Iowa State University's presence in Ames helps draw entrepreneurs and innovative businesses to the area.

Photo: Iowa State University News Service

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 81
Demographics 40
Economy 63
Education 77
Health 66
Housing 70
Infrastructure 48

#53. Ames, IA

Home to Iowa State University, Ames makes our Best Places to Live list along with our Top 10 Best College Towns and Best Cities for Singles lists. ISU has 15,600 employees and is the largest employer in Ames, and other robust economic sectors include agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, technology and tourism.

Residents enjoy four distinct seasons, and the community‚Äôs college-town culture supports many fantastic restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and nightlife spots along with a variety of housing choices. For outdoor enthusiasts, the city offers 37 parks and an Ames Trail System with 55 miles of bike routes. 

The most striking thing about Ames, though, might be how much its residents love living here. Hometown pride keeps locals engaged and active in the community, and always working to make this great city even better.

Find out more about why this Ames is a Best Place to Live.

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