Introduction to Des Moines, Washington

Des Moines, Washington, in King County, is 4 miles W of Kent, Washington (center to center) and 14 miles S of Seattle, Washington. The city is in the Seattle - Bellevue - Everett area. There are 29,267 residents in Des Moines.

Des Moines History

The Duwamish and Muckleshoot Indian tribes used the area, now known as Des Moines, for fishing purposes. Europeans first visited this place on May 26, 1792. John Moore, who visited the area around 1867, was the first known settler of Des Moines. Des Moines City Improvement Company platted the land in 1889. In fact, the city was named after the company. The Brick Highway was constructed in May 1916. Des Moines was incorporated on June 17, 1959.

Des Moines and nearby Attractions

  • Saltwater State Park
  • Des Moines Historical Society Museum
  • Des Moines Beach Park
  • Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden
  • Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
  • Renton History Museum

Things To Do In Des Moines

Des Moines Beach Park and Saltwater State Park are worth visiting when you are in the city. You can also visit Normandy Village and Des Moines Historical Society Museum. The Museum of Flight and Enchanted Village and Wild Waves are also close to the city. The City of Des Moines also organizes a number of recreational events and festivals throughout the year.

Des Moines Transportation

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is close to the city.

Des Moines Higher Education

Highline Community College is the local college. Other colleges and universities near Des Moines are Seattle Community College-South Campus, Seattle University, and Renton Technical College.


Total Population 30,715
Male Share of the Population 50.1%
Female Share of the Population 49.9%
Senior Citizens 15.4%
Employed Population 16+ 14,475
Age of the Population 38


% of people married 47.7%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 23.5%
Median Earnings25+ $35,267
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $23,009
Median Earnings With High School Degree $27,234


Median Family Income $67,278
% Above Poverty Level 86.3%
% Below Poverty Level 13.7%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 29 minutes
% Working from Home 4.2%
% Walking and Biking to Work 2%
% Using Public Transportation 8%


People Living Alone 27.6%
Median Gross Rent $1,093
Median House Value $254,800


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 42.6%
US/American 0%
English 9.6%
Irish 8.2%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Des Moines Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 4 miles W of Kent, Washington (center to center)
Nearest Large City 14 miles S of Seattle, Washington
County King
Standard Zip Codes 98148, 98198
Phone Area Codes 206
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 47.401
Longitude -122.323

Des Moines Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station KENT
Distance 3.6 miles
Jan Temp 35 to 47 F
Apr Temp 42 to 61 F
Jul Temp 55 to 77 F
Oct Temp 44 to 62 F
Annual Precip 39.5 inches
Distance 4.5 miles
Jan Temp 36 to 46 F
Apr Temp 42 to 58 F
Jul Temp 55 to 75 F
Oct Temp 46 to 60 F
Annual Precip 37 inches
Distance 17.2 miles
Jan Temp 36 to 47 F
Apr Temp 43 to 59 F
Jul Temp 56 to 75 F
Oct Temp 46 to 60 F
Annual Precip 38.2 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Des Moines, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Redondo Beach (98198)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Burien 49,785 $64,546
Federal Way 92,859 $65,081
Kent 124,292 $69,108
Normandy Park 6,568 $114,875
SeaTac 27,859 $51,773
Tukwila 19,757 $57,958

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
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Des Moines High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,384 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 24.7

A Non-traditional School
Serves 377 students.

Des Moines Colleges

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Study Online in Des Moines

Career and College Resources

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Info for Des Moines Government Officials

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