It is located on and named after the Des Moines River, which likely was adapted from the French colonial name, Rivière des Moines, meaning "River of the Monks." The city's population was 203,433 as of the 2010 census. The city was credited as the "number one spot for U. insurance companies" in a Business Wire article and named the third-largest "insurance capital" of the world. insurance industry and has a sizable financial services and publishing business base.
In recent years Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and Facebook Des Moines is an important city in U. presidential politics: as the capital of the state, it is the site of the first caucuses of the presidential primary cycle.
Many presidential candidates set up campaign headquarters in Des Moines.
A 2007 article in The New York Times said "if you have any desire to witness presidential candidates in the most close-up and intimate of settings, there is arguably no better place to go than Des Moines".) translates literally to either "from the monks" or "of the monks".
The historian Virgil Vogel claimed that the name was derived from Moingona, the Algonquian clan name for "Loon," one of the clans of the local Native American people.
Some historians and researchers lacking linguistic or Algonquianist training concluded that Moingona meant "people by the portage" or something similar, a reference to the Des Moines Rapids.
This was the site of the earliest known encounters between the Moingona and European explorers took place.
One popular interpretation of "Des Moines" ignores Vogel's research, and concludes that "Des Moines" refers to a group of French Trappist monks, who in the 17th century lived in huts built on top of what is now known as the ancient Monks Mound at Cahokia, the major center of Mississippian culture, which developed in what is present-day Illinois, east of the Mississippi River and the current city of St. This was some 200 miles (320 km) from the Des Moines River.
Based on archeological evidence, the juncture of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers has attracted humans for at least 7,000 years.
Several prehistoric occupation areas have been identified by archeologists in downtown Des Moines.