Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines: The capital of Iowa. It is located in central Iowa. Des Moines is known for its many parks and green spaces, its many outdoor activities, and its many attractions, such as the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and the Science Center of Iowa.


Des Moines is a city located in the county of Polk in the U.S. state of Iowa. Its population at the 2010 census was 203,433 and a population density of 866 people per km². After 10 years in 2020 city had an estimated population of 212,312 inhabitants.

The city was created 181 years ago in 1842.

Des Moines is the capital and most populous city in the state of Iowa. With over 210,000 residents in the metro area, it is Iowa's primary political and economic center.

History and Origins

Des Moines was incorporated in 1851 and named after the Des Moines River. It emerged as a major insurance and publishing hub.

Key historical facts:

  • Founded at the convergence of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers
  • Served as a Fort during the 19th century frontier expansion
  • Designated as Iowa’s capital city in 1857
  • Emerged as a major insurance and publishing center

Economy and Major Industries

Des Moines has a diversified economy focused on finance, insurance, healthcare, publishing, and government. Major employers include:

  • Wells Fargo Home Mortgage headquarters
  • Principal Financial Group headquarters
  • UnityPoint Health Network
  • Meredith Corporation publishing

Attractions and Things to Do

Popular sites include:

  • Pappajohn Sculpture Park showcasing artwork
  • Downtown Des Moines' East Village historic warehouse district
  • The Iowa State Capitol and its grounds
  • The Des Moines Art Center featuring exhibits and events
  • The Iowa State Fair held annually in August

Des Moines provides amenities, culture, entertainment and urban Midwestern flair.

Des Moines locator map
Location of Des Moines on Iowa map.

Quick Facts about Des Moines

Population : 212,312 (2020)
Country : United States of America
State : Iowa (United States)
County : Polk County
Postal code : 50301-50340-50310
Phone Area Codes : 515
Area : 234.99 km2
Official name : Des Moines
Altitude : 955 feet / 291 meters
Capital city : Des Moines is capital of Iowa
Establishment : January 01, 1843 (181 years ago)
Time Zone : UTC−06:00, UTC−05:00
Local time : 19:56:16 (17th May 2024)
Density : 904 Pop. per km² as of 2020
Population growth : 4.18% (2010-2020)
Des Moines Montage image
Des Moines Montage
Des Moines Montage image


Des Moines is located at 41°36'2"N 93°36'33"W (41.6005400, -93.6091100).

Des Moines map

  • Gatineau
  • Kōfu
  • Naucalpan de Juárez Municipality
  • Paspébiac
  • Province of Catanzaro
  • Saint-Étienne (1985 )
  • Shijiazhuang
  • Stavropol (1992 )


The population of Des Moines increased by 4.18% in 10 years.

Year Population % Change Method
2010 203,433 - census
2011 207,924 2.16% estimation process
2012 210,244 1.1% estimation process
2013 212,026 0.84% estimation process
2014 214,350 1.08% estimation process
2015 215,243 0.41% estimation process
2016 216,308 0.49% estimation process
2017 216,662 0.16% estimation process
2018 215,994 -0.31% estimation process
2019 214,237 -0.82% estimation process
2020 212,312 -0.91% estimation process

Des Moines zip code is 50309. County name: Polk, County fips: 19153

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People born in Des Moines (200)

People born in Des Moines, including basketball player Hurl Beechum, German-banker and member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank Andreas Dombret, Illinois politician Rodney L. Davis, .


  • Alex Payne (American professional wrestler) he was born in 06/08/1987
  • Stanley B. Prusiner (Neurologist, biochemist) he was born in 28/05/1942
  • Shawn Johnson (American gymnast) she was born in 19/01/1992
  • Cloris Leachman (American actress) she was born in 30/04/1926
  • Gertrude Käsebier (American photographer) she was born in 18/05/1852
  • Tionne Watkins (she is the modt sweetest person to ever meet truly.) she was born in 26/04/1970
  • Kate Elliott (American writer) she was born in 27/07/1958
  • Monrad Wallgren (American politician (1891-1961)) he was born in 17/04/1891
  • Rita McBride (American sculptor) she was born in 01/01/1960
  • Farrah Franklin (American actress and singer) she was born in 03/05/1981
  • Corey Taylor (American musician) he was born in 08/12/1973
  • Joey Jordison (American musician) he was born in 26/04/1975
  • Brandon Routh (American actor) he was born in 09/10/1979
  • Bill Bryson (American author) he was born in 08/12/1951
  • Shawn Crahan (American musician) he was born in 24/09/1969
  • Mick Thomson (American musician) he was born in 03/11/1973
  • Chris Fehn (American musician) he was born in 24/02/1973
  • Sid Wilson (American musician) he was born in 20/01/1977

Schools in Des Moines

College & universities near Des Moines, IA

Code Name City ZIP
153588 American College of Hairstyling-Des Moines Des Moines (IA) 50309
153977 Mercy College of Health Sciences Des Moines (IA) 50309-1239
153375 Grand View University Des Moines (IA) 50316
153542 UnityPoint Health-Des Moines School of Radiologic Technology Des Moines (IA) 50309-1453
153269 Drake University Des Moines (IA) 50311-4505

Stations (3)

Amtrak & bus stations near Des Moines, IA

Code Name Address Type
OSC Osceola Main & East Clay Streets RAIL
CRN Creston Pine and Adams Avenue RAIL
OTM Ottumwa station 210 West Main Street RAIL

Post offices near Des Moines

Post Office Name City ZIP
Des Moin Post Office Des Moines (IA) 50318
Capital Squar Post Office Des Moines (IA) 50309
University Station Post Office Des Moines (IA) 50311
East Sid Post Office Des Moines (IA) 50313
Beaverdal Post Office Des Moines (IA) 50310

Other places with the same name (3)

Other cities in Polk County

Cities, towns, neighborhoods & other populated places in Polk County , IA. (more)

City Name Population Title
Ankeny 70,068 The most populous city in Polk County, Iowa.
West Des Moines 69,057 The most populous city in Dallas County, Iowa.
Urbandale 44,650 A city in Polk County, Iowa.
Johnston 23,092 City in Iowa, United States
Altoona 19,503 City in Polk County, Iowa, United States
Clive 17,444 Human settlement in Iowa, United States of America
Grimes 15,831 City in Iowa, United States
Pleasant Hill 10,025 American city in Iowa
Bondurant 7,293 City in Polk County, Iowa, United States of America
Polk City 4,961 American city in Iowa
Windsor Heights 4,735 City in Polk County, Iowa, United States
Saylorville 3,301 City in Polk County, Iowa, United States of America
Mitchellville 2,273 City in Iowa, United States
Elkhart 952 American city in Iowa
Runnells 498 City in Polk County, Iowa, United States
Alleman 447 City in Polk County, Iowa, United States

Distance to Other Cities

Des Moines distances to largest Iowa cities