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  1. Public Schools
    A-
  2. Crime & Safety
    A
  3. Housing
    A-
  4. Nightlife
    B-
  5. Good for Families
    A-
  6. Diversity
    B-
  7. Jobs
    B+
  8. Weather
    B-
  9. Cost of Living
    A-
  10. Health & Fitness
    B-
  11. Outdoor Activities
    C+
  12. Commute
    B+
Harlan is a town in Iowa with a population of 4,883. Harlan is in Shelby County and is one of the best places to live in Iowa. Living in Harlan offers residents a sparse suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In Harlan there are a lot of bars. Many retirees live in Harlan and residents tend to be conservative. The public schools in Harlan are highly rated.

Real Estate

Median Home Value
$111,200
National
$184,700
Median Rent
$624
National
$949
Area Feel
Sparse Suburban
Rent vs. Own
  • Rent
    27%
  • Own
    73%
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Harlan Rankings

Niche ranks thousands of places to live based on key statistics from the U.S. Census and and expert insights.

Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety
A
Based on violent and property crime rates.
Violent Crimes
  • Calculated annually per 100,000 residents
National
  • Assault
    142.7
    282.7
  • Murder
    0
    6.1
  • Rape
    20.4
    40.7
  • Robbery
    0
    135.5
Property Crimes
  • Calculated annually per 100,000 residents
National
  • Burglary
    40.8
    500.1
  • Theft
    61.2
    2,042.8
  • Motor Vehicle Theft
    0
    284

Residents

Diversity
B-
Based on ethnic and economic diversity.
Age
  • <10 years
    11%
  • 10-17 years
    10%
  • 18-24 years
    7%
  • 25-34 years
    10%
  • 35-44 years
    8%
  • 45-54 years
    14%
  • 55-64 years
    15%
  • 65+ years
    25%
Education Levels
National
  • Master's degree or higher
    6%
    12%
  • Bachelor's degree
    19%
    19%
  • Some college or associate's degree
    30%
    29%
  • High school diploma or equivalent
    37%
    28%
  • Less than high school diploma
    9%
    13%

Working in Harlan

Jobs
B+
Based on employment rates, job and business growth, and cost of living.
Median Household Income
$48,867
National
$55,322

Places to Work in Harlan

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Harlan Reviews

11 reviews
All Categories
Harlan is a great small town in Iowa. It is the perfect place to have a family and raise children. The schooling is absolutely great the the town overall is a nice safe community. There are many restaurants to choose from, although not as many as that of a bigger city; but enough that you have a little variety! There are many things to do as well like visit the community library, the Harlan movie theater, or even go to the bowling alley! There are also many job opportunities for younger people, and many more for the adults! You can send your child to the park without any worries of something happening. The community pool in Harlan is also very nice. They offer affordable swim lessons and is open all summer long!
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Harlan, "The City of Trees," is a rural Southwest Iowa community located in Shelby County, on Highway 59, eleven miles off Interstate 80. Harlan is the county seed, surrounded by agriculture and rich German heritage. Harlan is proud of its long history of high school athletic and musical accomplishments with a roaring cyclone as its mascot. It is a town where everyone waves as you drive by. Helping hands, smiling faces, and community are the residing themes held and believed in here.
I wish Harlan were more diverse. We barely have any place to shop or hang out. It can be very boring here. The people are not too nice either. I do not believe our public schools give us much opportunity . This town needs something that makes the people want to stay and participate. It will be a long time until any of this is fixed. The town makes me sad because the people here are fine with it. I feel like I belong in a better place. I want to leave this town better than I found it. If I ever come back it will not be for me. The only reason I would ever come back here is to fix this mess.