For a number of reasons, the Des Moines metro area attracts a large percentage of young professionals. Des Moines is the third-largest insurance center in the world, after London, England and Hartford, Connecticut. The Des Moines metro is also home to the headquarters of large financial institutions, genetics and agricultural sciences companies, and creative and media companies. Recently, several tech companies have relocated to Des Moines from California and New York. In addition, as Iowa's state capital, Des Moines features a large number of high-level public service jobs. Des Moines is also the heart of Iowa's medical community, with a medical school and five major hospitals in the downtown area. The downtown community includes a work force of more than 65,000 people, connected by almost four miles of enclosed, climate-controlled skywalks. In addition to general corporate expansions and relocations, there are also several city sponsored development and renovation projects currently underway in downtown Des Moines, including the East Village and Western Gateway. With all of this, it’s easy to see why the Des Moines metro is ranked among the top 20 “Hottest Big Metros for Jobs” by bizjournals.com, why Inc. Magazine has listed Des Moines as one of the “Best Places to do Business,” and why Expansion Management Magazine includes Des Moines on its list of the “50 Hottest Cities.”
Activities abound in the Des Moines Metro. For example, downtown Des Moines alone hosts the Civic Center, Science Center, Botanical Center, Iowa Events Center, Principal Riverwalk, summertime farmer's market, as well as many other attractions. Several local media provide current information about all of the events and attractions found in the metro area, including Cityview, Des Moines Register, and Des Moines Metro.
If you enjoy music, arts and culture, you will feel right at home in Des Moines. The Des Moines Arts Festival, an annual, nationally acclaimed summer event, attracts artists from all over the United States. Musical highlights include the Des Moines Metro Opera, Music Under the Stars, Jazz in July, and the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra. The Des Moines Art Center boasts a nationally renowned collection of contemporary art. The Historical Society's collections include artifacts and images dating back to Iowa’s pioneer days. The World Food and Music Festival features culinary delights from around the globe. There are multiple community theater organizations and touring Broadway shows at the Civic Center.
If you like sports and recreation, the greater Des Moines metro area is for you. For example, there’s Iowa Cubs baseball, Iowa Barnstormers, and Des Moines Menace soccer. In addition, Iowa has more golf courses per capita than any other state. In the Des Moines area, you'll find golf courses for every skill level, including the home of the U.S. Senior Open in 1999 and an Arnold Palmer Signature Course. The city of Des Moines alone has more than 70 parks, with dozens more offered in the surrounding suburbs and communities. For biking and hiking, there are well over 100 miles of trails in Greater Des Moines, including trails along the Des Moines River, Gray's Lake and Saylorville Lake. Saylorville Lake itself offers a 6,000-acre boating, fishing and water sports playground on the northwest edge of Greater Des Moines.
People from every walk of life find Des Moines to be an inviting and livable city. The city boasts affordable housing, a low crime rate, and a cost of living that is below the national average. In addition, thanks in part to recent improvements in traffic infrastructure, the average commute time is just 15 minutes. However, affordability and convenience do not make Des Moines mundane. In the last decade, the Des Moines area has experienced a veritable explosion of new, modern developments, including, to name a few, the Jordan Creek Town Center, West Glen Town Center, and the Village at Ponderosa. Additionally, there are dozens of downtown development and revitalizations planned and underway. For a taste of the downtown living options currently available, check out 111 City Lofts, Whiteline Lofts, and the Hatch Development Group's projects. As a place to raise a family, the Des Moines metro area has almost no equal. Expansion Management Magazine has recently ranked greater Des Moines’ public schools as among the top ten in America. Iowa-educated youth have led the nation in SAT and ACT scores for the past two decades. Iowa has three state universities, 62 public and private colleges, and 15 community colleges on 28 campuses.
All things considered, it's easy to see that Des Moines offers its residents the amenities and attractions provided by a large metropolitan area along with the convenience, safety and efficiency of small town living.