Living in the Tri-States...
Recently recognized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors as the Most Livable Small City, Dubuque is thriving with a population of nearly 60,000 and a county population of almost 93,000. It is the center for retail, medical, education and employment for the tri-state area, while enjoying relatively hassle-free commuting and a low crime rate.
- 47 parks with 878 acres
- 19 tennis courts
- Two skate parks
- 262 units of play equipment
- Disc golf course
- In-line hockey rink
- Eight softball fields, one baseball field
- 18 miles of trails
- 7 Golf Courses
- Extensive trail system takes bikers, hikers and walkers throughout the county on more than 35 miles of perfect trails for the community to enjoy
Live theater, musicals, and concerts can be enjoyed at the Grand Opera House or at the Five Flags Civic Center. There are also smaller playhouses that feature many performances throughout the year. Dubuque is proud to have its own Symphony Orchestra.
The river city is home to the Smithsonian-affiliated National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. Dubuque lies on the edge of the Mississippi River, which is always bustling with activity. Boating and fishing are two popular activities on the Mississippi, as are kayaking, canoeing, water skiing and wake boarding during the summer months, while ice skating and ice fishing are popular during the winter months. There are downhill skiing resorts in the area and eight locations for cross-country skiing.
Nature lovers enjoy walks through the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. With four seasons, Dubuque has an ever changing landscape to explore and enjoy.
Across Dubuque County you can find limestone bluffs, rolling hills and flat valleys. The terrain is unique in Iowa, and the proximity of the Mississippi River has created a city with many things to experience.
Distances to Midwestern Metros
- Chicago, IL - 178 miles
- Des Moines, IA - 200
- Kansas City, MO - 393
- St. Louis, MO - 337
- Madison, WI - 93
- Minneapolis/St Paul, MN - 281
- Rochester, MN - 206
The Dubuque community takes great pride in the quality of its educational system - it is a top priority for Dubuque citizens and leaders. Iowa consistently ranks in the top five states in the nation on standardized achievement tests such as ACT, SAT, and Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Test scores for elementary and high school students in Dubuque consistently rank above both the national and state averages, while Dubuque's public school system was ranked #7 out of 2,200 school districts nationwide according to Expansion Management Magazine.
Primary Education (K-12)
The Dubuque Community School District offers K-12 education through 13 elementary schools, three middle schools, and three high schools. Dubuque also offers two private school systems accredited by the State of Iowa. The Holy Family Catholic Schools offer K-12 education at four elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school, as well as a Spanish Immersion school, Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Dubuque Lutheran School offers K-5 education at one elementary school.
Greater Dubuque is home to four colleges and universities. The contribution these educational institutions make to our community goes far beyond the obvious. They bring culture and diversity, connecting hundreds of bright, talented graduates with area employers every year. They also serve the educational needs of area adults and businesses through corporate training programs, adult degree programs, graduate degree programs, and non-traditional course delivery. Over 18,000 students are served by the educational institutions within the Greater Dubuque area.
The community colleges and technical schools in the Greater Dubuque area offer specialized degrees and training, apprenticeships, and continuing education courses, as well as core requirement and basic education. The possibilities are endless.
The first seminaries in the Greater Dubuque area were established as early as 1852 by German theologians. Through the years, Dubuque has continued to attract religious thinkers and now, nearly 150 years later, it stands as a unique center of theological study.
Awards & Accolades
Dubuque's job growth has been cited as among the best in the entire U.S. by Careerbuilder.com. In comparing the 281 largest metros in the U.S., Dubuque's job growth of 2.1% ranked as third best in the nation. Of the 77 metros that saw job gains, Dubuque was one of just three that saw growth of better than 2%.
Dubuque was named one of the ten 'Most Affordable Places to Live and Work' by Sperling's Best Places based on having a good supply of jobs, low cost of living, affordable housing, and a great quality of life.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke awarded Dubuque the 2009 Excellence in Economic Development Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation-led Strategies. Locke said Dubuque received the award for its commitment to research-based, market driven economic development in helping grow the local economy.
RelocateAmerica.com, a website that provides relocating consumers and area residents with access to local community resources, has included Dubuque in its annual listing of 'America's Top 100 Places to Live for 2009.'
Dubuque was named as a “2008 Top Ten Metro” with population less than 200,000. The award comes as recognition of successful economic development project generation.
Dubuque was named as the ‘Most Livable’ Small City by the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) 2008 Livability Awards Program during the USCM Annual Meeting. Dubuque’s application featured the America’s River project and the public/private partnerships and community involvement that transformed the Port of Dubuque into a destination that captures the historical, environmental, educational and recreational majesty of the Mississippi River.
NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) named the Dubuque Community School District as one of the 110 best communities for musical education. The survey took into account funding, enrollment, student/teacher ratios, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, private music lesson participation, and other relevant factors in each community's music education programs.
Dubuque was named to the top 100 Best Green Places in America, by Country Home Magazine. Country Home Magazine's Best Green Places report analyzed hundreds of cities on key points such as official energy policies, green power, green buildings, and the availability of fresh, locally grown food.
Dubuque was named one of the 10 best. The All-America City award title is the oldest and most prestigious civic recognition competition in the United States. The winners were selected in part for their ability to engage a broad cross section of the community, including youth, business leaders, elected officials, city staff and nonprofit groups, in civic dialogues leading to tangible results.
Dubuque ranks 22nd out of 393. With perennial favorites like Las Vegas, Phoenix, and eight metro areas in Florida, Dubuque is the only Iowa city listed in the overall U.S. Top 25. Moreover, Dubuque is the only Midwest city in the entire U.S. Top 25 rankings.
Dubuque ranks 15th out of 179 cities and is one of a select group of their population size to host a major, state-sponsored university. In the same Forbes Magazine report, Dubuque’s rank for job-growth led all other Iowa cities, according to the magazine’s five-year, annualized figures.
Inc. Magazine described Dubuque as the “biggest mover” on the Best Cities & Boomtown rankings among smaller cities.
Dubuque was named one of 10. MSN Real Estate focused on areas with a low cost of living, good job prospects and a high quality of life.
Because of its commitment to provide healthy, safe and caring environments for young people, Dubuque was named as one of the 100 best communities for youth.The national competition included applicants from hundreds of communities in all 50 states.
Dubuque was one of 72 cities, out of a total of 383 cities nationwide, that were designated as 5-Star. Considerations include college entrance exam scores, graduation rates, teachers’ salaries, per pupil spending, student-teacher ratio, median household income, adult education levels, and child poverty rate.
Dubuque placed in the top 20 percent (72 out of 383) of all cities studied, thus receiving the 5-Star designation. Evaluation is based on affordable housing, a quality public school system, low crime levels, adult education levels, standard of living, traffic, commuting, continuing education opportunities, commercial air access, and the labor market.
Moody’s Economy.com ranked Dubuque 22nd in the U.S. for job growth, ahead of giant cities like Dallas and Orlando.
Dubuque was named as one of 6. Iowa Great Places have a unique sense of place; engaging experiences; a rich, diverse social fabric; a vital, creative economy; a pleasing environment; a strong foundation; and a creative culture.
This award is in recognition of Dubuque’s 20-year commitment to the revitalization of the city’s center.
Dubuque ranked 4th out of 362 cities analyzed.