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State of Iowa
Flag of IowaOfficial seal of Iowa
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Anthem: "The Song of Iowa"
File:"O Tannenbaum".ogg
Map of the United States with Iowa highlighted
Map of the United States with Iowa highlighted
CountryUnited States
Before statehoodIowa Territory
Admitted to the UnionDecember 27, 1846 (29th)
(and largest city)
Des Moines
Largest metroDes Moines metropolitan area[a]
 • GovernorKim Reynolds (R)
 • Lieutenant GovernorAdam Gregg (R)
LegislatureIowa General Assembly
 • Upper houseSenate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
U.S. senatorsChuck Grassley (R)
Joni Ernst (R)
U.S. House delegation1: Ashley Hinson (R)
2: Dave Loebsack (D)
3: Cindy Axne (D)
4: Randy Feenstra (R) (list)
 • Total58,295.81 sq mi (145,750 km2)
Area rank26th
1,100 ft (340 m)
Highest elevation1,671 ft (509 m)
Lowest elevation480 ft (146 m)
 • Total3,155,070
 • Rank31st
 • Density56.1/sq mi (21.69/km2)
 • Density rank36th
 • Median household income
 • Income rank
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 • Official languageEnglish
Time zoneUTC−06:00 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−05:00 (CDT)
USPS abbreviation
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ISO 3166 codeUS-IA
Latitude40° 23′ N to 43° 30′ N
Longitude90° 8′ W to 96° 38′ W
Iowa State symbols
Flag of Iowa.svg
The Flag of Iowa.

State Seal of Iowa.svg
The Seal of Iowa.

Animate insignia
Bird(s) Eastern goldfinch
Flower(s) Prairie rose
Grass Pseudoroegneria spicata
Tree Bur oak

Inanimate insignia

Route marker(s)
Iowa Route Marker

State Quarter
Quarter of Iowa
Released in 2004

Lists of United States state insignia

Iowa (/ˈaɪəwə/ ) is a state in the Midwestern United States. Its name comes from the Iowa River, which was named after the Ioway people, one of the Native American tribes that lived in Iowa.[5] Iowa was a part of New France, but was sold to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Its settlers were mostly farmers: Iowa is part of the Corn Belt and is often known as the "Food Capital of the World."[6][7] However, Iowa's landscape, culture, and economy are diverse, with the economy changing in the second half of the 20th Century to include many kinds of business.[7][8]

Iowa has more than 3 million people as of the 2010 census. Its capital and largest city is Des Moines. Iowa became a state on December 28, 1846. It was the 29th state to join the United States.


Iowa's counties and major streams.
Iowa is in the Midwestern United States. To the north of Iowa is Minnesota; to the west are Nebraska and South Dakota; to the south is Missouri; and to the east are Illinois and Wisconsin.

The eastern border of the state is marked by the Mississippi River which runs between Iowa and Illinois. The western border is marked by the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers. The northern border is a line 43 degrees, 30 minutes north latitude. The southern border follows the northern border of Missouri.[note 1] Iowa and Missouri disagreed about the location of the Iowa-Missouri border. This argument was ended by the Supreme Court of the United States in the 1896 case, State of Missouri v. State of Iowa,[9] after a standoff called the Honey War.[10] The border follows the Des Moines River for the far eastern part of the state and is at close to 40 degrees, 35 minutes north for the rest of the state.

Iowa has 99 counties, but 100 county seats because Lee County has two. The state capital, Des Moines, is in Polk County.[11]

Most of Iowa is considered to be a plain.

Law and Government

The government of Iowa has three branches, similar to the federal government of the United States. The executive branch is headed by the governor, currently Kim Reynolds (R) since May 24, 2017. The legislative branch is the Iowa General Assembly, composed of two houses - the Iowa Senate and the Iowa House of Representatives. The judicial branch is headed by the Iowa Supreme Court under the chief justice, currently Marsha Ternus.

There are two major political parties in Iowa, the Iowa Democratic Party and the Republican Party of Iowa, as well as several unofficial third parties. No one party is in charge of the government as of 2013; the governor is a Republican and the House has a Republican majority under Kraig Paulsen, but the Senate has a Democratic majority under Mike Gronstal.

Iowa sends two senators and four representatives to Congress. The number of representatives was five, but starting with the 2012 elections is only four, because of redistricting.



A farm in Iowa

There are many farms in Iowa. Iowa is well known for its agriculture. Its main agricultural outputs are hogs, corn, soybeans, oats, cattle, and dairy products. Its industrial outputs include food processing and machinery. Iowa also produces more ethanol fuel than any other U.S. state.

There are diesel pumps in Iowa.

Related pages


  1. However a portion of the larger Omaha–Council Bluffs metropolitan area does extend into the state
  1. Iowa’s borders are defined in the Preamble to the state Constitution Archived 2009-08-02 at the Wayback Machine. The Missouri and Mississippi river boundaries are as they were mapped in the 19th century, which can be different than their modern courses.


  1. "State Symbols". Iowa Department of Economic Development. Archived from the original on September 2, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2011. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Elevations and Distances in the United States". United States Geological Survey. 2001. Archived from the original on November 2, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2011. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
  4. "S1901: INCOME IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS (IN 2018 INFLATION-ADJUSTED DOLLARS)". December 19, 2019.,12,13,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,53,54,55,56,72,05,02,08,01,06,09,04. Retrieved December 20, 2019. 
  5. Alex, Lynn M. (2000). Iowa's Archaeological Past. University of Iowa Press, Iowa City. Retrieved May 9, 2012. 
  6. Merry, Carl A. (1996). "The Historic Period". Office of the State Archaeologist at the University of Iowa. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Major Industries in Iowa" (PDF). Iowa Department of Economic Development. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved May 9, 2012. 
  8. "Wind Energy in Iowa". Iowa Energy Center. Retrieved May 9, 2012. 
  9. State of Missouri v. State of Iowa, 48 U.S. (7 How.) 688 (1896).
  10. Morrison, Jeff (January 13, 2005). "Forty-Thirty-five or fight? Sullivan's Line, the Honey War, and latitudinal estimations". Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  11. "County Seats". National Association of Counties. Retrieved May 9, 2012.