Des Moines, Iowa Population 2021

210,723
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Des Moines is a city located in Iowa. With a 2020 population of 210,723, it is the largest city in Iowa and the 111th largest city in the United States. Des Moines is currently declining at a rate of -0.83% annually but its population has increased by 3.58% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 203,433 in 2010. Des Moines reached it's highest population of 216,662 in 2017. Spanning over 91 miles, Des Moines has a population density of 2,390 people per square mile.

The average household income in Des Moines is $69,074 with a poverty rate of 16.07%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $855 per month, and the median house value is $133,200. The median age in Des Moines is 34.2 years, 33.4 years for males, and 35.2 years for females. For every 100 females there are 97.3 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: 75.75%
  • Black or African American: 11.36%
  • Asian: 6.17%
  • Two or more races: 3.91%
  • Other race: 2.29%
  • Native American: 0.45%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.06%
The current population of Des Moines, Iowa is 210,723, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 215,994.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 203,433.

Des Moines, Iowa Population 2021

2019 and 2020 population is estimated by projecting the raw 2018 numbers.

Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2021716,0468,3771.17%
2020707,6698,3771.18%
2019699,2928,3771.20%
2018690,9159,5021.38%
2017681,41310,3581.52%
2016671,05511,5331.72%
2015659,5229,8701.50%
2014649,65211,8061.82%
2013637,84611,0681.74%
2012626,7788,4791.35%
2011618,2999,3691.52%
2010608,9300.00%

Des Moines Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White163,35375.75%
Black or African American24,50211.36%
Asian13,2986.17%
Two or More Races8,4383.91%
Some Other Race4,9442.29%
American Indian and Alaska Native9620.45%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1390.06%
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Des Moines Population by Race

Des Moines Population Pyramid 2021

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Des Moines Median Age

34.2


Total

33.4


Male

35.2


Female

Des Moines Adults

There are 164,355 adults, (25,892 of whom are seniors) in Des Moines.

Des Moines Age Dependency

55.7

Age Dependency Ratio

18.7

Old Age Dependency Ratio

37

Child Dependency Ratio

Des Moines Sex Ratio

Female

109,320

50.70%

Male

106,316

49.30%

Des Moines Population by Age

Des Moines Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Des Moines Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married81.3%18.7%
Male60.7%39.3%
All60.1%39.9%
Non Family47.7%52.3%
Female44.3%55.7%

60.1%

Rate of Home Ownership

Des Moines Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All85,8332.4560.1
Non Family37,4401.3147.7
Married31,1793.2481.3
Female12,5843.5644.3
Male4,6303.4260.7

3.21

Average Family Size

2.45

Average Household Size

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Des Moines Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade9,0716.41%
9th to 12th Grade10,2827.27%
High School Graduate41,75829.51%
Some College30,06421.24%
Associates Degree12,5678.88%
Bachelors Degree26,30718.59%
Graduate Degree11,4688.10%
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Des Moines Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Des Moines Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Total High School Bachelors
White104,17396,55832,523
Hispanic13,6567,8091,229
Black13,35710,8531,818
Asian8,0234,8801,629
Other Race2,6151,309206
Multiple Races2,5812,111566
Native American546395109
Islander887814

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 92.69%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 31.22%.

Des Moines Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$36,930$41,696$32,024
Less Than High School$26,713$30,748$22,465
High School Grad$31,550$37,199$25,497
Some College$34,087$40,008$30,559
Bachelors Degree$49,578$55,726$43,314
Graduate Degree$64,211$71,750$62,567

$36,930

Average Earnings

$41,696

Average Male

$32,024

Average Female

Des Moines Earnings by Educational Attainment

Des Moines Language by Age

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Des Moines Language

81.55% of Des Moines residents speak only English, while 18.45% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 9.43% of the population.

Des Moines Language

Des Moines Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White138,08215,95311.55%
Black24,0197,32930.51%
Hispanic28,8356,77723.50%
Multiple8,2912,83034.13%
Asian13,1921,75713.32%
Other4,8931,18124.14%
Native94415716.63%
Islander1391510.79%

16.07%

Overall Poverty Rate

14.88%

Male Poverty Rate

17.24%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Des Moines

The race most likely to be in poverty in Des Moines is Multiple, with 34.13% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Des Moines is Islander, with 10.79% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.94%. Among those working part-time, it was 21.78%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 27.62%.

Des Moines Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than High School23.64%
High School15.06%
Some College11.77%
Bachelors or Greater4.25%

Des Moines Poverty Rate by Education

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Name Poverty
Female Unemployed41.83%
Male Unemployed27.95%
Female Employed9.56%
Male Employed5.98%

Des Moines Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Des Moines Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$53,525$69,074
Families$64,596$81,186
Married Families$80,011$99,879
Non Families$37,142$49,394
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Income by Household Type

Des Moines Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

40.0%

Overall Marriage Rate

41.5%

Male Marriage Rate

38.5%

Female Marriage Rate

Des Moines Married by Age and Sex

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Des Moines Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.

Des Moines Marital Status by Race

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Des Moines Marital Status

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10,388

Number of Veterans

9,715

Male Veterans

673

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam3,353
Second Gulf War2,276
First Gulf War1,781
Korea763
World War II382

Des Moines Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
35 to 542,487
65 to 742,252
75+2,198
55 to 642,068
18 to 341,383

Des Moines Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White9,3337.16%
Black6904.28%
Hispanic2491.45%
Asian1291.33%
2 or More1163.06%
Indian699.82%
Other511.52%

Des Moines Veterans by Race

Des Moines Veterans by Education

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9.02%

Veteran Poverty Rate

30.26%

Veteran Disability Rate

Des Moines Veterans by Education

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70.3%

Labor Force Participation

66.1%

Employment Rate

5.8%

Unemployment Rate

Des Moines Employment by Age

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Des Moines Employment by Race

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Des Moines Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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65.74%

Born in Iowa

87.55%

Native Born

12.45%

Foreign Born

8.06%

Non Citizen

4.39%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

87.55% of Des Moines residents were born in the United States, with 65.74% having been born in Iowa. 8.06% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Des Moines Place of Birth

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2021210,723-1,757-0.83%
2020212,480-1,757-0.82%
2019214,237-1,757-0.81%
2018215,994-668-0.31%
2017216,6623540.16%
2016216,3081,0650.49%
2015215,2438930.42%
2014214,3502,3241.10%
2013212,0261,7820.85%
2012210,2442,3201.12%
2011207,9242,8921.41%
2010205,0326,3500.32%
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 by Year