Living in Greater Des Moines
A welcoming city where education, opportunity and cultural diversity abound
Greater Des Moines has a relaxed metropolitan atmosphere and an area population of nearly 700,000 residents.
The Des Moines University campus is located in West Des Moines, a city suburb just over 10 miles from the vibrant downtown center of Des Moines. The metro area has 12 colleges and universities, and nearly 300 houses of worship that represent 79 different denominations or faiths. With miles of bike paths, several lakes and more than 130 parks in the greater Des Moines area, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors. Des Moines and its suburbs have safe neighborhoods, great public schools, and many kid-focused events, attractions, and programs. Greater Des Moines is a wonderful place to raise a family, and as the third largest insurance center in the world, our city offers an abundance of employment opportunities, low housing costs and a high standard of living.
“Des Moines is absolutely an amazing city. You get the big city feel without the big city traffic or crime. Another great part about Greater Des Moines is that there are so many really nice suburbs to choose from if you don’t want to live in the city, such as West Des Moines,Clive, Grimes, Johnston or Urbandale. With breweries, restaurants, shopping and more all super-close to campus — on top of going to a school that I love — I could not be happier that I chose Des Moines and DMU.”
Amanda Hasty, D.P.M.'23
Housing opportunities: Finding your perfect place
The areas around DMU offer plenty of reasonably priced apartments a short distance from campus. Restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, pharmacies, banks and a variety of shops are located nearby.
Greater Des Moines offers a great variety of accessible attractions and amenities. Visit Iowa’s beautiful Capitol Building and enjoy lunch and shopping in the East Village or historic Valley Junction. Wander through the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Water Works Park, Gray’s Lake and the Jordan Creek Mall. Throughout the metro, you can enjoy many unique restaurants, eclectic shops, art galleries, farmers markets and more. Both Des Moines and West Des Moines feature diverse options that make our community a vibrant, welcoming and dynamic place. You will find a contemporary urban area with something for everyone.
Places to worship: Find a space to practice your faith
The residents of Greater Des Moines come from all around the world, and the city has countless religious services and institutions to serve the surrounding communities.
Fine Dining: Nearby Restaurants and Grocery Options
The local businesses and restaurants that surround DMU are some of the best the Des Moines metro has to offer. An abundance of ethnic grocery stores and a thriving culinary scene make Greater Des Moines a great place to live – and eat.