The State of Iowa: Geography, History, Demographics and Economy

1. Introduction

The state of Iowa is located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America. It is the 26th largest US state by total area and the 30th most populous US state. The state borders six other states: Wisconsin to the northeast, Illinois to the east, Missouri to the south, Nebraska to the west, South Dakota to the northwest and Minnesota to the north. The state capital and largest city is Des Moines.

2. Geography and climate
2.1 Geography

Iowa consists of rolling hills and plains covered with tallgrass and prairie vegetation. There are also some wooded areas, especially in the river valleys. The Driftless Area in northeastern Iowa is characterized by steep hills and valleys that have not been glaciated.

Thestate has 99 counties and 948 cities. The highest point in Iowa is Hawkeye Point at 1,673 feet (509 m) above sea level. The lowest point is Keokuk, where the Des Moines River leaves the state and joins the Mississippi River, at 480 feet (146 m) above sea level.

2. 2 Climate

Iowa has a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. The average temperature in July is 86 °F (30 °C) and in January is 20 °F (-7 °C). The average annual precipitation is about 35 inches (890 mm).

3. History
3.1 Early history

Iowa was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Sioux, Fox, Sauk, Potawatomi and Ioway. European explorers first arrived in Iowa in 1541, when Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto explored the area now known as Des Moines. Iowa was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and became a US territory in 1838. Iowa was admitted as a US state on December 28, 1846.

3. 2 Iowa in the American Civil War

Iowa played an important role in the American Civil War. About 75,000 Iowans served in the Union army, and many more served in the Union navy. Iowa troops fought in all theaters of war, including battles such as Shiloh, Vicksburg and Gettysburg. Two Iowa regiments were instrumental in defeating Confederate General Jubal Early’s troops at Cedar Creek in 1864, a victory that helped turn the tide of war in favor of the Union army.

4. Demographics

The population of Iowa is about 3.1 million, which is a 0.9% decrease from the 2010 Census. The population density is 54 people per square mile (21 per square kilometer). The median age is 37.8 years.

The largest ancestry groups in Iowa are German (27%), Irish (12%), English (10%), American (9%) and Norwegian (4%). about 83% of the population is white, 11% is Hispanic or Latino, 3% is black or African American, 2% is Asian and 1% is Native American or Alaska Native.

5. Education

Iowa has a statewide public school system that includes nine university systems and two community college systems. The state also has several private colleges and universities, including Drake University, Grinnell College and Iowa State University.

6. Politics

Iowa is considered a swing state in presidential elections, as it has voted for both Democratic and Republican candidates in recent years. In the 2016 presidential election, Iowa narrowly voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. In state elections, Iowa leans slightly Democratic. The current governor of Iowa is Kim Reynolds, a Republican.

7. Economy
7.1 Agriculture

Iowa is a major producer of corn and soybeans. Other important crops include oats, hay, wheat and sorghum. Iowa is also a leading producer of pork and eggs.

7. 2 Manufacturing

Manufacturing is also an important part of Iowa’s economy. The state’s manufacturing industries include food processing, machinery, chemicals and biosciences.

8. Natural resources

Iowa’s natural resources include coal, oil, natural gas, limestone, sand and gravel. The state also has deposits of lead and zinc.

9. Tourism

Tourism is an important part of Iowa’s economy, with visitors spending about $6 billion each year. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Iowa include the Amana Colonies, the Field of Dreams movie site and the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.

10. See also
List of Iowa counties

List of Iowa cities


Iowa was first settled by Native Americans over 13,000 years ago. The first Europeans to settle in Iowa were French explorers in the 1600s.

Iowa became a state on December 28, 1846 as the 29th state of the United States.

Some of the geographical features of Iowa include the Mississippi River, which forms the eastern border of the state; the Missouri River, which forms the western border of Iowa; and the Des Moines River, which runs through central Iowa.

The climate in Iowa is generally mild, with hot summers and cold winters. However, because of its location in the Midwest, Iowa can experience extreme weather conditions such as tornadoes and blizzards.

Some of the major industries in Iowa include agriculture (Iowa is a leading producer of corn and soybeans), manufacturing (especially food processing), and tourism (due to attractions such as Amana Colonies and Sioux City).

Some interesting facts about Iowa include that it is known as "The Hawkeye State" (after a character from a book written by James Fenimore Cooper); that it has more miles of railroad track than any other state; and that it is home to some of America's oldest colleges and universities, including Grinnell College (1846) and Drake University (1881).