Des Moines, Iowa

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Des Moines (pronounced /dɨˈmɔɪn/ ( listen)) is the capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Iowa. It is also the county seat of Polk County. A small portion of the city extends into Warren County.[4] It was incorporated on September 22, 1851, as Fort Des Moines which was shortened to "Des Moines" in 1857.[5] It is named after the Des Moines River, which may have been adapted from the French Rivière des Moines, literally meaning "River of the Monks." The five-county metropolitan area is ranked 91st in terms of population in the United States according to 2009 estimates with 562,906 residents according to United States Census Bureau.[3] The city proper population was 198,682 at the 2000 census.

Des Moines is a major center for the insurance industry and also has a sizable financial services and publishing business base. In fact, Des Moines was credited with the "number one spot for U.S. insurance companies" in a Business Wire article. The city is the headquarters for the Principal Financial Group, the Meredith Corporation, Ruan Transportation, EMC Insurance Companies, and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Other major corporations such as Wells Fargo, ING Group, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Marsh, Monsanto and Pioneer Hi-Bred have large operations in or near the metro area. Forbes magazine ranked Des Moines as the "Best Place for Business" in 2010.[6] Kiplinger's Personal Finance 2008 Best Cities List featured Des Moines as #9.[7]

Des Moines is an important city in United States presidential politics as the capital of Iowa, which is home to the Iowa caucuses. The Iowa caucuses have been the first major electoral event in nominating the President of the United States since 1972. Hence, many presidential candidates set up campaign headquarters in Des Moines. A 2007 article in The New York Times stated "if you have any desire to witness presidential candidates in the most close-up and intimate of settings, there is arguably no better place to go than Des Moines."[8]

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