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Des Moines (/dəˈmɔɪn/ (listen)) is the capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Iowa. It is also the county seat of Polk County. A small part of the city extends into Warren County. It was incorporated on September 22, 1851, as Fort Des Moines, which was shortened to "Des Moines" in 1857. It is located on, and named after, the Des Moines River, which likely was adapted from the early French name, Rivière des Moines, meaning "River of the Monks". The city's population was 214,133 as of the 2020 census. The six-county metropolitan area is ranked 83rd in terms of population in the United States with 699,292 residents according to the 2019 estimate by the United States Census Bureau, and is the largest metropolitan area fully located within the state.
Des Moines is a major center of the US insurance industry and has a sizable financial services and publishing business base. The city was credited as the "number one spot for U.S. insurance companies" in a Business Wire article and named the third-largest "insurance capital" of the world. The city is the headquarters for the Principal Financial Group, Ruan Transportation, TMC Transportation, EMC Insurance Companies, and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Other major corporations such as Wells Fargo, Cognizant, Voya Financial, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, ACE Limited, Marsh, Monsanto, and Corteva have large operations in or near the metropolitan area. In recent years, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Facebook have built data-processing and logistical facilities in the Des Moines area.
Archaeological excavations have shown that many fort-related features survived under what is now Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and First Street. Soldiers stationed at Fort Des Moines opened the first coal mines in the area, mining coal from the riverbank for the fort's blacksmith.
In 1864, the Des Moines Coal Company was organized to begin the first systematic mining in the region. Its first mine, north of town on the river's west side, was exhausted by 1873. The Black Diamond mine, near the south end of the West Seventh Street Bridge, sank a 150-foot (46 m) mine shaft to reach a 5-foot-thick (1.5 m) coal bed. By 1876, this mine employed 150 men and shipped 20 carloads of coal per day. By 1885, numerous mine shafts were within the city limits, and mining began to spread into the surrounding countryside. By 1893, 23 mines were in the region. By 1908, Des Moines' coal resources were largely exhausted. In 1912, Des Moines still had eight locals of the United Mine Workers union, representing 1,410 miners. This was about 1.7% of the city's population in 1910.
That form of government was scrapped in 1950 in favor of a council-manager government, with the council members elected at-large. In 1967, the city changed its government to elect four of the seven city council members from single-member districts or wards, rather than at-large. This enabled a broader representation of voters. As with many major urban areas, the city core began losing population to the suburbs in the 1960s (the peak population of 208,982 was recorded in 1960), as highway construction led to new residential construction outside the city. The population was 198,682 in 2000 and grew slightly to 200,538 in 2009. The growth of the outlying suburbs has continued, and the overall metropolitan-area population is over 700,000 today.
Interstate 235 (I-235) cuts through the city, and I-35 and I-80 both pass through the Des Moines metropolitan area, as well as the city of Des Moines. On the northern side of the city of Des Moines and passing through the cities of Altoona, Clive, Johnston, Urbandale and West Des Moines, I-35 and I-80 converge into a long concurrency while I-235 takes a direct route through Des Moines, Windsor Heights, and West Des Moines before meeting up with I-35 and I-80 on the western edge of the metro. The Des Moines Bypass passes south and east of the city. Other routes in and around the city include US 6, US 69, Iowa 28, Iowa 141, Iowa 163, Iowa 330, and Iowa 415.
Des Moines is also home to the main campuses of three four-year private colleges: Drake University, Grand View University, and Mercy College of Health Sciences. The University of Iowa has a satellite facility in the city's Western Gateway Park, while Iowa State University hosts Master of Business Administration classes downtown. Simpson College, Upper Iowa University, William Penn University, and Purdue University Global. Des Moines Area Community College is the area's community college with campuses in Ankeny, Des Moines, and West Des Moines. The city is also home to Des Moines University, an osteopathic medical school. 2b1af7f3a8