Ames, Iowa facts for kids
|Motto: "Smart choice"|
Location in the State of Iowa
|• City||24.27 sq mi (62.86 km2)|
|• Land||24.21 sq mi (62.70 km2)|
|• Water||0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)|
|Elevation||942 ft (287 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||60,634|
|• Rank||8th in Iowa|
|• Density||2,435.6/sq mi (940.4/km2)|
|• Metro||89,542 (estimate based on Story County)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC−6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC−5)|
|ZIP code(s)™||50010, 50011-50013 (UNIQUE ZIP Codes™-for Iowa State University), 50014|
|GNIS feature ID||0454167|
Ames is a city located in the central part of the U.S. state of Iowa in Story County. Lying approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of Des Moines, it had a 2010 population of 58,965. The U.S. Census Bureau designates the Ames metropolitan statistical area as encompassing all of Story County; combined with the Boone, Iowa micropolitan statistical area (Boone County, Iowa), the pair make up the larger Ames-Boone combined statistical area. While Ames is the largest city in Story County, the county seat is in the nearby city of Nevada 8 miles (13 km) east of Ames.
Ames is the home of Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU), a public research institution with leading Agriculture, Design, Engineering, and Veterinary Medicine colleges. ISU is the nation's first designated land-grant university, and the birthplace of the Atanasoff–Berry Computer, the world's first electronic digital computer. Ames hosts one of two national sites for the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which comprises the National Veterinary Services Laboratory and the Center for Veterinary Biologics. Ames is also the home of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service's National Animal Disease Center. NADC is the largest federal animal disease center in the U.S., conducting research aimed at solving animal health and food safety problems faced by livestock producers and the public. Ames has the headquarters for the Iowa Department of Transportation.
In 2010, Ames was ranked ninth on CNNMoney.com "Best Places to Live" list.
The city was founded in 1864 as a station stop on the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad and was named after 19th century U.S. Congressman Oakes Ames of Massachusetts, who was influential in the building of the transcontinental railroad. Ames was founded by local resident Cynthia Olive Duff (née Kellogg) and railroad magnate John Insley Blair, near a location that was deemed favorable for a railroad crossing of the Skunk River.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.27 square miles (62.86 km2), of which 24.21 square miles (62.70 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is water.
Ames is located on Interstate 35, U.S. Route 30 & 69, and the cross country line of the Union Pacific Railroad, roughly 30 miles (48 km) north of the state capital Des Moines. Two small streams run through the town: the South Skunk River and Squaw Creek.
Campustown is the neighborhood directly south of Iowa State University Central Campus bordered by Lincoln Way on the north. Campustown is a high-density mixed-use neighborhood that is home to many student apartments, nightlife venues, restaurants, and numerous other establishments, most of which are unique to Ames.
Ames has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa). On average, the warmest month is July and the coldest is January. The highest recorded temperature was 102 °F (39 °C) in 1988 and the lowest was −28 °F in 1996.
|Climate data for Ames, Iowa|
|Record high °F (°C)||67
|Average high °F (°C)||30
|Average low °F (°C)||12
|Record low °F (°C)||−26
|Precipitation inches (mm)||.74
|Source: Weather Channel|
|Source:"American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. and Iowa Data Center
As of the census of 2010, there were 58,965 people, 22,759 households, and 9,959 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,435.6 inhabitants per square mile (940.4/km2). There were 23,876 housing units at an average density of 986.2 per square mile (380.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.5% White, 3.4% African American, 0.2% Native American, 8.8% Asian, 1.1% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.4% of the population.
There were 22,759 households of which 19.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.6% were married couples living together, 5.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 56.2% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.82.
The median age in the city was 23.8 years. 13.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 40.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.9% were from 25 to 44; 15% were from 45 to 64; and 8.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 53.0% male and 47.0% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 50,731 people, 18,085 households, and 8,970 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,352.3 people per square mile (908.1/km²). There were 18,757 housing units at an average density of 869.7 per square mile (335.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.34% White, 7.70% Asian, 2.65% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.76% Pacific Islander and other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.98% of the population.
There were 18,085 households out of which 22.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.0% were married couples living together, 5.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.4% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.85.
Age spread: 14.6% under the age of 18, 40.0% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 13.9% from 45 to 64, and 7.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 109.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 109.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,042, and the median income for a family was $56,439. Males had a median income of $37,877 versus $28,198 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,881. About 7.6% of families and 20.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over.
Ames is the larger principal city of the Ames–Boone CSA, a Combined Statistical Area that includes the Ames metropolitan area (Story County) and the Boone micropolitan area (Boone County), which had a combined population of 106,205 at the 2000 census.
Arts and culture
Velma Wallace Rayness Ames, Iowa was home to Gerard M. and Velma Wallace Rayness. Both artists taught art and were nationally recognized artists. Their art was exhibited nationally as well as abroad. Gerard died in the 1940s. Velma Wallace Rayness died in 1977. Velma Wallace Rayness usually signed her paintings "V.W. Rayness"
- Ames Historical Society
- Collects, preserves, and provides access to evidence of the history of Ames and its immediate vicinity from pre-settlement times to the present
- Brunnier Art Museum (Scheman Building)
- Ames Public Library
- The Ames Public Library is a Carnegie library founded on October 20, 1904. It currently has 1,386,273 items in circulations, including 799,349 books and 586,924 multimedia items.
- The Octagon Center for the Arts
- The Center includes galleries, art classes, art studios, and retail shop. They sponsor the local street fair, The Octagon Arts Festival. Also have the Annual National Juried Exhibition Clay, Fiber, Paper Glass Metal, Wood.
- The Space for Ames
- Formally known as the Ames Progressive, The Space for Ames was a community space that served as an art gallery, music venue and classroom for community workshops.
- The city is featured in the bestselling book The Girls from Ames written by Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow. It examines the lives and friendships of several young girls who grew up in Ames and have moved on with their adult lives but still remain close.
- The city was featured in the episode "Heartache" of the television show Supernatural.
- The character "Kate Austen" from the television show Lost is from Ames.
Parks and recreation
The Ames area has a large number of parks and arboretums.
- Ada Hayden Heritage Park
- Ames Dog Park
- Bandshell Park
- Charles & June Calhoun Park
- Daley Park & Greenbelt
- Furman Aquatic Center
- Gateway Park
- Greenbriar Park
- Homewood Golf Course
- Georgie Tsushima Memorial Skate Park
- Squaw Creek (Community Gardens)
- Brookside Park
- Daley Park & Greenbelt
- Emma McCarthy Lee Park
- Inis Grove Park
- Moore Memorial Park
- River Valley Park
- Bandshell Park
- Christofferson Park
- Duff Park
- Franklin Park
- Hutchison Park
- Lloyd Kurtz Park
- Moore Park (On Beach Ave)
- Old Town Park
- O'Neil Park
- Parkview Park
- Patio Homes West Park
- Roosevelt Park
- Stuart Smith Park
- Teagarden Park
Iowa is a political "battleground state" that has trended slightly Democratic in recent years, and Ames, like Iowa City, also trends Democratic. Because Iowa is the first caucus state and Ames is a college town, it is the site of many political appearances, debates and events, especially during election years.
From 1979 through 2011, Ames was the location of the Ames Straw Poll, which was held every August prior to a presidential election year in which the Republican presidential nomination was undecided (meaning there was no Republican president running for re-election—as in 2011, 2007, 1999, 1995, 1987, and 1979). The poll would gauge support for the various Republican candidates amongst attendees of a fundraising dinner benefiting the Iowa Republican Party. The straw poll was frequently seen by national media and party insiders as a first test of organizational strength in Iowa. In 2015, the straw poll was to be moved to nearby Boone before the Iowa Republican Party eventually decided to cancel it altogether.
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Ames, Iowa Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.