Meet Ames, Iowa, which has the lowest unemployment rate among all U.S. cities at 1.5%. This universe includes the 388 metro areas measured by the BLS.
Based on May numbers, Ames is only one of the Iowa cities with an extraordinarily low jobless rate. The state’s was 2.2% in May. The highest unemployment rates among the seven metros in the state are Cedar Rapids and Waterloo, both at 2.4%.
If what economists deem “full employment” is 5% there must be barely a single job available in Ames. The city had 859 people out of work in May. The civilian labor force in Ames as stated by the BLS is 57,609.
Ames residents are not terribly prosperous, but then the cost of living is likely to be low. The Bureau of Economic Analysis writes:
In 2016, Ames, IA (MSA) had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $38,469. This PCPI ranked 283rd in the United States and was 51 percent of the state average, $76,108, and 78 percent of the national average, $49,246. The 2016 PCPI reflected an increase of 0.4 percent from 2015. The 2015-2016 state change was 2.7 percent and the national change was 1.6 percent. In 2006, the PCPI of Ames, IA (MSA) was $32,261 and ranked 207th in the United States. The 2006-2016 compound annual growth rate of PCPI was 1.8 percent. The compound annualgrowth rate for the state was 2.9 percent and for the nation was 2.6 percent
Nearly 84% of the Ames population is White, much higher than the national average. Oddly, the poverty rate is high at 30%. However, Ames is small enough that the sample size may not be perfect.
Late last year, 24/7 Wall St. named Ames the healthiest city in Iowa. Our editors wrote:
> Premature death rate: 240.3 (per 100,000 residents)
> Adult obesity rate: 27.1%
> People under 65 without health insurance: 2.8%
> Median household income: $53,371
One of the best indicators of health is the percentage of adults who say they feel healthy. In Ames, 11.8% of people say they are in just fair or poor health, versus the state and national percentages of adults reporting suboptimal health of 12.3% and 15.0 respectively.
Having health insurance can be a huge factor in staying healthy, as it allows people to seek preventive health care and treat any diseases. People under 65 in Ames, Iowa are more likely to have health insurance than anywhere else in the United States. Only 2.8% of people under 65 in Ames are uninsured, the lowest rate in the country and well below the national uninsured rate of 10.3%.