business

No. 9: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines’s friendly, hometown atmosphere, top public schooling and affordable cost of living make it an ideal place to raise a family.

MAGNET FOR FAMILIES

Population: 532,425Population Growth Since 2000: 9.6%Percentage of Workforce in Creative Class: 32.1%Cost-of-Living Index: 90.6 (100 being national average)Median Household Income: $53,384Income Growth Since 2000: 16.3%

Des Moines’s friendly, hometown atmosphere, top public schooling and affordable cost of living make it an ideal place to raise a family. But it also has big city amenities, including a growing arts scene with galleries, a symphony orchestra, a ballet and opera, trendy shops and an expanding skyscraper cityscape.

The local economy is gaining momentum as well. Jobs will increase mainly in finance, insurance, government and manufacturing. About 60 insurance companies here make the city the third largest insurance center in the world

Housing is still affordable. The median price for a single-family home is just under $150,000. In the northwest suburbs, for example, a 2,100-square foot three-bedroom home will go for $165,000. For those seeking trendier accommodations, a one-bedroom condo in the downtown’s newly redeveloped Western Gateway neighborhood can fetch a price of under $130,000, while a 2,700-square foot, newly renovated Victorian home in the western suburbs can go for just under $330,000.

For summer fun, Des Moines offers trails for hiking and biking and lakes for boating and fishing, the Adventureland amusement park, an annual arts festival at the city’s Western Gateway Park and the annual Iowa State Fair. While you’re there, don’t miss the traditional "butter cow" sculpture made from 600 lbs. of low-moisture, pure cream Iowa butter.

NEXT: No. 10 -- Provo

HOME | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 | Best Cities Center

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
You Can Appeal a Medicare Premium Surcharge
Medicare

You Can Appeal a Medicare Premium Surcharge

If you meet one of the seven qualifying life events, you have a good chance of getting a higher premium for Medicare Part B and Part D reduced.
June 16, 2021
12 Housing Stocks to Ride the Red-Hot Market
investing

12 Housing Stocks to Ride the Red-Hot Market

The U.S. has a housing shortage and a love affair with home improvement, both of which could create tailwinds for this group of housing stocks.
June 8, 2021

Recommended

Keep Moving Costs in Check
Making Your Money Last

Keep Moving Costs in Check

If I've learned anything, it's that moving is almost always more costly and time-consuming than I anticipate.
June 18, 2021
You Got That New Job: Now It’s Time to Make the Right Financial Choices
careers

You Got That New Job: Now It’s Time to Make the Right Financial Choices

Young professionals are on the move. If you’ve made a switch or have one on the horizon, follow this checklist to keep your finances on track.
June 14, 2021
How Working Parents Fail at Home and on the Job
careers

How Working Parents Fail at Home and on the Job

Balancing work and home life is tricky, so don’t beat yourself up if you teeter sometimes. Take some lessons from this list on what not to do as a wor…
May 25, 2021
How to Get Sued for Age Discrimination
careers

How to Get Sued for Age Discrimination

Employers can’t afford to do these seven things. And if you are a worker wondering if you have grounds for an age discrimination lawsuit, start taking…
May 23, 2021