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Des Moines, IA

Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, is located smack-dab in the middle of the prototypical Midwestern state. It is regarded as one of the best Midwestern cities in which to live and do business. The city was founded in 1843 at the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers. Its population is just under 200,000.


The central neighborhoods of Des Moines are clustered near the Des Moines River:


Des Moines ranks with Hartford, Connecticut, as a center of the insurance industry in the United States, and indeed the world. The city is also home to many financial services companies. Among the insurance companies with a presence in Des Moines are:

Other financial companies with office complexes in the city include:

The Meredith Corporation, publisher of Better Homes and Gardens, is the flagship of the publishing industry in Des Moines. Because of the city's solid economic base, low crime rate, affordable housing, and quality schools, it rates high in the national rankings of business magazines such as Forbes (Best Places for Business 2007, 4th place) and Kiplinger's (Best Cities 2008, 9th place).


Des Moines is not just the government and financial capital of Iowa, but its cultural capital as well. Among its numerous venues for the visual and performing arts are:

The largest annual event in Des Moines is undoubtedly the Iowa State Fair. Over a million people attend the fair from all over the Midwest. Wells Fargo hosts an annual World Food Festival every October and bestows its World Food Prize.

Every four years, America's attention is riveted to Iowa as the presidential contenders strut their stuff for the state's first-in-the-nation caucuses. Debates, town meetings, and photo opportunities take place daily in Des Moines during campaign season, as visiting journalists and campaign staffs crisscross the state. The 2008 caucuses were especially vigorous. Barack Obama's speech in Des Moines on November 10, 2007, at the state Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner was a key event in his historic campaign, presaging his victory in the caucus two months later.


Two four-year colleges have their central campuses within Des Moines:


Des Moines has a triple-A minor league baseball team, the Iowa Cubs, part of the Chicago Cubs farm system. The Iowa Chops, who play in the American Hockey League, share the Wells Fargo Arena with the Iowa Energy, a new basketball franchise in the NBA Development League. Drake University hosts the annual Drake Relays, one of the largest track-and-field events at any American college, every April. The Des Moines Marathon takes place annually in October.


Des Moines's radio market is dominated by three media conglomerates:

WOI-AM and FM, operated by Iowa State University in the nearby city of Ames, broadcast National Public Radio programming. Des Moines and Ames are considered a single media market, placed by Nielsen among the nation's top 75.

Des Moines television stations are:

The city's daily paper, the Des Moines Register, had a daily circulation of 146,000 in 2007, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.


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