Search Icon

Area Development 10 factors most important in site selection: Factors 10-6

December 2, 2016

Area Development 10 factors most important in site selection: Factors 10-6

Site selection and economic development publication Area Development recently published a series of articles on the top 10 site selection factors. Here’s how Iowa stacks on some of the factors. Check out a forthcoming article that will discuss the top 5 factors. For more information on what Iowa offers companies, contact

#10 – Energy Availability and Costs

Industrial electricity rates in Iowa are 15 percent below the national average, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Iowa generates more than 35 percent of its electricity from wind, the highest percentage of any state. The availability of affordable and renewable energy is one reason companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft have located data centers in Iowa.

#9 – State and Local Incentives

Iowa is one of a few states to offer refundable research activity credits, and the only state to offer an incentive for the production of renewable chemicals. The state also has a variety of programs to incentivize hiring Iowans, training workers and exporting goods. For more information on state of Iowa programs, visit

#8 – Proximity to Major Markets

Iowa’s central location, extensive rail network and transcontinental interstates help manufacturers reach major markets. Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Omaha and St. Louis are all within a 300 mile (500 km) radius from Iowa.

#7 – Corporate Tax Rate

CNBC ranks Iowa as having the second lowest cost of doing business in the country. Iowa’s corporate income tax is a single-factor, non-unitary tax, based only on the percentage of total sales income within the state. Multiple tax credit programs and a 50 percent deductibility of federal taxes also further ease the state’s corporate tax. The state also offers no personal property taxes for corporate inventories of goods-in-process, raw materials or salable goods.

#6 – Labor Costs

A survey of more than 500 CEOs by Chief Executive ranked Iowa sixth for worker quality, and that skilled labor is available at an affordable price. Iowa payroll costs are more than 18 percent below the national average, and workers compensation premium rates are 11 percent below the national average.  Iowans also have the 12th lowest housing costs relative to income, and the 13th highest per capita real income in the country.

To learn more about Iowa’s business environment, visit



See how we stack up

The 50-State Comparison Tool

Stay Informed.
Sign Up to Receive Updates.
Emails highlighting economic development news, program updates and upcoming events.