A large suburban community about 10 miles west of Des Moines split between Polk and Dallas counties, Urbandale, Iowa, is a city that makes up an area of more than 20 square miles. A special census the city conducted in 2005 estimated it with a population of almost 36,000 residents. The community incorporated as a city on April 16, 1917, with a population of just 300 people, and has continued to grow since then. The suburb is mostly middle class, with residents having an annual median household income of around $60,000.
The community is considered a part of the Des Moines–West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area and it originated as a result of coal mines in the area, which drew new residents seeking employment. The last mine here was closed, however, in 1947. Today the economy is more industrialized, with the largest industries finance and insurance. Some other entities like the Multi-State Lottery Association are found here as well.
Urbandale is the site of Buccaneer Arena, home to the Des Moines Buccaneers hockey team. The community has around 850 acres of parks and 33 miles of recreational trails, and arguably its largest attraction is the Living History Farms, the site of The Flynn Mansion. Other sites of interest include Urbandale Country Club, the Cedar Ridge Shopping Center and for media needs, the Urbandale Public Library. Annual events include a July 4th celebration and summer concerts in the park are held at the gazebo in Lions Park.
Education in the community is run by the Urbandale Community School District, which is made up of six elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Portions of the city, however, also are in the Dallas Center-Grimes, Des Moines, Johnston, Waukee and West Des Moines school districts. The city is home to the small, private Hamilton College, which has about 500 students.