Prairie City has come a long way since it was established in 1856. In fact, it’s come a long way in just over a decade. Since the 2000 Census, Prairie City’s population has surged 23 percent to 1,680 residents.
This speedy growth has helped breath new life—and youth—into our Jasper County town. Only 20 miles from Des Moines, Prairie City attracts young professionals searching for the perks of small-town living along with an easy commute to work and venues in Iowa’s capital and other neighboring cities.
Driving just 30 minutes outside the metro rewards Prairie City residents with inexpensive living and small-town charm. Residents enjoy a lower cost of living—four percent less than the Iowa average—combined with friendly neighbors; safe streets; a small, attentive school district; and opportunities for involvement. Residents also share the surrounding scenic prairie with the bison and other wildlife roaming the nearby Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center, which attracts thousands of tourists from around the globe each year.
Prairie City has made great efforts to accommodate our residents’ growing families and youthful spirit. Their arrival has spurred economic, residential, and recreational development. Perhaps because of our prairie heritage, the city is especially proud of the many parks, trails, and athletic fields available to residents. And with our extensive recreational opportunities, quality schools, affordable living, and expanding list of amenities, we are confident Prairie City will continue to grow as a happy, healthy community generations will enjoy for decades to come.