While Urbandale is primarily a residential city, other development has increased in recent years, particularly in industrial parks along I-35/I-80.
The Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), which oversees operations for its multi-state games is located in Urbandale, although Powerball is now drawn in Florida.
In July 2005, Money magazine ranked Urbandale 53rd on its list of the "100 Best Places to Live" in the United States. The July 2006 Money Magazine list dropped the city from the list. Urbandale reappeared on the list in the July 2007 issue of Money Magazine as the 39th best place to live.
A September 2008 Business Week magazine survey ranked Urbandale 12th among the nation's top 20 communities likely to face trouble ahead from the still-brewing Wall Street financial crises. This was due to