TV6 Investigates: Census says residents aren’t fleeing RICO and Bettendorf is booming

Who are we QC? Part 1
Updated: Apr. 21, 2023 at 10:15 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Thousands of Quad-Citians are moving from one side of the river to the other, including the Kellenbergers.

The family is leaving Davenport for a quieter life in Silvis.

“The neighborhood is quiet. It’s a beautiful, quiet neighborhood,” Patrick Kellenberger said. “We’re not far from the park over there.”

They’re among the thousands of families who’ve recently moved from one side of the river to the other, according to the latest census data.

TV6 Investigates examined thousands of new data points from the U.S. Census, the once-a-decade survey of the nation. It helps paint a picture of a typical Quad-Citian: 40 years old, with a mortgage, two kids and two cars.

But look closer at the data, and it reveals surprises: Despite assumptions people are fleeing Rock Island County for Scott, for example, Rock Island County netted 433 residents from Scott County over the last census.

Bill Polley is an economist for the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce. He says the border in the Quad-Cities is fluid.

“And these things kind of ebb and flow over time, of course, there are young people just starting out, maybe finding low-cost housing, inexpensive apartments for first home on one side or the other,” he said. “And those dynamics change over time. And that’s certainly going to influence where some of those people end up. So that’s always happening. And it’s always changing.”

With that in mind, Bettendorf is on track to soon surpass Moline as the second-largest Quad City. Bettendorf added 8,000 residents during the last census period – more than all the other Quad-Cities combined.

City Administrator Decker Ploehn says there are three factors: Plenty of land, good schools and a welcoming business climate.

Bettendorf is growing so fast, 80% of the city’s spending in its new budget comes from the property taxes generated by new construction.

As for the Kellenbergers, they’re looking forward to planting new roots in their newly remodeled home in Illinois.

“Brand new house was built in 1905. But it’s old bones,” Patrick Kellenber said. “House. Location, I think we really like its location. We’re very close to clinics. Six minutes from the elementary school.

They close later this month. More census data is expected to be released in May.