The capital of Iowa, Des Moines is a sprawling city noted for kicking off the U.S. Presidential campaigns every four years. If you are looking for a more traditional place to raise a family, this may be the place.
Des Moines also serves as the seat of Polk County, and is the center of a growing metropolitan area. With an estimated 196,857 residents in 2006, Des Moines has experienced marginal growth since 1990. The core population peaked at 208,982 in 1960. Since then, outlying suburbs have boosted the overall metro population to over 534,230. While Des Moines has successfully annexed bordering areas, a plan to merge governments with Polk County was soundly rejected by voters. The median age of city residents was 35.6 years in 2006 with 76% of the population being White non-Hispanic. Another 8% were African American, 10% Hispanic and 4% Asian. The African American and Hispanic populations are significantly higher than the Iowa average. About 10% of residents were foreign born, significantly higher than the state average. Over 25% of residents claimed German ancestry. Families made up 62% of Des Moines households. The 2006 median income for households in Des Moines was $41,651, slightly under the state average. It was somewhat below the national average of $46,242. Unemployment in 2006, at 6.8% among the civilian workforce, was greater than the national trend. About 15% of the population lived in poverty, equal in percentage to the number of dropouts in Des Moines.