There is so much activity happening in the Greater Des Moines area, it is hard to keep up with it all! Whether it is the discussion about the regional water trails initiative, new apartments, or the latest Microsoft or Facebook data center, Des Moines is a thriving capitol city.
While downtown is a great place to live (and it is!), there is also a lot to be excited about if you find yourself and your family out in one of our many thriving suburbs.
Ankeny is a growing city just north of Des Moines that has received a lot of attention as a highly desirable place to live, and it’s increasingly popular with young families and professionals. Ankeny’s outstanding schools, low crime rate, low unemployment rate, and high median income are enough to make many take a closer look. And the community’s natural resources and cultural opportunities add an irresistible charm. The income levels in Ankeny are above average, employment rates are high, and the city has great access to nature and parks!
Nestled between the cities of Waukee and Urbandale, Clive has one of the of the most-used amenities in the entire metro: The Clive Greenbelt Trail. The trail connects to all area neighborhoods with it's 11.3 miles of winding paths and is just one of the many reasons to make Clive home. Besides the trail, Clive boasts some of the area's most popular restaurants and it's citizens average just under 40, making it a great place to live.
The city of Urbandale is separated by I-35/80 and its residents enjoy a high standard of living, with a per-capita income 44% above and median household income 57% above the national average. Unemployment in Urbandale is exceptionally low – only 2.2% as of November 2015, compared with 3.2% across Iowa and 4.8% nationwide.
Additionally, the Urbandale Community School District is recognized as a leader in Iowa education, having received Iowa Recognition for Performance Excellence awards the past three years. Urbandale’s high school graduation rate is an outstanding 93.9%, well above the national average of 82.2% and even surpassing the Des Moines metro area’s impressive 89.3% rate. The school system also boasts math and reading proficiency scores significantly above state and national scores.
AreaVibes.com rates Waukee the fourth most livable place in Iowa, noting its low crime rate, affordable cost of living, and wealth of local amenities. Niche.com agrees, giving the city an A+ overall, and Movoto.com rates it the #1 place to live in Iowa. The median household income in Waukee is 48.5% higher than the national average, and the median individual income is 56% higher.
Waukee is home to several beautiful public parks and nearly 20 miles of urban trails to make traveling by foot or bike a safe and pleasant alternative. The acclaimed Raccoon River Valley Trail (RRVT), which has recently been designated an “Iowa Great Place,” has a trailhead in Waukee that will soon be the first site of an extensive public art project that is projected to extend throughout the trail’s 89 winding miles.
West Des Moines
The city of West Des Moines has a lot going for it, too! With two great shopping centers, ample dining options, and endless local hot-spots, West Des Moines is a destination for everyone across the metro. Not only that, major employers have made West Des Moines "home," including Hy-Vee and Athene.
If you have a dog -- large or small -- then Raccoon River Park is a perfect amenity for you and your furry friend. There are two dog parks with plenty of space to let your dog run around!
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