Nicknamed Hartford of the West because both cities are noted insurance centers, Des Moines is the state capital for Iowa and is America’s 19th-most highly populated state capital city. The capital was named after the nearby Desmoines River whose name in French traces back to “River of the Monks.”
Guinness World Records points to Des Moines, Iowa as being home to the world’s oldest living person as of December 5, 2012. 115-year-old Dina Manfredini unfortunately passed away in a nursing home 12 days after setting the longevity record.
Des Moines serves as headquarters for two major corporations recognized as belonging to the Forbes Global 2000 world’s biggest companies. These leading businesses are Principal Financial Group and American Equity Investment.
Iowa shipped U$6.226 billion worth of goods around the globe during 2016. Highest-value Iowan exports are corn, pork, miscellaneous tractors, herbicides, soya bean oilcake, brewing or distilling waste products, civilian aircraft and soya beans according to United States Census Bureau data.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Des Moines was 2.9% as of May 3, 2017.
Capital Facts for Des Moines, United States: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Des Moines Civic Center, Iowa State Fairgrounds, Principal Park, Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens, Salisbury House, Terrace Hill and the Wells Fargo Arena
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Des Moines, United States:
- Shawn Johnson, Olympic gymnastics gold medalist (born Jan. 19, 1992)
- Brandon Routh, actor (born Oct. 9, 1979)
- Cloris Leachman, Academy Award-winning actress (born Apr. 30, 1926)
- Ben Silbermann, Pinterest founder & CEO (born Jul. 14, 1982)
- Marcos Ramirez (aka Flaco), featherweight boxing champion (born Mar. 31, 1981)
- Steve Higgins, comedian, writer & producer (born Aug. 13, 1963)
- Casey Blake, professional MLB baseball player (born Aug. 23, 1973)
- Victor Jackovich, U.S. diplomat & ambassador (born Apr. 24, 1948)
- Stephen Collins, actor, director & musician (born Oct. 1, 1947)
- Joe Corso, Olympic bantamweight wrestler (born Dec. 22, 1951)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches of published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Des Moines resident: Des Moinesite
Population: 210,310 (Des Moines city limits)
Density: 2,365 people per square mile (901 per square kilometer)
Population: 795,055 (Des Moines metropolitan area)
Density: 273 people per square mile (105 per square kilometer)
GDP: US$46.557 billion as of March 2015 (Des Moines metropolitan area)
GDP per person: $58,558
Note: The above GDP metrics are on a current basis and are in U.S. dollars.
Official currency used in Des Moines: U.S. dollars
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data). Accessed on June 2, 2017
Dilemma X, U.S. Census Bureau metropolitan population estimates July 1, 2016. Accessed on June 2, 2017
Forbes Global 2000, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 2, 2017
Guinness World Records, Dina Manfredini declared world’s oldest living person at age 115. Accessed on June 2, 2017
Nations Online, Capital Cities of the USA. Accessed on June 2, 2017
Official Government Website, City of Des Moines official website. Accessed on June 2, 2017
United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade: State by 6-Digit HS Code and Top Countries. Accessed on June 2, 2017
United States Census Bureau, State Population Totals Tables: 2010-2016. Accessed on June 2, 2017
United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics: Seasonally Adjusted Metropolitan Area Estimates. Accessed on June 2, 2017
U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Gross Domestic Product by Metropolitan Area, 2015 (Tables Only). Accessed on June 2, 2017
Wikimedia Commons, Des Moines city flag. Accessed on June 2, 2017
Wikipedia, Des Moines, Iowa. Accessed on June 2, 2017
Wikipedia, Des Moines metropolitan area. Accessed on June 2, 2017
Wikipedia, Iowa. Accessed on June 2, 2017
Within city limits, Des Moines occupies 88.92 square miles (233.3 square kilometers). The state capital’s population was 210,310 Des Moinesites in 2015.
Officially known as the Des Moines-West Des Moines Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) plus its surrounding rural municipalities, cities and towns, the Des Moines metropolitan area has a land area of 2,912 square miles (7,540 square kilometers) with a metropolitan area population of 795,055 inhabitants as of 2016.
At the city level, Des Moines’s population density is 2,365 residents per square mile (901 per square kilometer).
Population density dilutes within the larger Des Moines metropolitan area with an average 273 inhabitants per square mile (105 per square kilometer).
Des Moinesites celebrate Independence Day as a national holiday each July 4.