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Rock Rapids, Iowa
—  City  —
Location of Rock Rapids, Iowa
Coordinates: 43°25′41″N 96°10′7″W / 43.42806°N 96.16861°W / 43.42806; -96.16861Coordinates: 43°25′41″N 96°10′7″W / 43.42806°N 96.16861°W / 43.42806; -96.16861
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Lyon
 - Total 4.0 sq mi (10.2 km2)
 - Land 4.0 sq mi (10.2 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,388 ft (423 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 2,573
 Density 650.2/sq mi (251.0/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 51246
Area code(s) 712
FIPS code 19-68160
GNIS feature ID 0460743

Rock Rapids is a city in Lyon County in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Iowa, an area known for its strong Dutch heritage and conservative politics. It is the county seat of Lyon County[1] and home to Central Lyon Schools. The population was 2,573 at the 2000 census. One of the highlights of Rock Rapids is Island Park, so named because part of the park is completely surrounded by the Rock River. Island Park features a Rock Island railroad trestle that has been resurfaced as part of a new recreation trail and a museum in the nearby retired depot. There are two small dams in the park, and one can drive across the river via a small bridge.



Rock Rapids is located at 43°25′41″N 96°10′7″W / 43.42806°N 96.16861°W / 43.42806; -96.16861 (43.427933, -96.168640)[2], along the Rock River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.0 square miles (10.3 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 2,573 people, 1,085 households, and 720 families residing in the city. The population density was 650.2 people per square mile (250.9/km²). There were 1,160 housing units at an average density of 293.1/sq mi (113.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.14% White, 0.16% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.04% from other races, and 0.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.23% of the population.

There were 1,085 households out of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.7% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 22.5% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 26.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 87.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,135, and the median income for a family was $47,688. Males had a median income of $30,691 versus $19,425 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,035. About 3.4% of families and 7.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.

Notable residents

  • Leave It to Beaver star Jerry Mathers resided in Rock Rapids as a youngster prior to achieving fame as a child actor
  • Bruce B. Brugmann, editor and publisher of the San Francisco Bay Guardian (a progressive newspaper), grew up in Rock Rapids and graduated from Central Lyon High School.


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links



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