Des Moines metro residents among country's most satisfied

Via Julie Zeveloff at Business Insider, I see that the Des Moines/West Des Moines metro area ranked eighth on Gallup’s latest survey measuring how satisfied Americans are with their city of residence. The latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index is based on 531,630 interviews the polling firm conducted in 189 metropolitan areas throughout 2012-2013. Data collected are based on at least 300 respondents from each metro area. Click through for the full chart. About 92.2 percent of respondents in the Des Moines metro area said they were satisfied with where they live, not far off the highest satisfaction reported, 94.9 percent in the Fort Collins and Loveland, Colorado area.

The Omaha/Council Bluffs metro fell just outside the top ten, with a 91.6 resident satisfaction rate, according to Gallup. The Quad Cities area ranked 75th out of the 189 metros; 86.6 percent of adults surveyed were satisfied to live in the area. Cedar Rapids was a lot lower in the rankings (112th) but not much different in terms of satisfaction: 84.4 percent.

Judging from Gallup’s data, Americans are surprisingly content with their cities of residence. Even at the bottom of the table in Rockford, Illinois, more than 72 percent of respondents said they were satisfied. I would guess this data point reflects the relatively low barriers to moving in the United States, compared to some other countries. Many of those who hate where they live are able to pull up roots and try somewhere else, depending on their priorities (job prospects, cost of living, family nearby, mild weather, proximity to mountains or ocean, good schools or other amenities).

Continue Reading...

A closer look at the Iowa House vote for traffic camera ban

After several hours of delay due to a suspicious powder mailed to State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad, the Iowa House passed a bill last night to ban local governments from using “automated traffic law enforcement systems.” The 58 to 40 vote didn’t follow the usual party lines in the chamber. The bill wouldn’t have passed without some support from House Democrats.

Continue Reading...

Des Moines metro rated fourth-best "bang for the buck" area

Forbes.com compiled a list of the best “bang for the buck” cities in the U.S.:

To find the cities that offer the most bang for the buck, we looked at the country’s 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas–geographic entities defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, for use in collecting statistics– across these measures: foreclosures as a percentage of home prices; vacancies; unemployment rates; a three-year job-growth forecast; a three-year home-price forecast; housing affordability; median real estate taxes; and median travel time to work.

The Des Moines/West Des Moines metro area ranked fourth out of 100:

With low unemployment, at 6%, few vacancies and a promising home price forecast, the real estate market shows fresh signs of robustness. And its home prices make it possible for budget-conscious home buyers to get in the door–it scores above average for home price affordability.

The Omaha/Council Bluffs area ranked first on the Forbes.com list, and also ranked first on the list of cities “best surviving the recession. “No other Iowa metros were large enough to be considered for this analysis.

Click here and scroll down for more details on the methodology used to assess unemployment and healthy housing markets. Click here for the list ranking all 100 most populous metro areas. If you’re feeling down now that snow has arrived in Iowa, consider how much more affordable life is here compared to most of the sun belt cities.

Continue Reading...

"Best Performing Cities" index sees improvement for most Iowa metros

The Des Moines Register brought to my attention a new report ranking 200 large metropolitan areas and 124 smaller metropolitan areas:

The 2009 Milken Institute/Greenstreet Real Estate Partners Best-Performing Cities Index ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth.  The components include job, wage and salary and technology growth.

The list of smaller cities includes eight Iowa metros, and you can view the details here. My short take is after the jump.

Continue Reading...
View More...