Awards and Designations

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Marion is proud to be the best place in Iowa to raise a family and grow a business. Here we reach higher and achieve more. In business and in life.

Did you know?

  • In October 2016, Wallethub ranked Marion in the top 7 percent of Best Small Cities in America. WalletHub’s analysts compared 1,268 cities across five key dimensions: affordability, economic health, education and health, quality of life
    and safety. They selected cities with population sizes between 25,000 and 100,000 and considered only the “city proper” in each case.
  • For the 16th year in a row, Marion was recognized as one of the safest cities in Iowa for cities with over 20,000 in population.
  • In August 2016, Marion landed 28th on NerdWallet’s list of best small cities in the U.S. for families. NerdWallet analyzed 245 cities in the U.S. with populations between 25,000 and 100,000. Income and affordability, prosperity and growth, and family friendliness were taken into account.
  • In April 2016, the National Arbor Day Foundation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forestry Bureau awarded Marion the Tree City USA Growth Award. Marion has achieved Tree City USA status every year since 1993
  • In January 2016, Marion placed 7th in Iowa in a recent study by financial technology company SmartAsset, which ranked the healthiest housing markets in the US. The study measured cities by the average number of years residents spend in homes, home values, ease of sale, and the costs associated with ownership.
  • In late 2015, Marion landed on the list of Top 10 Most Livable Cities for Adults 50+ according to AARP's Livability Index.
  • In October 2015, Marion was named the 20th Best Small City in America by WalletHub. To identify the small cities where Americans can enjoy good quality of life and affordable living costs, WalletHub’s analysts compared 1,268 U.S. cities with a population between 25,000 and 100,000, ranking key metrics ranging from housing costs to school-system quality to the number of restaurants per capita.
  • In September 2015, Marion became the first community in the Corridor to be Blue Zones certified. Over the course of 18 months, community volunteers developed and implemented a blueprint for making permanent environmental, social and policy changes that transition people to healthier behaviors.
  • Marion received the 2015 Large City Healthy Iowa Award from the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Healthiest State Initiative in June. The Healthy Iowa Awards Program recognizes the outstanding achievements of cities, schools, businesses, individuals, colleges and universities leading Iowa's charge in advancing well being.
  • In November 2014, the City of Marion's redesigned website was named a gold winner by the MarCom Awards. The City was nominated by Vision Internet for using its website to its full potential both aesthetically and informatively. The MarCom Awards receive over 6,000 entries annually and are judged by marketing and communication professionals from across the world.

  • In July 2014, NerdWallet, a consumer advocacy website, conducted a study to find the best places for homeownership in Iowa – and Marion ranked among the top ten. The organization considered availability, affordability and growth.
  • The August 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine named Marion as one of the 10 Best Towns for Families in the United States.
  • In January 2013, through efforts championed by the Marion Chamber of Commerce, Marion was selected to be a Blue Zones Demonstration Site, providing assistance from experts to develop and implement a blueprint for transitioning people to healthier behaviors.

  • In January 2013, Marion was selected the 49th Main Street Iowa Community in the state. The local organization is known as Uptown Marion and is a division of the Marion Chamber of Commerce. It focuses on historic preservation with high economic impact in the Uptown district.

  • In 2010, Marion was recognized as a Preserve America Community for protecting and celebrating its heritage and using its historic assets for economic development and community revitalization.

  • In 2009, efforts of the Marion Chamber of Commerce resulted in our community being designated one of Iowa’s Great Places. The program provided state resources over a three year period to invigorate and invest in the infrastructure and cultural amenities of select Iowa communities. Marion’s projects included the Lowe Park Greenhouse, Lindale Trail, Thomas Park Maintenance Facility, and the Klopfenstein Amphitheater for the Performing Arts.