Cost of Living in Greater Des Moines

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Greater Des Moines (DSM) is an affordable place to live that doesn’t cheap out on amenities or quality of life. DSM Is noted for on several fronts for being one of the most affordable places to live: 

As a state, Iowa ranks in the top 10 cheapest places to live (Forbes, 2023), far ahead of the most expensive states like Oregon, New York and California. 

The DSM region balances affordability with amenities and a high quality of life. It’s also ranked number 1 in the Midwest (The Ascent, 2021) for high salaries and low cost of living. Here, your dollar can go further and your life can be greater.  

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Compare Your Cost of Living

Use the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s cost of living calculator to see how your current location compares. Factors like lower cost of utilities, more affordable groceries and shorter commute times can have a positive impact on your household budget. (Which means more fun money for recreation, shopping and restaurants, right?) 

Affordable Rent and Homeownership in Greater Des Moines

With a median sales price for a single-family home sitting at $291,840 (Iowa Association of Realtors, 2023) and a cost of living well below the national average, it’s no surprise that housing options play into relocating and making DSM home. The median monthly rental housing price in Des Moines is around $1,020, making living in DSM an excellent option for young professionals and families. 

With a variety of community options — from an urban core, to amenity-packed suburbs, cozy small towns and rural expanses — you’re sure to find a neighborhood and town that suits you and your lifestyle well.   

Taxes in Iowa

Iowa’s statewide sales tax is 6%, and with the county taxes, in DSM that means your sales tax is 7%. Tax legislation in the state is regularly put forward. In 2022, a new law was passed that will phase in a flat 3.9% personal income tax by 2026 — the first time the state will have a flat income tax. It’s predicted to save Iowa families $1,300 a year

Job Compensation

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Compensation is a major component of cost of living and DSM has the data to back up why living in Iowa is so affordable. Iowa Workforce Development’s Iowa Wage Report contains the most current wage information for the state. This annual report offers insights into more than 700 occupations, including entry, mean and experienced wages for these occupations. Wage information for the Des Moines-West Des Moines area is available, too, including hourly and annual wages thanks to the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEwS) program. 

Jobs in any number of industries provide an abundance of career growth opportunities. Employers across the region aren’t just looking for someone to fill a position but join a workplace capable of providing solutions as they adapt for the world of tomorrow, where work-life balance and company culture are fundamental.