Why Iola

Iola Stands Out

We have what you’re looking for.


  • The Bowlus Fine Arts Center is Iola’s crown jewel and the region’s premier performing arts institution. Its 700+ seat auditorium brings entertainment other communities our size could only dream of.
  • Restaurants: Great barbecue. Grass-fed local steaks. Mexican. Chinese. Pizza, pasta and the neighborhood spots to grab a delicious burger, a pick-me-up latte, or freshly baked bagels. You won’t go hungry (or thirsty) here.
  • Sterling Six Cinema
  • Rest easy: Experience the Lofts, Super 8, America’s Inn, Be The Light Suite and more offer tons of places to stay.
  • Home to America’s largest town square, downtown Iola offers a wide variety of attractions, including restaurants, shopping and a local museum, all centrally located.


  • Allen Community College: Allen Community College provides a thriving campus for over 2,000 students. With a variety of Associates degrees, career and technical certificates and online learning, there’s something for everyone.
  • Thanks to a bond issue that passed in April 2019, our USD 257 has built a brand-new K-5 elementary school. The state-of-the-art building brings a world of benefits for our educators, students and their families.
  • Iola High School Science and Tech Center. The bond issue also included a brand-new 9-12 science and tech center, along with a new cafeteria.
  • USD 257’s innovative Regional Rural Technical Center offers wind energy, health occupations, welding and construction technology programs to high school juniors and seniors.


  • Lehigh Portland Trails: Take advantage of over 13 miles of gravel-surfaced and natural-surface trails. Free and open to the public, it’s the perfect place to bike, hike, run, explore and picnic.
  • Prairie Spirit Trails: Iola is a hub on this 52-mile-long path weaving through forest, prairie and small towns. The trail stretches from Ottawa to Humboldt, our neighbor community to the south.
  • Humboldt Speedway: Located between Iola and Humboldt, it’s the place to be on Friday night. Features USRA races.


  • Iola is home to Allen County Regional Hospital. Built in 2013, the 25-bed critical access hospital is leased to the St. Luke’s Health System. Certified as a Level-IV Trauma Center.
  • G&W Foods: Local grocery stores are pillars of our community. We have a brand-new one built in 2018, that brings healthy foods and local produce to our community.
  • Thrive Allen County: A local non-profit that provides key leadership on economic development, public health initiatives and community engagement—among a host of other issues—Iola Industries, along with the City of Iola and Allen County, has worked with Thrive Allen County to coordinate providing what businesses need to flourish.


  • Since 1867, The Iola Register has told the story of Allen County. Publishing five days a week and with a robust website, this locally owned newspaper connects our community and provides a wonderful way to stay informed about all things Iola.
  • The Iola Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism provides the support businesses need.


Iola is home to a thriving civic society. Our community is fortunate to have a wide variety of clubs, volunteer organizations and non-profits that help make Iola what it is. There’s something for everyone! Here’s a short list to help you get plugged into Iola’s wider community.

It’s in the numbers

Allen County Data:

  • State of Kansas Population (2010): 2,863,813
  • Allen County Population (2010): 13,371
  • Land Area (square miles, 2010): 500
  • Average Population Density (per square mile, 2010): 26.7
  • Median Age: 41.8
  • Educational Attainment (Population Age 25+) (2014-2018) 
    • High School graduate or higher: 91.9%
    • Bachelor’s Degree or higher – 20.4%
  • Households with a Computer (2014-2018): 81.9%
  • Average One-Way Commute to Work (minutes): 17.1 minutes
  • Civilian Labor Force (2020): 6,570
    • Unemployed (2020): 494
    • Unemployment Rate (2020): 7.5%
  • Business Establishments (2018): 382
    • Employees: 6,006
    • Average Annual Pay: $23,454
  • Median Household Income (2014-2018): $42,679

Allen County Communities/Populations (incorporated):

  • Iola: 5,343
  • Humboldt: 1,769
  • LaHarpe: 530
  • Moran: 510
  • Gas: 501
  • Savonburg: 103    
  • Elsmore: 67

Sources: United States Census Bureau, Census Reporter, Kansas Economy: The Center For Economic Development and Business Research, Data USA, Kansas Demographics

Allen County Labor Force (May 2020): 6,570
Allen County Businesses (2019): 577
Allen County Business Density (2019): 44 businesses per 1,000 residents
Kansas Business Density (2019): 46 businesses per 1,000 residents

This information was captured from a 2019 NetWork Kansas study of Allen County and Wichita State University’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research.

Contact Us

16 W. Jackson Ave.
Iola, KS 66749


Economic Development - Thrive Allen County

In collaboration with the City of Iola and Allen County, Iola Industries works with Thrive Allen County to take the lead on economic development efforts. Thrive’s CEO Lisse Regehr works for business retention and growth, attracting new businesses, workforce development and enhancing quality of life in Allen County.