THE 10 BEST Neighborhoods In Des Moines For 2020


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

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best neighborhoods to live in Des Moines.
Best Neighborhoods In Des Moines
Source: Public domain

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. So, if you're thinking of moving to Iowa and Des Moines is on the top of your list, check out our best neighborhoods to live in.

So what's the best neighborhood to live in Des Moines for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Waterbury looks to be the best Des Moines neighborhood to live in.

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.

Once you're done, you can look at the bottom of the story for a complete chart of every neighborhood we looked at from best to worst.

For more Iowa reading, check out:

The 10 Best Neighborhoods To Live In Des Moines

Population: 2,740
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $245,600 (Fifth best)
Median Income: $99,524 (First best)
More on Waterbury: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 1,088
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $309,950 (First best)
Median Income: $96,038 (Second best)
More on Salisbury Oaks: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 1,009
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $272,200 (Fourth best)
Median Income: $73,566 (Seventh best)
More on Greenwood: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 400
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $302,700 (Second best)
Median Income: $89,659 (Third best)
More on Linden Heights: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 798
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $179,500 (Seventh best)
Median Income: $77,941 (Fifth best)
More on Ingersoll Park: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 5,761
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $149,100 (12th best)
Median Income: $60,141 (14th best)
More on Lower Beaver: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 4,605
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $139,617 (16th best)
Median Income: $65,724 (11th best)
More on Meredith: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 6,844
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 8)
Median Home Value: $142,150 (15th best)
Median Income: $62,930 (13th best)
More on Bloomfield-Allen: Homes For Sale | Data

Bloomfield Township is a township in Polk County, Iowa, USA.

Population: 1,262
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 6)
Median Home Value: $302,700 (Second best)
Median Income: $89,659 (Third best)
More on Westwood: Homes For Sale | Data

Population: 8,370
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $146,292 (13th best)
Median Income: $66,139 (Tenth best)
More on Beaverdale: Homes For Sale | Data

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.

How We Determined The Best Des Moines, IA Neighborhoods In 2020

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 then ranked each neighborhood with scores from 1 to 51 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, Waterbury.

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

Putting A Bow On Our Analysis Of The Best Neighborhoods In 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.

As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Des Moines aren't all good. Capitol East takes the title of the worst neighborhood to live in Des Moines.

We ranked the neighborhoods from best to worst in the chart below.

For more Iowa reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Neighborhoods To Live In Des Moines For 2020

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Value Median Income
1 Waterbury 2,740 $245,600 $99,524
2 Salisbury Oaks 1,088 $309,950 $96,038
3 Greenwood 1,009 $272,200 $73,566
4 Linden Heights 400 $302,700 $89,659
5 Ingersoll Park 798 $179,500 $77,941
6 Lower Beaver 5,761 $149,100 $60,141
7 Meredith 4,605 $139,617 $65,724
8 Bloomfield-Allen 6,844 $142,150 $62,930
9 Westwood 1,262 $302,700 $89,659
10 Beaverdale 8,370 $146,292 $66,139
11 Waveland Park 3,214 $168,533 $73,635
12 Sherman Hill 1,504 $176,150 $38,972
13 Merle Hay 10,098 $130,538 $54,156
14 Southwestern Hills 5,829 $175,357 $67,603
15 Waveland Woods 741 $142,800 $63,125
16 Downtown Des Moines 2,576 $238,700 $30,321
17 Drake 10,972 $122,138 $44,717
18 North Of Grand 2,766 $120,725 $41,659
19 Greater South Side 8,597 $127,050 $52,697
20 Woodland Heights 1,710 $120,600 $39,730
21 Union Park 6,552 $90,933 $50,676
22 Magnolia Park 2,351 $123,900 $44,423
23 Valley High Manor 231 $133,200 $66,554
24 South Park 2,445 $113,300 $47,309
25 Arbor Peaks 1,258 $157,333 $38,185
26 Accent 3,743 $91,350 $49,557
27 Jordan Park 2,175 $116,700 $26,350
28 Gray's Woods 2,303 $108,100 $45,520
29 Chautauqua Park 441 $75,200 $55,000
30 Fairmont Park 4,631 $106,150 $45,463
31 Oak Park 4,090 $89,800 $48,692
32 Indianola Hills 6,003 $102,767 $46,731
33 Capitol Park 3,402 $77,300 $39,764
34 Martin Luther King Jr Park 2,802 $75,800 $34,053
35 Highland Park 9,601 $94,033 $47,607
36 Douglas Acres 2,852 $103,475 $45,030
37 Garton West 73 $98,900 $39,286
38 Drake Park 861 $101,800 $30,380
39 Mckinley School 1,750 $83,933 $43,808
40 Carpenter 669 $121,600 $20,852
41 Fairground 4,883 $80,650 $37,645
42 Laurel Hill 332 $120,900 $57,064
43 King-Irving Park 2,399 $86,950 $29,094
44 Kirkwood Glen 279 $88,800 $28,984
45 Mondamin Presidentia 2,112 $75,800 $35,516
46 Somerset 255 $29,900 $42,112
47 River Bend 2,849 $91,880 $29,329
48 Cheatom Park 1,542 $89,900 $41,255
49 Capitol View South 405 $76,300 $27,692
50 New Vision 1,115 $76,300 $30,403
51 Capitol East 2,068 $63,633 $31,742

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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