Aug 9, 2022 - News

Why young people are leaving Des Moines and where they're going

Where young residents of Des Moines moved
Note: The analysis includes U.S. Social Security Number holders born 1984–1992 measuring their childhood locations at age 16 and young adult locations at age 26; Data: Center for Economic Studies, et al., 2022, "The Radius of Opportunity: Evidence from Migration and Local Labor Markets"; Chart: Skye Witley/Axios

The average young adult who grew up in Des Moines moved about 161 miles away for their job, according to data by the U.S. Census Bureau's Center for Economic Studies (CES).

  • That's about 20 miles less than the national average.

Why it matters: The pattern of leaving reflects where the opportunity is and that appears to be quite narrow for some, according to a July report by Harvard University and the Census Bureau.

  • Migration distances are shorter for Black and Hispanic youth as well as those from low-income families.

By the numbers: About 70% of young people stayed in DSM.

  • The lowest income stayed at a rate of 76% versus 60% for those from the higher earning families.

See the interactive map

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