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A+
Overall Niche Grade
How are grades calculated?
  1. Public Schools
    A+
  2. Crime & Safety
    B
  3. Housing
    B
  4. Nightlife
    A
  5. Good for Families
    A+
  6. Diversity
    B
  7. Jobs
    B+
  8. Weather
    B-
  9. Cost of Living
    B
  10. Health & Fitness
    B+
  11. Outdoor Activities
    B-
  12. Commute
    A+
Ames is a town in Iowa with a population of 64,073. Ames is in Story County and is one of the best places to live in Iowa. Living in Ames offers residents a suburban feel and most residents rent their homes. In Ames there are a lot of parks. Many young professionals live in Ames and residents tend to lean conservative. The public schools in Ames are highly rated.

Real Estate

Median Home Value
$176,500
National
$184,700
Median Rent
$835
National
$949
Area Feel
Suburban
Rent vs. Own
  • Rent
    60%
  • Own
    40%
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Ames Rankings

Niche ranks thousands of places to live based on key statistics from the U.S. Census and and expert insights.

Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety
B
Based on violent and property crime rates.
Violent Crimes
  • Calculated annually per 100,000 residents
National
  • Assault
    76
    283
  • Murder
    1
    6
  • Rape
    73
    41
  • Robbery
    34
    136
Property Crimes
  • Calculated annually per 100,000 residents
National
  • Burglary
    368
    500
  • Theft
    1,611
    2,043
  • Motor Vehicle Theft
    84
    284
Home Security Options for Ames
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  • 24/7 Whole home protection with no contract
  • CNET Editor’s choice winner 2018

Residents

Diversity
B
Based on ethnic and economic diversity.
Median Household Income
$41,278
National
$55,322
Children
10%
Education Levels
National
  • Master's degree or higher
    31%
    12%
  • Bachelor's degree
    33%
    19%
  • Some college or associate's degree
    22%
    29%
  • High school diploma or equivalent
    12%
    28%
  • Less than high school diploma
    3%
    13%
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Ames Reviews

285 reviews
All Categories
Ames is a great place to live! It has a beautiful college campus and a unique Main Street. It has many parks and is family friendly. The city has great tasting water and was recently awarded best water in Iowa. One thing that I'd like to see change would be the cost of rent. Due to the high demand and student population, rent prices have skyrocketed, making it difficult for students and families to afford housing.
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I have been living in Ames for the past five years and have thoroughly enjoyed my time here! When I was in high school I thought that I couldn't wait to leave the state of IA and live somewhere "less boring". After a short time of living in Minneapolis for an internship, I knew that I wanted to settle in Iowa. The pace of life here, the lower cost of living, friendly faces everywhere you go, and small towns are some of my favorite things. One of the nicer things about Ames is that it has the amenities of a city but still has the feel of a small town.
As a 16-year resident of Ames Iowa, I feel deeply connected to this town. Every part of town has its own unique personality that I can appreciate. Ames may not be grand and illustrious, but it's the subtle character that makes Ames what it is. The citizens of Ames appreciate the opportunities they have been given. This is seen through the number of local stores and community projects. When I played with the Central Iowa Symphony, I saw how passionate musicians came together on their own free will to perform great music. People came and equally enthralled with the music as we were. It was at that moment, I realized how the Ames community truly cares for one another. Another asset is Iowa State University. It's rare for a town the size of Ames to have such an amazing university only a few minutes away. However, my only large in Ames issue is the lack of nightlife. Because of this, most people resort to having parties, hanging out at their friends, driving around, or staying home.