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The demographic statistics highlighted in this section help provide background on who lives in Dubuque and how our community is changing.  After you have finished looking, please join the conversation by submitting a comment at the bottom of the page, and then explore the other sections of this Data Walk.

There will be more Marshallese coming to Dubuque to bring their kids to school and to find a job. More Marshallese will also struggle trying to meet their needs, which is one of the biggest challenges we are facing right now. For example, online class is really difficult for Marshallese kids in middle school, and they are still learning how to log in to check their homework.

Maitha Jolet, Marshallese Community Member and English Language Learner Paraprofessional,

Jefferson Middle School

Population By Race

Demos - City of Dubuque.PNG
Demos - Dubuque County.PNG
Demos - Iowa.PNG
City of Dubuque
Dubuque County

What about Hispanic and Latino?

The U.S. Census considers Hispanic and Latino an ethnicity, and not a race, meaning people can be "white" and "Hispanic/Latino" as well as "Black" and "Hispanic/Latino."  For clarity we did not include Hispanic and Latino in our breakdown of population by race. The 2018 American Community Survey lists that the City of Dubuque is 2.5% Hispanic or Latino and Dubuque County is 2.4% Hispanic or Latino, compared to 5.9% in Iowa overall.

Minority Groups by Percent of Population
Minorigty Groups by Percent of Populatio

Every ten years when the U.S. Census is conducted, there are concerns about the census undercounting minority populations in certain areas.  In Dubuque, one of the populations where this has been a significant concern is the local Marshallese community.


Below, you can learn more about why it is believed that there is a significant undercount of the Marshallese in the latest federal and state data, and why this matters for Dubuque.  You can also explore what the difference might look like using the chart and the buttons to the left (estimate of 900 Marshallese in Dubuque).

Minority as a Percent of Population
With Marshallese Estimate
An Accurate Count of the Marshallese

Suzie Stroud, Social Worker

Pacific Islander Health Project

Marshallese Count

Age And Race

Age by Race - Black vs. White.PNG

This graft shows the breakdown by age of Dubuque's two largest racial groups.  These numbers reflect 2018 data.


The age categories for this graph were chosen to utilize the available data provided by the Census Bureau. Please note that while most of the age categories span 10-year increments, the "Under 5 years" and "85 years and over" categories do not.

The table to the left is broken down by three age groups

  • 0 to 24 years

  • 25 to 64 years

  • 65 years and older

Select the check boxes to the right to see how the breakdown differs by race and ethnicity.


Race Broken Down by Poverty
Poverty Broken Down by Race
Poverty Pie Chart.PNG

Everything that we need to fix inequities within the system is at our disposal. Money isn't going to fix problems that it created, only common sense actions and thinking outside the box can do that. These are not issues that only a few must work on, but rather issues that the collective MUST be accountable for addressing together. The responsibility falls on County Leadership, City Leadership, Businesses, Organizations, Educators, Community Activists, and most importantly, those who are most affected by inequity.

Miquel Jackson, Vice President, 

Dubuque NAACP

Demographic Maps

At times, visualizing the demographic data of our city can be a useful way to help connect numbers to reality.  Below is a map of Dubuque county showing several different breakdowns of census tracts by demographic, economic, and housing data.  The map can be interacted with and explored, and the filters showing these breakdowns can be changed by pressing the eye symbols to the right of the map.  As you explore the interactive map of Dubuque, consider how the demographic data relates to the different parts of our county, and what this might mean for Dubuque's present and future.

How to Use the Map

  • Click on the triangle on the picture of the map below to begin interacting with the map.

  • You may move around the map by clicking and dragging on the map.

  • Use the + and - buttons to zoom in or out.

  • On the right side of the map are a series of filters showing different pieces of data.  To move between filters, click the picture of an eye next to the filter you want to activate.

    • The eye will be crossed off when it is not active.

    • Only have one filter active at any one time!  Make sure you turn off your previous filter by clicking the eye next to the filter so it is crossed off.

  • You may click on any of the census tracts to see the specific data for that tract and that filter​.

The​ map below has the following filters showing data for each census tract:

  1. Unemployment rate during June, 2020;

  2. Percent of population that is a racial or ethnic minority;

  3. Median age of the population;

  4. Percent of households that are renter occupied;

  5. Percent of households whose monthly household costs are 30% or more of their monthly income.


Add your own reaction to this page so we can include it for future visitors


All data from the charts comes from the U.S. Census Bureau, and the American Community Survey, which is produced by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Data used from the 1990 Census can be found here, and data used from the 2000 Census can be found here.

The U.S. Census considers Hispanic and Latino an ethnicity, and not a race, meaning people can be "White" and "Hispanic/Latino" as well as "Black" and "Hispanic/Latino."  For clarity we did not include Hispanic and Latino in our breakdown of population by race. 

The estimate of Marshallese community members in Dubuque was taken using one of the most common estimates given by local organizations that work with the Marshallese: "800 to 1,000."  We used the median point of 900 for our estimate.


  • The data on unemployment during COVID-19 (June 2020) are estimates produced as part of a August 4, 2020 working paper by Yair Ghitza, chief scientist at Catalist, and Mark Steitz, principal at TSD Communications and an adjunct professor at Colombia University.  The working paper and data are available here. Additional visualizations can be found at the New York Times here. This data is estimated unemployment data, and should not be considered as reported data.

  • The 2018 Census Bureau's American Community Survey provided data on:

    • The percentage of residents who are a racial or ethnic minority,

    • The median age of residents,

    • The percent of households that are renter occupied, and

    • The percent of households where the monthly housing cost is 30% or more of the household's monthly income

Continue Exploring

The killing of George Floyd in June 2020 has put the spotlight on institutional racism in our criminal, legal, and prison systems. How do different racial groups experience these systems in Dubuque?

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