As a part of the Des Moines and West Des Moines Metropolitan area, Polk County is the most populous in the state of Iowa and is home to more than 14 percent of the state’s population. With more than eight cities and 21 unique townships, the county offers close-knit communities with a plethora of big-city amenities and beautiful suburban living–close to nature.
The Iowa territory (a legislative body) sanctioned 12 new counties in the region, and county governments’ resolutions were brought to light on January 17th, 1846, for Polk and Jasper counties. The former earned its name from the US president, James K. Polk, who served the country for a term of five years.
After its rapid growth and commercialization, the courthouse was renovated, and the county blossomed into one of the fastest-growing counties with a stable economy and charming downtown.
Polk County has no shortage of educational opportunities and has about nine school districts that serve the county. The Ankeny District is a public one and includes more than 16 schools ranging from elementary to middle schools, and the North Polk Community District, along with the South Polk Community District, contributes another ten schools ranging from PK-K12.
Universities are in abundance in and around Des Moines and West Des Moines. For those looking to move out of the county, Iowa is served by 60 unique universities and colleges.
Homes for Sale in Polk County
Like the rest of Iowa, Polk County experiences a humid continental climate with extreme temperatures in summer and winter. The residents of the county enjoy 202 sunny days and 33 inches of snow a year, which is higher than the US average of 28 inches.
May and September are ideal months in the county, while the least pleasant months are June and July, with harsher temperatures as high as 90 degrees. December and January feel the winter lows, and temperatures drop to 12 degrees, while snow falls at an estimated 33 inches annually.
The county is served by DART (the Des Moines Area Regional Transit), which has routes throughout the city’s 19 communities and is the most extensive public transit system in Iowa. Apart from this, 35 other public transportation services serve the cities in the county.
The Ankeny Regional Public Airport serves the county, and you can find it one mile away from the central business district of Ankeny. The Des Moines International Airport is also located 24 minutes away from Ankeny and has around 25 connections to some of the major hubs and leisure destinations.
Living in Polk County
Spanning over 592 square miles, the charming Polk County is home to 491,161 residents that live in its many communities surrounded by nature and plenty of amenities. Most of the cities are filled with beautiful parks, excellent schools, and a plethora of restaurants and entertainment opportunities.
The business community, including local businesses in Polk County, is bustling and offers employment to residents in industries such as tech and agriculture, owing to the low unemployment rate of 2.7 percent.
The median home value in Polk County is $206,678, with the average rent being around $961, which is lower than most of the other places in Iowa. Most people own their homes and enjoy the many neighborhoods and close-knit communities.
Things to Do in Polk County
Polk County’s many cities are packed with a plethora of shopping malls, eating spots, and beautiful parks where you can admire nature and unwind for the day. Apart from its many amenities, there is no shortage of things to do in the county.
For a look into the artistic side of Polk County, visit the Des Moines Art Center that exhibits modern and contemporary sculptures and painting. You can also head to the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, a 4.4-acre large outdoor park displaying some of the best sculptures from around the globe.
Spend the day with Iowa’s wildlife at the Blank Park Zoo, a 49-acre park where you can catch wildlife in action, head to the feeding section, or watch fun shows with some of your favorite animals.
Apart from the many things to do, the cities also hold various festivals throughout the year, where you can shop at the farmers market, or spend a day enjoying local cuisine at the food festival.
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