Ames EDC

Ames Named Best College Town in America

Posted on September 6, 2019 at 2:00 PM by Calli Sandahl

24/7 Wall Street, a financial news and opinion company that publishes over 30 articles per day on topics such as business, technology and the economy, has named Ames, Iowa as the “Best College Town in America” for the second year in a row.

24/7 Wall St. considered college towns to be affordable, culturally vibrant communities with healthy economies and a young, well-educated population. To track these indicators, 24/7 Wall St. used data compiled for their best cities to live list, which included numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey and County Business Patterns for 2016, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These resources identified enrollment numbers, number of colleges/universities in the area, percentage of adults with bachelor’s degrees, median age, unemployment rates, and number of bars and restaurants in the area.

This is the second time Ames has been number one on 24/7 Wall St.’s best college towns list. In 2018, Ames was ranked the best college town for its high scores in enrollment, residents with bachelor’s degrees, and employment rate. 2019’s scores were no different, and showed an overall increase in numbers across the board.

Of Ames’ population of 65,000, more than 45% of residents are enrolled in college or graduate school. With Ames being home to Iowa State University and near to Ankeny’s Des Moines Area Community College campus (with a learning center within Ames’ city limits), access to higher education is easy to come by. Additionally, Ames boasts the lowest unemployment rate in the country, 1.5%. Major employers, such as the University, bring countless opportunities for job seekers and entrepreneurs to build a life and business in Ames. These high rankings brought Ames to the top of the list, scoring the community the #1 slot.

Ames has also been ranked on 24/7’s “Best Public High Schools in Iowa” list, and their “Healthiest Cities in America” list.

For the latest awards and accolades of Ames, Story County, and Iowa, visit the Accolade Page on

Categories: Awards and Accolades

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