What State Is Best to Raise A Family: Iowa Or Wisconsin?

6 minutes read

Both Iowa and Wisconsin have their own unique qualities that make them great states to raise a family. Here's some information about each state to help you make a decision:


  1. Affordable Cost of Living: Iowa has a relatively low cost of living compared to national averages, making it easier to provide for your family with less financial stress.
  2. Quality Education: The state takes pride in its education system, with consistently high graduation rates and above-average standardized test scores.
  3. Safe Communities: Iowa is known for its safe and friendly communities, offering a peaceful environment for families to thrive.
  4. Strong Sense of Community: Iowans are known for their hospitality and close-knit communities, making it easy to build relationships and find support systems.
  5. Outdoor Recreation: The state offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, boating, fishing, and biking, ensuring plenty of opportunities for family-friendly adventures.


  1. Excellent Education System: Wisconsin consistently ranks high in education, with strong public schools and renowned universities, offering great opportunities for your children's educational growth.
  2. Diverse Job Opportunities: The state has a diverse economy, providing many job opportunities across various industries, allowing you to provide for your family's needs.
  3. Beautiful Scenery: Wisconsin is known for its stunning natural landscapes, including the picturesque Door County and the Wisconsin Dells, providing multiple options for family vacations and outdoor activities.
  4. Family-Friendly Communities: Many Wisconsin cities and towns offer family-friendly amenities, such as parks, playgrounds, and community centers, encouraging a sense of belonging.
  5. Rich Cultural Heritage: The state embraces its cultural diversity, with various festivals, art galleries, and museums throughout the year, offering a vibrant experience for families to enjoy.

Ultimately, the "best" state for raising a family depends on your personal preferences, priorities, and lifestyle. Consider factors such as education, cost of living, job opportunities, and recreational activities to make an informed decision that suits your family's needs.

How to find support for special needs children in Iowa or Wisconsin?

To find support for special needs children in Iowa or Wisconsin, you can follow these steps:

  1. Contact your local school district: Reach out to the special education department of your local school district. They can provide you with information about the services available, resources, and support groups in your area.
  2. State education agencies: Get in touch with the Iowa Department of Education's Special Education division or the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's Special Education team. They can offer guidance on available programs and resources for special needs children.
  3. Local support groups: Find local support groups or organizations that focus on special needs children. These groups often provide parent support networks, workshops, and information on community resources. Some examples include Autism Society of Iowa or Autism Society of Wisconsin, Parent to Parent of Iowa, or Disability Rights Iowa.
  4. Iowa Parent Training and Information Center (PTI): In Iowa, the PTI is a resource that provides information, training, and support to families of children with disabilities. They offer workshops, educational materials, and one-on-one assistance. Visit their website at https://www.iowapti.org/ for more information.
  5. Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training & Support (FACETS): In Wisconsin, FACETS is a nonprofit organization that offers support, information, and referral services to families of children with disabilities. They provide workshops, support groups, and one-on-one assistance. Visit their website at https://www.facets.org/ for more information.
  6. Medical professionals and therapists: Consult with your child's pediatrician, therapists, or other medical professionals as they may be aware of local resources and support networks.
  7. Online platforms and forums: Join online communities and forums that are dedicated to parents of special needs children. These platforms allow you to connect with other parents who can share their experiences and provide support and guidance. Websites like Parent to Parent USA or Special Needs Parenting Forum can be helpful in finding support from other parents.

Remember, each state and community may have different resources available, so it's important to explore local options and networks for the most accurate and relevant support for special needs children in Iowa or Wisconsin.

How to find affordable recreational programs for children in Iowa or Wisconsin?

Here are some steps you can take to find affordable recreational programs for children in Iowa or Wisconsin:

  1. Check with local parks and recreation departments: Most cities and towns have their own parks and recreation departments that offer various affordable recreational programs for children. Visit the official website of the respective city or town in Iowa or Wisconsin and look for their parks and recreation department's section. They usually provide information on programs, schedules, and fees.
  2. Explore community centers and YMCA: Community centers and YMCA branches are known for providing a wide range of recreational programs for children at reasonable prices. Look for community centers in your area and inquire about the programs available. YMCA branches often offer financial assistance or sliding-scale fees to make programs more affordable.
  3. Contact local schools and libraries: Schools and libraries often have information about affordable recreational programs for children happening in the local community. Reach out to your child's school or visit the library to check for any flyers, brochures, or notices regarding upcoming programs. They may also have knowledge of other local organizations providing recreational activities.
  4. Research non-profit organizations: Numerous non-profit organizations in Iowa and Wisconsin focus on providing affordable recreational programs for children. Examples include Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and scouting groups. Visit their websites or contact them directly to inquire about the programs they offer and any associated costs.
  5. Look for community events: Sometimes, community events or festivals in your area may offer recreational activities for children at affordable or even free rates. Keep an eye on local event calendars, community Facebook groups, or announcements in local newspapers to find out about such events.
  6. Seek recommendations: Ask friends, neighbors, or other parents in your local community about any affordable recreational programs they may be aware of. This can be an effective way to discover hidden gems or lesser-known programs that provide great value for money.

Remember to verify the reliability and safety of any programs you consider before enrolling your child.

What is the cost of higher education in Iowa and Wisconsin?

The cost of higher education can vary greatly depending on the specific institution and the type of program.

In Iowa, the average tuition and fees for in-state students attending a public four-year institution is around $9,030 per year, according to the College Board's data for the 2020-2021 academic year. Out-of-state students at public four-year institutions in Iowa pay an average of $23,460 per year. Private non-profit four-year institutions in Iowa have an average tuition and fees of about $31,860 per year.

In Wisconsin, the average tuition and fees for in-state students attending a public four-year institution is approximately $9,350 per year for the 2020-2021 academic year. Out-of-state students at public four-year institutions in Wisconsin pay an average of $24,700 per year. Private non-profit four-year institutions in Wisconsin have an average tuition and fees of about $31,600 per year.

It's important to note that these figures are only averages, and tuition and fees can vary significantly between different colleges and universities within the respective states. Additionally, these figures do not include other expenses such as room and board, textbooks, transportation, and personal expenses, which can add to the overall cost of higher education.

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