Des Moines, WA
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Des Moines profile


Living in Des Moines


Des Moines is a medium-sized coastal city (i.e. on the ocean, a bay, or inlet) located in the state of Washington. With a population of 32,348 people and six constituent neighborhoods, Des Moines is the 38th largest community in Washington.

Housing costs in Des Moines are among some of the highest in the nation, although real estate prices here don't compare to real estate prices in the most expensive communities in Washington.

Unlike some cities where white-collar or blue-collar occupations dominate the local economy, Des Moines is neither predominantly one nor the other. Instead, it has a mixed workforce of both white- and blue-collar jobs. Overall, Des Moines is a city of sales and office workers, service providers, and professionals. There are especially a lot of people living in Des Moines who work in office and administrative support (12.85%), management occupations (10.54%), and sales jobs (8.32%).

Also of interest is that Des Moines has more people living here who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US.

One of the nice things about Des Moines is that it is nautical, which means that parts of it are somewhat historic and touch the ocean or tidal bodies of water, such as inlets and bays. Because of this, visitors and locals will often go to these areas to take in the scenery or to enjoy waterfront activities.

In Des Moines, however, the average commute to work is quite long. On average, people spend 31.17 minutes each day getting to work, which is significantly higher than the national average. One bright side is that local public transit is widely used, so it may be an option to avoid the headache of driving in the heavy traffic by leaving the car at home and taking transit.

Although the majority of commuting trips in the city are by private automobile, Des Moines is somewhat unusual for a city of its size for having a substantial number of people who use public transportation. For a lot of people, the bus helps to get to and from their jobs every morning, which benefits everyone in the Des Moines area by reducing both traffic and air pollution.

In terms of college education, Des Moines is somewhat better educated than the 21.84% who have a 4-year degree or higher in the typical US community: 26.68% of adults 25 and older in the city have at least a bachelor's degree.

The per capita income in Des Moines in 2018 was $36,838, which is upper middle income relative to Washington and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $147,352 for a family of four. However, Des Moines contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Des Moines is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Des Moines home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Des Moines residents report their race to be White, followed by Asian. Des Moines also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 19.88% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Des Moines include German, English, Irish, Norwegian, and Italian.

Foreign born people are also an important part of Des Moines's cultural character, accounting for 21.06% of the city’s population.

The most common language spoken in Des Moines is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Vietnamese.