Cedar Falls, Iowa

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Cedar Falls is a city in Black Hawk County, Iowa, United States, and it is home to one of Iowa's three public universities, the University of Northern Iowa. The population was 36,145 at the 2000 census, with a 2009 estimate showing a slight increase to 38,589.[1] It has the smaller population of the two principal cities in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls metropolitan area.



Cedar Falls was founded in 1845 by William Sturgis. It was originally named Sturgis Falls, for the first family who settled the site. The Sturgis family moved on within a few years and the city was renamed Cedar Falls because of its proximity to the Cedar River. However the city's founders are honored each year with a three day community-wide celebration named in their honor – the Sturgis Falls Celebration.

Because of the availability of water power, Cedar Falls developed as a milling and industrial center prior to the Civil War. The establishment of the Civil War Soldiers' Orphans Home in Cedar Falls changed the direction in which the city developed when, following the war, it became the first building on the campus of the Iowa State Normal School (now the University of Northern Iowa).


Cedar Falls is located at 42°31′25″N 92°26′47″W / 42.52361°N 92.44639°W / 42.52361; -92.44639 (42.523520, −92.446402)[2].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.9 square miles (74.8 km²), of which, 28.3 square miles (73.3 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.5 km²) of it (2.08%) is water.


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 36,145 people, 12,833 households, and 7,558 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,277.2 people per square mile (493.1/km²). There were 13,271 housing units at an average density of 468.9/sq mi (181.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.14% White, 1.57% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 1.61% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. 1.08% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

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