These Are The 10 Best Neighborhoods In Des Moines, IA For 2018


We used science and data to determine which neighborhoods in Des Moines are the best of the best.

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Do you like your neighborhood? Is it friendly, and where everyone knows their neighbors? No matter if you live in the sticks or in an apartment building in downtown Des Moines, you have a little pocket that you can call home. And each neighborhood is different.

Smaller neighborhoods usually have obvious benefits — less crime, a slower pace of life, and a lower cost of living. But not all Des Moines neighborhoods are created equal. Some are better than others. But which ones?

Instead of relying on public opinion and speculation, we wanted to get the facts straight and find out which neighborhoods in Des Moines are the best. If you’re in one of the places we’re about to highlight, odds are you know you’ve got it made.

Here are the best neighborhoods in Des Moines for 2018:

  1. Salisbury Oaks (Homes)
  2. Waterbury (Homes)
  3. Westwood (Homes)
  4. Bloomfield-Allen (Homes)
  5. Magnolia Park (Homes)
  6. Beaverdale (Homes)
  7. Southwestern Hills (Homes)
  8. Lower Beaver (Homes)
  9. Merle Hay (Homes)
  10. Meredith (Homes)

Read on to see how we determined the places around Des Moines that deserve a little bragging rights or maybe you’re interested in the worst neighborhoods in Des Moines.

If you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in Iowa check out:

How do you determine the top neighborhoods in Des Moines for 2018?

In order to rank the best neighborhoods in Des Moines, we had to determine what criteria defines a ‘best’.

Using crime, census, and extrapolated BLS data, we arrived at the following set of criteria:

  • High incomes
  • Low unemployment rates
  • Low crime
  • High home prices
  • High population densities (A proxy for things to do)

We limited the analysis to neighborhoods with over 1,000 people.

We then ranked each neighborhood with scores from 1 to 37 in each category, where 1 was the best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each neighborhood to create a best neighborhood index.

And finally, we crowned the neighborhood with the lowest best neighborhood index the ‘Best City Neighborhood In Des Moines.’ We’re lookin’ at you, Salisbury Oaks.

Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the best places Des Moines has to offer. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the neighborhoods in the city from best to worst.

1. Salisbury Oaks

Population: 1,037
Median Income: $78,944
Median Home Value: $259,100

More on Salisbury Oaks: Real Estate | Data

2. Waterbury

Population: 2,581
Median Income: $97,000
Median Home Value: $239,100

More on Waterbury: Real Estate | Data

3. Westwood

Population: 1,282
Median Income: $86,513
Median Home Value: $267,500

More on Westwood: Real Estate | Data

4. Bloomfield-Allen

Population: 6,585
Median Income: $56,760
Median Home Value: $140,700

Bloomfield Township is a township in Polk County, Iowa, USA.
More on Bloomfield-Allen: Real Estate | Data

5. Magnolia Park

Population: 2,107
Median Income: $45,368
Median Home Value: $127,400

More on Magnolia Park: Real Estate | Data

6. Beaverdale

Population: 8,215
Median Income: $63,792
Median Home Value: $138,667

The Beaverdale neighborhood is one of the largest of the 51 recognized neighborhood associations in the city of Des Moines, Iowa, in the United States. It extends from Forest Avenue at its southernmost border to the city limits at its northern border.
More on Beaverdale: Real Estate | Data

7. Southwestern Hills

Population: 5,618
Median Income: $67,016
Median Home Value: $177,857

More on Southwestern Hills: Real Estate | Data

8. Lower Beaver

Population: 5,404
Median Income: $58,451
Median Home Value: $145,429

More on Lower Beaver: Real Estate | Data

9. Merle Hay

Population: 9,524
Median Income: $55,943
Median Home Value: $127,346

More on Merle Hay: Real Estate | Data

10. Meredith

Population: 4,243
Median Income: $63,534
Median Home Value: $138,967

More on Meredith: Real Estate | Data

Putting A Bow On Our Analysis Of Des Moines

If you’re measuring the neighborhoods in Des Moines where crime is low and everyone wants to live, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious, here are the worst places in Des Moines:

  1. River Bend
  2. Cheatom Park
  3. Capitol Park

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Neighborhoods In Des Moines

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Prices Crimes Per 100k Unemployment Rate
1 Salisbury Oaks 1,037 $259,100 1,963 0.2%
2 Waterbury 2,581 $239,100 1,963 2.3%
3 Westwood 1,282 $267,500 1,963 0.4%
4 Bloomfield-Allen 6,585 $140,700 4,561 3.4%
5 Magnolia Park 2,107 $127,400 5,451 10.4%
6 Beaverdale 8,215 $138,667 3,534 3.1%
7 Southwestern Hills 5,618 $177,857 2,355 4.9%
8 Lower Beaver 5,404 $145,429 4,193 2.5%
9 Merle Hay 9,524 $127,346 4,246 3.5%
10 Meredith 4,243 $138,967 3,857 3.4%
11 Waveland Park 3,041 $154,900 3,367 4.3%
12 Sherman Hill 1,585 $150,800 4,601 4.7%
13 Greater South Side 8,605 $125,838 4,652 4.0%
14 North Of Grand 2,748 $114,725 4,531 5.6%
15 South Park 2,578 $109,000 5,680 5.3%
16 Accent 3,332 $88,650 5,611 3.7%
17 Fairground 4,682 $81,817 6,599 10.6%
18 Drake 10,434 $109,177 5,453 5.6%
19 Oak Park 3,873 $90,625 5,890 5.0%
20 Fairmont Park 4,498 $109,662 5,410 4.4%
21 Jordan Park 2,189 $120,700 5,623 5.9%
22 Indianola Hills 5,609 $101,567 5,382 6.2%
23 Union Park 6,626 $95,650 5,924 6.6%
24 Capitol East 1,939 $64,133 7,452 12.6%
25 Mckinley School 1,718 $87,400 6,191 2.0%
26 King-Irving Park 2,669 $84,025 6,912 11.1%
27 Downtown Des Moines 2,484 $78,150 4,297 3.0%
28 Arbor Peaks 1,093 $123,933 4,619 6.6%
29 Woodland Heights 1,707 $113,475 5,200 8.8%
30 Martin Luther King Jr Park 2,674 $79,950 6,766 7.0%
31 Douglas Acres 3,306 $106,300 5,691 8.9%
32 Gray’S Woods 2,683 $105,933 5,933 9.2%
33 Highland Park 8,959 $91,075 6,090 7.9%
34 Mondamin Presidentia 1,675 $84,133 6,962 7.2%
35 Capitol Park 3,163 $77,800 6,927 9.3%
36 Cheatom Park 1,623 $77,100 6,701 6.5%
37 River Bend 2,892 $89,500 6,694 9.0%

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