Des Moines, Iowa Population 2018

Des Moines is the capital and most populous city of Iowa. The city is named for the Des Moines River and it's located where the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers meet. The city is important in United States presidential politics and frequently tops lists as one of the best cities for business and living.

Des Moines has an estimated population of 209,000 people, up from 203,000 in 2010. This means Des Moines ranks 104th in the United States in terms of population, with a density of 2,517 people per square mile or 972 per square kilometer. The five-county metropolitan region has an estimated population of 590,000 and ranks 88th in the country.

Des Moines Demographics

At the 2010 census, the racial composition of Des Moines was:

  • White: 76.4% (non-Hispanic: 70.5%)
  • African American: 10.2%
  • Asian: 4.4% (1.2% Vietnamese, 0.9% Laotian, 0.4% Burmese, 0.3% Asian Indian, 0.3% Thai, 0.2% Chinese, 0.2% Cambodian, 0.2% Filipino, 0.1% Hmong, 0.1% Nepalese, 0.1% Korean)
  • Native American: 0.5%
  • Pacific Islander: 0.1%
  • Other races: 5.0%
  • Two or more races: 3.4%
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 12.0% (9.4% Mexican, 0.7% Salvadoran, 0.3% Guatemalan, 0.3% Puerto Rican, 0.1% Ecuadorian, 0.1% Honduran, 0.1% Spaniard, 0.1% Cuban, 0.1% Spanish)

The Hispanic population has grown dramatically, up from 6.61% of the population in 20000. The most common European ancestry groups are: German (20.9%), Irish (10.3%), American (9.1%), and English (8.0%).

Des Moines has an unemployment rate of just 4.6% -- lower than the national average -- with a cost of living that is 8.1% below the national average.

Des Moines Population Growth

Since 2010, three-quarters of the population growth in Iowa has been concentrated in just 10 cities, most of which are in the central part of the state. The largest population growth in the last four years has been seen in Des Moines and Ames. The cities with the highest growth, in order, are: Ankeny, West Des Moines, Iowa City and Des Moines.

In 2012, the population of Des Moines grew by an estimated 1.6% from 2010, compared to 0.91% for the state as a whole and 0.58% for the Midwest.

Des Moines History

Des Moines has been occupied by humans for at least 7,000 years, with many prehistoric occupation areas in present-day downtown Des Moines. There were also about 18 prehistoric American Indian mounds in the downtown area seen by early settlers, although all were destroyed.

The City of Des Moines traces its start to 1843, when Captain James Allen oversaw the construction of a fort where the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers meet. While he wanted to name it Fort Raccoon, the War Department had him name it Fort Des Moines. The fort was constructed to control nearby Indians, who were transplanted to the area from their lands in the eastern part of the state. In 1846, the fort was abandoned when the Meskwaki and Sauk Indians were removed from the state.

Settlers took over the abandoned fort and surrounding areas. By 1846, Fort Des Moines became the seat of Polk County, although a great deal of the town was destroyed by the Flood of 1851, when the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers rose.

In 1851, Des Moines was incorporated and renamed to just Des Moines 6 years later as the state capital was moved to the city from Iowa City. Growth eventually exploded once a railroad link was finished in 1866. By 1900, Des Moines was the largest city in the state with 62,100 people, which was more than 97% white and less than 3% black.

Des Moines Facts

  • Des Moines was named for the Des Moines River, which is possibly adapted from the French Rivière des Moines, or "River of the Monks."
  • Des Moines is a center for the insurance industry in the United States and it was ranked the 3rd largest insurance capital in the world.
  • In 2010, the "Palace," a 7,000-year-old site, was discovered at the new wastewater treatment plant in Des Moines with intact house deposits and graves.
  • The National Bar Association was founded in Des Moines in 1925.
  • The Iowa Caucus is the first step in the presidential candidate nomination for Democrats and Republicans. During this time, international media falls onto the metropolitan area.
  • The University of Iowa was the first public university in the United States to admit women alongside men.
  • Over 80,000 people go downtown to work each week day, which is one of the highest rates per capita in the country.
Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2017217,5219390.43%
2016216,5821,4300.66%
2015215,1521,2650.59%
2014213,8872,3361.10%
2013211,5511,5950.76%
2012209,9562,5141.21%
2011207,4422,5401.24%
2010204,9026,2200.31%
2000198,6825,4950.28%
1990193,1872,1840.11%
1980191,003-10,401-0.53%
1970201,404-7,578-0.37%
1960208,98231,0171.62%
1950177,96518,1461.08%
1940159,81917,2601.15%
1930142,55916,0911.20%
1920126,46840,1003.89%
191086,36824,2293.35%
190062,13912,0462.18%
189050,09327,6858.38%
188022,40810,3736.41%
187012,0358,07011.74%
18603,9650.00%

Des Moines Population in 2018Source: By Iqkotze [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Population by Race

Race Population
White164,184
Black or African American23,469
Asian11,722
Two or More Races7,199
Some Other Race5,109
American Indian and Alaska Native993
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander183

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey)

Des Moines Population Pyramid 2018

0%2%4%6%8% Male Population0%2%4%6%8% Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S0101

Des Moines Median Age

33.7


Total

32.5


Male

35.1


Female

Des Moines Adults

There are 159,857 adults, (24,266 of which are seniors) in Des Moines.

Des Moines Age Dependency

57

Age Dependency Ratio

17.9

Old Age Dependency Ratio

39.1

Child Dependency Ratio

Des Moines Sex Ratio

Female

108,060

50.77%

Male

104,799

49.23%

Des Moines Households and Families

Des Moines Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Des Moines Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married79.6%20.4%
All60.2%39.8%
Male50.2%49.8%
Non Family49.3%50.7%
Female43.7%56.3%

60.2%

Rate of Home Ownership

Des Moines Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All83,1412.4960.2
Non Family34,2281.2949.3
Married31,9843.2979.6
Female12,6413.4143.7
Male4,2883.4450.2

3.21

Average Family Size

2.49

Average Household Size

7.7%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.3%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Des Moines Households

Des Moines Education

Des Moines Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade7,5405.47%
9th to 12th Grade10,1577.37%
High School Graduate41,88130.37%
Some College30,39522.04%
Associates Degree13,2299.59%
Bachelors Degree24,30617.62%
Graduate Degree10,4017.54%

Des Moines Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White104,01896,12530,256
Black12,59310,4831,874
Hispanic12,5307,213954
Asian6,8094,5861,441
Other Race2,7861,664234
Multiple Races2,0311,794263
Native American46835546
Islander10339

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 92.41%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 29.09%.

Des Moines Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$32,705$37,225$29,388
Less Than High School$24,068$27,261$19,394
High School Grad$27,786$32,321$22,810
Some College$31,548$37,732$27,262
Bachelors Degree$43,661$49,593$40,221
Graduate Degree$60,209$66,015$56,755

$32,705

Average Earnings

$37,225

Average Male

$29,388

Average Female

Des Moines Language

Des Moines Language by Age

Des Moines Language

82.66% of Des Moines residents speak only English, while 17.34% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is Spanish, which is spoken by 9.14% of the population.

Des Moines Poverty

Des Moines Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White139,97719,25013.75%
Black23,0698,23335.69%
Hispanic26,6257,50928.20%
Asian11,6182,32019.97%
Multiple7,0162,16930.92%
Other5,0251,43228.50%
Native97847848.88%
Islander175116.29%

18.97%

Overall Poverty Rate

17.14%

Male Poverty Rate

20.76%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Des Moines

The race most likely to be in poverty in Des Moines is Native, with 48.88% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Des Moines is Islander, with 6.29% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 3.53%. Among those working part-time, it was 25.34%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 29.76%.

Des Moines Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School26.51%
High School17.38%
Some College13.92%
Bachelors or Greater5.48%

Des Moines Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed47.01%
Male Unemployed32.96%
Female Employed11.47%
Male Employed7.42%

Des Moines Income

Des Moines Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$48,088$62,485
Families$58,564$72,746
Married Families$73,310$89,696
Non Families$32,548$44,322

Des Moines Marital Status

Des Moines Marital Status

Marriage Rates

41.8%

Overall Marriage Rate

43.2%

Male Marriage Rate

40.5%

Female Marriage Rate

Des Moines Married by Age and Sex

Des Moines Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35To44.

Des Moines Marital Status by Race

Des Moines Veterans

Des Moines Veterans by War

11,409

Number of Veterans

10,499

Male Veterans

910

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam3,682
Second Gulf War1,780
First Gulf War1,739
Korea1,021
World War II757

Des Moines Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
35 to 543,114
55 to 642,502
75+2,492
65 to 742,088
18 to 341,213

Des Moines Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White9,7237.54%
Black1,1677.62%
Hispanic3662.36%
Asian2022.39%
2 or More1555.35%
Other992.99%
Indian548.68%
Hawaiian96.87%

Des Moines Veterans by Education

8.01%

Veteran Poverty Rate

28.22%

Veteran Disability Rate

Des Moines Employment Status

Des Moines Employment by Age

70.5%

Labor Force Participation

65.4%

Employment Rate

7.1%

Unemployment Rate

Des Moines Employment by Race

Des Moines Employment by Education

Des Moines Place of Birth

Origin of Non Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

66.36%

Born in Iowa

88.14%

Native Born

11.86%

Foreign Born

7.43%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

88.14% of Des Moines residents were born in the United States, with 66.36% having been born in Iowa. 7.43% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.