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 Iowa thanks in part to tons of entertainment and jobs, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine in Des Moines. Some neighborhoods aren’t as safe as others.
So the question arises, which Des Moines neighborhoods are the most dangerous and which are the safest?
Today, we’ll use Saturday Night Science 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 48 of Des Moines’s neighborhoods to find out the most dangerous places to live. These places don’t quite measure up to Des Moines’s reputation.
So what’s the worst neighborhood to live in Des Moines for 2023? 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.
For more Iowa reading, check out:
The 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Des Moines For 2023
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,821
Property Crime Per 100k: 9,832
Median Home Value: $71,067 (2nd worst)
Median Income: $36,169 (8th worst)
More on Capitol East: Data
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,044
Property Crime Per 100k: 9,065
Median Home Value: $89,900 (10th worst)
Median Income: $41,255 (12th worst)
More on Cheatom Park: Data
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 994
Property Crime Per 100k: 5,506
Median Home Value: $61,400 (worst)
Median Income: $32,832 (3rd worst)
More on New Vision: Data
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,004
Property Crime Per 100k: 5,557
Median Home Value: $78,300 (5th worst)
Median Income: $42,059 (13th worst)
More on Capitol View South: Data
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,977
Property Crime Per 100k: 7,137
Median Home Value: $121,000 (20th worst)
Median Income: $35,134 (6th worst)
More on River Bend: Data
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,810
Property Crime Per 100k: 5,415
Median Home Value: $75,800 (4th worst)
Median Income: $35,516 (7th worst)
More on Mondamin Presidentia: Data
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 785
Property Crime Per 100k: 4,348
Median Home Value: $93,800 (11th worst)
Median Income: $66,094 (34th worst)
More on Garton West: Data
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,006
Property Crime Per 100k: 4,238
Median Home Value: $86,950 (9th worst)
Median Income: $29,094 (2nd worst)
More on King-Irving Park: Data
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,402
Property Crime Per 100k: 8,856
Median Home Value: $133,900 (25th worst)
Median Income: $38,315 (9th worst)
More on Drake Park: Data
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 3,030
Property Crime Per 100k: 11,483
Median Home Value: $124,700 (2worst)
Median Income: $67,838 (36th worst)
More on Laurel Hill: Data
Methodology: How we determined the most dangerous Des Moines neighborhoods in 2023
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 plugged the following criteria into Saturday Night Science to get the worst neighborhoods in Des Moines:
- High crime (Estimated)
- 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)
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 criterion into a “Worst Score.”
The neighborhood with the lowest “Worst Score” ranks as the most dangerous neighborhood of Des Moines.
The article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. We updated this article for 2023. This report is our time ranking the worst neighborhoods to live in Des Moines.
Skip to the end to see the list of all 48 neighborhoods ranked from worst to best.
Summary: The Worst Neighborhoods Around Des Moines
Well, there you have it — the worst of the neighborhoods in Des Moines with Capitol East landing at the bottom of the pack.
As 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:
Most Dangerous Neighborhoods To Live In Des Moines For 2023?
|Rank||Neighborhood||Population||Home Value||Median Income|
|4||Capitol View South||421||$78,300||$42,059|
|13||Martin Luther King Jr Park||2,802||$75,800||$34,053|
|23||Valley High Manor||235||$134,600||$74,427|
|26||Greater South Side||8,597||$127,050||$52,697|
|38||North Of Grand||2,928||$150,700||$50,678|
|44||Downtown Des Moines||5,358||$305,300||$64,784|