Cedar Rapids, IA was ranked 64th in CNN Money's assessment of the top 100 cities in the U.S. With a population of 120,758 according to the US Census 2000, it is the second largest city in Iowa after Des Moines. Cedar Rapids is known as the "City of Five Seasons," the fifth season being one of "joy." Many well-known personalities hail from Cedar Rapids, including the Wright Brothers, artist Grant Wood, journalist and historian William L. Shirer, writer and photographer Carl Van Vechten, and Dr Alexander Lippisch.
Cedar Rapids has an average household income of $ 60,646, well above the national average. Per capita income in Cedar Rapids is $22,589, compared to $21,587 nationally.
Cedar Rapids, IA is a center for manufacturing and processing of agricultural food products, steel fabricating, tools, and die making. It hosts more than 275 manufacturing plants, including Quaker Food and Beverages, the world's largest cereal milling plant. Other local manufacturing employers are Amana Refrigeration Products, General Mills Inc., and the Heinz Company. Cedar Rapids' economy is heavily based on telecommunications equipment (mainly radios) and other electronic devices.
The Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Technology Corridor is one of the leading centers in the nation for defense electronics. Collins Radio, a company that supplies aviation electronics and communication equipment for government, aircraft manufacturers and airlines, is the top employer in the city. Moving forward, it is likely that Cedar Rapids will further cement its reputation for research, telecommunications, and defense spending as the U.S. continues to compete with China, India, and other IT-heavy economies.
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