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Des Moines

Trip Planner USA  /  Iowa  /  Des Moines
(4.1/5 based on 4,200+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: parks, sightseeing, nature
Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Iowa. It is also the county seat of Polk County. A small portion of the city extends into Warren County. It was incorporated on September 22, 1851, as Fort Des Moines which was shortened to "Des Moines" in 1857. It is named after the Des Moines River, which may have been adapted from the French Rivière des Moines, meaning "River of the Monks". The city's population was 203,433 as of the 2010 census. The five-county metropolitan area is ranked 91st in terms of population in the United States with 599,789 residents according to the 2013 estimate by the United States Census Bureau.Des Moines is a major center of the U.S. insurance industry and has a sizable financial services and publishing business base. In fact, Des Moines was credited as the "number one spot for U.S. insurance companies" in a Business Wire article and named the third largest "insurance capital" of the world. The city is the headquarters for the Principal Financial Group, Athene USA insurance, the Meredith Corporation, Ruan Transportation, EMC Insurance Companies, and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Other major corporations such as Wells Fargo, Voya Financial, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, ACE Limited, Marsh, Monsanto and Pioneer Hi-Bred have large operations in or near the metro area. In recent years Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and Facebook have established data processing and logistical facilities in the Des Moines metro. Forbes magazine ranked Des Moines as the "Best Place for Business" in both 2010 and 2013. In 2014, NBC ranked Des Moines as the "Wealthiest City in America" according to its criteria.
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