Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines
City of Des Moines
Official seal of Des Moines
"Hartford of the West"[1][2]
Location within Iowa
Coordinates: 41°35′27″N 93°37′15″W / 41.59083°N 93.62083°W / 41.59083; -93.62083
Country United States
State Iowa
CountiesPolk, Warren
IncorporatedSeptember 22, 1851
 • TypeCouncil–manager government[3]
 • BodyDes Moines City Council
 • MayorFrank Cownie (D)
 • Senate
 • House
 • U.S. CongressZach Nunn (R)
 • State capital city90.70 sq mi (234.92 km2)
 • Land88.18 sq mi (228.38 km2)
 • Water2.52 sq mi (6.54 km2)
Elevation873 ft (266 m)
 • State capital city214,133
 • RankUS: 105th
IA: 1st
 • Density2,428.39/sq mi (937.60/km2)
 • Urban
542,486 (US: 78th)
 • Urban density2,413.8/sq mi (932.0/km2)
 • Metro
699,292 (US: 83rd)
 • CSA
846,068 (US: 64th)
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
Area code515
FIPS code19-21000
GNIS feature ID465961

Des Moines (/dəˈmɔɪn/ (listen)) is the capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Iowa. It is also the county seat of Polk County. A small part of the city extends into Warren County. It was incorporated on September 22, 1851, as Fort Des Moines, which was shortened to "Des Moines" in 1857.[6] It is located on, and named after, the Des Moines River, which likely was adapted from the early French name, Rivière des Moines, meaning "River of the Monks". The city's population was 214,133 as of the 2020 census.[7] The six-county metropolitan area is ranked 83rd in terms of population in the United States with 699,292 residents according to the 2019 estimate by the United States Census Bureau, and is the largest metropolitan area fully located within the state.[8]

Des Moines is a major center of the US insurance industry and has a sizable financial services and publishing business base. The city was credited as the "number one spot for U.S. insurance companies" in a Business Wire article and named the third-largest "insurance capital" of the world. The city is the headquarters for the Principal Financial Group, Ruan Transportation, TMC Transportation, EMC Insurance Companies, and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Other major corporations such as Wells Fargo, Cognizant, Voya Financial, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, ACE Limited, Marsh, Monsanto, and Corteva have large operations in or near the metropolitan area. In recent years, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Facebook[9][10] have built data-processing and logistical facilities in the Des Moines area.

Des Moines is an important city in U.S. presidential politics; as the state's capital, it is the site of the first caucuses of the presidential primary cycle. Many presidential candidates set up campaign headquarters in Des Moines. A 2007 article in The New York Times said, "If you have any desire to witness presidential candidates in the most close-up and intimate of settings, there is arguably no better place to go than Des Moines."[11]

  1. ^ Shankle, George Earlie (1955). American nicknames; their origin and significance. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company. pp. 123. ISBN 978-0-82420-004-6. Des Moines was nicknamed the Hartford of the West because like Hartford, Conn., it is an insurance center.
  2. ^ Neal R. Peirce (1973), The Great Plains States of America: People, Politics, and Power in the Nine Great Plains States Archived May 1, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, W. W. Norton & Company, ISBN 0-393-05349-0, page 106
  3. ^ "City Manager's Office". City of Des Moines – City Manager's Office. Archived from the original on November 4, 2009. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
  4. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  5. ^ "Geographic Names Information System". Retrieved May 5, 2023.
  6. ^ City of Des Moines. "City of Des Moines Action Center: City History". Archived from the original on December 7, 2006. Retrieved December 20, 2006.
  7. ^ "2020 Census State Redistricting Data". United states Census Bureau. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  8. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Population Totals: 2010-2018". Archived from the original on June 2, 2019. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  9. ^ "Microsoft behind nearly $700 million data center investment in West Des Moines". Des Moines Register. June 21, 2013. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013.
  10. ^ "Facebook to build data center near Des Moines, Iowa". Reuters. April 23, 2013. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  11. ^ Nagourney, Adam (December 2, 2007). "In the Spotlight, Ready for Its Close-Up". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 29, 2009. Retrieved September 12, 2009.