Des Moines is located on the east shore of Puget Sound, approximately halfway between the major cities of Seattle and Tacoma. It is one of the few points along this shoreline where the topography facilitates access to the water, and a recreational marina operated by the city, with moorage, boat launching and pier fishing facilities, is located there.
As of the census of 2000, there are 29,267 people, 11,337 households, and 7,289 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,782.3/km² (4,616.5/mi²). There are 11,777 housing units at an average density of 717.2/km² (1,857.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 74.15% White, 7.20% African American, 0.96% Native American, 8.28% Asian, 1.34% Pacific Islander, 3.32% from other races, and 4.76% from two or more races. 6.61% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 11,337 households out of which 30.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% are married couples living together, 12.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 35.7% are non-families. 27.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 6.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.47 and the average family size is 3.02.
In the city the population is spread out with 23.8% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $48,971, and the median income for a family is $57,003. Males have a median income of $40,007 versus $30,553 for females. The per capita income for the city is $24,127. 7.6% of the population and 5.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 9.6% are under the age of 18 and 2.8% are 65 or older.