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About Iowa

Iowa, a Midwestern state known for its landscape of rolling plains and cornfields, is located between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. As you travel across the state, you can enjoy a ride on the 4th Street Elevator in Dubuque, which takes passengers up and down the high bluffs along the Mississippi.   In the city of the “five seasons”–Cedar Rapids–you may visit the modern Cedar Rapids Museum of Art housing paintings by native Iowan Grant Wood. Approaching the center of our state, you will see the gold-domed 19th-century capitol building in the skyline of Des Moines.  As you venture to the western side of Iowa, you can experience the beautiful Loess Hills.

While the “Hawkeye State” is often viewed as an agricultural state, in reality agriculture is a small portion of a diversified economy, with manufacturing, biotechnology, finance and insurance, and government services contributing substantially to Iowa’s economy. This economic diversity helped Iowa weather the late 2000s recessionbetter than most states, with unemployment substantially lower than the rest of the nation.

Greater Des Moines is a city with vibe. The Metro boasts population of more than 550,000 in the four-county region, according to the United States Census Bureau, and hosts 2.9 million visitors each year. Visitors flock to the city for events like the Iowa State Fair, 80/35 Music Festival, the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucuses and the week-long festivities of the Drake Relays.

With a thriving arts and culture scene, numerous college, professional and amateur sporting teams, locally-owned restaurants serving locally-grown foods, major shopping malls and quaint boutiques—Des Moines is a city where it’s easy to catch more. Recently completed endeavors like the Des Moines Social Club and the downtown Wellmark YMCA and renovations to the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden make for a flourishing city hub.

Greater Des Moines continues to make headlines with national media:

  • ​#1 Wealthiest City in America (TODAY Show; 2014)
  • #1 Region for Economic Strength (Policom; 2014)
  • #6 Best City to Raise a Family (Forbes; 2014)
  • Top Place to Watch for Sports (Sports Event Magazine; 2014)
  • #1 Midwest City for Young Adults (The Business Journals; 2013)
  • Runner Friendly Community Award Recipient (Road Runners Club of America; 2012)