State Facts

Statehood: December 28, 1846


Nickname: The Hawkeye State

Bird -Eastern Goldfinch

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Flower -Wild Rose

Song - "Song of Iowa" click here to view lyrics

Tree - none

Motto ( a phrase to describe the purpose or goals of s group) -Our Liberties We Prize and Our                                                                   Rights We Will Maintain


Between the Mississippi River on the east and the Missouri River on the west, Iowa is home to some of the most fertile top soil in the world. Its land areas can be divided into three main regions; the Young Drift Plains which cover most of the northern and central parts of Iowa, the Driftless Area parallel to the Mississippi River in the northeast, and the Dissected Till Plains in the southern area of the state. The fertile lands of Iowa makes the state the number one corn producer in the United States.

Young Drift Plains: Covering most of northern and central Iowa, the Young Drift Plains are mostly flat, fertile lands. This land was covered by clay, sand, gravel, and rocks, called drift, left by glaciers during the ice age. This drift became some of the most fertile topsoil in the world. Where the drift was not spread evenly by the glaciers, lakes and swamps filled the hollows in the land.

Driftless Area: In northeatern Iowa, parallel with the Mississippi River, lies the Driftless Area. This area was not flattened to the extent of the Young Drift Plains and is characterized by rugged hills and cliffs. What drift that was deposited in this area has been blown or washed away. The soil is thin and not suited to farming. The pine-forested hills are beautiful, however and great for outdoor recreation.

Dissected Till Plains: The Dissected Till Plains stretch across the southern part of Iowa and extend north, along the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers into northwestern Iowa. Ice age glaciers left glacial "drift" consisting of clay, sand, gravel, and boulders intermingled. This deposit is called till. Over thousands of years, rivers and streams cut into (disected) the terrain forming low, rolling hills and ridges. Bluffs, 100 to 300 feet high formed from wind-blown soil, rise above the Missouri River.


Watershed from northwest to southeast; soil especially rich and land level in the north central region.




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Land Area: 55,869 square miles - ranked 26th in total area

Number of counties: 99



Iowa’s fertile soil makes the production of grain, particularly, corn a central part of the state’s economy. Hay and oats are also major crops. Corn grown in Iowa is used to feed livestock, making cattle and pig production another important element of the economy. In 1997, Iowa led the nation in the production of corn, soybeans, hogs, and pigs, and ranked in the top ten states in the raising of cattle. Today, Iowa’s farm income ranks second in the U.S.

Agriculture also benefits the state’s chief industry, food processing. Many factories in Sioux City and Cedar Rapids process farm products.

Cement is the most important mineral product; others are stone, sand, gravel, and gypsum. Mineral production is small, however.






Population/Cities/State Capital


Population: 2,966,334 people

3 Largest Cities: Des Moines, 194,163 people
Click on city name to learn more         Cedar Rapids, 123,119 people
                                       Davenport, 98,845 people

Capital City:

Des Moines is Iowa's state capital and Iowa's largest city. Des Moines is an industrial, transportation, cultural, and governmental center in the heart of the Feed Grains and Livestock Belt.

Printing and publishing, agricultural processing, and the manufacture of transportation equipment, machinery, metal and plastic products, textiles, and apparel are among its industries.

The city is also home to many insurance and other financial services companies.

Settled by homesteaders, Des Moines became the capital of Iowa in 1857. Drake University is located there.



More About Iowa




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