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Should you move to Des Moines Iowa?

For many years, Des Moines, the capital city of Iowa has been attracting people from all over the United States and beyond.

Des Moines' affordable homes, entertainment options, booming job market, and cost of living make it one of the best cities for millennials across the United States.

If you’re considering moving to Des Moines and Wondering if the city is right for you, this guide contains all you need to know to make the right decision.

Read on to find out if moving to Des Moines is right for you.

QuickFacts

Quick facts to know before moving to Des Moines Iowa

  • Des Moines IA is a city of millennials
  • Des Moines IA averages 204 sunny days per year
  • Des Moines IA gets 36 inches of rain on average per year
  • Des Moines IA winter low in January is 13 degrees
  • The cost of living in Des Moines IA is lower than the U.S. average
  • Over the past year, Des Moines IA jobs have grown by 2.7%
  • Des Moines IA future job growth is predicted to hit 37.42%

Is Des Moines Iowa a good place to move to?

Des Moines is a fantastic place to live. It's a city that feels small but isn't overly large. It is easily accessible by bike, has many lovely nature paths, a diverse population, diverse cuisine options, and is typically a very friendly place.

Is Des Moines a good city to live in?

Des Moines is one of the best places to live in the United States because of all of these amenities, as well as good salaries and a reasonable cost of living. Friendly communities and quick commutes are further advantages.

Why are people moving to Des Moines Iowa?

Because property is so affordable, Des Moines is routinely listed as one of the best towns for millennials, particularly young homeowners. Iowa currently has the lowest unemployment rate in the US at 2.5%. Generally, the cost of living in Des Moines, Iowa, is quite low.

Does Des Moines get a lot of snow?

Most snowfall days in Des Moines leave only a skiff, or less than an inch, of new snow on the ground. On average, at least an inch of new snow falls every 11 days of the year. Snowfalls of more than five inches per day are common once or twice a year.

Can I live in Des Moines without a car?

Des Moines and its neighboring suburbs are huge, but getting about without a car is not hard. The Des Moines Area Regional Transportation Authority (DART) operates 90 buses that travel 15,000 miles per day to and from residential neighborhoods, major shopping malls, schools, and business sites.

Does Des Moines get cold?

From November 28 to March 1, the cold season lasts 3.1 months, with an average daily high temperature of less than 43°F. January is the coldest month in Des Moines, with an average low of 17°F and high of 33°F.

What is Des Moines known for?

Des Moines is a major insurance sector center in the United States, as well as a significant financial services and publishing company base. The city was regarded as the "number one spot for U.S. insurance companies" in a Business Wire story and designated the third largest "insurance capital" of the globe.

Is it safe to live in Des Moines IA?

Des Moines, like all cities in the United States, has higher crime rates than the national average. There are more reports of violent crime, property crime, and petty crime, making it riskier to reside within the municipal limits.

What’s the population of Des Moines IA?

Des Moines’s population is 217,343 people. The city stretches across 91 square miles making it the largest city in Iowa. Des Moines is nestled in Polk County Iowa and the city is the county seat of Polk County.

  • Des Moines has a population density of 2,465 people per square mile
  • The median age in Des Moines is 34 years
  • 33.4 years is the median age for males and 34.4 years for females
  • Des Moines is currently growing at a rate of 0.49% annually
  • Des Moines population has grown by 1.5% since the last census

How fast can you commute in Des Moines Iowa?

Des Moines’s average one-way commute time takes 18.8 minutes. That’s lower than the U.S. average of 26.4 minutes. You’ll spend less than 30 minutes commuting to work if you move to Des Moines Iowa. Less time on the road means less stress and having more time for other things

Here’s how people in Des Moines Iowa get to work:

  • About 80.6% of Des Moines residents drive their own car alone
  • Around 9.8% of Des Moines residents carpool with others
  • Up to 3.1% of Des Moines residents work from home
  • About 2.2% of Des Moines residents take mass transit

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How is the weather like in Des Moines Iowa?

Des Moines averages 204 sunny days per year. The United States average is 205 sunny days. If the weather is one of the key things you’d like to consider before moving to Des Moines, the following is a quick snapshot of the city’s weather:

  • Des Moines’s summer high in July is around 86 degrees
  • Des Moines gets 36 inches of rain on average per year. The U.S. average is 38 inches
  • On average, Des Moines gets 33 inches of snow per year. U.S. average is 28 inches
  • Des Moines’s winter low in January is 13 degrees
  • Des Moines Iowa gets 108 days of precipitation every year
move to Iowa

Top 10 reasons to move to Des Moines Iowa

People are moving to Des Moines for many reasons. As one of the largest cities in Iowa, Des Moines is constantly attracting people from all over the state and beyond.

Since you’re considering moving to Des Moines, the following are the key reasons people are moving to the city:

  • Low cost of living
  • Friendly residents
  • Wind energy
  • Job opportunities
  • Low traffic
  • Amazing nightlife
  • Quality educational opportunities
  • Minimal effects of urbanization
  • Low crime rates
  • Experience all four seasons in Des Moines
pros and cons of Phoenix

Pros & cons of moving to Des Moines Iowa

If you’d like to find out if moving to Des Moines Iowa is right for you or not, we’ve made a list of the pros and cons of living in the city.

This can make it easier for you to figure out if moving to Des Moines is right for you or not.

Pros of living in Des Moines IA
  • Housing costs below the national average
  • Low average commute time
  • Tons of outdoor adventures
  • Low Cost of Living
  • Robust job market
  • Pretty safe
  • Good air quality on average
  • Very easy to do business
  • High quality of education
  • Great hospitals
  • Family-friendly
  • Very friendly to LGBTQ+
Cons of living in Des Moines IA
  • Poor public transportation
  • Cold winters
  • Desirability is low among non-Iowa residents
  • Low school ratings
  • Too expensive
  • Not much to do
  • Very damp now
  • Difficult to make friends

Best places to live in Des Moines Iowa

Des Moines is home to several beautiful livable neighborhoods. Moving to Des Moines gives you the perfect chance to live in any of these neighborhoods.

If you’re moving to Des Moines and wondering what neighborhood the best for you is, the following is a list of the ten best neighborhoods in Des Moines Iowa:

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Value Median Income
1 Ingersoll Park 798 $179,500 $77,941
2 Waterbury 2,740 $245,600 $99,524
3 Salisbury Oaks 1,088 $309,950 $96,038
4 Greenwood 1,009 $272,200 $73,566
5 Linden Heights 400 $302,700 $89,659
6 Lower Beaver 5,761 $149,100 $60,141
7 Meredith 4,605 $139,617 $65,724
8 Beaverdale 8,370 $146,292 $66,139
9 Westwood 1,262 $302,700 $89,659
10 Bloomfield-Allen 6,844 $142,150 $62,930

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Cost of living in Des Moines Iowa

Affordable living in a big city is one of the key perks of moving to Des Moines, Iowa. The cost of living in Des Moines is 78.7. The United States average is 100.

Des Moines’s average cost of living is below the national average. The following are the key components that make up Des Moines’s cost of living:

Living Expense Des Moines Iowa National Average
Overall 78.7 80.1 100
Grocery 96 94.4 100
Health 102.4 108.2 100
Housing 57.8 55.4 100
Services 94 96 100
Utilities 89.6 98.5 100
Transportation 74.7 71.4 100
Miscellaneous 112.2 96.3 100

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How is the job market in Des Moines, Iowa?

How fast can you get a job if you need one in Des Moines? The COVID-19 pandemic has affected several job markets across the United States and Des Moines wasn’t left out.

Since you’re considering moving to Des Moines, here’s a breakdown of the city’s job market:

  • Des Moines unemployment rate is 5.9%. The U.S. average is 6.0%
  • Des Moines job growth has been positive so far
  • Over the past year, Des Moines jobs have grown by 2.7%
  • Des Moines future job growth is predicted to hit 37.42%
  • Getting a job in Des Moines is easier compared to other similar sized cities in the state
Employment Information Des Moines, Iowa United States
The income per Cap $26,494 $31,177
Household Income $49,999 $57,652
Unemployment Rate 5.9 6.0%
Recent Job Growth -5.95% -6.18%
Future Job Growth 37.42% 33.51%

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What are the top career options in Des Moines?

You’ll find lots of jobs to choose from if you’re moving to Des Moines. Which ones should you opt for? You may be interested in some of the city’s highest-paying jobs. The following is the list of the highest-paying jobs in Des Moines.

Rank Job Title Annual Salary Monthly Pay Weekly Pay Hourly Wage
1 Interventional Cardiologist $375,448 $31,287 $7,220 $180.50
2 Emergency Medicine Physician $351,669 $29,305 $6,762 $169.07
3 Anesthesiologist $348,194 $29,016 $6,696 $167.40
4 Vascular Surgeon $324,297 $27,024 $6,236 $155.91
5 Gynecologic Oncologist $318,271 $26,522 $6,120 $153.02
6 Neurohospitalist $305,908 $25,492 $5,882 $147.07
7 Radiologist $300,278 $25,023 $5,774 $144.36
8 Gastroenterology Physician $296,297 $24,691 $5,698 $142.45
9 Pain Management Physician $294,313 $24,526 $5,659 $141.50
10 Dermatologist $290,691 $24,224 $5,590 $139.76

What is a good salary in Des Moines Iowa?

Moving to Des Moines Iowa could mean getting a new job. But how many bucks can you earn in the city? Will you be earning more money or less compared to where you are right now? Let’s find out:

  • Des Moines average annual pay for average jobs is $67,685
  • Des Moines average hourly pay is $32.54 per hour
  • Des Moines average weekly pay is $1,301 per week
  • Des Moines' average monthly payment is $5,640 per month
  • Iowa’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour

Top Industries in Des Moines, Iowa

Like several other large cities, Des Moines’s economy is powered by several industries. The best part is that whether you work in a small or large industry, you’ll most likely find a suitable spot for your job in Des Moines. The following is a list of the city’s largest industries since you’re considering moving to Des Moines, Iowa:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Ag Innovation
  • Data Centers
  • Insurance And Financial Services
  • Logistics
  • Technology
  • Construction And Mining
  • Manufacturing
  • Trade, Transportation And Utilities
  • Information
  • Financial Activities
  • Professional And Business Services
  • Educational And Health Services
  • Leisure And Hospitality
  • Government

Des Moines’s housing market

If you’re interested in buying a home after moving to Des Moines, we have the key information you need to know about the city’s housing market. This will make it easier for you to make up your mind about buying a home or not if you’re moving to Des Moines, Iowa:

  • Des Moines median home cost is $175,700
  • Over the last ten years, home values in Des Moines have risen by 70.9%
  • Currently, Des Moines home values have appreciated by 11.1%
  • Around 30.5% of Des Moines residents are renters
  • Up to 2.3% of homes and apartments in Des Moines are open to rent

What’s the average home rental price in Des Moines?

Des Moines’s rental market is known for its affordable homes. If you’re considering renting a home or an apartment after moving to Des Moines, look at the average rental prices below:

  • Des Moines average rent for a studio apartment is $750
  • Des Moines average rent for a 1-bedroom home or apartment is $850
  • Des Moines average rent for a 2-bedroom home or apartment is $1,020
  • Des Moines average rent for a 3-bedroom home or apartment is $1,400
  • The average rent for a 4-bedroom home or apartment is 1,430

Iowa taxes

If you’re moving to Des Moines from out of state, you may have to get familiar with Des Moines taxes.

You may end up paying more or less in taxes, depending on where you’re moving from. The following are the key components that make up the city’s taxes. This will give you an idea of what to expect if you’re moving to Des Moines, Iowa:

  • Iowa income tax is 0.33% - 8.53%
  • Sales tax in Iowa is 6% - 7%
  • Iowa property tax has 1.53% average effective rates
  • The gas tax in Iowa is 30.5 cents per gallon of regular gasoline
  • Gas tax per gallon of regular diesel is 32.5 cents

Best things to do in Des Moines Iowa

There are lots of exciting things you can do in Des Moines. The city is home to several attractions, and you’ll find lots of amazing things to do in Des Moines.

If you’re moving to Des Moines, we’ve made a list of the various things you can do and places to visit and explore. Look at the list:

  • Sample Farm-Fresh Eats at the Downtown Farmers’ Market
  • Take a Tour of the Historic Iowa State Capitol Building
  • Check Out the Massive Sculptures in the Pappajohn Sculpture Park
  • Peruse Art at the Des Moines Art Center
  • Cheer On the Iowa Cubs at Principal Park
  • Take a Break at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
  • Have a Fun-Filled Day at the Iowa State Fair
  • Take a Hike on High Trestle Trail
  • Spend a Day in Historic East Village
  • Learn About Iowa’s Agricultural History at the Living History Farms
  • Go Brewery Hopping
  • Indulge Your Inner Horror Fan at Zombie Burger
  • Get Outside in Gray’s Lake Park
  • Marvel at the Animals at Blank Park Zoo
  • Sip and Swirl at Jasper Winery

What is the crime rate in Des Moines Iowa?

Is Des Moines a safe city for you and your loved ones? Like several other large cities in the United States, Des Moines has its fair share of crime problems. The following are key stats about the city’s crime rates since you’re considering moving to Des Moines Iowa:

  • The violent crime rate in Des Moines Iowa is 37.1. The national average is 22.7
  • The property crime rate in Des Moines Iowa is 60.8. The national average is 35.4
  • Residents have a 1 in 141.9 chance of being the victim o f a violent crime
  • Residents have a 1 in 25.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime

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Statistic Count Raw Des Moines/ 100k People Iowa/ 100k People National/ 100k People
Total Crimes Per 100K 9,917 4,606.3 2,001.7 2,346.0
Violent Crime 1,517 704.6 303.5 387.8
Murder 33 15.3 3.5 6.5
Robbery 246 114.3 29.8 73.9
Aggravated Assault 1,119 519.8 229.4 279.7
Property Crime 8,400 3,901.7 1,698.2 1,958.2
Burglary 1,925 894.1 371.1 314.2
Larceny 5,053 2,347.1 1,130.1 1,398.0
Car Theft 1,422 660.5 197.1 246.0

Best Schools & Universities in Des Moines Iowa

Des Moines is home to several top-quality schools. If you’re moving to Des Moines, you’ll have easier access to several excellent schools from universities and colleges to elementary, middle, and high schools.

The following is a list of the best schools in the city if you’re moving to Des Moines:

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