The 10 Best Des Moines Suburbs To Live In For 2024

The best Des Moines suburbs are Huxley and Clive for 2024 based on Saturday Night Science.

While big cities like Des Moines offer culture, cuisine, and charisma, they also deliver terrible traffic, towering expenses, and a taxing quality of life.

With that in mind, we wanted to uncover the best suburbs around Des Moines. These burbs have all of the benefits of being near Des Moines without actually having to be in the city.

Of course, not all suburbs of Des Moines are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. Using Saturday Night Science, we delve into the factors that matter most, from commutes and housing costs to community vibes, to help you uncover the perfect suburban spots in the Greater Des Moines area.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

What’s the best suburb of Des Moines? Huxley ranks as the best suburb of Des Moines for 2024 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Huxley, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 Des Moines ‘burbs better than the rest–but first, a bit about our methodology.

Feel free to check out some more reading about Iowa:

The 10 Best Des Moines Suburbs To Live For 2024

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,331
Median Income: $120,868
Unemployment Rate: 1.4%
Poverty Rate: 3.6%
More on Huxley: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Huxley is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Des Moines area. We’ll tell you the good about “Awesome Huxley.”

Everyone here is rich; families average $120,868 a year, which is the 2nd highest in the Des Moines region. And only 1.39% are out of work. Homes average more than $321,023 each.

Clive, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 18,576
Median Income: $124,908
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
Poverty Rate: 2.7%
More on Clive: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Clive is the second best ‘burb we looked at near Des Moines for 2024.

It ranks 1st for incomes in the area and only 5.09% of residents lack insurance, good for 17th best.

Ankeny, IA

Source: Wikipedia User Ashton B Crew | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 68,392
Median Income: $101,151
Unemployment Rate: 2.6%
Poverty Rate: 4.7%
More on Ankeny: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Here in Ankeny, it’s really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you’ll see in the Des Moines metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Ankeny.

Norwalk, IA

Source: Flickr User Capncavedan | CC BY 2.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,057
Median Income: $94,176
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
Poverty Rate: 4.1%
More on Norwalk: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Norwalk ranks as the 4th best suburb of Des Moines for 2024.

You won’t find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Norwalk and the schools are some of the best around.

Windsor Heights, IA

Source: Wikipedia User Mikjones24 | CC BY-SA 4.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,200
Median Income: $85,055
Unemployment Rate: 2.0%
Poverty Rate: 8.0%
More on Windsor Heights: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Coming in as the fifth best is Windsor Heights.

Windsor Heights gets kudos for having the 15th most expensive homes in the Des Moines area, where houses sell for an average of $264,202. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,617
Median Income: $120,588
Unemployment Rate: 0.7%
Poverty Rate: 6.1%
More on Bondurant: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Bondurant is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here’s why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 0.72%.

According to online reports, Bondurant is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Des Moines area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Urbandale, IA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 45,591
Median Income: $111,888
Unemployment Rate: 2.1%
Poverty Rate: 5.5%
More on Urbandale: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Urbandale.

Urbandale schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it’s only 9.8 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Waukee, IA

Source: Wikipedia User Iowahwyman | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 25,045
Median Income: $106,846
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
Poverty Rate: 5.8%
More on Waukee: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Waukee is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 5.4% of people lack insurance, good for 19th in the area.

Johnston, IA

Source: Wikipedia User Iowahwyman | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 23,856
Median Income: $98,324
Unemployment Rate: 2.0%
Poverty Rate: 10.5%
More on Johnston: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Is ‘Everything Better In Johnston?’


It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it’s really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Altoona, IA

Source: Wikipedia User Corey Coyle | CC BY 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,017
Median Income: $89,100
Unemployment Rate: 6.7%
Poverty Rate: 6.0%
More on Altoona: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

And rounding out the top ten for 2024 is Altoona.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It’s far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

Review Of Altoona by HomeSnacks User

I live in Altoona and pretty much all the suburbs on the west side of Dsm are snobs just saying

Methodology: How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Des Moines for 2024

Figuring out the best suburbs around Des Moines was simple. We used Saturday Night Science to find things people like about living in the suburbs and then locate the suburbs with those things.

We analyzed the newest American Community Survey data for 2018-2022 to research each suburb. We decided upon the following criteria:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college-educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Des Moines.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 20 suburbs to evaluate around Des Moines.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 20 in each category, where 1 was the “best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality-of-life index.

Finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index, the “Best Suburb near Des Moines.” We’re lookin’ at you, Huxley.

This result may differ from our state-wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a more extensive selection of suburbs.

We updated the data for 2024. This report is our tenth time ranking the best Des Moines suburbs. Skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Summary: Welcome to the Best Des Moines ‘Burbs of 2024

We said it once, and we’ll say it again–life in the big city isn’t for everyone. At least not all the time.

The best suburbs of Des Moines are .

So if you’re craving the amenities of a larger city like Des Moines but don’t want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might be for you.

For more Iowa reading, check out:

Table: Best Des Moines Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Average Home Price
1 Huxley, IA 4,331 $120,868 $321,023
2 Clive, IA 18,576 $124,908 $397,338
3 Ankeny, IA 68,392 $101,151 $323,344
4 Norwalk, IA 13,057 $94,176 $318,235
5 Windsor Heights, IA 5,200 $85,055 $264,202
6 Bondurant, IA 7,617 $120,588 $319,817
7 Urbandale, IA 45,591 $111,888 $326,786
8 Waukee, IA 25,045 $106,846 $337,040
9 Johnston, IA 23,856 $98,324 $374,570
10 Altoona, IA 20,017 $89,100 $300,143
11 West Des Moines, IA 68,744 $82,345 $294,330
12 Adel, IA 6,090 $91,891 $389,668
13 Grimes, IA 15,402 $99,896 $330,335
14 Winterset, IA 5,366 $71,411 $258,592
15 Indianola, IA 15,845 $73,534 $279,064
16 Mitchellville, IA 2,506 $75,278 $242,697
17 Carlisle, IA 4,116 $94,214 $262,569
18 Madrid, IA 2,784 $74,375 $251,692
19 Pleasant Hill, IA 10,456 $81,992 $289,143
20 Colfax, IA 2,186 $81,076 $165,992
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.