State Profile

Located in the mid-west region of the United States, an area often referred to as the “American Heartland”, the state of Iowa is comprised of 56,276 square miles of land and a population of three million people. Although small in size, Iowa’s impact on the world is large.

Iowa is widely recognised for its leading position in the agricultural sector, particularly corn, soya bean, pork and egg production. As a result the state is known for its food processing industries. But Iowa’s economy is, in fact, very diversified with core strengths in advanced manufacturing, biosciences and financial services. Rockwell Collins, Google, Facebook, The Principal Financial Group, John Deere, Cargill, IBM, Microsoft and many other innovators soar as world leaders in their fields from their lowa operations.

Through active support of alternative energy, the state of lowa now gets more of its electricity from wind turbines than almost any other state and ranks as the leader in renewable fuels production. lowa ranks third nationally in current wind generation output with over 5,710 megawatts installed and 3,444 turbines across the state and is first in the nation in wind generation as a percentage of total power output at 28.5%. Forty-three ethanol refineries produce over 3.9 billion gallons of ethanol and 12 refineries produce 315 million gallons of biodiesel fuel annually (Iowa Renewable Fuels Association and Iowa Biodiesel Board).


From the centre of North America, lowa provides a strategic business location for many companies entering the US market or expanding their US presence. Business and industry exports their products and services throughout the Americas and elsewhere from lowa locations. The value of lowa exports totalled over $15.1 billion in 2014 according to the Global Trade Information Services. The UK ranks as Iowa’s eighth largest export customer. Agricultural machinery, vehicles, meat, cereals, animal feed, chemicals and electrical equipment are among Iowa’s top export categories.


Britain’s Cobham plc has expanded its Mission Systems Division in lowa by relocating their air-to-air refuelling business from California to Davenport. ACH, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Associated British Foods, operates Tone Brothers, Inc., a leading national manufacturer of spices and seasonings based in Ankeny. NCS Pearson, a division of Pearson plc, has an assessment division branch at the University of Iowa’s Research Laboratory in lowa City. GKN Armstrong Wheels, a division of GKN plc, has a wheel, clutch and gearbox manufacturing facility in Armstrong. British insurer Aviva plc’s US operations are headquartered in West Des Moines.

Yellowbook, a division of Yell Group, has a regional office in Cedar Rapids. Other British investments in lowa include Alexander Technologies, Blackwell Publishing, Combicut, Cycle Force, E D & F Man Holdings, Evolution Power Tools and Wolseley plc.


In 2014, Forbes Magazine named all of Iowa’s largest cities best places in America for businesses and careers. Iowa’s capital city, Des Moines, was listed as the second best city in the country.


Through attractive financial assistance and business-friendly government policies, lowa offers advantages that can grow revenues. CNBC’s 2014 Top States for Business survey ranks lowa in the top 12 in the nation and seventh for low cost of doing business. Iowa was the ninth most business friendly state in the nation. Six of Iowa’s nine Metropolitan Statistical Areas were included in the Top 100 Smartest Cities in the Country list (Luminosity 2013).


What companies value from working with the Iowa Economic Development Authority is the expertise of experienced staff who help evaluate possible business locations/expansions, facilitate access to available state  financial incentives and see to your business’s success in Iowa. Our consultations are free and confidential.

Further Information

For more information, contact:

Iowa Economic Development Authority
International Office/Business Development
200 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

Tel: +1 515-725-3000

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