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During World War II Ankeny was home to a federal ordnance plant that manufactured ammunition. After the war, Deere & Company purchased the plant for its Des Moines Works, while Iowa State University used the remainder of the land for its research farm.
In 1940 Ankeny had a population of 779, but its population began to grow with the rest of the Des Moines suburbs after World War II. Ankeny's population jumped from 2,964 to 9,151 between 1960 and 1970. By 1990 it had 18,482 people, and in 2000 the population was at 27,117.  Ankeny is currently the fourth largest city in Polk County, behind Des Moines, West Des Moines, and Urbandale.
Major employers in Ankeny include Deere & Company's Des Moines Works, Perishable Distributors of Iowa (a Hy-Vee Food Stores subsidiary), Tone's Spices, and the Ankeny school district. Casey's General Stores are headquartered in Ankeny, while Younkers operates a distribution center there.
In recent years, several "big box" retailers have opened stores along Delaware Avenue near Interstate 35, including Home Depot, Kohl's, Menards, SuperTarget, and a Wal-Mart SuperCenter. Several large car dealerships are located at the interchange of I-35 and Oralabor Road (Iowa Highway 160).
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 27,117 people, 10,339 households, and 7,278 families residing in the city. The population density is 624.3/km² (1,616.5/mi²). There are 10,882 housing units at an average density of 250.5/km² (648.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 96.94% White, 0.76% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.94% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.38% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. 1.08% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 10,339 households out of which 38.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.7% are married couples living together, 7.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 29.6% are non-families. 21.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 5.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.57 and the average family size is 3.05.
In the city the population is spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 8.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there are 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 91.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $55,162, and the median income for a family is $66,433. Males have a median income of $42,220 versus $29,083 for females. The per capita income for the city is $25,143. 4.0% of the population and 2.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 4.1% of those under the age of 18 and 2.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Colleges and universities
Faith Baptist Bible College and the main campus of Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) are located in Ankeny.
- City of Ankeny
- Maps and aerial photos