Linn County, Iowa
With more than 211,000 residents, Linn County is the second most populous county in the state of Iowa. There are 18 incorporated communities and 11 villages. The urban center is located in the southern part of the county and encompasses the city of Cedar Rapids, and the smaller communities of Marion, Hiawatha, and Robins.
Linn County is one of the few areas in Iowa experiencing growth. A report from the Population and Economic Forecasts Technical Advisory Committee predicted a 10 percent population increase each decade through 2030 and job growth of 14 percent to 21 percent each decade.
Linn County is located in East Central Iowa. The larger metropolitan areas of Minneapolis, Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City can be reached within several hours by car. The county is 726 square miles in size. The Cedar River, one of Iowa’s main waterways, travels across the county from northwest to southeast. The Wapsipinicon River crosses the northeast corner of the county. Both rivers serve as important recreational features for citizens of Linn County.
Linn County is governed by a Board of Supervisors, comprised of five officials elected by district for four-year terms. The positions of Sheriff, Auditor, Attorney, Recorder and Treasurer are also elected.
Linn County provides a full range of services to its citizens including public safety, social services, services to people with disabilities, parks, planning and development, public health and general administrative services. In addition, the County provides a secondary roads department and an information technology department used by other governmental entities.
Linn County continues to be Iowa’s largest manufacturing center with total goods-producing employment of 22,900 or 19.7% of total non-farm employment. Service-producing employment of 93,200 represents the balance of non-farm employment. The diverse agricultural, industrial and service based companies provide economic stability to the local economy. Modest growth in manufacturing will continue even though major employment gains continue to be in service industries with financial activities representing the largest growth area from the prior year. Only about 2% of Linn County employment population is directly employed in farming.
Three private four-year liberal arts colleges are located in Linn County, and the University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, and Iowa State University are all within easy driving distance. Iowa’s third-largest educational institution, Kirkwood Community College, provides two-year vocational and technical training degrees and ample continuing education opportunities.
Residents of Linn County enjoy the excitement of a modern and bustling metro area and the beauty and solitude of the bucolic countryside. The Cedar and Wapsipinicon Rivers offer boating, fishing, and swimming opportunities. The Linn County Conservation Department also maintains many public parks, recreational, and natural areas for enjoyment. The award-winning Cedar Rapids Symphony offers regular performances and the Paramount Theatre, a picturesque 1920s downtown landmark, provides a variety of cultural events throughout the year.