The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Des Moines For 2021


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 2021. This is our fifth time ranking the worst neighborhoods to live in Des Moines.
Worst Neighborhoods In Des Moines
Source: Public domain

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 Ingersoll Park ranks way above the rest.

We examined 50 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.

So what's the worst neighborhood to live in Des Moines for 2021? 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. Looking for places to avoid outside of the city? You can also check out the worst suburbs of Des Moines.

For more Iowa reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Des Moines For 2021

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,068
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
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: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $76,300 (6th worst)
Median Income: $30,403 (9th worst)
More on New Vision:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,542
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $89,900 (14th worst)
Median Income: $41,255 (18th worst)
More on Cheatom Park:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

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

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,849
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $91,880 (17th worst)
Median Income: $29,329 (6th worst)
More on River Bend:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 255
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $29,900 (worst)
Median Income: $42,112 (20th worst)
More on Somerset:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,112
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
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: 9 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $86,950 (11th worst)
Median Income: $29,094 (5th worst)
More on King-Irving Park:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 669
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $121,600 (29th worst)
Median Income: $20,852 (worst)
More on Carpenter:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 4,883
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $80,650 (9th worst)
Median Income: $37,645 (13th worst)
More on Fairground:  Data

How we determined the worst Des Moines hoods in 2021

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 50 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.

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. Ingersoll Park 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:

Where Are The Worst Neighborhoods To Live In Des Moines For 2021?

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