With support from the Solutions Journalism Network

A selected collection of downtown or main street photos taken in Iowa’s small towns in summer 2021 for “Small Town Solution,” an IowaWatch report on how these towns try to remain vital while losing population.

A handful of small Iowa towns with populations of less than 5,000 and not part of a larger metro area, bucked the trend and grew their populations in the 2020 census data just released. Growing small towns have one or more factors working in their favor, a summer-long IowaWatch investigation revealed for this special report.

Photos by Lyle Muller, except for Belmond, La Porte City, Denver and Parkersburg, which are by Pat Kinney.

THE LATEST STORY: HIGH HURDLES EXIST FOR IOWA’S HOMEGROWN, SMALL-TOWN BUSINESSES
READ THE FIRST STORY HERE: HOW A HANDFUL OF IOWA TOWNS THRIVE, RISE ABOVE RURAL DECLINE
READ OTHER STORIES IN THIS PROJECT HERE

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