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Half of Iowa population growth happening in Des Moines.

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Growth in Des Moines metro accounts for half of Iowa’s recent population increase

The booming Des Moines suburbs account for half of Iowa’s total population increase since 2010, according to newly published 2019 population estimates from the State Data Center.

Waukee is the state’s fastest-growing city of more than 20,000 people. The expanding western suburb grew by more than 74% since 2010 and is nearing 25,000 residents.

Ankeny grew by nearly 48%, attracting nearly 22,000 new residents since 2010. And with a current population of 67,355, it’s close to overtaking West Des Moines (67,899) to become the metro’s largest suburb.

The Des Moines Register reported in January both Waukee and Ankeny set new records in 2019 for the value of building permits issued.

Construction continues on Waukee's new high school, Northwest, on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 in Waukee. The school is slated to open in the fall of 2021
Construction continues on Waukee’s new high school, Northwest, on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 in Waukee. The school is slated to open in the fall of 2021 (Photo: Brian Powers/The Register)

According to the new population estimates, the next fastest-growing cities with at least 20,000 people were Johnston and West Des Moines. Johnston grew nearly 31% (up to 22,582) and West Des Moines grew by 20% from 2010 to 2019.

Some smaller central Iowa cities are also experiencing massive growth. Two of them, Bondurant and Grimes, were among the fastest-growing cities of any size. Each grew by about 80% since 2010. Grimes now has a population of 14,804, and Bondurant‘s is 6,958.

Panorama Park — population 319 — takes the crown as Iowa’s fastest-growing. The tiny Scott County town, which is completely surrounded by Bettendorf, grew 147%. 


This story was written for the Des Moines Register by Shelby Fleig.

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