Des Moines, Iowa Population 2024

208,254

Des Moines is a city located in Madison County, Polk County, and Warren County Iowa. Des Moines has a 2024 population of 208,254. It is also the county seat of Polk County. Des Moines is currently declining at a rate of -0.66% annually and its population has decreased by -2.6% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 213,814 in 2020.

The average household income in Des Moines is $79,959 with a poverty rate of 15.2%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Des Moines is 34.4 years, 34.1 years for males, and 34.9 years for females.

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: 69.91%
  • Black or African American: 11.75%
  • Two or more races: 7.38%
  • Asian: 6.61%
  • Other race: 4.01%
  • Native American: 0.31%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.03%
State
Iowa
Land Area (mi²)
88.2 sq mi
Density (mi²)
2,362.20/sq mi
Growth Since 2020
-2.6% (-5,560)
The current population of Des Moines, Iowa is 208,254 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates.The last official US Census in 2020 recorded the population at 213,814.

Des Moines, Iowa Population 2024

Population by Race

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Race
Population
Percentage (of total)
White149,01969.91%
Black or African American25,05711.75%
Two or more races15,7287.38%
Asian14,0926.61%
Other race8,5464.01%
Native American6540.31%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander680.03%

White

Black or African American

Two or more races

Asian

Other race

Native American

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

Des Moines Population by Race

Des Moines Population Pyramid 2024

Des Moines Median Age

34.4

Total

34.1

Male

34.9

Female

Des Moines Adults

There are 163,696 adults, (26,531 of whom are seniors) in Des Moines.

Des Moines Age Dependency

55.4

Age Dependency Ratio

19.3

Old Age Dependency Ratio

36.1

Child Dependency Ratio

Des Moines Sex Ratio

Female107,90650.62%
Male105,25849.38%

Des Moines Population by Age

Des Moines Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Household Type
Count
Average Size
Owner
Renter
All88,8942.3460.339.7
Non Family40,9101.2644.455.6
Married30,8323.228416
Female12,3103.4350.449.6
Male4,8423.1668.131.9

3.14

Average Family Size

2.34

Average Household Size

60.3%

Rate of Home Ownership

Married

Male

Female

NonFamily

owner

renter

Des Moines Households and Families

Male

Female

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Education Attained
Count
Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade8,8626.32%
9th to 12th Grade8,5006.06%
High School Graduate40,92729.19%
Some College28,47620.31%
Associates Degree13,1949.41%
Bachelors Degree27,60219.69%
Graduate Degree12,6289.01%

Less Than 9th Grade

9th to 12th Grade

High School Graduate

Some College

Associates Degree

Bachelors Degree

Graduate Degree

Des Moines Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Des Moines Educational Attainment by Race

High School Graduation Rate

Bachelors Rate

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Race
Total
High School
Bachelors
White100,08994,76833,672
Hispanic14,2248,7431,472
Black13,35810,6422,060
Asian8,8325,4682,173
2+ Races6,7885,0441,342
Other Race4,2462,149225
Native American40536874
Islander20180

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 94.68%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 33.64%.

Des Moines Educational Attainment by Race

All

Male

Female

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Name
Average
Male
Female
Overall$44,860$50,094$38,890
Less Than 9th Grade$31,733$37,527$25,717
High School Graduate$36,195$41,880$29,193
Some College$41,993$48,723$37,251
Bachelors Degree$58,212$66,483$52,068
Graduate Degree$74,958$84,665$71,143

$44,860

Average Earnings

$50,094

Average Male

$38,890

Average Female

Des Moines Earnings by Educational Attainment

Des Moines Language by Age

Only English

Spanish

Other Indo-European Languages

Asian and Pacific Island Languages

Other Languages

Des Moines Language

79.47% of Des Moines residents speak only English, while 20.53% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 10.17% of the population.

Des Moines Language

Des Moines Poverty by Race

rate

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Name
Total
In Poverty
Poverty Rate
White131,32814,18010.8%
Black24,5758,16233.21%
Hispanic30,3075,65118.65%
Multiple15,5803,02019.38%
Asian13,9882,07514.83%
Other8,5361,67319.6%
Native6387111.13%
Islander6111.64%

15.2%

Overall Poverty Rate

14.58%

Male Poverty Rate

15.8%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Des Moines

The race most likely to be in poverty in Des Moines is Black, with 33.21% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Des Moines is Islander, with 1.64% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.97%. Among those working part-time, it was 19.26%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 27.21%.

Des Moines Poverty

rate

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Rate
Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade23.52%
High School14.44%
Some College10.5%
Bachelors or Greater4.99%

Des Moines Poverty Rate by Education

rate

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Rate
Poverty
Female Unemployed29.89%
Male Unemployed28.56%
Female Employed8.44%
Male Employed6.11%

Des Moines Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Des Moines Income by Household Type

Households

Families

MarriedFamilies

NonFamilies

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Name
Median
Mean
Households$62,378$79,959
Families$76,602$96,024
Married Families$93,308$116,759
Non Families$45,774$57,002

mean

median

Income by Household Type

Des Moines Marital Status

Married

Widowed

Divorced

Separated

NeverMarried

Marriage Rates

38.8%

Overall Marriage Rate

40.3%

Male Marriage Rate

37.4%

Female Marriage Rate

Des Moines Married by Age and Sex

male

female

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

Married

Widowed

Divorced

Separated

NeverMarried

Des Moines Marital Status

Second Gulf War

First Gulf War

Vietnam

Korea

World War II

9,328

Number of Veterans

8,515

Male Veterans

813

Female Veterans

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War
Veterans
Vietnam3,158
Second Gulf War1,832
First Gulf War1,588
Korea656
World War II131

Des Moines Veterans by War

count

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Age Group
Veterans
65 to 742,251
35 to 542,041
55 to 642,033
75+1,956
18 to 341,047

Des Moines Veterans by Age

count

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Name
Veterans
% of Total
White8,3306.83%
Black6013.74%
Hispanic3041.66%
2+ Races1912.05%
Asian1050.99%
Other Race861.66%
Native American143.08%
Islander13.7%

Des Moines Veterans by Race

Des Moines Veterans by Education

Less Than 9th Grade

High School Graduate

Some College

Bachelors or Greater

9.34%

Veteran Poverty Rate

30.58%

Veteran Disability Rate

Des Moines Veterans by Education

LaborForceParticipation

70%

Labor Force Participation

65.8%

Employment Rate

5.9%

Unemployment Rate

Des Moines Employment by Age

LaborForceParticipation

Des Moines Employment by Race

LaborForceParticipation

Des Moines Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

Europe

Asia

Africa

Oceania

Latin America

North America

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

Europe

Asia

Africa

Oceania

Latin America

North America

65.28%

Born in Des Moines

86.34%

Native Born

13.66%

Foreign Born

7.86%

Non Citizen

5.8%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

86.34% of Des Moines residents were born in the United States, with 65.28% having been born in Iowa. 7.86% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Des Moines Place of Birth

Note: data after 2022 is projected based on recent change

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Year
Population
Growth
Growth Rate
2029201,304-1,390-0.69%
2028202,694-1,390-0.68%
2027204,084-1,390-0.68%
2026205,474-1,390-0.67%
2025206,864-1,390-0.67%
2024208,254-1,390-0.66%
2023209,644-1,390-0.66%
2022211,034-1,504-0.71%
2021212,538-1,276-0.6%
2020213,814-1,063-0.49%
2019214,877-1,427-0.66%
2018216,304-753-0.35%
2017217,0574750.22%
2016216,5821,1370.53%
2015215,4459320.43%
2014214,5132,3711.12%
2013212,1421,8150.86%
2012210,3272,3601.13%
2011207,9672,9251.43%
2010205,0426,3603.2%
2000198,6825,4952.84%
1990193,1872,1841.14%
1980191,003-10,401-5.16%
1970201,404-7,578-3.63%
1960208,98231,01717.43%
1950177,96518,14611.35%
1940159,81917,26012.11%
1930142,55916,09112.72%
1920126,46840,10046.43%
191086,36824,22938.99%
190062,13912,04624.05%
189050,09327,685123.55%
188022,40810,37386.19%
187012,0358,070203.53%
18603,96500%
showing: 35 rows

Des Moines Population by Year