Ames is a city in central Iowa approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of Des Moines. It is best known as the home of Iowa State University (ISU), with leading Agriculture, Design, Engineering, and Veterinary Medicine colleges. A United States Department of Energy national laboratory, Ames Laboratory, is located on the ISU campus.
In 2017, Ames had a population of 66,498. Iowa State University is home to 36,321 students (Fall 2017), which make up approximately one half of the city's population.
Ames also hosts United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sites: the largest federal animal disease center in the United States, USDA's Agricultural Research Service's National Animal Disease Center (NADC)., as well as, one of two national USDA sites for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which comprises the National Veterinary Services Laboratory and the Center for Veterinary Biologics. Ames has the headquarters for the Iowa Department of Transportation.
In 2010, Ames was ranked ninth on CNNMoney "Best Places to Live" list.