Des Moines skyline

Best Places to Live in the US in 2022 Sponsored by: eXp RealtyeXp Realty

Des Moines, IA is the #90 Best City to Live in the USA

Des Moines, Iowa Skyline
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Des Moines, IA
Quality of Life
Liv Score

601
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 23
Demographics 63
Economy 64
Education 52
Health 62
Housing 57
Infrastructure 51
Amenities 69

Why Des Moines is one of the best cities to live in

For Midwest living at its best, set your sights on Des Moines, IA (P.S. those S’s are silent). Centrally located right in the middle of the state, Des Moines is a crossroads of culture, commerce and heritage. With a bustling farmers market, iconic indoor and outdoor museums, historic landmark botanical gardens, trending restaurants, more than 80 miles of trails, and a fantastic art scene, Des Moines has a little something for everyone. 

Thanks to all those amenities, plus high salaries and a low cost of living, Des Moines is one of the best places to live in the U.S. The friendly communities and short commutes are a plus, too. From family-friendly neighborhoods in the ’burbs to hot areas like Historic East Village for young professionals to the plethora of apartments along Grand Avenue for college students, residents have options. And don’t forget opportunity: Startups based in Iowa’s capital city thrive in a collaborative and inspiring business climate, and large companies like Nationwide and Wells Fargo have a presence. 

What are Des Moines major industries and employers?

Des Moines has a strong business climate. The largest industries include financial services, insurance, government, manufacturing, health care, trade and services.

What are the major colleges and universities in Des Moines?

Des Moines University, Drake University, Grand View University & Des Moines Area Community College 

What is the weather like in Des Moines? 

Des Moines has all four seasons with hot and humid summers, cold winters and frequent thunderstorms. 

What is there to do outside in Des Moines?

Des Moines is blessed with 75 public parks, and Raccoon River Park is one of the best. City officials turned an open-pit gravel mine into what is now the 232-acre Blue Heron Lake and wetlands. Park visitors can kayak, fish, swim, bike, hike, practice archery or simply enjoy a picnic.

Des Moines, IA is Remote-Ready

What makes Des Moines a great place for remote workers?

The average rent and home costs are well below the national average in Des Moines. Although Iowa’s population as a state has decreased over the recent years, Des Moines has seen an uptick in employment in the past year, with estimated growth in the coming years. Local coworking spaces include Gravitate Coworking, Collaborate DSM and a Regus branch.

What Locals Love in Des Moines, IA

What is the best local bookstore in Des Moines?

The locally owned Beaverdale Books does more than sell books. The shop offers a cozy refuge for book lovers by hosting author events, book clubs and writers’ groups. 

How do you spend a weekend in Des Moines?

Spend Saturday at the Downtown Farmers Market browsing 300 vendors while loading up on fresh veggies, locally baked pastries, hot coffee, and homemade arts and crafts. For more than 40 years, the lively market has connected Des Moines residents with the state’s rural communities. 

What can you do for free in Des Moines?

Established in 1948, the Des Moines Art Center is a world-class art museum with an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, modern art and mixed media. Three distinct buildings, each designed by world-renowned architects (Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei and Richard Meier), house the museum’s immense contemporary art collection. The free daily admission is just the cherry on top.

Whats the best way to spend happy hour in Des Moines?

Jasper Winery is an estate-style urban winery just minutes from downtown where you can pair wine and cheese, take in the scenery from the patio, and listen to live music.

Whats something only locals know about Des Moines?

Downtown Des Moines’ Water Works Park encompasses nearly 1,500 acres of open wooded area, making it larger than New York City’s Central Park and one of the largest urban parks in the United States.  

Is Des Moines, IA a good place to live?

A low cost of living, a strong job market and a fantastic arts scene make Des Moines a best place to live in Iowa.

Thinking of Moving to Des Moines?

What is the Des Moines, IA Real Estate Market Like?

Considered one of the most livable cities in the Midwest, the state capital of Iowa is filled with safe, walkable neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland, and a housing market booming with new construction and development. The Des Moines homes for sale are quickly gaining popularity, yet the median home price remains at a desirable $191K, and homes stay in the market for around five days. The Des Moines real estate market has plenty of existing dwellings for all tastes and budgets, but families prefer the new single-detached homes available in northern suburban communities like Capitol Heights, while buyers in their twenties are moving to the brand-new condos in the Historic East Village district and other trendy downtown locations. For more information about the market in this city, contact a local real estate agent

Quick Facts About Des Moines, IA

Average Commute
19
Median Home Value
$191,340
Med. Household Income
$54,843
Total Population
215,408
Median Property Tax
$2,947

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