Profile for Des Moines, Iowa, IA
State Capitol, Des Moines, IA
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Des Moines is a city in Polk County.
It is the state capital and the county seat.
The community was named after nearby river, which was originally called Rivi?re Des Moines, for an Indian tribe.
[NOTE: This is not the only community in Iowa named Des Moines. For links to other places called Des Moines, IA, see the Duplicate Names box at right.]
The latitude of Des Moines is 41.600N. The longitude is -93.608W.
It is in the Central Standard time zone. Elevation is 873 feet.
The estimated population, in 2003, was 196,093.
Median household income
$41,994Source: 2000 census, U.S. Census BureauFor more census details and comparisons, see our Des Moines demographic reports
Des Moines is at the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers.
Former and merged names include:
· Fort Des Moines
Military garrison was established here in 1843. The territory was thrown open to settlers two years later, when the Sauk and Mesquakie tribes were moved to a Kansas reservation.
Developed as a center for publishing, insurance and hybrid seeds
Public transportation: Des Moines Metropolitan Transit Authority (See the transit and travel sections below.)
Crime: The number of violent crimes recorded by the FBI in 2003 was 699. The number of murders and homicides was 8. The violent crime rate was 3.5 per 1,000 people.
Well-known residents have included:
· Cloris Leachman, actress
· Amelia Earhart, aviator
· Forrest Tucker, actor
· Harriet Nelson, actress
National and regional coffee companies with outlets here include Starbucks, Panera Bread
Local festivals include:
- Iowa State Fair - Aug. 9-19, 2007
- Iowa Country Jam and Cajun Fest - June 23-July 1, 2007
- Oktoberfest - Sept. 21-22, 2007
- Latino Heritage Festival - Sept. 8-9, 2007
- Winter Luau - Jan. 27, 2007
- Autumn Festival - Oct. 5-7, 2007
- Des Moines Arts Festival - June 29-July 1, 2007
- Iowa Fringe Festival - July 19-22, 2007
Dates often change. Check Des Moines web sites and events links in the sections below.
Performing arts: Des Moines Metro Opera, Des Moines Community Orchestra, Des Moines Symphony
Nearby parks & recreation:
Lake Ahquabi State Park, Walnut Woods State Park, Big Creek State Park
Des Moines attractions: Adventureland, Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines Botanical Center, Aquarium Center
Sports teams: Iowa Stars (AHL), Iowa Cubs (minor league baseball)
Historic sites and museums: Iowa Historical Building, Salisbury House, Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines Botanical Center, Des Moines Art Center
Colleges and universities:
Drake University, Barrington University, Grand View College, Hamilton College, Vatterott College, Des Moines Area Community College
Support for libraries: Local government funding for the local library system, in fiscal years 2001-2002, was on par with the national average. (See library links below.)
Gays & lesbians
National index: 100
Local index: 108
When I was growing up I used to think that the best thing about coming from Des Moines was that it meant you didn't come from anywhere else in Iowa.
-- The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America
Listed places near Des Moines
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Sections below provide additional information and links about Des Moines demographics, travel and tourism, nearby airports, cemeteries, the Polk County economy, education, environment, genealogy, government, historic sites, Des Moines area jobs, libraries, maps, museums, newspapers and other media, nonprofit groups, real estate, recreation, religion, transportation, and weather in the 50314 ZIP code.
(Also see local map
Ancestry & family history
22% of Des Moines residents report German ancestry, and 13% report Irish. For more info on local ancestry groups, see the Des Moines ancestry & family history guide.
Post a query on a message board:
Records & databases:
Disability access & rights
At the time of the 2000 census, the per capita income in Des Moines was $19,467, compared with $21,587 nationally.
22% of Des Moines residents age 25 and older have a bachelor's or advanced college degree.
Des Moines festival dates:
Fairs, festivals & other events
- Iowa State Fair - A
- Des Moines Arts Festival - J
- Iowa Country Jam and Cajun Fest - J
- Oktoberfest - S
- Winter Luau - J
- Iowa Fringe Festival - J
- Autumn Festival - O
- Latino Heritage Festival - S
Dates often change. Check with local tourism officials to be sure.
Des Moines festival web sites:
Historic districts in Des Moines include Chautauqua Park Historic District, Civic Center Historic District, Drake University Campus Historic District, Ingersoll Place Plat Historic District, Iowa State Fair and Exposition Grounds Historic District, Kingman Place Historic District, Middlesex Plat Historic District, Owl's Head Historic District, Sherman Hill Historic District, Veneman's Bungalow Court Historic District ... View historic districts
Median rent in Des Moines, at the time of the 2000 Census, was $468. Monthly homeowner costs, for people with mortgages, were $863.
Libraries in Des Moines include East Side Library, Forest Avenue, Franklin Avenue Library, Iowa Genealogical Society, North Side Library, Public Library of Des Moines, South Side Library, State Library of Iowa ... View libraries
Newspapers in Des Moines include Des Moines Register
TV stations in Des Moines include KCCI, KDIN, KDSM, WBXF-CA, WHO.
Polk County supported John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election. For more information, see our Des Moines political report.
The average commute time for Des Moines workers is 17 minutes, compared with 26 minutes nationwide.
A total of 39 fatal motor vehicle accidents occurred in Des Moines between 2001 and 2003, according to reports gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
This is a rate of 2.0 fatal crashes per 10,000 population, which was lower than the national norm.
Browse list of Iowa community profiles
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More info about Des Moines:
IA communities formerly known as Des Moines:
�Keosauqua, Van Buren County
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“ When I was growing up I used to think that the best thing about coming from Des Moines was that it meant you didn't come from anywhere else in Iowa. ”
~ The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America
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