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Des Moines County, Iowa facts for kids

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Des Moines County
Des Moines County Courthouse
Des Moines County Courthouse
Map of Iowa highlighting Des Moines County
Location within the U.S. state of Iowa
Map of the United States highlighting Iowa
Iowa's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Iowa
Founded 1834
Named for Des Moines River
Seat Burlington
Largest city Burlington
 • Total 430 sq mi (1,100 km2)
 • Land 416 sq mi (1,080 km2)
 • Water 14 sq mi (40 km2)  3.2%
 • Total 38,910
 • Density 90.5/sq mi (34.9/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Des Moines County is located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2020 census, the population was 38,910. The county seat and largest city is Burlington. It is one of Iowa's two original counties along with Dubuque County; both were organized by the Michigan Territorial legislature in 1834.

Des Moines County is part of the Burlington, IA–IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Des Moines County should not be confused with the city of Des Moines, which is the capital of Iowa. Des Moines County sits on Iowa's eastern border alongside the Mississippi River. The city of Des Moines is in Polk County in central Iowa. Both places derive their name from the Des Moines River, which flows through the city of Des Moines and originally flowed through the county. When the county was divided early in Iowa's history, the river ended up further west, forming the border between Lee County, Iowa and the state of Missouri.


At an extra session of the Sixth Legislative Assembly of Michigan Territory held in September, 1834, the Iowa District was divided into two counties by running a line due west from the lower end of Rock Island in the Mississippi River. The territory north of this line (which started just south of the present-day Davenport) was named Dubuque County, and all south of it was Demoine County. It was named after the Des Moines River. From July 3, 1836 until July 3, 1838, Des Moines County was part of Wisconsin Territory. The county underwent various border changes during this time. July 4, 1838, the named county became part of Iowa Territory (later the state of Iowa).

The current Des Moines County Court House was completed in 1940.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 430 square miles (1,100 km2), of which 416 square miles (1,080 km2) is land and 14 square miles (36 km2) (3.2%) is water. The Mississippi River forms the east border; Skunk River, the south border; and the county is drained by Flint Creek.

Major highways

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 12,988
1860 19,611 51.0%
1870 27,256 39.0%
1880 33,099 21.4%
1890 35,324 6.7%
1900 35,989 1.9%
1910 36,145 0.4%
1920 35,520 −1.7%
1930 38,162 7.4%
1940 36,804 −3.6%
1950 42,056 14.3%
1960 44,605 6.1%
1970 46,982 5.3%
1980 46,203 −1.7%
1990 42,614 −7.8%
2000 42,351 −0.6%
2010 40,325 −4.8%
2020 38,910 −3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2018
Population of Des Moines County from US census data

2020 census

The 2020 census recorded a population of 38,910 in the county, with a population density of 91.615/sq mi (35.373/km2). 94.26% of the population reported being of one race. 82.03% were non-Hispanic White, 6.51% were Black, 3.20% were Hispanic, 0.20% were Native American, 1.04% were Asian, 0.06% were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 6.97% were some other race or more than one race. There were 18,782 housing units of which 16,751 were occupied.

2010 census

The 2010 census recorded a population of 40,325 in the county, with a population density of 96.9002/sq mi (37.4134/km2). There were 18,535 housing units, of which 17,003 were occupied.



Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities


  • Benton
  • Concordia
  • Danville
  • Flint River
  • Franklin
  • Huron
  • Jackson
  • Pleasant Grove
  • Tama
  • Union
  • Washington
  • Yellow Springs

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Des Moines County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Burlington City 25,663
2 West Burlington City 2,968
3 Mediapolis City 1,560
4 Beaverdale CDP 952
5 Danville City 934
6 Middletown City 318

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Des Moines para niños

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