Dubuque has a humid continental climate (Koppen Dfa), which gives it four distinct seasons. However, local weather is often not as extreme as that found in other parts of the Midwest, such as Minnesota or Wisconsin. Spring is usually wet and rainy, summers are sunny and warm, autumn is pleasant and mild, and winters are typically cloudy and snowy.

[hide]Climate data for Dubuque, Iowa
Average high °F (°C) 25
Average low °F (°C) 9
Precipitation inches (cm) 1.3
Source: Weatherbase [15]


Dubuque has several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The Fourth Street Elevator is located in Downtown Dubuque. This elevator, which is the shortest and steepest railroad in existence, takes passengers up and down one of the large bluffs that dominate the city. Also, the Dubuque County Courthouse, with its Beaux-Arts architecture, is on the register. The Julien Dubuque Bridge is a National Historic Landmark, as is the Shot Tower, which was used to produce lead shot and is one of the few such towers left in existence. Dubuque's Linwood Cemetery is noted for a number of famous people buried there, and the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical GardensEagle Point Park and the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area. have won a number of awards. There are a number of notable parks, particularly

The Grand River Center overlooks the Mississippi River in the Port of Dubuque.

Dubuque's waterfront features the Ice Harbor, where the Diamond Jo Casino and William M. Black are based. Recently the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, the Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, and the Grand River Event Center have been built just north of the Ice Harbor. Land for this project was acquired from several businesses through condemnation of their properties under eminent domain.

Dubuque is also the home of the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps. The Colts are a Drum Corps International Division I ensemble and tour the country each summer to attend drum corps competitions. Each summer the Colts and Dubuque host "Music on the March," a Drum Corps International-sanctioned marching competition at Dubuque Senior High School. Dubuque is the second-smallest city in the nation to support a Division I drum corps.

The movies F.I.S.T. and Take This Job and Shove It were filmed in Dubuque as well as various scenes from Field of Dreams. About 25 miles west of the city is the town of Dyersville, Iowa. Dyersville is the home of the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier and of the Field of Dreams movie site.


The city is home of the Dubuque Fighting Saints, set to begin play in the Tier I Junior A United States Hockey League in the Fall of 2010 at the new Mystique Ice Center. Dubuque was home to the original Fighting Saints team from 1980-2001 when the team relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma. From 2001-2010 The Dubuque Thunderbirds replaced the Fighting Saints playing in the Tier III Junior A Central States Hockey League at the Five Flags Center. The USHL announced in November 2009 that the city will once again be home to a USHL team during the 2010-11 hockey season


Dubuque's daily newspaper is the Telegraph Herald, or the "TH", as it is known locally, which has a daily circulation of nearly 31,000.[16] There are several other important papers and journals that operate in the city, including Tri-State Business Times (monthly business paper), 365ink Magazine (bi-weekly cultural publication), Pulse (entertainment paper), Julien's Journal (monthly local magazine), the Dubuque Advertiser (advertisement paper) and the "Tri-States Sports Look" (local sports publication).


Dubuque and surrounding areas are in the Cedar Rapids/Waterloo/Dubuque broadcast media market which is monitored by the A.C. Nielsen Company for audience research data for advertisers. For years Dubuque had a local TV news station (KFXA/KFXB Fox 28/40) until 2004 when that station became an affiliate of CTN. Currently, the Dubuque-based TV news is covered by KWWL-TV7 (Waterloo, IA), and KCRG-TV9 (Cedar Rapids, IA); both operate news bureaus in the city, and most of the city's major stories are covered by those stations. Since the closing of KFXA/KFXB, KWWL-TV has captured a majority of the local news market in Dubuque.[17]

AM radio stations

(Strongest signal stations in bold)[18][19][20]

[edit] FM radio stations

(Strongest signal stations in bold)[18][19][20]

  • WGLR 97.7 "97.7 Country", country
  • KDST 99.3 "Real Country 99.3", country
  • KCTN 100.1 "Today's Best Country", country
  • WVRE 101.1 "The River", country
  • KSUI 101.7 "Classical Music and More", Iowa Public Radio
  • KXGE 102.3 "Eagle 102", classic rock
  • WJOD 103.3 "New Country 103", country
  • KLYV 105.3 "Today's Hit Music Y105", Top 40
  • KIYX 106.1 "Superhits 106", classic hits
  • WPVL 107.1 "Xtreme 107.1", Top 40
  • WDBQ-FM 107.5 "Q107.5", classic hits
  • KLCR "Loras College Radio", college radio


For many years, Dubuque's economy was centered on manufacturingDeere and Company and Flexsteel Industries. While industry still plays a major role in the city, the economy has diversified a great deal in the last decade. Today, health care, education, tourism, publishing, and financial services are all important sectors of the city's expanding business climate. There are several major companies which are either headquartered in Dubuque, or have a significant presence in the city. companies such as

  • Dubuque's ten largest non-government employers include:[21][22]

Some other companies with a large presence in the area include: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Diamond Jo Casino(400), A.Y. McDonald Mfg. (375), Nordstrom (250), Alliant Energy, Swiss Valley, The Metrix Company, Tschiggfrie Excavating Co., and Cottingham & Butler.

In recent years, Dubuque's economy has grown very rapidly. In fact, in 2005, the city had the 22nd-highest job growth rate in the nation,[4] far outpacing the rest of Iowa. This ranking placed the city in a level of growth similar to Austin, Texas, and Orlando, Florida, among others. The city created over 10% of the new jobs in Iowa in 2005.[23] Also, the number of jobs in Dubuque County has reached new all-time highs, with over 57,000 people working in non-farming jobs. Many new and existing businesses have announced significant expansion plans, including: Sedgwick CMS, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, Deere and Company, Cottingham & Butler, Quebecor World Inc., Namasco, and many others.


Historical Population
1850 3,108
1860 13,000 318.3%
1870 18,434 41.8%
1880 25,254 37.0%
1890 30,311 20.0%
1900 36,297 19.7%
1910 38,494 6.1%
1920 39,141 1.7%
1930 41,679 6.5%
1940 43,892 5.3%
1950 49,671 13.2%
1960 56,606 14.0%
1970 62,309 10.1%
1980 62,374 0.1%
1990 57,538 −7.8%
2000 57,686 0.3%
2010 57,637 −0.1%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.
Saint Raphael's Cathedral, the oldest church in Iowa

As of the census[24] of 2000, there were 57,686 people, 22,560 households, and 14,303 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,178.2 people per square mile (841.1/km²). There were 23,819 housing units at an average density of 899.4/sq mi (347.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.15% White, 1.21% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 0.69% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. 1.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 22,560 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,785, and the median income for a family was $46,564. Males had a median income of $31,543 versus $22,565 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,616. About 5.5% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.3% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.

[edit] Religion

A stained glass image of Bishop Mathias Loras.

Since its founding, Dubuque has had, and continues to have, a strong religious tradition. Local settlers established what would become the first Christian church in Iowa, St. Luke's United Methodist Church in early 1833. [ref: History of St. Luke's United Methodist Church 150th anniversary 1833-1983] St. Raphael's, was established later in 1833.[25] The city also played a key role in the expansion of the Roman Catholic Church into the Western United States, as it was the administrative center for Catholics in what is now Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.[26] Many important Catholic religious leaders have lived in Dubuque, including Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, Bishop Mathias Loras, Clement Smyth, and Mother Mary Frances Clarke.[25] Roman Catholic parishes arishes around the city include Saint Mary's, Sacred Heart, Holy Ghost, and Saint Anthony's.

The modern religious character of the city is still dominated by the Roman Catholic Church. Although sources vary, Catholics make up between 65-85% of city residents,[27][28] with even higher percentages in the surrounding rural areas. This contrasts with the remainder of Iowa, which is only 23% Catholic.[29] The city proper is home to 52 different churches (11 Catholic, 40 Protestant, 1 Orthodox), and 1 Jewish Synagogue (Reform[30]).[31] In addition to churches, 5 religious colleges, 4 area convents, and a nearby abbey and monastery add to the city's religious importance. Most of non-Catholic population in the city belongs to various Protestant denominations. Dubuque is home to three theological seminaries: St. Pius X Seminary (Dubuque, Iowa), Minor (College) Seminary for Roman Catholic men discerning a call to ordained priesthood, the University of Dubuque, with the Presbyterian Church USA, and the Wartburg Theological Seminary, with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. These latter two institutions train both lay and ordained ministers for placements in churches nationwide.

Dubuque is also the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque, which directly administers 1/3 of Iowa's territory for the church, and is the head of the Ecclesiastical Province of Dubuque, the entire state of Iowa.[32]

Law and government

The City of Dubuque operates on the council-manager form of government, employing a full-time city manager and part-time city council. The city manager, Michael C. Van Milligen, runs the day-to-day operations of the city, and serves as the city's executive leader. The assistant city manager is Cindy Steinhauser, and is largely credited in spearheading downtown and riverfront revitalization and is currently working on a "Greening Historic Buildings" project as an economic-development strategy and as a way to remember its manufacturing past. Policy and financial decisions are made by the city council, which serves as the city's legislative body.

The council comprises the mayor, Roy D. Buol, who serves as its chairman, 4 ward-elected members, and 2 at-large members. The city council members are: Kevin Lynch (Ward 1), Karla Braig (Ward 2), Joyce E. Connors (Ward 3), Dirk Voetberg (Ward 4), Ric Jones (at-large), and David Resnick (at-large). The city council meets at 6:30 P.M. on the first and third Mondays of every month in the council chamber of the Historic Federal Building. The city is divided into 4 electoral wards and 21 precincts, as stated in Chapter 17 of the Dubuque City Code.[33][34]

In the Iowa General Assembly, Dubuque is represented by Senator Mike Connolly (D) in the Iowa Senate, and Representatives Pam Jochum (D), and Pat Murphy (D) in the Iowa House of Representatives. At the federal level, it is within Iowa's 1st congressional district, represented by Bruce BraleyU.S. House of Representatives. Dubuque, and all of Iowa, are represented by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R) and Tom Harkin (D). (D-Waterloo) in the