Pros and Cons of living in Des Moines

Des Moines, the capital city of Iowa, is a bustling metropolis that offers a unique blend of urban conveniences and small-town charm. With affordable living, a thriving job market, and an array of cultural and recreational opportunities, Des Moines attracts a diverse population of residents from all walks of life. However, as with any city, there are pros and cons to living in Des Moines. In this article, we delve into the opportunities that await you in Des Moines, as well as the challenges you may encounter. Whether you’re considering a move to Des Moines or simply want to learn more about life in this vibrant city, we’ve got you covered. Join us as we explore the pros and cons of living in Des Moines.

Pros of Living in Des Moines

1. Affordable Cost of Living – Des Moines has a lower cost of living compared to other major cities in the US, making it an ideal place to live for those on a budget.
2. Booming Job Market – The city has a diverse economy with plenty of employment opportunities in various industries and has seen strong job growth in recent years.
3. Great Quality of Life – With a mix of urban and suburban neighborhoods, outdoor recreation options, top-rated schools, and diverse cultural attractions, Des Moines is a great place to live for families and singles alike.
4. Friendly People – Des Moines is known for its Midwestern hospitality, with residents being welcoming and friendly to newcomers and tourists.
5. Food Scene – The city is home to a thriving culinary scene, featuring locally-sourced produce and meats, craft beer, and award-winning restaurants.
6. Strong Community Involvement – Des Moines residents are known for their strong community involvement, with a variety of volunteer opportunities and community-driven events throughout the year.
7. Growing Arts and Culture – The city has a rich arts and culture scene, featuring museums, galleries, theaters, and festivals celebrating music, dance, and visual arts.
8. Easy Commute – Des Moines is easy to navigate, with a relatively short commute time and low traffic congestion, making it an ideal place to live for those who value a stress-free commute.

Cons of Living in Des Moines

1. Harsh Winters – The winters in Des Moines can be harsh with freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall, making driving and getting around difficult.
2. Limited Public Transit – While Des Moines has a bus system, it may not be convenient or accessible for everyone, particularly those living in suburbs or further out from the city center.
3. Limited Entertainment Options – Compared to larger cities, Des Moines may have limited options for entertainment, particularly for those looking for a more diverse or niche experience.
4. Lack of Diversity – Des Moines has a predominantly white population, which can result in limited cultural experiences and less diversity in neighborhoods and schools.
5. High Property Tax – Iowa has one of the highest property tax rates in the country, which can be a burden for homeowners and those looking to purchase property in Des Moines.
6. Limited Job Opportunities – While there are job opportunities in Des Moines, particularly in the insurance and financial industries, the job market may be limited compared to larger cities.
7. Traffic Congestion – Traffic can be congested during rush hour and major events, particularly around downtown and major highways.
8. Limited Educational Opportunities – While Des Moines has reputable schools and universities, there may be limited options for those looking for specialized or advanced programs.
9. Air Quality – Due to the city’s location and occasional weather patterns, Des Moines can experience poor air quality on certain days, particularly during the summer months.
10. Severe Weather – Iowa is known for severe weather, including tornadoes and flash floods, which can be a safety concern for those living in Des Moines.

Cost of Living Des Moines

The cost of living in Des Moines is generally considered affordable. According to recent data, the cost of living in Des Moines is 6.4% lower than the national average. This is due in part to the lower cost of housing, with the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment being $772 per month in 2023, which is slightly higher than the previous year. However, the average cost of utilities such as electricity, water, heating, and garbage is approximately $150 per month, which is relatively unchanged from 2022. Overall, Des Moines remains an affordable place to live when compared with other major cities in the United States.

Best Neighborhoods in Des Moines

Des Moines is a vibrant city in Iowa that offers a wide range of vibrant neighborhoods to choose from. Each neighborhood has its own unique characteristics and offers different advantages to residents. Some of the best neighborhoods in Des Moines are Beaverdale, Waveland Park, and Downtown Des Moines. The Beaverdale neighborhood is known for its charming bungalows, tree-lined streets, and local eateries. Waveland Park is a more affluent neighborhood that offers larger houses, spacious yards, and easy access to the city’s top private schools. Downtown Des Moines is perfect for those who want to be in the heart of the action, with plenty of restaurants, shops, and attractions within walking distance. No matter which neighborhood you choose, you can be sure that Des Moines is a great place to live, work, and raise a family.

Moving to Des Moines,IA: Tips and Resources

If you are considering moving to Des Moines, Iowa, there are plenty of resources available to help you make your decision. As a first step, check out the article ‘Pros and Cons of living in Des Moines’ to get an overview of the city’s highlights and potential downsides. Other resources to consider include the Des Moines Chamber of Commerce website, local real estate agents, and online forums where you can connect with current residents and get firsthand accounts of what it’s like to live in Des Moines. Plan your move carefully and take advantage of the many resources available to make your transition to the city as smooth and successful as possible.

Conclusion: Is Des Moines Right for You?

In conclusion, Des Moines can be a great fit for individuals or families who are looking for a relatively affordable place to live with a welcoming community, thriving job market, and endless opportunities for entertainment and outdoor recreation. However, it may not be the best place for people who crave the excitement of a big city or a warm climate. Before making a decision, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of living in Des Moines and consider your personal preferences and lifestyle. Ultimately, Des Moines can be a great place to call home for those who value a balance between city amenities and small town charm.


Q: What is the population of Des Moines,IA?
A: According to the latest data in 2023, the population of Des Moines,IA is estimated to be around 223,000.

Q: What is the cost of living in Des Moines,IA?
A: The cost of living in Des Moines,IA is slightly lower than the national average. The cost of housing, transportation and healthcare are all lower than the national average.

Q: What is the job market like in Des Moines,IA?
A: The job market in Des Moines,IA is relatively strong. The city is home to a number of major employers in industries such as insurance, finance and healthcare.

Q: What is the average salary in Des Moines,IA?
A: The average salary in Des Moines,IA is around $60,000 per year. This is slightly below the national average, but the lower cost of living in the area means that salaries can go further.

Q: What is the climate like in Des Moines,IA?
A: The climate in Des Moines,IA is classified as humid continental, with four distinct seasons. The summers are warm and humid, while the winters can be cold and snowy.

Q: What is the education system like in Des Moines,IA?
A: The Des Moines Public Schools system serves more than 32,000 students across 63 schools. There are also a number of private and parochial schools in the area, as well as several colleges and universities.

Q: What is the crime rate in Des Moines,IA?
A: The crime rate in Des Moines,IA is slightly higher than the national average. However, many neighborhoods in the city are safe and have low crime rates.

Q: What is the transportation system like in Des Moines,IA?
A: Des Moines has a relatively strong transportation system, with a network of major highways and a public transportation system. The city is also bike-friendly and has several bike lanes and trails.

Q: What are the cultural offerings in Des Moines,IA?
A: Des Moines has a thriving arts and culture scene, with several museums, theaters and art galleries. The city is also known for its festivals and events, including the Iowa State Fair and the Des Moines Arts Festival.

Q: Is Des Moines,IA a good place to raise a family?
A: Des Moines,IA can be a good place to raise a family, with a relatively low cost of living and a strong education system. However, families should research neighborhoods carefully to find areas that are safe and have good schools.

Author – Stan Huxley

Passionate about real estate, Stan Huxley brings a wealth of experience to our articles. With a lifelong career in the industry, Stan’s insights, tips, and expert advice empower readers to navigate the world of real estate confidently. Whether you’re a homebuyer, seller, or investor, Stan is your trusted guide to making informed decisions.

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