Metro Des Moines is an amazing place. From award-winning chefs, retail stores, and sports teams to being rated one of the best places to live in the nation, Des Moines has it all. Founded as an army outpost in the 1830s, Des Moines has grown to be the cultural, financial, governmental, and business hub of Iowa, and its place as a national and Midwestern hub of culture and business continues to rise. Des Moines is the fastest growing city in the Midwest. National publications have recognized Des Moines as a leader not only in growth but in livability, entertainment, and careers. Forbes magazine recently rated Des Moines as the Best Place for Young Professionals (2023). In the last few years, various publications have rated Des Moines among the best cities in the U.S. to live, work and play. This is especially true for young professionals..

  • #1 Best Place for Young Professionals, Forbes, 2023
  • #1 Best Midsized Metro for Millennials, Commercial Café, 2023
  • #1 Best Place to Live in the Midwest for High Salaries and Low Cost of Living, The Ascent, 2021
  • #2 Safest Place to Live, U.S. News & World Report, 2021
  • #3 Best Market for Recent College Graduates, Zillow, 2023
  • #4 Most Sustainable Metro, Site Selection, 2021
  • #4 Best U.S. City for Young Adults,, 2024
  • #4 Best Place to Raise Kids, SmartAsset, 2021
  • #4 Most Arts-Vibrant Mid-Sized Community, SMU DataArts, 2022
  • #7 Most Affordable Housing Market, GoodHire, 2021
  • #9 Metro for Number of Economic Development Projects (population 200,000 – 1 million), 2023
  • Best Mid-Size Town in the Midwest, MidwestLiving, 2022
  • Top 20 Best Place to Live in the U.S., U.S. News & World Report, 2023
  • Top 5 Minor League Sports Cities, Sports Business Journal, 2022
  • Top 10 Best Affordable City for Gen Z Renters, GoBankingRates, 2022
  • Top 10 City to Live in After the Pandemic, Today, 2021
  • One of Five Cool Places in America Where you Can Still Buy a Home for Less Than $200,000, MarketWatch, 2022
  • Top 20 Most Neighborly City in the U.S., Neighbor, 2023
  • One of Three “Breakout Cities on the Forefront of America’s Economic Recovery,” The Wall Street Journal, 2021
  • Top 10 Fastest-Growing Mid-Sized Metro, Site Selection Group, 2023
  • Top 12 Best Mid-Size City in the U.S., Extra Space Storage, 2023

The bottom line? Des Moines offers complex work, great career opportunities, and large-city amenities and events with reasonable costs, affordable living, and the opportunity to call one of the best cities in the Nation, home.


The Des Moines metro attracts (and retains) a large percentage of young professionals. Its abundant labor market, quality salaries, and affordable living provide young professionals opportunities they may not find elsewhere. The downtown community includes a work force of more than 80,000 people, connected by almost four miles of enclosed, climate-controlled skywalks connecting office buildings and apartments to hotels, restaurants, meeting facilities, Wells Fargo Arena, and coffee shops. Tech giants, such as Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook have staked a presence in the area. The Des Moines metro is home to the headquarters of large financial institutions, genetics companies and agricultural sciences companies. We are also home to creative and media companies, including the home of Dotdash Meredith, publisher of LIFE, Better Homes & Gardens, Magnolia, InStyle, Travel + Leisure, Entertainment Weekly, and People, among others. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce lauds Des Moines as the Insurance Capital of the U.S. And it is home to Iowa's medical hub, including several hospitals, clinics, and a local medical school. The public sector is also well-represented throughout the city; as Iowa's state capital, Des Moines features hundreds of high-level public service jobs, and it is home to a federal courthouse, the Iowa Court of Appeals, and the Iowa Supreme Court. Despite several corporate expansions and relocations to Des Moines in the past decade, the city continues to grow. Investors have funneled $3 billion into new development, and the city averages 40 development projects at all times. It's easy to see why the Des Moines metro is consistently ranked among the top places to live and work.  


Activities and events abound in the Des Moines Metro. Among others, downtown Des Moines hosts the Civic Center, Science Center, Botanical Garden, Iowa Events Center, Principal Riverwalk, and one of the nation's top-ranked summertime farmer's markets. This short list does not include favorite restaurants, breweries, locally owned shops, theaters and music venues, including Western Gateway Park, which hosts a number of events throughout the year. 

If you enjoy music, arts and culture, you will feel right at home in Des Moines. The Des Moines Arts Festival, an annual, nationally acclaimed summer event, attracts artists from all over the United States. Musical highlights include the Des Moines Metro Opera, Music Under the Stars and the Des Moines Symphony OrchestraThe Des Moines Civic Center is at the forefront of attracting highly sought-after musicals and plays – including attracting Hamilton, Hadestown, Six, MJ, and Moulin Rouge! -- not to mention the many community shows performed each year. The Des Moines Art Center boasts a nationally renowned collection of contemporary art. The Historical Society's collections include modern day pop culture paraphernalia (did you know both "Superman," Brandon Routh and "Aquaman," Jason Momoa played on the same Iowa high school soccer team?), as well as artifacts and images dating back to Iowa's pioneer days. The World Food and Music Festival features culinary delights from around the globe.   

If you prefer sports and recreation, the greater Des Moines Metro has plenty to offer. The Sports and Business Journal recently named Des Moines a top 5 Minor League Sports Market. Watch baseball at Principal Park, featuring the Iowa Cubs, where major-leaguers such as Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber earned their stripes. Cheer on the 2018 Indoor Football League Champions, the Iowa Barnstormers. If you like hockey and basketball, Des Moines has plenty to offer, the Iowa Wild and Iowa Wolves provide opportunities for young talent to show off before heading to the pros. If golf is your sport, Iowa has more courses per capita than any other state.  In the Des Moines area, you'll find golf courses for every skill level, including the home of the 2017 Solheim Cup, the 1999 U.S. Senior Open, and an Arnold Palmer Signature Course. Annually, Des Moines hosts the Principal Charity Classic, attracting a strong field of professional players to the metro. We also hosted the 2018 and 2019 National Outdoor Track and Field Championships and the 2018 NAIA Wrestling Championships. Des Moines hosted first-round NCAA tournament games in 2019 and 2023. And it hosted the National Gymnastics Championships in 2019 and 2022.  The recently completed Lauridsen Skate Park has hosted multiple Dew Tour events.

The city of Des Moines has more than 70 parks, with dozens more offered in the surrounding suburbs and communities. Saylorville Lake is a 6,000-acre boating, fishing and water sports playground on the northwest edge of Greater Des Moines. For biking, hiking, and running, Greater Des Moines contains well over 500 miles of trails, including trails along the Des Moines River, around Gray's Lake, and around Saylorville Lake. For a true challenge, Des Moines hosts the Des Moines Marathon and Half Marathon each October. As a measure of the city's recreational and sports activity the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index recently named Des Moines one of the top 25 communities for well-being.


People from all backgrounds find Des Moines to be an inviting and livable city. The city boasts a great housing and rental market, a low crime rate and a cost of living that is below the national average. Young professionals are buying homes at the highest rate in the nation. Thanks in part to recent improvements in traffic infrastructure, the average commute time is just 21 minutes. Affordability and convenience, however, do not make Des Moines mundane. Several James-Beard nominated chefs call Des Moines home, as do more than a dozen breweries. Des Moines houses a Cupcake Wars champion (as well as a runner up), and one of its bars boasts of the largest selection of craft beers in the world. But enough about food and drink. 

The rental housing market is also seeing great expansion. In the last decade, the Des Moines area has experienced a veritable explosion of new, modern developments, including, to name a few: FLUX Apartments; Confluence on 3rd and the The Equitable. In fact, several floors of the Financial Center (which houses Belin’s offices) are scheduled to be remodeled into state-of-the-art residences. Downtown neighborhoods are also expanding the Western Gateway hosts fine dining, coffee shops and corporate neighbors; the East Village contains several local boutiques and restaurants; and the up-and-coming Avenues neighborhood continues to expand. The Hilton Des Moines Downtown recently opened its doors and connects to the Iowa Events Center and has attracted regional and national conventions. Additionally, there are dozens of downtown developments and revitalizations planned and underway. 

As a place to raise a family, the Des Moines metro has almost no equal. According to SmartAsset, Des Moines is the #4 Best Place to Raise Kids in 2022. It is the second safest community in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report (2021). Iowa ranks among the leading states in SAT and ACT scores for the past two decades and Iowa has three state universities, 31 four-year colleges and 15 community colleges.

There is a place for everyone in Des Moines, and it is easy to see why over 700,000 people are proud to call the Des Moines Metro home. Des Moines offers its residents the amenities and opportunities of a large city along with the convenience, safety, and kindness of a small town.