West Des Moines, IA Profile: Facts & Data


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West Des Moines, Iowa - Basic Facts

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The City of West Des Moines is the 6th largest city in Iowa with a population of 69,519 as of July 1, 2021. West Des Moines ranks in the upper quartile for Population Density and Diversity Index when compared to the other cities, towns and Census Designated Places (CDPs) in Iowa. See peer rankings below.

The primary coordinate point for West Des Moines is located at latitude 41.5772 and longitude -93.7113 in Polk County. The formal boundaries for the City of West Des Moines encompass a land area of 46.28 sq. miles and a water area of 1.08 sq. miles. Polk County is in the Central time zone (GMT -6). The elevation is 827 feet.

While the primary coordinates for City of West Des Moines are located in Polk County, it should be noted that the formal boundaries for this community also extend into and Dallas County.

The City of West Des Moines has a C1 Census Class Code which indicates an active incorporated place that does not serve as a county subdivision equivalent. It also has a Functional Status Code of "A" which identifies an active government providing primary general-purpose functions.

The City of West Des Moines is located within Township of Walnut, a minor civil division (MCD) of Polk County.

Alternate Unofficial Names for West Des Moines: Valley Junction.

Jump to... (On This Page!)
  1. West Des Moines 2021 Demographic Data
  2. Growth Rates for West Des Moines (Historical & 5-Year Forecast)
  3. Peer Comparisons (Rank and Percentile)
  1. Neighborhoods Demographics (Home Values, Household Income, etc.)
  2. Iowa Research Tools (Easy Tools & Current Data)
  3. Iowa Data Comparison Tool - 2021 Demographics

West Des Moines, IA Data & Demographics (As of July 1, 2021)


Total Population 69,519 (100%)
Population in Households 69,232 (99.6%)
Population in Families 51,030 (73.4%)
Population in Group Quarters1 287 ( 0.4%)
Population Density 1,476
Diversity Index2 40


Median Household Income $77,746
Average Household Income $103,935
% of Income for Mortgage4 14%
Per Capita Income $44,645
Wealth Index5 112


Total HU (Housing Units) 32,811 (100%)
Owner Occupied HU 17,107 (52.1%)
Renter Occupied HU 12,824 (39.1%)
Vacant Housing Units 2,880 ( 8.8%)
Median Home Value $261,106
Average Home Value $315,179
Housing Affordability Index3 143


Total Households 29,931
Average Household Size 2.31
Family Households 17,125
Average Family Size 3
  1. Group Quarters - a place where people live or stay in a group living arrangement. Includes college residents halls, nursing facilities, military barracks, and correctional facilities.
  2. The Diversity Index is a scale of 0 to 100 that represents the likelihood that two persons, chosen at random from the same area, belong to different races or ethnic groups. If an area's entire population belongs to one race AND one ethnic group, then the area has zero diversity. An area's diversity index increases to 100 when the population is evenly divided into two or more race/ethnic groups.
  3. The Housing Affordability Index base is 100 and represents a balance point where a resident with a median household income can normally qualify to purchase a median price home. Values above 100 indicate increased affordability, while values below 100 indicate decreased affordability.
  4. The % of Income for Mortgage quantifies the percentage of median household income dedicated to mortgage payments on a home priced at the median value (assuming a 30-year mortgage and a 20% down payment).
  5. The Wealth Index is based on a number of indicators of affluence including average household income and average net worth, but it also includes the value of material possessions and resources. It represents the wealth of the area relative to the national level. Values above or below 100 represent above-average wealth or below-average wealth compared to the national level.


2010-2021 2021-2026
Population 1.79% 1.86%
Households 1.82% 1.92%
Families 1.61% 1.75%
Median Household Income   1.07%
Per Capita Income   1.49%
Owner Occupied HU   1.82%

West Des Moines, IA - Peer Comparisons by Rank and Percentile

The table below compares West Des Moines to the other 1,008 incorporated cities, towns and CDPs in Iowa by rank and percentile using July 1, 2021 data. The location Ranked # 1 has the highest value. A location that ranks higher than 75% of its peers would be in the 75th percentile of the peer group.

Variable Description Rank Percentile
Total Population # 6 100th
Population Density # 93 91st
Median Household Income # 137 87th
Housing Affordability Index # 229 23rd
Per Capita Income # 43 96th
Diversity Index # 50 95th

Additional comparisons and rankings can be made with a VERY EASY TO USE Iowa Census Data Comparison Tool.

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