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6 Reasons to Move to West Des Moines, IA

Good jobs, great schools head the list

By Kevin Litwin on May 22, 2015

West Des Moines, IA
West Des Moines / Courtesy of Jason Mrachina under a CC 2.0 license.

Recognized by many national publications as a great place to live and conduct business, West Des Moines is a well-designed community with big-city amenities and plenty of green space. It was ranked at one of our Top 100 Best Places to Live for two years in a row. Residents enjoy many things to do in West Des Moines.  including the following:

Strong Job Market

The median income for a household in West Des Moines is $100,000, thanks in large part to the availability of good jobs. Major employers in West Des Moines include ADP, American Equity, Goodrich, GuideOne Insurance, Hy-Vee, ITA Group, Kum & Go, Wells Fargo, and Windsor Windows & Doors. As a result of attractive career choices, the population in West Des Moines has risen dramatically over the past three U.S. Censuses: 31,700 in 1990, 46,400 in 2000, and 56,600 in 2010. A variety of retail establishments from national chains to independent stores make shopping in West Des Moines excellent, which helps generate revenue. 

Excellent Schools

An ideal city for raising a family, West Des Moines students attend two highly regarded public school systems that add to the community’s overall quality of life. West Des Moines School District has nine elementary schools, two junior high schools, one high school and a second high school only for freshmen. The Dallas County portion of West Des Moines is part of Waukee School District, where three of the district’s elementary schools are in West Des Moines. For parents wanting to send their children to private schools, Dowling Catholic High School and Iowa Christian Academy are among the excellent choices.

 Parks and Recreation Choices

A total of 26 well-manicured parks are accessible to residents of West Des Moines, plus there are facilities like a Community Center, Holiday Park and Valley View Aquatic Centers, Raccoon River Park Archery Facility, Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge, and Raccoon River Park Softball Complex. More than 50 miles of biking/walking trails wind throughout the city, and a 10-acre fenced dog park is open at Raccoon River Park. In addition, a West Des Moines Teen Center is open afternoons during the school year to students in seventh through ninth grades in the West Des Moines Community School District. Many neighborhoods in West Des Moines are connected to parks by trails and pathways. 

Independent Restaurants

The cuisine scene in West Des Moines offers a slice of the good life, with many independent restaurants that serve ethnic dishes. Choices include Jethro’s BBQ, Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano and Cooper’s on 5th. Other can’t-miss top eateries include Mi Patria Ecuadorian Restaurant, Taste of New York Pizza, Waterfront Seafood Market, Pancheros Mexican Grill, Sakura Sushi, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.

Expanding Nightlife

With an ever-expanding population of young professionals moving into the city, West Des Moines has stepped up its nightspot offerings for adults of all ages. Popular gathering destinations include Tonic Bar, G Mig’s 5th Street Pub, Westport Lounge and Shotgun Betty’s country dance club. Laughs occur at Funny Bone Comedy Club, and other energetic nighttime places include Limey’s Pub and The Keg Stand.

Accolades Galore

It’s nice to get compliments, and West Des Moines receives its share. Forbes magazine named West Des Moines among the Top Cities in America for Jobs, while Money Magazine tabs the city as one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America. The metropolitan area has also been named the No. 1 Best Medium-Sized Metro Area for Homeownership by NerdWallet Finance.


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