Iowa flag

Capital: Des Moines

State abbreviation/Postal code: Iowa/IA

Governor: Terry E. Branstad, R (to Jan. 2019)

Lieut. Governor: Kim Reynolds, R (to Jan. 2019)

Senators: Chuck Grassley, R (to Jan. 2017); Joni Ernst, R (to Jan. 2021)

U.S. Representatives: 4

Historical biographies of Congressional members

Secy. of State: Paul Pate, R (to Jan. 2019)

Treasurer: Michael L. Fitzgerald, D (to Jan. 2019)

Atty. General: Tom Miller, D (to Jan. 2019)

Organized as territory: June 12, 1838

Entered Union (rank): Dec. 28, 1846 (29)

Present constitution adopted: 1857

Motto: Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain

State symbols:

flowerwild rose (1897)
birdeastern goldfinch (1933)
colorsred, white, and blue (in state flag)
song"Song of Iowa"

Nickname: Hawkeye State

Origin of name: From the Iowa River which was named after the Ioway Indian tribe

10 largest cities (2014): Des Moines, 206,688; Cedar Rapids, 128,119; Davenport, 101,363; Sioux City, 82,719; Iowa City, 70,133; Waterloo, 68,297; Council Bluffs, 62,115; Ames, 60,634; West Des Moines, 59,296;

Dubuque, 58,155;

Land area: 55,869 sq mi. (144,701 sq km)

Geographic center: In Story Co., 5 mi. NE of Ames

Number of counties: 99

Largest county by population and area: Polk, 444,009 (2014); Kossuth, 973 sq mi.

State forests: 10 (43,917 ac.)

State parks/recreation areas: 84 (53,000 ac.)

Residents: Iowan

2015 resident population: 3,123,899

2010 resident census population (rank): 3,046,355 (30). Male: 1,508,319 (49.5%); Female: 1,538,036 (50.5%). White: 2,781,561 (91.3%); Black: 89,148 (2.9%); American Indian: 11,084 (0.4%); Asian: 53,094 (1.7%); Other race: 56,132 (1.3%); Two or more races: 53,333 (1.9%); Hispanic/Latino: 151,544 (5.0%). 2010 population 18 and over: 2,318,362; 65 and over: 452,888 median age: 38.1.

See additional census data

Area codes

Tourism office

The first Europeans to visit the area were the French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet in 1673. The U.S. obtained control of the area in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase, and during the first half of the 19th century, there was heavy fighting between white settlers and Indians. Lands were taken from the Indians after the Black Hawk War in 1832 and again in 1836 and 1837.

When Iowa became a state in 1846, its capital was Iowa City; the more centrally located Des Moines became the new capital in 1857. At that time, the state's present boundaries were also drawn.

Although Iowa produces a tenth of the nation's food supply, the value of Iowa's manufactured products is twice that of its agriculture. Major industries are food and associated products, non-electrical machinery, electrical equipment, printing and publishing, and fabricated products.

Iowa stands in a class by itself as an agricultural state. Its farms sell over $10 billion worth of crops and livestock annually. Iowa leads the nation in all corn, soybean, and hog marketings, and comes in third in total livestock sales. Iowa's forests produce hardwood lumber, particularly walnut, and its mineral products include cement, limestone, sand, gravel, gypsum, and coal.

Tourist attractions include the Herbert Hoover birthplace and library near West Branch; the Amana Colonies; Fort Dodge Historical Museum, Fort, and Stockade; the Iowa State Fair at Des Moines in August; and the Effigy Mounds National Monument, a prehistoric Indian burial site at Marquette.

In 2007, Cedar Rapids native and graduate of Drake University, Zach Johnson, won the Masters Golf Tournament.

A severe drought and extreme heat in 2012 raised water temperatures in some spots to 97 degrees, killing fish by the thousands, including 40,000 shovelnose sturgeon whose value in caviar was estimated at almost $10 million.

See more on Iowa:
Encyclopedia: Iowa
Encyclopedia: Geography
Encyclopedia: Economy
Encyclopedia: Government
Encyclopedia: History
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All U.S. States: Geography & Climate
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All U.S. States: Population & Economy
Historical Population Statistics, 1790–Present
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Selected famous natives and residents:

See also: