Iowa Geography, Population, Business and History

Iowa, abbreviated IA, Ig or Ia., A state in the United States, located in the Midwest, between the Mississippi and Missouri. Iowa borders the states of Minnesota in the north, Wisconsin and Illinois in the east, Missouri in the south and Nebraska and South Dakota in the west.

Iowa has a total area of ​​approximately 145,750 square miles and has 3,145,711 residents (U.S. Census, 2017). Iowa was listed as the 29th state in the United States on December 28, 1846. The capital and largest city is Des Moines.

Iowa is called The Hawkeye State because Indigenous peoples in the area were called “hawk eyes.”The name Iowa must be derived from a Sioux word with uncertain interpretation. It could mean “this is the place”, “beautiful landscape”or “one who sleeps”.

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Iowa is a flat prairie land that slopes steadily from northwest to southeast. In the northwest are some hills with the state’s highest point, 510 meters above sea level. The southeastern two-thirds of the state is drained to the Mississippi River, including through the rivers Des Moines and Iowa, the remainder to the Missouri River. A major flood hit the Mississippi-Missouri waterway in 1993, and the entire state was declared a disaster area.

The climate is pronounced continental with hot summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall. The average temperature for January varies between −9 °C in the northwest and −4 °C in the southeast, the July temperature between 23 ° and 25 °C. The annual rainfall varies from approximately 700 millimeters in the northwest to up to 900 millimeters in the southeast (Des Moines 770 millimeters). Over 70 percent of the precipitation falls in the months of April to October, with a particularly strong concentration in June.


Between 1970 and 1980, the population increased by 3 per cent, which was well below the national average (11.4 per cent). Between 1980 and 1990, the state had a net emigration of 137,000. During the period 1990-2000, the population increased again by 5.4 per cent, and from 2000 to 2010 the increase was 4.1 per cent – compared to 9.7 per cent in the entire United States.

The state was originally populated by Iowa people. The last indigenous treaty was signed in 1851. Prior to 1850, the southern part was mainly populated from the south, from Kentucky primarily, while in the north, the stream came especially from the Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and New England states. The population increased sharply in the latter half of the 19th century as a result of immigration, but stabilized around the year 1900. In the 1900s, the migration of blacks to the urban areas was the only immigration of importance. Of the population, 85.7 percent are considered white, 3.8 percent black and 6 percent Hispanic (US Census, 2017).

The largest cities are the capital of Des Moines with 217 521 residents, Cedar Rapids with 132 228 residents and Davenport with 102 320 residents (US Census, 2017). Iowa’s oldest city is Dubuque, which is on the border with Wisconsin and Illinois northeast of the state and is the capital of the county of the same name.

Iowa Elects Two Senators and Four Representatives to Congress in Washington DC The state’s own Senate has 50 members and the House of Representatives 100 members.


95.5 percent of Iowa’s land is arable land, and the fat, thick soil, rich in minerals and organic matter, has made the state one of the richest agricultural states in the United States. Iowa is located in the so-called corn belt and is the nation’s largest corn producer, second largest producer of soybeans and third largest in terms of oats and hay. Barley, wheat, rye and potatoes are also grown. Most of the grain is used for feed. Iowa has more pigs than any other state.

The industry has its main focus in the processing of agricultural products and the production of agricultural machinery. In recent years, however, a number of new industrial products have been added, such as electronic equipment, home appliances, car accessories and furniture. The state is also the United States’ largest producer of ethanol, more than a third of the state’s grain production is used in ethanol production. In 2010, Iowa received about 15 percent of its electrical energy from wind power, and together with Texas, is the largest wind power producer in the United States.

Iowa has a number of higher education institutions, of which the largest and highest-ranking are the University of Iowa at Iowa City (founded 1847), and Iowa State University at Ames (founded 1858).


The first Europeans to come to Iowa were probably the French explorers Louis Jolliet and Jaques Marquette in 1673. Fixed settlement did not take place until the 1830s. The area was part of the Louisiana acquisition made by the United States of France in 1803, organized as its own territory in 1838, and as the 29th state admitted to the union in 1846. The population was 30,000 in 1840, 675,000 in 1860, 1,915,000 in 1890. The increase in the population in the 20th century has been far below the average for the United States.

The first Norwegian immigrants came to the state in 1847, and in 1853 the first Norwegian congregation in Iowa was established. The important Norwegian-American institution Vesterheim Museum in the city of Decorah, in the northeastern part of the state, where a large part of the population is of Norwegian descent, has excellent collections to illuminate the history of Norwegian immigration.

Iowa Population 2019

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