Decorah, IA
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Living in Decorah


Decorah is a somewhat small city located in the state of Iowa. With a population of 7,907 people and three constituent neighborhoods, Decorah is the 48th largest community in Iowa. Much of the housing stock in Decorah was built prior to World War II, making it one of the older and more historic cities in the country.

Decorah real estate is some of the most expensive in Iowa, although Decorah house values don't compare to the most expensive real estate in the U.S.

Decorah is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 85.77% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, Decorah is a city of professionals, service providers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Decorah who work in teaching (13.43%), food service (11.94%), and office and administrative support (11.44%).

One interesting thing about the economy is that relatively large numbers of people worked from their home: 7.46% of the workforce. While this number may seem small overall, as a fraction of the total workforce this is high compared to the rest of the county. These workers are often telecommuters who work in knowledge-based, white-collar professions. For example, Silicon Valley has large numbers of people who telecommute. Other at-home workers may be self-employed people who operate small businesses out of their homes.

Decorah is a small town where college students really create the town feel and character. So many small towns have lost population over the last 20-30 years that having the local college presence in the Decorah area, with all of the energy of the students filling area dorms and apartments each fall, really helps Decorah maintain a good economy.

Compared to the rest of the country, citizens of Decorah spend much less time in their cars: on average, their commute to work is only 11.51 minutes. This also means that noise and pollution levels in the city are less than they would otherwise be.

As is often the case in a small city, Decorah doesn't have a public transportation system that people use for their commute.

Decorah is one of the most well-educated cities in the nation. 42.01% of adults in Decorah have at least a bachelor's degree. Compare that to the average community in America, which has just 21.84% with a bachelor's degree or higher.

The per capita income in Decorah in 2010 was $23,895, which is middle income relative to Iowa and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $95,580 for a family of four. However, Decorah contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

The people who call Decorah home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Decorah residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Important ancestries of people in Decorah include Norwegian, Irish, English, and Swedish.

The most common language spoken in Decorah is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Scandinavian languages.

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