These Are The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Des Moines For 2019


We used data and science to identify the neighborhoods in Des Moines that are the real pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the worst neighborhoods to live in Des Moines.
Worst Neighborhoods In Des Moines

Des Moines’s neighborhoods conjure up too many stereotypes to count. You’ve got hipster areas, preppy places, neighborhoods where college kids thrive, and of course, ghettos.

It seems as if there’s a neighborhood for everyone in Des Moines.

And while the city consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the country thanks in part to a strong economy and tons of entertainment, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine in Des Moines. Some neighborhoods aren’t as great as others.

So the question arises, which Des Moines neighborhoods are the worst, and which are the best?

Today, we’ll use science and data to determine which Des Moines hoods need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Des Moines area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the neighborhoods to be amazing, although Waterbury ranks way above the rest.

We examined 51 of Des Moines’s neighborhoods to find out the worst places to live. These places don’t quite measure up to Des Moines’s reputation.

Here are the 10 worst neighborhoods in Des Moines according to data:

  1. Capitol East
  2. New Vision
  3. Capitol View South
  4. Cheatom Park
  5. Somerset
  6. River Bend
  7. Kirkwood Glen
  8. Mondamin Presidentia
  9. King-Irving Park
  10. Laurel Hill

So what’s the worst neighborhood to live in Des Moines for 2019? According to the most recent census data, Capitol East looks to be the worst neighborhood in Des Moines.

Read on to see how we determined the places around Des Moines that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.

Once you’re done, you can look at the bottom of the story for a complete chart of every neighborhood we looked at from worst to best.

For more Iowa reading, check out:

How we determined the worst Des Moines hoods in 2019

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what places have the least amount of those things. We threw the following criteria into this analysis in order to get the best, most complete results possible. We used this set of criteria for each neighborhood in Des Moines:

  • High unemployment (Less jobs)
  • Low median income (Less pay)
  • Low population density (No things to do)
  • Low home values (No one’s willing to pay to live here)
  • High crime (Estimated)

Then, we ranked each neighborhood in Des Moines, Iowa for each of these criteria from worst to best.

Next, we averaged the individual rankings for each criteria into a “Worst Score”.

The neighborhood with the lowest “Worst Score” ranks as the worst neighborhood of Des Moines.

Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around Des Moines to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 51 neighborhoods ranked from worst to best.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased. Hold on to your pants.

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,068
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $63,633 (2nd worst)
Median Income: $31,742 (10th worst)
More on Capitol East:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,115
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $76,300 (6th worst)
Median Income: $30,403 (9th worst)
More on New Vision:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 405
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $76,300 (6th worst)
Median Income: $27,692 (3rd worst)
More on Capitol View South:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,542
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $89,900 (14th worst)
Median Income: $41,255 (19th worst)
More on Cheatom Park:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 255
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $29,900 (1st worst)
Median Income: $42,112 (21st worst)
More on Somerset:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,849
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $91,880 (17th worst)
Median Income: $29,329 (6th worst)
More on River Bend:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 279
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $88,800 (12th worst)
Median Income: $28,984 (4th worst)
More on Kirkwood Glen:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,112
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $75,800 (4th worst)
Median Income: $35,516 (12th worst)
More on Mondamin Presidentia:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,399
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $86,950 (11th worst)
Median Income: $29,094 (5th worst)
More on King-Irving Park:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 332
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 10)
Median Home Value: $120,900 (29th worst)
Median Income: $57,064 (37th worst)
More on Laurel Hill:  Data

The ‘hoods around Des Moines that are really hoods

Well there you have it — the worst of the neighborhoods in Des Moines with Capitol East landing at the bottom of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Des Moines aren’t all bad. Waterbury takes the cake as the best place to live in Des Moines.

We ranked the neighborhoods from worst to best in the chart below.

For more Iowa reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Neighborhoods To Live In Des Moines For 2019

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Value Median Income
1 Capitol East 2,068 $63,633 $31,742
2 New Vision 1,115 $76,300 $30,403
3 Capitol View South 405 $76,300 $27,692
4 Cheatom Park 1,542 $89,900 $41,255
5 Somerset 255 $29,900 $42,112
6 River Bend 2,849 $91,880 $29,329
7 Kirkwood Glen 279 $88,800 $28,984
8 Mondamin Presidentia 2,112 $75,800 $35,516
9 King-Irving Park 2,399 $86,950 $29,094
10 Laurel Hill 332 $120,900 $57,064
11 Mckinley School 1,750 $83,933 $43,808
12 Garton West 73 $98,900 $39,286
13 Carpenter 669 $121,600 $20,852
14 Drake Park 861 $101,800 $30,380
15 Fairground 4,883 $80,650 $37,645
16 Douglas Acres 2,852 $103,475 $45,030
17 Highland Park 9,601 $94,033 $47,607
18 Martin Luther King Jr Park 2,802 $75,800 $34,053
19 Capitol Park 3,402 $77,300 $39,764
20 Indianola Hills 6,003 $102,767 $46,731
21 Fairmont Park 4,631 $106,150 $45,463
22 Chautauqua Park 441 $75,200 $55,000
23 Oak Park 4,090 $89,800 $48,692
24 Jordan Park 2,175 $116,700 $26,350
25 Gray’s Woods 2,303 $108,100 $45,520
26 Accent 3,743 $91,350 $49,557
27 Arbor Peaks 1,258 $157,333 $38,185
28 South Park 2,445 $113,300 $47,309
29 Valley High Manor 231 $133,200 $66,554
30 Magnolia Park 2,351 $123,900 $44,423
31 Union Park 6,552 $90,933 $50,676
32 Woodland Heights 1,710 $120,600 $39,730
33 Greater South Side 8,597 $127,050 $52,697
34 North Of Grand 2,766 $120,725 $41,659
35 Drake 10,972 $122,138 $44,717
36 Downtown Des Moines 2,576 $238,700 $30,321
37 Southwestern Hills 5,829 $175,357 $67,603
38 Waveland Woods 741 $142,800 $63,125
39 Merle Hay 10,098 $130,538 $54,156
40 Sherman Hill 1,504 $176,150 $38,972
41 Waveland Park 3,214 $168,533 $73,635
42 Beaverdale 8,370 $146,292 $66,139
43 Westwood 1,262 $302,700 $89,659
44 Bloomfield-Allen 6,844 $142,150 $62,930
45 Meredith 4,605 $139,617 $65,724
46 Lower Beaver 5,761 $149,100 $60,141
47 Linden Heights 400 $302,700 $89,659
48 Salisbury Oaks 1,088 $309,950 $96,038
49 Greenwood 1,009 $272,200 $73,566
50 Ingersoll Park 798 $179,500 $77,941
51 Waterbury 2,740 $245,600 $99,524

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