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Buena Vista County, Iowa
Buena Vista County Courthouse 20120930 IMG 8837
Buena Vista County Courthouse
Map of Iowa highlighting Buena Vista County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of USA IA
Iowa's location in the U.S.
Founded 1851
Named for Battle of Buena Vista
Seat Storm Lake
Largest city Storm Lake
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

580 sq mi (1,502 km²)
575 sq mi (1,489 km²)
5.3 sq mi (14 km²), 0.9%
 - (2010)
 - Density

35/sq mi (14/km²)
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Buena Vista County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 20,260.[1] Its county seat is Storm Lake.[2] The county is named for the final victory field of General Zachary Taylor in the Mexican-American War.

Buena Vista County comprises the Storm Lake, IA Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History Edit

Buena Vista County was formed on January 15, 1851, from open land. It was named in memory of the Battle of Buena Vista in the Mexican-American War.[3]

Geography Edit

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 580 square miles (1,500 km2), of which 575 square miles (1,490 km2) is land and 5.3 square miles (14 km2) (0.9%) is water.[4]

Major highways Edit

Adjacent counties Edit

Demographics Edit

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 57
1870 1,585 2,680.7%
1880 7,537 375.5%
1890 13,548 79.8%
1900 16,975 25.3%
1910 15,981 −5.9%
1920 18,556 16.1%
1930 18,667 0.6%
1940 19,838 6.3%
1950 21,113 6.4%
1960 21,189 0.4%
1970 20,693 −2.3%
1980 20,774 0.4%
1990 19,965 −3.9%
2000 20,411 2.2%
2010 20,260 −0.7%
Est. 2015 20,493 [5] 0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2013[1]

2010 censusEdit

The 2010 census recorded a population of 20,260 in the county, with a population density of 35.48/sq mi (13.700/km2). There were 8,237 housing units, of which 7,522 were occupied.[10]

2000 censusEdit

USA Buena Vista County, Iowa age pyramid

2000 Census Age Pyramid for Buena Vista County

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 20,411 people, 7,499 households, and 5,121 families residing in the county. The population density was 36 people per square mile (14/km²). There were 8,145 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 88.00% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 4.33% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 5.75% from other races, and 1.42% from two or more races. 12.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

2005 Census estimates of the racial origins of Buena Vista County's population indicated it had the lowest percentage of non-Hispanic Whites of any county in Iowa. The non-Hispanic whites constituted 76.1% of the county's population, with African-Americans being 1.3%, Asians 3.9% and Latinos 18.6% of the population.[12]

There were 7,499 households out of which 31.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.50% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.70% were non-families. 27.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.40% under the age of 18, 12.20% from 18 to 24, 25.40% from 25 to 44, 20.20% from 45 to 64, and 16.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 100.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,300, and the median income for a family was $41,549. Males had a median income of $29,172 versus $20,252 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,042. About 7.60% of families and 10.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.60% of those under age 18 and 7.60% of those age 65 or over.

Law enforcement Edit

File:IA - Buena Vista County Sheriff.png

Law enforcement is the responsibility of the Buena Vista County Sheriff's Office (BVSO). The department provides law enforcement services for all areas of Buena Vista County, as well as providing for courthouse security, operating the county jail, and performing civil procedures. The current Sheriff is Kory Elston. The staff includes a mix of full-time deputies and reserve deputies.

The Buena Vista County Sheriff's Office is located at 411 Expansion Blvd in Storm Lake, Iowa.[13]

Reserve officers from the Buena Vista County Sheriff's Office received the Donald H. Mackaman Outstanding Unit Award at the 2013 state reserve conference.[14]




Buena Vista County is divided into sixteen townships:

Population rankingEdit

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Buena Vista County.[15]

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)

1 Storm Lake City 10,600
2 Alta City 1,883
3 Newell City 876
4 Sioux Rapids City 775
5 Albert City City 699
6 Lakeside City 596
7 Marathon City 237
8 Rembrandt City 203
9 Linn Grove City 154
10 Truesdale City 81

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ History of the Origin of the Place Names in Nine Northwestern States. 1908. pp. 12. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Population and Housing Occupancy Status: 2010 - State -- County". United States Census Bureau American FactFinder. Retrieved March 8, 2011. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ Buena Vista County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
  13. ^ "Buena Vista County Sheriff". Buena Vista County, Iowa. Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  14. ^ "BV County Sheriff Reserve Officers Bring Home Honors". Storm Lake Pilot Tribune. April 29, 2013. 
  15. ^

External links Edit

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Coordinates: 42°44′06″N 95°09′01″W / 42.735, -95.15028

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