Cost of Living in Des Moines, IA, United States

Updated On June 27, 2023

How Much Does It Cost to Live In Des Moines, IA?

Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, is in the western region of the American Midwest and is the largest city in Iowa.

Des Moines can be extremely cheap depending on how you want to live, especially compared to other cities where there’s no choice but to live by their high standards.

Here, rent for around 500$-600$ is common, but you also have the option to live more luxuriously for $1200 a month.

Des Moines is rapidly growing, so it’s a great place for opportunity and holds possibilities for growth.

All in all, it’s a great place to mold the lifestyle that you want.

Cost of Living Index:
* Based on Research & User Data


The city is diverse when it comes to food and you can eat for as little or as much as you want.

There are also plenty of restaurants for various cuisines.

Dining is improving and will continue to improve.

There are many options now and you can get a restaurant burger for $6-$8 and a craft beer for $4.



Stroll to Downtown Farmer’s Market to get a taste of rural Iowa each Saturday morning.

Fresh produce, pastries, wines, cheeses, art and jewelry, and more are all available for everyone.

And keep in mind that it’s always much cheaper to cook for yourself than to eat out every day.

You will save a lot of money this way!



The main form of public transportation is the city bus which is fairly clean and has improved in recent years with added bus routes.

However, maybe the best option is owning a car as most places are spread far apart and are only accessible by car.

Public transport is relatively cheap, with a one-way ticket costing less than 2$.



Utilities are rather reasonable in Des Moines.

The cost of utilities there amounts to around 168.02$ per month for basic ones like electricity, water, cooling, heating, and garbage services in an apartment of 85m2.

Internet, however, is pretty expensive compared to this, costing around 69$ a month.

Sports and leisure


There are bike paths everywhere with more being constructed every day if you like to exercise and discover or just get outside.

If you prefer exercising indoors, a month of going to the gym or a being a member of a fitness club will cost you 45$ – that’s more or less the same as in most countries around the world.

Clothing and shoes


There are lots of places to shop. Des Moines has quite a few shopping centers such as Jordan Creek, Merle Hay, Valley West, and East Village.

You’ll have many places where you can buy quality jeans for around 52.50$ or running sneakers for 65$ – the prices of clothing are really low.

Rent per month


Though accommodation here is not exactly cheap, there are areas in the city that offer better housing options for cheaper rent in comparison to the areas with higher demand.

If you opt for areas a bit further from the center of the city, the rent price will drop to around 883.33$.

Otherwise, a one-bedroom apartment in the center will cost you well over 1,017.25$.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Des Moines, IA

*Note: All prices are indicated in USD.
Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)$15.0
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)$4.00
Water (0.33 Liter)$1.75
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter)$1.06
Loaf Bread (500g)$1.10
Eggs (12)$4.30
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket$1.75
Monthly Pass$48.00
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)$168.02
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local$0.10
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)$68.77
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult$45.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)$30
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release$10.75
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)$52.50
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)$55.00
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)$63.75
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center$1017.25
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center$750.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center$1750.00

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Des Moines, IA?

The biggest chunk of the paycheck of Des Moines’ citizens gets spent on food, which only makes sense and goes in line with the rest of the world.

Rent may be the next big expense in Des Moines, but if you came to work here, you won’t have problems since most companies give you a relatively high salary.

What is also high is the percentage of restaurant expenses: as much as 14% of one’s entire salary gets spent on restaurants, which is very high.

Average Costs Breakdown


Des Moines, IA: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Most of the industries are not exciting but they’re stable and secure.

The large corporations in Des Moines are mainly in finance, insurance, and agriculture-related companies.

Des Moines makes the best of both worlds: decent salaries with a very low cost of living.

If nothing else, your ability to save allows you to enjoy more of Des Moines’ amenities — and still vacation elsewhere!

Unemployment is generally lower than the national average, and wages are high relative to the cost of living: for example, the average monthly wage here is close to 4200$.

Average Salary$4260.00
Minimum Wage$1256.67
Mortgage Interest Rate6.50%

Des Moines Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Des Moines Safety Review

Safety Index:

Cost of Living by City in Des Moines, IA

CityCost of Living Index
Albany, NY72.4
Albuquerque, NM72.4
Anchorage, AK72.4
Ann Arbor, MI72.4
Arlington, TX72.4
Asheville, NC72.4
Atlanta, GA72.4
Austin, TX72.4
Bakersfield, CA72.4
Baltimore, MD72.4
Bellevue, WA72.4
Bellingham, WA72.4
Berkeley, CA72.4
Birmingham, AL72.4
Boise, ID72.4
Boston, MA72.4
Boulder, CO72.4
Brooklyn, NY72.4
Buffalo, NY72.4
Burlington, VT72.4
Charleston, SC72.4
Charlotte, NC73.33
Chattanooga, TN72.4
Chicago, IL72.4
Cincinnati, OH72.4
Cleveland, OH72.4
Columbia, SC72.4
Columbus, OH72.4
Dallas, TX72.4
Dayton, OH72.4
Denver, CO72.4
Detroit, MI72.4
El Paso, TX72.4
Eugene, OR72.4
Everett, WA72.4
Fayetteville, AR72.4
Fort Myers, FL72.4
Fort Wayne, IN72.4
Fort Worth, TX72.4
Fresno, CA74.2
Gainesville, FL74.2
Grand Rapids, MI74.2
Greensboro, NC74.2
Hartford, CT74.2
Honolulu, HI74.2
Houston, TX74.2
Huntsville, AL74.2
Indianapolis, IN74.2
Irvine, CA74.2
Jacksonville, FL74.2
Jersey City, NJ74.2
Kansas City, MO74.2
Knoxville, TN74.2
Las Vegas, NV74.2
Lexington, KY74.2
Little Rock, AR74.2
Long Beach, CA74.2
Los Angeles, CA74.2
Louisville, KY74.2
Lubbock, TX74.2
Madison, WI74.2
Memphis, TN74.2
Miami, FL74.2
Milwaukee, WI74.2
Minneapolis, MN74.2
Nashville, TN74.2
New Orleans, LA74.2
New York, NY74.2
Oakland, CA74.2
Oklahoma City, OK74.2
Olympia, WA74.2
Orlando, FL74.2
Peoria, IL72.4
Philadelphia, PA72.4
Phoenix, AZ72.4
Pittsburgh, PA72.4
Portland, ME72.4
Portland, OR72.4
Raleigh, NC72.4
Reno, NV72.4
Richmond, VA74.2
Rochester, NY74.2
Sacramento, CA74.2
Saint Louis, MO74.2
Saint Paul, MN74.2
Saint Petersburg, FL74.2
Salem, OR74.2
Salt Lake City, UT74.2
San Antonio, TX74.2
San Diego, CA74.2
San Francisco, CA74.2
San Jose, CA74.2
Santa Barbara, CA74.2
Santa Rosa, CA74.2
Seattle, WA74.2
Spokane, WA74.2
Springfield, MO74.2
Syracuse, NY74.2
Tacoma, WA74.2
Tallahassee, FL74.2
Tampa, FL74.2
Toledo, OH74.2
Tucson, AZ74.2
Tulsa, OK74.2
Vancouver, WA74.2
Virginia Beach, VA74.2
Washington, DC74.2
West Palm Beach, FL74.2
Wichita, KS74.2

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