2015 Rankings

2014 Rankings

Willis Auto Campus

2013 Rankings 

2012 Rankings

2011 Rankings

2010 Rankings

2009 Rankings

  • Des Moines Ranks #2 as Most Secure Place to Live
  • Des Moines was named the best city for business in 2009 by MarketWatch.
  • Des Moines was ranked the 17th Strongest U.S. Metro Economy by Business Week
  • Des Moines was ranked by as the 4th Best City in America where you can get the "Best Bang-for-the-Buck."
  • ranked Iowa the 15th Healthiest State in America
  • The League of American Bicyclists ranks Iowa #6 in the nation for bike-friendliness.
  • In 2009, Iowa moved to #2 in wind energy among the 50 states, according to the American Wind Association. Iowa produces 2,883 megawatts of wind energy - enough to power roughly 670,000 homes.
  • Des Moines is the highest-rated Midwest city for small market vitality according to an America City Business Journals, Inc. study. Des Moines is ranked 22 out of 100 largest metropolitan areas nationwide.
  • Des Moines was recently ranked the #10 mid-sized metro with the best quality of life by BizJournals due to low traffic, strong homeownership and an educated workforce.
  • In April 2009, ranked Des Moines as the #3 most livable city. Cities on the list were chosen due to quality of life measures in the nation's largest continental U.S. metropolitan statistical areas, including income growth per household, cost of living, crime data, leisure index and annual unemployment statistics.
  • AmericanWay Magazine named the Downtown Farmers' Market a "Must-Visit Market" along with Union Square Market in New Your City, Portland, Oregon's Farmers' Market and Cincinnati, Ohio's Farmer's Market.
  • The Des Moines Metro economy was rated the 14th-strongest in the nation in the first quarter of 2009, based on factors like employment, wages, home prices and foreclosures, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution.
  • Forbes ranked Greater Des Moines as the 7th best place for Business and Careers. This ranking is based on multiple factors, including the cost of doing business, education, income, employment and housing indicators. This is the third year the region has been in Forbes Top 10.
  • Greater Des Moines was ranked 5th in Site Selection magazine's list of "Top Metros" for populations of 200,000 - 1 million. This ranking is based on new construction and expansion projects.
  • West Des Moines was ranked eighth in Business Week's "Best Affordable Suburbs" in the U.S., citing its low unemployment rate (3%), and violent crime index (21). The article also boasted of West Des Moines' highly-educated population and 16-minute average commutes.
  • A New York Times column titled "Demi in Des Moines?" by Maureen Dowd described Iowa as "flyover country that's starting high-flying trends" and suggested Iowa may be the new California. Dowd also suggested that "The Dream Factory is being left in the dust by the Field of Dreams."
  • Des Moines drivers rank 20th on America's Best Drivers Report. The list contains America's 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency.
  • Urbandale ranks # 42 and Ankeny # 62 out of 100 best small towns in America, according to CNN Money's list.
  • Ankeny is one of 22 cities around the country noted as a Playful City USA community for the third consecutive year.
  • Greater Des Moines was named a city on the verge in Fast Company's High-Tech Hot Spots List. Only five cities were chosen to be included in this international listing.
    Grinnell, Iowa was named the 3rd Coolest Small Town in America by Budget Travel magazine.
  • Ragbrai #7 of 50 Best American Adventures in National Geographic Adventure.
  • The famous Garbage Burger at Hickory Park Restaurant Co. was listed as one of the 50 best burgers in the country by Food Network Magazine.
  • According to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Iowa ranked 8th on the Council's Energy Cost Index. The index factors electricity cost and gas prices.
  • CNBC ranks Iowa 4th in America's Top States for Business 2009. The rankings were based off categories such as cost of doing business, education and the cost of living.
  • Iowa rated 8th in the nation for economic growth in 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Iowa's gross domestic product increased 2.1 percent, boosted primarily by farming. Overall, gross domestic product for all 50 states grew just 0.7 percent last year, down from 2 percent growth in 2007.
  • Iowa is the second-happiest state when it comes to money matters, according to a 2009
  • Iowa ranked fifth in the nation for volunteer service. Des Moines was among the top 10 cities in the country based on volunteer rates, according to a report by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Iowa was the only state to have three cities in the top ten overall rankings. Des Moines was ranked 10th in the nation with a volunteer rate of 38.2%.

 2008 Rankings

  • Des Moines was ranked the most affordable city to host a tradeshow by Tradeshow Week. 
  • The city is also the sixth best place to raise a family by Best Life magazine.
  • Des Moines was ranked 25th on the Milken Institute's Economic Growth List for 2008, and was the only Midwestern city in the top 25.
  • In October 2008, Des Moines was ranked fifth in the best markets to make money by the Today Show.
  • Iowa is one of the least expensive states to vacation in according to AAA Living. The average cost of lodging and meals is $169.81 compared to a national average of $243.53.
  • Greater Des Moines was ranked as the 4th best place for business and careers for the second year in a row
  • Des Moines has the greatest number of parks per square mile according to Prevention Magazine.
  • The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines was ranked in the top 15 theaters in the world ahead of other Midwest theaters such as the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis and the Fabulous Fox Theater in St. Louis by Pollstar Magazine.
  • Iowa ranks #2 nationally in cost of doing business by the Milken Institute.
  • Greater Des Moines ranked 9th in Kiplinger's Personal Finance's top ten places to live.
  • Des Moines ranked as number one in the country of best cities for clean drinking water by
  • Des Moines/West Des Moines is 5th in the category of best cities for relocating families ranked by the Worldwide ERC, the association for workforce mobility.
  • Greater Des Moines ranked 6th in Best Life Magazine's best places to raise a family ranking. This was featured on the Today show in May.
  • Family Circle Magazine named the city of Ankeny as one of the top 10 best towns for families in the United States.
  • The Des Moines Arts Festival was ranked 7th in the Art Fair Source Book's list of top 20 art fairs.
  • Prevention Magazine named Des Moines the number one walking city in Iowa.
  • Des Moines is the 4th happiest city in the country for women. SELF Magazine