Des Moines, Iowa offers many benefits to its residents, such as low-cost housing, short commute times, and a diverse population. It is the capital of Iowa, and as such it serves as the center of government, business, arts, and culture. Its metro population is 500,000 and it has top-notch schools, public services, and neighborhoods. The city began as a military post in 1834, and today has gained national recognition as center of the insurance industry. The city has climate-controlled skywalk systems that link together parking, hotels, restaurants, and businesses.
Des Moines is a center of Iowa culture and boasts a wide array of museums, arts centers, and performance events. The Des Moines Arts Center has a permanent collection of major 19th, 20th, and 21st century masterpieces in a contemporary building. The Des Moines Arts Center Downtown is an extension of the center and provides exciting new exhibits in an urban-inspired setting. The Gortz Haus Gallery features more than 50 Iowa artists and is housed in a church made of stone. For military enthusiasts, there’s the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum, which honors military men and women and displays artifacts from the Civil War to the present. The Des Moines Metro Opera has educational and outreach programs and is one of the largest organizations of its kind in the state.
Des Moines features many activities related to sports and leisure. The Iowa Cubs baseball team is in the Pacific Coast league, a AAA league affiliated with the Chicago Cubs. The Des Moines Menace soccer team plays home games in Waukee. The Des Moines Bucanners play in the United States Hockey League at Bucaneer Arena in nearby Urbandale. The Iowa Stars of the American Hockey League play their games at Wells Fargo Arena which is attached to the Iowa Events Center.
Des Moines is known for Gray’s Lake Park, the premier park in Central Iowa. The past three years have seen many new and exciting features added to the park, and not it’s more popular than ever. The lake has a lighted trail circling it and a pedestrian bridge that offers spectacular views. Boats can be rented and used on the lake. New shoreline improvements, landscaping, and new parking areas have vastly improved the park. The Meredith Trail connects Gray’s Lake to Downtown Des Moines. There is also a boat ramp for both sail boats and electric motorboats. The park has over 300 miles of trails and more on the way, making it a perfect place to get exercise or enjoy nature.
Des Moines has a great deal to offer when the sun goes down. There are comedy clubs like Funny Bone and Starry Night Gourmet Coffee and Cuisine. Dance clubs are very popular, and some of the best include The Big Kahuna, Bugsy’s, Coconut Joe’s, Club Iguana Jakes, and Canopy Lounge. There are sports bars like Borbon St. Bar & Grill and All in the Family Lounge. Karaoke bars are also plentiful, such as Anthony’s Lounge, Ellis Island, and Chi Chi’s South.
Des Moines strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in Iowa):
|Public Transportation Use |
|Racial Diversity |
|Short Commute Times |
|Well-Paid Single Women |
|Low Violent Crime |
|Well-Paid Single Men |
|College Educated Adults |
Comparing Des Moines to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in Iowa (State):
Ratings range from (lowest) to (highest).
|Age of the Population|
|Well-Paid Single Women|
|Female Share of the Population|
|Children Under 5 Years Old|
|Well-Paid Single Men|
|Male Share of the Population|
|Portion of People Married|
|Average Household Size|
|People Above Poverty|
|People in Middle Class or Better|
|Median Family Income|
|College Educated Adults|
|Short Commute Times|
|Public Transportation Use|
|Walking and Biking to Work|
|Working at Home|
|Affordability of Rents|
|People Living Alone|
|Affordability of Property Taxes|
|Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals|
|Housing Recently Built|
|Seasonal and Vacation Housing|
|Low Violent Crime|
|Low Property Crime|
|Des Moines Careers|
Des Moines career and employment information.
|Des Moines Colleges|
Des Moines colleges and trade schools.
|Des Moines Graduate Schools|
Des Moines Graduate and Business Schools
|Des Moines Hotels & Travel|
Des Moines hotels, landmarks, tourism, transportation.
|Des Moines Mortgage|
Des Moines property, mortgage, and real estate.