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Overview of Council Bluffs

Located on the east bank of the Missouri River and sharing a state border with Omaha, Nebraska, Council Bluffs is an important cultural and economic hub for the state of Iowa. With more than 24,000 households in 26,000-plus housing units, according to facts from the U.S. Census Bureau, finding your favorite Council Bluffs apartments for rent should be no problem. With nearly a quarter of the population under the age of 18, this city is also an ideal place for couples to raise kids.

Living in Council Bluffs, IA

Originally named Kanesville, Council Bluffs got its current name from an important council that was held between Lewis and Clark and Native Americans while the two explorers were trekking through the Louisiana Purchase in 1804. Although a small community was formed in the area throughout the 19th century, the city didn't truly gain its traction until Mormons were driven out of Illinois. Many individuals of this faith resettled in Council Bluffs in 1847. Soon after, a local government was formed and the city began to flourish. 

After telephone wires and the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge came into town, Council Bluffs played a vital role in the western expansion of the country. The town became even more technologically advanced when it became the second city in the country to install electric trolleys.

In the 20th century, Council Bluffs began to identify itself as more than just a suburb of Omaha, but a city in its own right. A city auditorium, water plant and a mayoral form of government gave the town more freedom and independence. Toward mid-century, the Iowa Power & Light Company built an $8.5 million plant, expanding Council Bluffs into the industrial development it is today.

Council Bluffs Work and Study

Since many businesses are looking to plant their roots in the heartland of America, Council Bluffs has been quite progressive with economics and job growth. This strength is showcased in the development of the gaming industry. According to the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, this is the largest employer in the city and has added 4,000 jobs since 1995.

Council Bluffs is home to two universities that are popular with students across Iowa. Buena Vista University is a small campus overlooking beautiful Storm Lake. This institution caters to traditional students and adult learners with a busy lifestyle as well. Another school that is very active in the community is Iowa Western Community College, an affordable option for students seeking two- and four-year degrees. If you are a student looking for Council Bluffs rentals, there should be plenty of options for you since both of these colleges are centrally located.

Rentals in Council Bluffs, IA and Cost of Living

According to information from city-data.com, the cost of living in Council Bluffs is nearly 9 points below the national average, making it a very affordable place to liv.. Even if you work in the Omaha area, the mean travel time to work is under twenty minutes, saving you money on gas as well. As of 2009, the average rent in the area was under $691 per month. 

Council Bluffs Attractions and Special Events

The Lewis and Clark Monument lies just north of Big Lake Park, demonstrating how Council Bluffs came into existence. With beautiful views of the Missouri River Valley, a bike trail and picnic tables, this place is a great way to teach your kids about the history of the area and enjoy some outdoor recreation.

One of the most unique attractions in the area is the Historic Squirrel Cage Jail. Erected in 1885, this rotating jail spun like a Lazy Susan so that the police officer on duty could keep a watchful eye on prisoners. Apparently this method worked since the building served as the Pottawattamie County Jail until 1969.

To find a Council Bluffs apartment or rental, check out our apartment listings. Rent.com® is happy to help you find your next home.