Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Fairfield is located at 41°0'26" North, 91°57'57" West (41.007166, -91.965910)1. The geography is typical of the great plains of the American Midwest: around the town is rolling farmland specializing in corn, soybeans and hogs. Running west-east through the town is U.S. Highway 34; the city of Burlington is to the east. North-South is Iowa State Highway 1 , leading north to Iowa City and south to the Missouri state border.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 9,509 people, 4,063 households, and 2,372 families residing in the city. The population density is 639.6/km² (1,657.4/mi²). There are 4,463 housing units at an average density of 300.2/km² (777.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 94.35% White, 0.99% African American, 0.16% Native American, 2.53% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.73% from other races, and 1.21% from two or more races. 2.64% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 4,063 households out of which 30.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.2% are married couples living together, 10.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 41.6% are non-families. 35.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.22 and the average family size is 2.90.
In the city the population is spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 23.1% from 25 to 44, 30.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 42 years. For every 100 females there are 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $31,202, and the median income for a family is $46,138. Males have a median income of $34,750 versus $24,830 for females. The per capita income for the city is $19,673. 14.5% of the population and 10.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 17.7% of those under the age of 18 and 9.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Fairfield is governed by a seven-member city council headed by a mayor. The current mayor, Ed Malloy, was first elected in 2001. Mayoral terms are two years. City council members serve staggered four-year terms. The council consists of one representative from each of the city's five wards, plus two at-large representatives. As of 2005, city council members are Connie Boyer (at large), Myron Gookin (at large), Ron Adam (Ward 1), John Revolinski (Ward 2), Christy Ann Welty (Ward 3), Pauline Reeder (Ward 4), and Daryn Hamilton (Ward 5). The chief administrative officer of the city is John F. Brown.
Fairfield is the home of Maharishi University of Management, formerly known as Maharishi International University (MIU). The school moved to Fairfield in 1974. Its campus is that of the defunct Parsons College, which closed its doors in 1973. Many residents moved to Fairfield to be participate in the community practice of transcendental meditation. The university campus, located on the north side of town, is home to two large golden domes used for the group practice of TM, the more advanced TM-Siddhi program and the Yogic Flying technique.
The nearest international commercial airport is in Cedar Rapids, approximately 90 miles (145 km) to the north.
Like many towns in the region, Fairfield was sited in the late 1830's along the route of one of the developing rail systems. Today, Fairfield is served by AMTRAK, one of the nation's main railroad lines. AMTRAK carries passengers west-east on the California Zephyr, with passenger stations located in Mount Pleasant, Iowa (25 miles to the east) and Ottumwa, Iowa (25 miles to the west).
The Rock Island Line also passed through Fairfield, but closed in the late 1970s. The old steel trestle has been removed from its crossing, and the walking trail that will some day circumnavigate the town passes down part of the old roadbed.
Evidence of other long forgotten rail lines can be found in the woods around town. A particularly charming section of narrow gage roadbed can be found cutting its way through Whitham Woods, a park at the west edge of town.
Likely due to the presence of Parsons College and the faculty it drew from more upscale communities, the architecture in Fairfield reflects a certain worldliness that is unusual in such a small prairie town. Fine residential structures, including examples of designer George F. Barber and Barry Burne grace the residential neighborhoods. Commercial and institutional architecture were influenced by the Louden industries, including the Louden Foundry. Many workers' houses can be found in Fairfield, mostly all made of wood, although brick is used around the commercial square.
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