is a city in Polk County
, United States
and a part of the Des Moines
–West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area
. The population was 10,345 at the 2000 census; a special census taken in August 2005 counted 13,301 residents.
Altoona is home of Adventureland, an amusement park, and Prairie Meadows, a horse racing track and casino.
Altoona incorporated as a city on March 11, 1876. It is named for the Latin
word for "high," altus
, after surveyor Julian B. Bausman discovered that Altoona was the highest point on the Des Moines Valley Railroad between Des Moines
Altoona is located at (41.650089, -93.472546).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.1 square miles (18.4 km²), all of it land.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 10,345 people, 3,850 households, and 2,895 families residing in the city. The population density
was 1,835.4 people per square mile (708.2/km²). There were 3,959 housing units at an average density of 557.3/sq mi (215.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.11% White
, 0.92% African American
, 0.33% Native American
, 0.46% Asian
, 0.41% Pacific Islander
, 0.77% from other races
, and 1.20% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 1.65% of the population.
There were 3,850 households out of which 43.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.5% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.8% were non-families. 19.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the city the population was spread out with 30.6% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 33.3% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 7.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $50,162, and the median income for a family was $58,306. Males had a median income of $36,030 versus $28,205 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,336. About 4.0% of families and 5.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.2% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.
Altoona (along with nearby Runnells
, and parts of Pleasant Hill
and Des Moines
) is a part of the Southeast Polk Community School District
, and its students attend Southeast Polk High School. The town is home to four of the eight elementary schools in the district: Altoona, Centennial, Clay, and Willowbrook. The current Altoona Elementary building also served as the town's high school until it joined the Southeast Polk consolidation in 1962.