Altoona, Iowa

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Altoona is a city in Polk County, Iowa and a part of the Des MoinesWest Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 10,345 at the 2000 census; a special census taken in August 2005 counted 13,301 residents.[1]

Altoona is home of Adventureland, an amusement park, Prairie Meadows, a horse racing track and casino, and a Bass Pro Shops retail store, the first one in central Iowa.



Altoona incorporated as a city on March 11, 1876. It is named for the Latin word for "high," altus, after surveyor Julian B. Bausman discovered that Altoona was the highest point on the Des Moines Valley Railroad between Des Moines and Keokuk.[2]


Altoona is located at 41°39′0″N 93°28′21″W / 41.65°N 93.4725°W / 41.65; -93.4725 (41.650089, -93.472546)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.1 square miles (18.4 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 10,345 people, 3,850 households, and 2,895 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,835.4 people per square mile (708.2/km²). There were 3,959 housing units at an average density of 557.3/sq mi (215.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.11% White, 0.92% African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.41% Pacific Islander, 0.77% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.65% of the population.

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