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Polk County, IA&

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1.35% growth
Median Age
Median Household Income
6.47% growth
Poverty Rate
Number of Employees
2.36% growth
Median Property Value
7.51% growth

About the photo: The pedestrian bridge just south of Court Ave in downtown Des Moines.


The economy of Polk County, IA employs 253,895 people. The economy of Polk County, IA is specialized in Finance & Insurance; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Hunting; and Wholesale trade, which employ respectively 2.95; 1.41; and 1.32 times more people than what would be expected in a location of this size. The largest industries in Polk County, IA are Finance & Insurance (36,439), Healthcare & Social Assistance (32,575), and Retail trade (29,859), and the highest paying industries are Management of Companies & Enterprises ($74,946), Utilities ($61,767), and Professional, Scientific, Tech Services ($53,021).

Median household income in Polk County, IA is $64,067. Males in Polk County, IA have an average income that is 1.32 times higher than the average income of females, which is $44,310. The income inequality of Polk County, IA (measured using the Gini index) is 0.448 which is lower than the national average.


Median Household Income

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Poverty by Race & Ethnicity


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Employment by Industries

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Health & Safety

Insurance and Medicare coverage combined with state and county level health and safety statistics for Polk County, IA. In Polk County, IA the age groups most likely to have health care coverage are 6-17 and 6-17, men and women, respectively. The location has a 1 to 97 primary care clinician to patient ratio and a Medicare reimbursement average per patient per year of $7,712. Wapello County, IA has the highest prevalence of homicides of any county in Iowa.


Clinician to Patient Rates

Insurance Coverage by Age and Gender

Medicare Enrollment and Reimbursements by Location

Trends in Medicare Enrollment and Reimbursements

Hospital Care for Medicare Patients

Heart Disease and Pneumonia

Diabetes Care

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Opioid Use

Conditions and Diseases

Risky/Harmful Behaviors

Homicide & Crime


Polk County, IA is home to a population of 474,045 people, from which 94.8% are citizens. The ethnic composition of the population of Polk County, IA is composed of 370,776 White residents (78.2%), 38,925 Hispanic residents (8.21%), 30,509 Black residents (6.44%), 22,224 Asian residents (4.69%), and 10,248 Two+ residents (2.16%). The most common foreign languages in Polk County, IA are Spanish (24,417 speakers), Serbo-Croatian (4,751 speakers), and African Languages (3,773 speakers), but compared to other places, Polk County, IA has a relative high number of Serbo-Croatian (4,751 speakers), Laotian (1,936 speakers), and Thai (905 speakers).


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In 2015 universities in Polk County, IA awarded 7,638 degrees. The student population of Polk County, IA is skewed towards females, with 3,144 male students and 4,494 female students. Most students in Polk County, IA are White (6,163 and 80.7%), followed by Black or African American (347 and 4.54%), Unknown (308 and 4.03%), and Hispanic or Latino (266 and 3.48%). The largest universities in Polk County, IA by number of graduates are Des Moines Area Community College (3,573 and 46.8%), Drake University (1,523 and 19.9%), and Grand View University (671 and 8.79%). The most popular majors in Polk County, IA are Liberal Arts & Sciences (1,707 and 22.3%), Registered Nursing (327 and 4.28%), and Criminal Justice - Police Science (94 and 1.23%). The median tuition costs in Polk County, IA are N/A for private four year colleges, and $24,794 and $24,794 respectively, for public four year colleges for in-state students and out-of-state students.



Student Gender for Common Institutions

Student Race & Ethnicity

Housing & Living

The median property value in Polk County, IA is $171,800, which is 0.84 times smaller than the national average of $205,000. Between 2015 and 2016 the median property value increased from $159,800 to $171,800, a 7.51% increase. The homeownership rate of Polk County, IA is 67%, which is higher than the national average of 63.1%. People in Polk County, IA have an average commute time of 18.3 minutes, and they commute by Drove Alone. Car ownership in Polk County, IA is approximately the same as the national average, with an average of 2 cars per household.


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United States
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA Metro Area
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