Main Street Ames

Ames: A Best Place to Live and Work

Ames National Laboratory and Iowa State University are located in Ames, Iowa. With a population of 66,500, Ames ranks as the seventh largest city in the state. The community is consistently listed among the top small cities in the country. The community combines the best features of smaller city living—short commutes, affordable living, and a slower pace—with plenty of opportunities for culture, activities, and recreation. 




Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University for over 75 years and is the only national laboratory physically located on the campus of a major research university. Iowa State is a public land-grant research university founded in 1858, with a current undergraduate enrollment of over 27,000 students. Iowa State’s central campus ranks as one of the most beautiful in the country, with 490 acres of trees, green space, public art, and historic buildings. 

Both the laboratory and Iowa State are located in Ames, Iowa. With a population of 66,500, it ranks as the seventh largest city in Iowa. The community is consistently listed among the top small cities in the country. The k-12 school district recently ranked as the number one public school in the state of Iowa (U.S. News and World Reports). The city offers a vibrant historic main street shopping district, an active public arts program, and a beautiful and extensive parks and recreation system. Ames is a designated Bike Friendly Community with more than 55 miles of interconnected trails, and has been a Tree City USA since 1983. Iowa State and the community together offer an abundance of entertainment opportunities, ranging from free music festivals in local parks to Big 12 Conference athletics to performances from nationally and internationally recognized acts.