Ames () is a city in Story County, Iowa, United States, located approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of Des Moines in central Iowa. 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 2019, Ames had a population of 66,258. Iowa State University was home to 33,391 students as of fall 2019, 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's "Best Places to Live" list.
The city was founded in 1864 as a station stop on the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad and was named after 19th century U.S. Congressman Oakes Ames of Massachusetts, who was influential in the building of the transcontinental railroad. Ames was founded by local resident Cynthia Olive Duff (née Kellogg) and railroad magnate John Insley Blair, near a location that was deemed favorable for a railroad crossing of the Skunk River.
Ames is located along the western edge of Story County, roughly 30 miles (48 km) north of the state capital, Des Moines, near the intersection of Interstate 35 and U.S. Route 30.