Iowa Birth Records Search

Iowa’s Department of Public Health handles all birth records searches and issues Iowa birth records. They began keeping birth records in July of 1880.

They issue approximately 85,000 records per year.

Only specific people with a direct and tangible interest in the record can request a copy of your Iowa birth record. Some examples are: you, if you are 18 or older, your spouse, your children, your legal guardian, your parents, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings or your lawyer with authorization.

You will also need to verify your identity with one of the following: valid driver’s license, work photo ID, military ID, state photo ID, school photo ID, passport, visa, permanent resident card, employee authorization card.

You can contact the Iowa Department of Public Health at (515) 281-4944 for more information.

Types of Iowa Birth Records

Iowa offers certified copies of birth records upon request that are legal to use in all government-related activities such as obtaining a driver’s license, applying for a passport, school or the military.

If you have one of the small, wallet-sized certificates that were issued between 1993-2009 you can exchange it for free at any local registrar’s office.

Iowa also offers commemorative certificates to be kept as a keepsake. These decorative copies are printed on special parchment paper with a gold foil border and image of the state with calligraphy writing. The governor signs all commemorative certificates and they cost $30 each. Processing time is about 60 days.

Iowa Population

Iowa’s current population is 3.16 million people. Since the last census in 2010, the population has risen 4.1%. Iowa ranks 29th in the country regarding population growth, with an average growth rate of 2.55% annually.

Iowa is the 26th largest state in America with 56,272 square miles of landmass. Regarding population density, there are 54.5 people for every square mile. Des Moines Iowa is the most populated city with over 210,000 people living there. Cedar Rapids is quick on its heels with a population of 130,405.

Iowa was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 but became its own territory in 1838.

State Population
1 birth every 801 seconds

1 death every 1202 seconds

Population change from 2010-2016

Population by Gender

There are more women than men in Iowa. The total population of Iowa is estimated at 3,130,869 people with 1,556,858 male and 1,574,011 female. There are 17,153 more more women than men in the state, which is 50.27% of the total population.

The Iowa Gender Ratio is 99 men to 100 women (99:100) or 0.99. State’s gender ratio is higher than the national average of 97 men to 100 women (97:100) or 0.97.

Gender ratio in 2016


Total population in 2016


Timeline of male/female population from 2010-2016

Iowa Birth Statistics

The state's birth rate decreased to 13.18 births per 1,000 population in 2016 with 39,403 total births — the lowest in Iowa history, and higher than the national birth rate - 11.95 births per 1000 women. The total number of births for 2016 was 39,403, 1.00% of the number of nationwide registered births.

State Birth Rate

Top 5 States with Lower/Higher Birth Rates than Iowa

Top 5 states with a lower birth rate than Iowa Top 5 states with a higher birth rate than Iowa
New Jersey - 10.92Oklahoma - 13.53
Delaware - 11.55Alaska - 15.12
Wisconsin - 11.35Virginia - 13.30
Maine - 9.84South Dakota - 14.32
Hawaii - 12.01District Of Columbia - 14.47

Top 5 Counties in Iowa with the lowest/highest Birth Rate

Top 5 counties in Iowa with the lowest birth rate Top 5 counties in Iowa with the highest birth rate
Black Hawk County - 12.57Woodbury County - 15.07
Linn County - 12.63Polk County - 14.60
Johnson County - 12.67Scott County - 12.83
Scott County - 12.83Johnson County - 12.67
Polk County - 14.60Linn County - 12.63

Iowa Fertility Rate

In Iowa the fertility rate based on historical data went from 65.97 to 65.02 from 2010-2016, and currently is higher than the crude fertility rate of the US - 66.86 births per 1000 women. The state reproductive age of the mother has seen an increase during the last 6 years, going from 27.51 to 28.48.

State fertility rate timeline with the average age of mother

Fertility Rate By County

The top reproductive counties of Iowa are Woodbury - 77.72, Polk - 70.21 and Scott - 66.75. For the fertility rates of the rest of the counties, please see the table below:

County Fertility rate
Linn County64.23
Black Hawk County58.58
Johnson County49.36

State Average Birth Weight and LMP Gestational Age

Where to Obtain an Iowa Birth Certificate

Although the Department of Health oversees all records, you can quickly request an Iowa birth record search in any county at a local registrar’s office. You may also order online, by phone or by mail. When visiting the office, you can get a copy within 2 hours. If you order online, you can expect your copy within 2-5 days, and if you order by mail, it can take up to 4-6 weeks.

All fees must be paid by money order or check and made out to Iowa Department of Public Health. If you visit a local office, you can also pay in cash. Iowa charges $20 for an Iowa birth record search and each copy after.

Phone and online orders are processed through Vitalchek. You can reach them at (866) 809-0290.

Iowa Department of Public Health

Cost of copy: $15.00
Organization: Iowa Department of Public Health; Bureau of Vital Records; Lucas Office Building
Address:321 East 12th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-0075
Remarks: The State office has records since July 1905. For earlier records, contact the County Recorder in the county where the event occurred. A personal check or money order should be made payable to CDPH Vital Records. Please do not send cash. To verify current fees, the telephone number is (916) 445-2684. This will be a recorded message, with an option to talk to a customer service representative. Information on how to obtain certified copies is also available via the Iowa Department of Public Health website. In order to obtain a Certified Copy you MUST complete the sworn statement included with the birth certificate application form, sign the statement under penalty of perjury and, your sworn statement must be notarized. If your request indicates that you want a Certified Copy but does not include a notarized statement sworn under penalty of perjury, the request will be rejected as incomplete and returned to you without being processed. If you request a Certified Informational Copy of the record, a notarized sworn statement is not required. Please refer to the CDPH website for further information about Informational Copies. Effective November 1, 2013, CDPH - Vital Records is no longer embossing certified copies of records.