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A+ West Des Moines Amenities Lots of amenities close to this location
C+ West Des Moines Cost of Living Cost of living is 8% higher than Iowa
West Des Moines
964% less expensive than the US average
8911% less expensive than the US average
United States
100National cost of living index
West Des Moines cost of living
A West Des Moines Crime Total crime is 40% lower than Iowa
Total crime
1,46247% lower than the US average
Chance of being a victim
1 in 6947% lower than the US average
Year-over-year crime
-39%Year over year crime is down
West Des Moines crime
B West Des Moines Employment Household income is 30% higher than Iowa
Median household income
$70,90628% higher than the US average
Income per capita
$42,63243% higher than the US average
Unemployment rate
2%56% lower than the US average
West Des Moines employment
B West Des Moines Housing Home value is 47% higher than Iowa
Median home value
$195,5006% higher than the US average
Median rent price
$9342% lower than the US average
Home ownership
60%6% lower than the US average
West Des Moines real estate or West Des Moines rentals
A+ West Des Moines Schools HS graduation rate is 8% higher than Iowa
High school grad. rates
95%15% higher than the US average
School test scores
84%71% higher than the US average
Student teacher ratio
15:15% lower than the US average
West Des Moines K-12 schools or West Des Moines colleges

Living in West Des Moines, IA

West Des Moines, Iowa is a mid-sized city with a population of 61,624 people. According to the most recent Census, 86% of West Des Moines residents are White, 7% Asian and 4% Black. If you are looking for a family friendly city, West Des Moines might be a good fit as 83% of the population over 15 years old are married, and 53% have kids who are 18 years old or younger.

Living in West Des Moines can be a positive experience for anyone relocating to the town. Having said that, in the state of Iowa, there are many desirable places to live, so choose wisely! Finding the best places to live in West Des Moines and nearby areas is a much easier task when you can rely on information and data from the livability score, which includes weather, education, housing and other important metrics.

West Des Moines, IA receives 85/100 for its livability score; this results in a ranking of #12 in Iowa and #436 in the USA. Clearly, West Des Moines is doing something right, as this score ranks well above the average of most cities. The cherry on top is that West Des Moines also ranks in the top 10 percent of all cities. There are seven total categories that create the livability score. West Des Moines scores well for amenities (A+), crime (B), education (A+), employment (B) and housing (B). West Des Moines does not score well for the following: weather (D). It might be wise to take a closer look at each category to find out why.

Conveniently located amenities and interesting attractions are a great way to continuously enjoy West Des Moines on a regular basis. Knowing that there are an abundance of amenities and things to do can ensure that you always have access to nearby grocery stores, restaurants and coffee shops. Some of the interesting things to do and attractions include: Valley Junction, Val Air Ballroom, and Limey's Pub.

The average school test scores in West Des Moines are 84%. This far exceeds the national average and ensures that this educational system will provide your children with the skills and the tools they need to thrive.

Finding affordable real estate and apartments for rent in West Des Moines can be tricky. Having said that, this area might be the place to get the best of both worlds. Based on factors like home/rental affordability and appreciation rates, this area has received an above average score in the housing category.

Being close to public transportation, grocery stores, parks and other conveniences are all important when weighing your options for a new home in West Des Moines. Before you determine if any of these amenities are available in the area, you will also want to know if the real estate prices in West Des Moines are affordable. Median real estate prices in West Des Moines come in at $195,500, which is 47.2% higher than the Iowa average. The home price to income ratio compares the median home prices to the median household income. In West Des Moines, the home price to income ratio is 2.8, which is 16.7% higher than the Iowa average. Year over year appreciation rates for homes in the West Des Moines area were 5% and the 5 year appreciation rates came in at 5.4%. Why is this important? Knowing the appreciation rates for any area is a quick and easy way to determine if you will see a solid return on your investment.

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Monthly costs include: fuel, maintenance, tires, insurance, license fees, taxes, depreciation, and financing.
See more West Des Moines, IA transportation information

Compare West Des Moines, IA Livability To Other Cities

Best Neighborhoods In & Around West Des Moines, IA

PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Waterbury, Des Moines851.12,740
Downtown Des Moines, Des Moines854.32,576
Waveland Park, Des Moines842.23,214
Ingersoll Park, Des Moines831.9798
PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Bloomfield-Allen, Des Moines837.96,844
Greenwood, Des Moines832.51,009
Lower Beaver, Des Moines834.95,761
Salisbury Oaks, Des Moines8121,088

Best Cities Near West Des Moines, IA

PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Ankeny, IA9011.853,413
Clive, IA885.117,022
Urbandale, IA883.441,578
West Des Moines, IA86061,624
PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Waukee, IA868.216,955
Altoona, IA851316,692
Creston, IA8549.37,877
Johnston, IA847.219,491
See all Iowa cities

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West Des Moines Reviews

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Easy Living in West Des Moines, IA

I was born and raised in West Des Moines, Iowa. The thing I love most about Des Moines is that even though it's one of the largest cities in Iowa and has all the amenities of a city, it still has the homey, small town Midwestern charm that I miss so much. Since I moved from West Des Moines twelve years ago, I have made a great effort to go back at least once a year to visit family and surround myself with the simple and endearing Iowa culture.

West Des Moines's population has increased drastically since I lived there. They are continually trying to escape the small-town vibe and become a more urban city to attract out of state visitors. One of the newest attractions that I love is Jordan Creek Town Center. Jordan Creek has all of my favorite restaurants, like P.F. Chang's, The Cheesecake Factory, Panera Bread, and Joe's Crab Shack. It also has a large Century Theater and a large shopping mall. However, behind West Des Moines' outward appearance of urban city buildings, fashionable malls, and popular restaurants is a city founded by family oriented people with hard work ethics who cherish the simple life.

The best time to explore the city is in the spring or fall and right in the middle of the day. With its multiple parks, sports, and recreation sites, West Des Moines is perfect for active people. Rush hour traffic is almost non-existent, making the daily commute hassle free. The city was built around the schedules of businesses like banks and government buildings. Because of this, at 9:00pm, eighty five percent of the city shuts down for the night. The only food you will find to eat that late at night is at the local gas station, a bar, or in your aunt's fridge.
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West Des Moines, IA - Expesive, High End City

Not much but shopping and a few other things to do. If you don't have extra cash to spend this area can be pretty depressing/ Everything costs a lot. (Meaning if you're an average person, you probably can't afford to do much of anything out here but watch everyone else spend their money.) Area is also set up for having a car so if you don't have a car or can't afford to drive West Des Moines is not the area for you. Bus routes are outdated and not very good. If you want to try and use the bus service to get to a job you will probably be out of luck.
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Reason for reporting
Source: The West Des Moines, IA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).
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