This Iowa City Has Been Named the Most Miserable in the State

Iowa, renowned for its expansive plains and cornfields, boasts numerous cities providing a high quality of life. However, this prosperity is not universal across the state. Recent data highlights Perry as Iowa’s most miserable city in 2023.

Perry: Overview

With a population of 7,836, Perry stands out as Iowa’s most unhappy city. A poverty rate of 17.5% and a median home value of $100,900 underscore the significant challenges the city confronts.

Contributing Factors to Misery

Various factors contribute to Perry’s unfortunate designation. The elevated poverty level suggests a substantial portion of the population faces financial struggles. The affordable yet modest median home value may signify insufficient community investment or a struggling local economy.

Other Struggling Cities in Iowa

While Perry claims the top spot, it’s not alone in facing difficulties. Anamosa, with a population of 5,332 and a 17.1% poverty rate, ranks as the second most miserable city in the state. Additional cities on the list include Marshalltown, Denison, and Clarinda.

Silver Linings

Despite the challenges these cities confront, it’s crucial to acknowledge that such rankings offer a limited perspective. Each city possesses unique strengths and potential for enhancement. Furthermore, amidst the adversity, Cedar Falls shines as Iowa’s happiest city, emphasizing positive stories within the state.


While Perry currently holds the unfortunate title of Iowa’s most miserable city, it’s imperative to concentrate on potential solutions and improvement strategies. Change is always within reach, and a brighter future is possible with concerted efforts.


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