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+4.0% since 2010
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The “Quad Cities” span the Mississippi River and the Illinois-Iowa border. Davenport and Bettendorf form the Iowa component, and Moline and Rock Island are on the Illinois side. The area, also called the “Breadbasket of America,” is a center for agriculture, particularly known as the headquarters of machinery manufacturer John Deere (in Moline), and the heart of the Corn Belt. Highlights include an attractive setting in the Mississippi Valley, a slow pace and friendly people. Cost of living is below Iowa and Illinois averages, but violent crime rates are surprisingly high and the economy is strongly connected to the farming industry.
The downtown areas are plain and uninspiring but functional, with some historic interest and attractive river waterfront areas. The Illinois side is more industrial, although the Deere presence has left some positive imprints on Moline. These cities have experienced some flooding problems and are taking steps to prevent them in the future. There are some minor entertainment and cultural amenities and two large annual music festivals, but there isn’t a whole lot to do. The area does have good regional air service to connect it to bigger cities.
The river-valley setting is distinct with low bluffs rising on both sides. Rolling prairie and occasional wooded areas lie beyond the bluffs. The climate is continental with a wide temperature range throughout the year. Periods of intense summer heat and humidity and sub-zero winter temperatures are common. There may be 50 to 60 days over 90 degrees each summer. Precipitation is well distributed annually, with most arriving in summer. Significant weather changes are likely every 3 to 4 days. The low flood plain location and the confluence of the Rock and Mississippi rivers can produce flooding. First freeze is late September, last is late May.
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