Communities/Shelby County, Iowa
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Nishna Bend Recreation Area (photo cred: Shelby Co Conservation Board)
Mural ribbon cutting in Harlan (photo cred: Shelby County Chamber of Commerce & Industry FB)
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Life In Shelby County, Iowa


Welcome to Shelby County, IA, located in the heart of scenic Western Iowa and centered within the area known as the “Breadbasket to the World”.

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More About Shelby County



Internet Speed Rating

350 Mbps

Closest Airport

Des Moines International Airport • 82 mi

Weather (High/Low)

83 / 29

Median Home Value (3BR, 2BA)


Shelby County: FUN FACT

Harlan Theatre, now a 4-screen theater, was built in 1882 as Long's Opera House. It has been owned and operated by the same family for the past 4 generations.

Cost of Living Comparison

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MakeMyMove sources all Cost of Living Data from COLI, published by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), without any modification or bias.

COLI data is recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and CNN Money. The data and methodology are described in detail and completely transparent to users, found in the COLI Manual. Both data and methodology are reviewed by an Advisory Board composed of academic researchers and government officials. The Cost of Living Index is referenced in the Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract of the U.S.

According to the COLI Manual, composite differences of <4% and categorical differences of <5% are not statistically significant and should not be treated as necessarily accurate.


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Housing in Shelby County, Iowa


Shelby County Community Feed

Get a feel for what Shelby County is all about from the community's locals who know best.

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Welcome to Shelby County, IA, located in the heart of scenic Western Iowa and centered within the area known as the “Breadbasket to the World”.

Harlan, the county seat, offers a historic downtown square lined with buildings that have been restored and transformed into a variety of local businesses, a farm-to-table restaurant, a 4-screen movie theatre, and multiple antique shops and boutiques.

Harlan is a great place to locate for remote workers. The city has a low cost of living, a strong economy, award winning school districts, a $10 million dollar fitness facility and indoor aquatic center, and a welcoming community.

You can live the relaxed, “Norman Rockwell” lifestyle surrounded by rolling hills and valleys while you are only a 45-minute drive away from downtown Omaha and a 90-minute drive away from Des Moines.

Low Cost of Living

One of the biggest advantages of living in Shelby County is the low cost of living. Affordable housing, locally sourced restaurants, varied grocery store options, easy flowing transportation, and utilities that are below the national average offer residents of Shelby County the opportunity to live a financially comfortable lifestyle.

Strong Economy

Shelby County has a strong economy, with a low unemployment rate and a growing number of job opportunities. The area is home to several internationally known manufacturing companies, top-notch healthcare, access to Iowa Western Community College, a fiber-optic network that provides fiber to the home, and a strong technology and agricultural industry. This means that family members of remote workers can find a job that fits their skills and interests.

Supportive Community

Harlan offers a wealth of opportunities for families. The city has multiple parks, libraries, and museums. Children can participate in a wide range of sports leagues, a very strong art and theatre culture, and award-winning musical programs. There are numerous community events, activities, and opportunities to volunteer allowing new residents to find several ways to connect with their new community.

Through excellent outdoor recreation opportunities, unique cultural experiences, and an emphasis on activities for families, you will understand why remote workers love calling the communities of Shelby County to be A Place to Call Home.

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