Top 10 Reasons We <3 Cedar Rapids (Infographic)

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Located along the banks of the Cedar River, Cedar Rapids is a thriving center for arts and culture in eastern Iowa. The city boasts Midwest charm and values, and is an economic hub with successful industry sectors including grain processing, engineering, insurance, health care, technology and education. Discover what we love most about Cedar Rapids, then discover Cedar Rapids for yourself!

about cedar rapids images infographic

1.Big City Advantages, Small City Vibe

Consistently ranked one of the best places to live in the nation, you’ll find everything you want from a big city with the small town atmosphere we all know and love. Downtown Cedar Rapids is where you’ll find a wide variety of businesses, restaurants and housing. In fact, thanks to new housing and economic development, Cedar Rapids saw an uptick in residents in 2014.

2. Booming Economy/Low Unemployment Rate

Cedar Rapids boasts an unemployment of 4.6 percent, significantly lower than the 5.4 percent national average. This is just one of the many positive repercussions of a healthy and booming economic city! With a multitude of businesses both locally- and nationally-owned, the job opportunities are plentiful. Here are several of the top employers in Cedar Rapids and the number of employees at each company, in both service and manufacturing, courtesy of The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance.

Top employers in the Cedar Rapids Metro include:

Rockwell Collins: 8,700 employees
UnityPoint Health - St. Luke’s Hospital: 3,872 employees
Cedar Rapids Community School District: 2,936 employees
Kirkwood Community College: 1,895 employees
City of Cedar Rapids: 1,311 employees
Nordstrom Direct: 1,200 employees
Quaker Foods & Snacks: 1,018 employees

3. Affordable Cost of Living

In addition to being located in the most affordable state, Cedar Rapids was named one of the 10 Best Affordable Places to Live in 2015. Stats like this simply cannot be ignored. For instance, if you’re considering moving from Chicago to Cedar Rapids, you’re in for a treat. Housing alone will cost over 37 percent less!

4. Exceptional Education

The quality of a school district is often a top factor for parents considering where to live. Strong school systems attract new residents and help their cities prosper. The Cedar Rapids area has a number of schools to choose from including:

Cedar Rapids Community School District

College Community School District

Marion Independent School District

Linn - Mar Community School District

Catholic Area Schools

Universities

5. Top-Notch Health Care

Thanks to awesome preventative health, easy access and adoption of better living practices, residents spend 11.6 percent less than the national average on health care-related goods and services. Cedar Rapids was also recognized as one of the healthiest small cities in America in 2014, and was named one of the first Blue Zones in Iowa.

UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids is the largest healthcare system in the area, offering specialty clinics, Cedar Rapid’s only Heart and Vascular Institute and a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network to ensure residents have access to superior health care without having to travel far.

6. Family-Friendly City

Cedar Rapids is a big city with a small-town feel thanks to its many family-centered suburbs. It’s easy to work in the “big city” and commute back home with small towns like Atkins, Bertram, Ely, Fairfax, Hiawatha, Marion, Palo, Robins, Shueyville, Swisher, and Walford.

7. Loads of Outdoor Fun

If you enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, Cedar Rapids has exactly what you’re looking for! With over 70 parks, an abundant Farmers’ Market, and four golf courses, there’s no reason to not take advantage of the great outdoors! Find your outdoor adventure from the wide variety of options below:

Parks
Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market
Dog Parks
Bike-Friendly
Indian Creek Nature Center
Morgan Creek Arboretum

8. Theater & Entertainment

If you’re always searching for something new and different, Cedar Rapids has something for you! From music to town festivals, a wide variety of fun is right at your fingertips. One of the most prominent festivals that takes place in Cedar Rapids is our Tanger Place Summer Fest. With over 75 free family-friendly activities available, there is something for everyone! For the music lovers, Jazz Under the Stars offers four free Thursday night concerts at Noelridge Park. For the art enthusiast, check out world-renowned American Gothic at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. Other available events and theaters include:

U.S. Cellular Center
Theatre Cedar Rapids
Cedar Rapids Museum of Art
National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
Paramount Theater
Penguins Comedy Club

9. Restaurants & Nightlife

From a casual bite to eat to a formal night out, the downtown Cedar Rapids area has more than enough options. With a motto like Dine. Dwell. Do., it’s easy to see why people love it here! Cedar Rapids boasts more than 40 different restaurants to try and 30 different places to shop. And, if you want to live in downtown Cedar Rapids, the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance has an interactive map of places to “Dwell”.

10. History

If you’re interested in taking a glimpse into what life used to be like, Ushers Ferry Historic Village can help do just that. Educational trips are also available for students of many ages, giving them the ability to gain a bit of perspective on the way life used to be in Cedar Rapids. To learn more about the history of Cedar Rapids, visit the History Center of Linn County.

More than the town history, Cedar Rapids is home to several famous residents, one of which is Grant Wood, who is so most commonly known for creating the famous painting, American Gothic. Moving towards the Hollywood side of Cedar Rapids, we’re home to several famous actors and athletes including Zach Johnson, Kurt Warner, Elijah Wood and Ashton Kutcher!

Cedar Rapids Brag Roll

If you’re still in need of convincing, here is proof that we aren’t the only ones that think we have it all!

5th Happiest ZIP Codes In America!
10 Best Affordable Places to Live
10 Best Mid-Sized Cities for Education
#30 Smartest City In America
Top 100 Best Places to Live
America's Best Cities on the Rise
Best Places for Business & Careers
Milken Institute's 2011 Best Performing Cities
Best Places to Make New Friends

Are you considering moving to Cedar Rapids, or have you recently moved? If so, don’t forget about finding a new health care provider! UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids has many wonderful providers accepting new patients in the area.