. "USA's Drunkest Cities Are Milwaukee, Fargo And San Francisco". Medical News Today. January 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2011.
  15. 1 2 "The Lewis & Clark Expedition - A History Brief". Sioux City Public Library. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  16. History of Western Iowa, Its Settlement and Growth. Western Publishing Company. 1882. p. 178.
  17. "Elevated Railway". Retrieved 31 January 2011.
  18. Rebecca Sunshine Our Hometown: "Downtown Sioux City", KTIV NewsChannel, 4 July 20, 2008
  19. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  20. "USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map". United States Department of Agriculture. External link in |website= (help);
  21. Masters, Jeff. "Extreme Weather Whiplash: 106° in Iowa on the Heels of Record May Snows". Wunderground. Retrieved 2014-06-01.
  22. "NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
  23. "Station Name: IA SIOUX CITY GATEWAY AP". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  24. "WMO Climate Normals for SIOUX CITY/MUNICIPAL, IA 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  25. "Monthly Averages for Sioux Gateway Airport". The Weather Channel. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  26. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  27. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  28. "Statistical Section Table XVI" (PDF). City of Sioux City, Iowa. March 2, 2010. p. 21. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  29. "WPA opens forty-eighth federal art center at Sioux City". Museum News: 1, 4. April 1, 1938. Sioux City Art Center opens on February 20, 1938. Also notes that Butte, Montana, has plans for an art center; other proposed sites include Spokane, WA; Salem, OR; Sacramento, CA; Long Beach, CA; Poughkeepsie, NY; and Key West, FL.
  30. Dakota Dunes: Demographics
  31. Enrollments and Projections. Retrieved on 2013-08-25.
  33. Transit. Retrieved on 2013-08-25.
  34. Archived August 21, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  35. Dreeszen, Dave (May 26, 2005). "Local ports face second straight season without barge traffic". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  36. "National Football League". Dave Croston. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
  37. "". Sharon Farrell. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
  38. Three-strikes law
  39. "Find A Grave". William Lloyd Harding. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
  40. "Marshall Frank Moore". Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  41. "Krewe de Charlie Sioux". Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  42. "Dancing and formality mark signing of sister city agreement". Sioux City Journal. 6 November 2003. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
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