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Overview

Introduction to Ames, Iowa

Nestled snugly between the Skunk River and Squaw Creek in the heart of the Midwest is the Iowa city of Ames. Established in 1864 as a railroad town, Ames was named after U.S. congressman Oakes Ames of Massachusetts, a promoter and champion of the transcontinental railroad system. Centrally located within the state, Ames is part of Story County and is situated 35 miles north of the state capital of Des Moines. Principal highways servicing the city are Interstate 35 and U.S. Routes 30 and 69.

Ames is home to Iowa State University, which was founded in 1858 as a land-grant agricultural college, became a state college in 1898, and achieved university status in 1959. Noted as a leader in veterinary research, the city is also home to the U.S Department of Agriculture's National Animal Disease Center. Although the largest employers in Ames today are state and federal institutions, the city has a strong industrial base with several world-class companies including 3M, Sauer-Danfoss (hydraulics), Barilla (pasta), and Ball Plastics Corporation.

Ames Points of Interest

Combining a charming small town atmosphere with the amenities of a big city, Ames offers a diverse variety of recreational options, family-oriented events, cultural sites and much more. Among the more popular attractions in and near the city are the following:

  • Brunnier Art Museum: Located at Iowa State University, this is the state's only accredited museum. It features a decorative arts collection, a store, and a performing arts and conference complex.
  • Farm House Museum: Located on the campus of Iowa State University, this National Historic Landmark is a fully restored home reflecting late 19th/early 20th century life.
  • Art on Campus Collection: Also on the IU campus.
  • Reiman Gardens: A 14-acre garden with educational displays, a live indoor butterfly exhibit, gift shop and cafe.
  • Ames Community Theater: Offers a variety of live theatrical presentations and educational opportunities.
  • Veenker Memorial Golf Course: A championship public facility providing 18 holes of golf and a full service driving range.
  • Bandshell Park Municipal Concert Series: Held during the months of June and July.
  • Hoggatt School Historic Site: A restored one-room schoolhouse.
  • Octagon Center for the Arts
  • Homewood Golf Course
  • Iowa State University Memorial Union
  • Prairie Moon Winery & Vineyards
  • Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad (Boone)
  • Iowa Arboretum (Madrid)
  • Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace (Boone)
  • Story City Antique Carousel (Story City)

Sports in Ames are embodied by the Iowa State Cyclones, the athletic teams of Iowa State University. The Cyclones compete in the Big 12 Conference, fielding 16 NCAA Division I teams in 11 different sports including football and basketball. The football Cyclones have participated in several post-season Bowl games.

The Iowa state capital of Des Moines, only about a half-hour away, is home to a variety of professional sports. Minor League Baseball action can be found at Principal Park, where the Iowa Cubs (a Class-AAA affiliate of Major League Baseball's Chicago Cubs) play their games. The Cubs are members of the Pacific Coast League (PCL). Des Moines is also home to hockey's Iowa Stars, who compete in the American Hockey League (AHL). The Stars' affiliation is shared between the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers. Another hockey team, the Des Moines Buccaneers, plays in neighboring Urbandale as a member of the United States Hockey League (USHL). Soccer fans can enjoy the Des Moines Menace, a team in the United Soccer League's Premier Development League (PDL).

Demographics

People

Total Population64,073
Male Share of the Population52.8%
Female Share of the Population47.2%
Senior Citizens9.2%
Employed Population 16+33,867
Age of the Population23

Families

% of people married32.4%
Average household size2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher63.4%
Median Earnings25+$37,440
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification$0
Median Earnings With High School Degree$25,228

Wealth

Median Family Income$78,323
% Above Poverty Level69.9%
% Below Poverty Level30.1%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time16 minutes
% Working from Home3.7%
% Walking and Biking to Work13.3%
% Using Public Transportation8.3%

Housing

People Living Alone29.4%
Median Gross Rent$835
Median House Value$176,500

Ancestry

German33.2%
Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)18.6%
Irish12.7%
Norwegian8.5%
English7%
Italian3.3%
Swedish3.1%
Dutch3%
French Except Basque2.3%
Scottish2.2%
Polish1.9%
Danishn1.9%
Arab1.2%
Czech1.2%
African0.9%
Welsh0.7%
Swiss0.6%
Turkish0.3%
Russian0.3%
Hungarian0.3%
West Indian0.3%
Canadian0.3%
Nigerian0.3%
Belgian0.3%
Finnish0.3%
Lebanese0.3%
Lithuanian0.2%
Brazilian0.2%
Austrian0.2%
Ukrainian0.2%
Greek0.2%
Portuguese0.2%
US/American0.2%
Jamaican0.1%
Belizean0.1%
Iranian0.1%
Croatian0.1%
Bulgarian0.1%
Egyptian0.1%
Luxemburger0.1%
Romanian0.1%
Kenyan0.1%
Slovene0.1%
Sudanese0.1%
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Ames Almanac

CategoryValue
County Story County
Standard Zip Codes50010, 50014
Company Zip Codes50011, 50012, 50013
Phone Area Codes515
Time ZoneAmerica/Chicago
Approximate Latitude42.02
Approximate Longitude-93.62

Ames Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

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

StationAMES 8 WSW
Distance7.7 miles
Jan Temp10 to 27 F
Apr Temp38 to 62 F
Jul Temp63 to 84 F
Oct Temp41 to 64 F
Annual Precip34 inches
StationBOONE
Distance13.6 miles
Jan Temp7 to 28 F
Apr Temp37 to 60 F
Jul Temp63 to 85 F
Oct Temp39 to 64 F
Annual Precip36.3 inches
StationANKENY
Distance22.2 miles
Jan Temp9 to 28 F
Apr Temp37 to 60 F
Jul Temp64 to 86 F
Oct Temp39 to 63 F
Annual Precip33.3 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income
Cambridge853$68,000
Gilbert1,183$93,472
Huxley3,474$82,636
Kelley306$81,250

Ames Public Libraries

Ames Public Library
515 DOUGLAS AVE
Ames, Iowa
(515) 239-5646

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More Information for Librarians

Ames Hospitals

Mary Greeley Medical Center
(Government - Local)
1111 Duff Ave
(515) 239-2011

Ames Public Schools

Sawyer Elementary School
4316 Ontario St
ZIP: 50010
(515) 239-3790
Primary
Total Enrollment 349
Mitchell Elementary School
3521 Jewel Dr
ZIP: 50010
(515) 239-3775
Primary
Total Enrollment 286
Meeker Elementary School
300 20th Street
ZIP: 50010
(515) 239-3770
Primary
Total Enrollment 444
Ames High School
1921 Ames High Drive
ZIP: 50010
(515) 817-0600
High
Total Enrollment 1271
Fellows Elementary School
1400 Mc Kinley
ZIP: 50010
(515) 239-3765
Primary
Total Enrollment 463
Northwood Pre-school
3012 Duff Avenue
ZIP: 50010
(515) 268-2470
Primary
Total Enrollment 292
Edwards Elementary School
820 Miller Ave
ZIP: 50014
(515) 239-3760
Primary
Total Enrollment 384
Ames Middle School
3915 Mortensen Road
ZIP: 50014
(515) 268-2400
Middle
Total Enrollment 944

Ames Private Schools

Ames Christian School
925 S 16th St
ZIP: 50010
Elementary
Total Enrollment 40
St Cecilia Elementary School
2900 Hoover Ave
ZIP: 50010
Elementary
Total Enrollment 249
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