Des Moines is the capital and most populous city in Iowa. According to a 2007 census, the city was reported to have a population of 196,998. Des Moines is an important political city because it home to the Iowa caucuses, a major electoral event in nominating the presidents of the United States. The city is composed of 77.2 square miles.
Several insurance companies have their headquarters in Des Moines. These companies include the Principal Financial Group, KVI, and Allied Insurance. Major employers in the area include Mercy Medical Center, Iowa Health System, Firestone Agricultural Tire Company, and UPS. According to a 2007 edition of Forbes magazines, the city ranked 4th on the list for “Best Places for Business and Careers”.
For fun and entertainment, residents of Des Moines can attend a wide array of performing arts venues. The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines hosts Broadway shows through the year. The Des Moines Symphony performs frequently at different venues. Blues on Grand is a venue for live blues music. Blank Park Zoo is a zoo on the south side of Des Moines. Museums in the area include the Jordan House Museum, Wallace House Museum, and Science Center of Iowa.
Education in Des Moines is managed by Des Moines Public Schools. The system consists of 38 elementary schools, ten middle schools, and five high schools. The main campuses of Drake University and Grand View University are also found in Des Moines.