Des Moines, Iowa Population 2020

217,891

Des Moines is a city located in Iowa. With a 2020 population of 217,891, it is the largest city in Iowa and the 103rd largest city in the United States. Des Moines is currently growing at a rate of 0.24% annually and its population has increased by 7.11% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 203,433 in 2010. Spanning over 91 miles, Des Moines has a population density of 2,471 people per square mile.

The average household income in Des Moines is $67,235 with a poverty rate of 17.22%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $822 per month, and the median house value is $127,200. The median age in Des Moines is 33.9 years, 33 years for males, and 34.9 years for females. For every 100 females there are 96.9 males.

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 vital in United States presidential politics and frequently tops lists as one of the best cities for business and living.

The five-county metropolitan region has an estimated population of 590,000 and ranks 88th in the country.

Des Moines Diversity and Labor Statistics

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 ten 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 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 weekday, which is one of the highest rates per capita in the country.

Humans have occupied Des Moines for at least 7,000 years, with many ancient 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 Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Des Moines was:

  • White: 75.39%
  • Black or African American: 11.28%
  • Asian: 6.54%
  • Two or more races: 3.98%
  • Other race: 2.28%
  • Native American: 0.45%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.08%
The current population of Des Moines, Iowa is 217,891, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 216,853.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 203,433.

Des Moines, Iowa Population 2020

Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020676,02710,3091.52%
2019665,71810,3091.55%
2018655,40910,3091.57%
2017645,10010,4411.62%
2016634,65911,6671.84%
2015622,99210,1451.63%
2014612,84711,7001.91%
2013601,14710,9471.82%
2012590,2008,5581.45%
2011581,6429,5171.64%
2010572,1250.00%

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White162,79075.39%
Black or African American24,35611.28%
Asian14,1266.54%
Two or More Races8,5893.98%
Some Other Race4,9282.28%
American Indian and Alaska Native9640.45%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1790.08%

Des Moines Population Pyramid 2020

Des Moines Median Age

33.9


Total

33


Male

34.9


Female

Des Moines Adults

There are 163,043 adults, (25,251 of whom are seniors) in Des Moines.

Des Moines Age Dependency

56.7

Age Dependency Ratio

18.3

Old Age Dependency Ratio

38.4

Child Dependency Ratio

Des Moines Sex Ratio

Female

109,666

50.79%

Male

106,266

49.21%

Des Moines Households and Families

Des Moines Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Des Moines Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married80.3%19.7%
All59.7%40.3%
Male55.2%44.8%
Non Family48.1%51.9%
Female42.8%57.2%

59.7%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All84,1402.559.7
Non Family36,1531.3348.1
Married31,3793.2980.3
Female12,2493.642.8
Male4,3593.555.2

3.26

Average Family Size

2.5

Average Household Size

8.2%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.5%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Des Moines Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade8,9786.40%
9th to 12th Grade10,5637.53%
High School Graduate42,20030.07%
Some College29,49621.02%
Associates Degree12,8699.17%
Bachelors Degree24,97017.79%
Graduate Degree11,2618.02%

Des Moines Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White103,34395,40231,207
Black13,25110,7801,841
Hispanic13,1927,4531,093
Asian8,2445,0831,634
Other Race2,6121,330201
Multiple Races2,4172,061454
Native American48233881
Islander1367214

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 92.32%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 30.20%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$35,575$40,445$31,047
Less Than High School$26,697$30,410$22,695
High School Grad$30,712$36,219$23,538
Some College$33,105$39,253$28,987
Bachelors Degree$47,255$53,707$42,060
Graduate Degree$62,295$69,622$59,681

$35,575

Average Earnings

$40,445

Average Male

$31,047

Average Female

Des Moines Language

Des Moines Language by Age

Des Moines Language

81.67% of Des Moines residents speak only English, while 18.33% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 9.15% of the population.

Des Moines Poverty

Des Moines Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White137,23716,62312.11%
Hispanic28,3527,46926.34%
Black23,8657,40931.05%
Multiple8,4173,00935.75%
Asian13,9902,11415.11%
Other4,8771,33127.29%
Native94326428.00%
Islander179105.59%

17.22%

Overall Poverty Rate

15.32%

Male Poverty Rate

19.05%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Des Moines

The race most likely to be in poverty in Des Moines is Multiple, with 35.75% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Des Moines is Islander, with 5.59% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 3.23%. Among those working part-time, it was 23.39%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 27.93%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School23.66%
High School15.86%
Some College12.64%
Bachelors or Greater5.28%
Name Poverty
Female Unemployed43.19%
Male Unemployed25.97%
Female Employed10.71%
Male Employed6.53%

Des Moines Income

Des Moines Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$52,251$67,235
Families$62,979$78,429
Married Families$78,267$96,513
Non Families$35,547$48,519

Des Moines Marital Status

Des Moines Marital Status

Marriage Rates

40.4%

Overall Marriage Rate

41.8%

Male Marriage Rate

39.1%

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 55-64, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.

Des Moines Marital Status by Race

Des Moines Veterans

10,147

Number of Veterans

9,351

Male Veterans

796

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam3,200
Second Gulf War2,025
First Gulf War1,840
Korea886
World War II514
Age Group Veterans
35 to 542,595
75+2,223
65 to 742,181
55 to 641,954
18 to 341,194
Name Veterans % of Total
White9,0357.00%
Black7834.94%
Hispanic2621.57%
Asian1201.18%
2 or More902.47%
Other621.86%
Indian578.68%

$Des Moines Veterans by Education

6.55%

Veteran Poverty Rate

27.59%

Veteran Disability Rate

Des Moines Employment Status

70.3%

Labor Force Participation

66%

Employment Rate

6%

Unemployment Rate

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

65.42%

Born in Iowa

87.43%

Native Born

12.57%

Foreign Born

7.96%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

87.43% of Des Moines residents were born in the United States, with 65.42% having been born in Iowa. 7.96% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020217,8915190.24%
2019217,3725190.24%
2018216,853-153-0.07%
2017217,0065190.24%
2016216,4871,1150.52%
2015215,3729820.46%
2014214,3902,3551.11%
2013212,0351,8050.86%
2012210,2302,3601.14%
2011207,8702,8661.40%
2010205,0046,3220.31%
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%