At a Glance

Rich in history and heavy on charm, North Iowa epitomizes Midwest living. As the largest city in the region, Mason City benefits from its “crossroads” location — almost equidistant from Minneapolis and Des Moines, and convenient to Interstate 35 and Interstate 90. The community serves as the cultural, entertainment, and economic center for the nine-county region.


A commitment to community well-being, a rich musical heritage, four seasons of fun, and world-class architecture combine to make North Iowa a great place to live.


Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa is the county’s largest employer, but Fortune 500 companies such as McKesson, Kraft Heinz, Cargill Protein, Principal Financial Group, Smithfield, and Wells Fargo are also well-established as employers of choice. Metalcraft, Kingland Systems, Sukup Manufacturing, and Dealerbuilt are local firms with a global impact. Lehigh Cement operations are a reminder of Mason City’s roots in the cement and brick and tile industry.

Our economy is well balanced, and the median household income approaches $48,000. The county’s retail and trade sector serves a nine-county region. Businesses enjoy the transportation advantages of our location at the intersection of major interstate highways and access to a regional airport. Local colleges and technical training institutions help North Iowa maintain a highly-skilled and educated workforce. w

POPULATION (U.S. Census Bureau 2017)

Cerro Gordo County 43,006
Mason City 28,000

Clear Lake7,500


Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN 115 miles 2:00
Des Moines, IA 115 miles 2:00
Sioux Falls, SD 215 miles 3:30
Omaha, NE 260 miles 4:15
Milwaukee, W I310 mile s5:00
Kansas City, MO315 miles5:00
Chicago, IL 350 miles 6:00
St. Louis, MO 420 miles 7:00


Mason City was named a “Great Place for Business Travelers” by USA Today.

CNN referred to Mason City as “An Architectural Hotbed.”

The American Planning Association recognized Mason City with its annual “Great Places in America” award, citing its unique character.

Conde Nast Traveler listed Mason City as one of the world’s “14 Best Cities for Architecture.”

Featured on NBC Today Show as one of five “Fast and Affordable Road Trips.”

Named “Best New Midwest Place to Play, Eat and Stay” by Midwest Living.