Five cities in Iowa made a recent list of “Top 100 Best Places to Live” put together by the website, but the two Greater Des Moines cities to make the cut scored lower than other Iowa cities.

The list is a little different from similar lists that Des Moines has placed highly on in recent years. The report measures specific cities, as opposed to metropolitan areas. Des Moines and West Des Moines, for example, are counted separately. partnered with Richard Florida’s Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto and Ipsos Public Affairs to measure 40 data points in eight categories. The categories were amenities, demographics, economics, education, health care, housing, social and civic capital, and transportation and infrastructure. The report measured more than 1,700 cities, and focused on cities with populations between 25,000 and 350,000. 

“This list isn’t based on hunches from our editors. This list is based on what Americans value most in their communities,” the report’s methodology page states. See the full list and methodology at

Palo Alto, Calif., topped the list. In the Midwest, Rochester, Minn., came in at No. 6 and Overland Park, Kan., was ranked No. 17.

Iowa cities that made the cut:

29. Cedar Rapids

31. Ames

46. Iowa City

69. Des Moines

76. West Des Moines