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Sioux County, Iowa facts for kids

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Sioux County
Sioux County Courthouse
Sioux County Courthouse
Map of Iowa highlighting Sioux County
Location within the U.S. state of Iowa
Map of the United States highlighting Iowa
Iowa's location within the U.S.
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Country  United States
State  Iowa
Founded 1851
Named for Sioux people
Seat Orange City
Largest city Sioux Center
 • Total 769 sq mi (1,990 km2)
 • Land 768 sq mi (1,990 km2)
 • Water 0.7 sq mi (2 km2)  0.09%
 • Total 35,872
 • Density 46.648/sq mi (18.011/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 4th

Sioux County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2020 census, the population was 35,872. Its county seat is Orange City. Its largest city is Sioux Center.


Sioux County was formed on January 15, 1851. It has been self-governed since January 20, 1860. It was named after the Sioux tribe.

The first county seat was Calliope in 1860, then a small village with 15 inhabitants, and now part of Hawarden. The first courthouse was built here in 1860 and served as such until 1872. A larger immigration wave began in 1869, primarily of Dutch. In 1872, Orange City was declared the seat. In June 1902, the construction began on a new Sioux County courthouse designed by W.W. Beach. Of red sandstone, it was completed in 1904, and still serves as the courthouse. From 1976 until 1982 the building was completely restored, and in 1977, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 769 square miles (1,990 km2), of which 768 square miles (1,990 km2) is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) (0.09%) is water.

Western Sioux County drains to the south west to the Rock River or the Big Sioux River. Eastern Sioux County drains to the south east to the Floyd River.

Major highways

  • US 18.svg U.S. Highway 18
  • US 75.svg U.S. Highway 75
  • Iowa 10.svg Iowa Highway 10
  • Iowa 12.svg Iowa Highway 12
  • Iowa 60.svg Iowa Highway 60

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 10
1870 576 5,660.0%
1880 5,426 842.0%
1890 18,370 238.6%
1900 23,337 27.0%
1910 25,248 8.2%
1920 26,458 4.8%
1930 26,806 1.3%
1940 27,209 1.5%
1950 26,381 −3.0%
1960 26,375 0.0%
1970 27,996 6.1%
1980 30,813 10.1%
1990 29,903 −3.0%
2000 31,589 5.6%
2010 33,704 6.7%
2020 35,872 6.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2018
Population of Sioux County from US census data

2020 census

The 2020 census recorded a population of 35,872 in the county, with a population density of 46.6875/sq mi (18.0261/km2). 93.74% of the population reported being of one race. 72.01% were non-Hispanic White, 0.54% were Black, 13.70% were Hispanic, 0.61% were Native American, 0.62% were Asian, 0.01% were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 12.50% were some other race or more than one race. There were 13,000 housing units, of which 12,202 were occupied.

2010 census

The 2010 census recorded a population of 33,704 in the county, with a population density of 43.8923/sq mi (16.9469/km2). There were 12,279 housing units, of which 11,584 were occupied.


As of 2011, 80% of the county residents belong to major denominational churches, compared to 36% of the total U.S. population.



Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Sioux County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Sioux Center City 7,048
2 Orange City City 6,004
3 Sheldon (partially in O' Brien) City 5,188
4 Rock Valley City 3,354
5 Hawarden City 2,546
6 Hull City 2,175
7 Alton City 1,216
8 Boyden City 707
9 Hospers City 698
10 Ireton City 609
11 Granville City 312
12 Maurice City 275
13 Matlock City 87
14 Chatsworth City 79

Notable natives

  • Vern Den Herder, member of the undefeated Miami Dolphins NFL team of 1972.
  • Hope Emerson, American actress.
  • Stanley L. Greigg, member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Brian Hansen, former NFL punter.
  • Charles B. Hoeven, U.S. Representative.
  • Millie Jeffrey, pioneer for workers', civil and women's rights.
  • James Kennedy, American historian.
  • Stephen A. Mitchell (Democratic activist)
  • Nancy Metcalf, professional volleyball player
  • Albert J. Meyer (economist).
  • Dennis Marion Schnurr, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati
  • Robert H. Schuller, American televangelist, pastor, and author.
  • Ruth Suckow, American author.
  • Melvin D. Synhorst, former Iowa Secretary of State.
  • Delwin Vriend, LGBT rights icon.
  • Anna Johnson Pell Wheeler, American mathematician.
  • Dennis A. Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing


Sioux County is the home to two four-year liberal arts colleges; Northwestern College in Orange City and Dordt College in Sioux Center. Both of these schools have enrollments over 1,000. Northwest Iowa Community College is also in Sioux County, though it is most often associated with the community of Sheldon in O'Brien County.

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