70 Facts About Iowa


Iowa is the 26th most extensive in total area and the 31st most populous of the 50 U S states, with a population of 3, 190, 369, according to the 2020 census.

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Iowa has been listed as one of the safest U S states in which to live.

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The area of Iowa was claimed for France and remained a French territory until 1763.

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Spain practiced very loose control over the Iowa region, granting trading licenses to French and British traders, who established trading posts along the Mississippi and Des Moines Rivers.

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Iowa was part of a territory known as La Louisiane or Louisiana, and European traders were interested in lead and furs obtained by Indigenous people.

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Much of Iowa was mapped by Zebulon Pike in 1805, but it was not until the construction of Fort Madison in 1808 that the U S established tenuous military control over the region.

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Many Meskwaki later returned to Iowa and settled near Tama, Iowa; the Meskwaki Settlement remains to this day.

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In 1856 the Iowa Legislature passed an unprecedented act allowing the Meskawki to purchase the land.

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On December 28, 1846, Iowa became the 29th state in the Union when President James K Polk signed Iowa's admission bill into law.

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Once admitted to the Union, the state's boundary issues resolved, and most of its land purchased from Natives, Iowa set its direction to development and organized campaigns for settlers and investors, boasting the young frontier state's rich farmlands, fine citizens, free and open society, and good government.

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Iowa supported the Union during the Civil War, voting heavily for Abraham Lincoln, though there was an antiwar "Copperhead" movement in the state, caused partially by a drop in crop prices caused by the war.

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Iowa sent large supplies of food to the armies and the eastern cities.

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Iowa contributed proportionately more men to Civil War military service than did any other state, north or south, sending more than 75, 000 volunteers to the armed forces, over one-sixth of whom were killed before the Confederates surrendered at Appomattox.

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Iowa troops fought at Wilson's Creek in Missouri, Pea Ridge in Arkansas, Forts Henry and Donelson, Shiloh, Chattanooga, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and Rossville Gap as well as Vicksburg, Iuka, and Corinth.

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Iowa had several brigadier generals and four major generals—Grenville Mellen Dodge, Samuel R Curtis, Francis J Herron, and Frederick Steele—and saw many of its generals go on to state and national prominence following the war.

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Since the beginning of the war in 1914, Iowa farmers had experienced economic prosperity, which lasted until the end of the war.

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In 1975, Governor Robert D Ray petitioned President Ford to allow Iowa to accept and resettle Tai Dam refugees fleeing the Indochina War.

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Since then Iowa has accepted thousands of refugees from Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Bhutan, and Burma.

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The population of Iowa has increased at a slower rate than the U S as a whole since at least the 1900 census, though Iowa now has a predominantly urban population.

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Iowa is bordered by the Mississippi River on the east and the Missouri River and the Big Sioux River on the west.

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Iowa is the only state whose east and west borders are formed almost entirely by rivers.

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Carter Lake, Iowa, is the only city in the state located west of the Missouri River.

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Iowa has 99 counties, but 100 county seats because Lee County has two.

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Iowa can be divided into eight landforms based on glaciation, soils, topography, and river drainage.

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Southern part of Iowa is categorized as the Central forest-grasslands transition ecoregion.

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The Northern, drier part of Iowa is categorized as part of the Central tall grasslands.

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Explosion in the number of high-density livestock facilities in Iowa has led to increased rural water contamination and a decline in air quality.

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Iowa has a humid continental climate throughout the state with extremes of both heat and cold.

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In 2008, twelve people were killed by tornadoes in Iowa, making it the deadliest year since 1968 and the second most tornadoes in a year with 105, matching the total from 2001.

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The pattern of precipitation across Iowa is seasonal, with more rain falling in the summer months.

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Iowa's population is more urban than rural, with 61 percent living in urban areas in 2000, a trend that began in the early 20th century.

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Natives of northern Iowa—including Sioux City, Fort Dodge, and the Waterloo region—tend to speak the dialect linguists call North Central American English, which is found in North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

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Natives of central and southern Iowa—including such cities as Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, and Iowa City—tend to speak the North Midland dialect found in eastern Nebraska, central Illinois, and central Indiana.

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Natives of East-Central Iowa—including cities such as Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, and Clinton tend to speak with the Northern Cities Vowel Shift, a dialect that extends from this area and east across the Great Lakes Region.

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Some of the most dramatic scenery in Iowa is found in the unique Loess Hills which are found along Iowa's western border.

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Sioux City is the largest city in western Iowa and is found on the convergence of the Missouri, Floyd, and Big Sioux Rivers.

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Northwest Iowa is home to some of the largest concentrations of wind turbine farms in the world.

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Driftless Area of northeast Iowa has many steep hills and deep valleys, checkered with forest and terraced fields.

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Iowa is home to more than 70 wineries, and hosts five regional wine tasting trails.

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Many Iowa communities hold farmers' markets during warmer months; these are typically weekly events, but larger cities can host multiple markets.

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Iowa was ranked 10th in "Economy", 12th in "Business Friendliness", 16th in "Education", 17th in both "Cost of Living" and "Quality of Life", 20th in "Workforce", 29th in "Technology and Innovation", 32nd in "Transportation" and the lowest ranking was 36th in "Access to Capital".

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Companies with direct or indirect processing facilities in Iowa include ConAgra Foods, Wells Blue Bunny, Barilla, Heinz, Tone's Spices, General Mills, and Quaker Oats.

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Iowa has seen an increase in demand for local, sustainably-grown food.

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In 2002 the impact of the indirect role of agriculture in Iowa's economy, including agriculture-affiliated business, was calculated at 16.

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Iowa is the nation's largest producer of ethanol and corn and some years is the largest grower of soybeans.

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Iowa was fourth out of ten states with the biggest drop in competition levels of health insurance between 2010 and 2011, per the 2013 annual report on the level of competition in the health insurance industry by the American Medical Association using 2011 data from HealthLeaders-Interstudy, the most comprehensive source of data on enrollment in health maintenance organization, preferred provider organization (PPO), point-of-service (POS) and consumer-driven health care plans.

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Iowa has a strong financial and insurance sector, with approximately 6, 100 firms, including AEGON, Nationwide Group, Aviva USA, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Voya Financial, Marsh Affinity Group, MetLife, Principal Financial Group, Principal Capital Management, Wells Fargo, and University of Iowa Community Credit Union.

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Iowa ranked first of U S states in percentage of total power generated by wind and second in wind generating capacity behind Texas.

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Major producers of turbines and components in Iowa include Acciona Energy of West Branch, TPI Composites of Newton, and Siemens Energy of Fort Madison.

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In 2016, Iowa was the headquarters for three of the top 2, 000 companies for revenue.

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Iowa imposes taxes on net state income of individuals, estates, and trusts.

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Iowa allows its residents to deduct their federal income taxes from their state income taxes.

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Iowa was one of the leading states in the high school movement, and continues to be among the top educational performers today.

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Iowa's schools are credited with the highest graduation rate in the nation as of 2019.

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Iowa has 333 school districts, 1, 329 school buildings and has the 14th lowest student-to-teacher ratio of 14.

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Iowa is among the few jurisdictions where municipalities install speed cameras on interstate highways providing a substantial revenue source from out of state drivers.

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Iowa is served by several regional airports including the Des Moines International Airport, the Eastern Iowa Airport, in Cedar Rapids, Quad City International Airport, in Moline, Illinois, and Eppley Airfield, in Omaha, Nebraska.

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Amtrak's California Zephyr serves southern Iowa with stops in Burlington, Mount Pleasant, Ottumwa, Osceola, and Creston along its route between Chicago and Emeryville, California.

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Iowa is served by a number of local transit providers including Bettendorf Transit, Cambus, Cedar Rapids Transit, Coralville Transit, Cyride, Davenport Citibus, Des Moines Area Regional Transit, Iowa City Transit, The Jule, MET Transit, Omaha Metro Transit, Ottumwa Transit Authority, Quad Cities MetroLINK and Sioux City Transit.

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Iowa is an alcohol monopoly or alcoholic beverage control state.

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Iowa recognizes three political parties—the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, and the Libertarian Party.

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In 1847, the University of Iowa became the first public university in the U S to admit men and women on an equal basis.

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In 1869, Iowa became the first state in the union to admit women to the practice of law, with the Court ruling women may not be denied the right to practice law in Iowa and admitting Arabella A Mansfield to the practice of law.

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In May 2018 Iowa signed into law one of the country's most restrictive abortion bans: the requirement that a doctor cannot perform an abortion if they can detect a fetal heartbeat, which in many cases would restrict abortions pregnancies less than six weeks old.

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In 2007, the Iowa Legislature added "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the protected classes listed in the Iowa Civil Rights Act.

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Iowa has two High-A minor league teams in the High-A Central: the Cedar Rapids Kernels and the Quad Cities River Bandits.

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Iowa is the birthplace of U S President Herbert Hoover, Vice President Henry A Wallace, and two first ladies, Lou Henry Hoover and Mamie Eisenhower.

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Notable writers, artists, and news personalities born or raised in Iowa include Bill Bryson, George Gallup, Susan Glaspell, Mauricio Lasansky, Tomas Lasansky, Harry Reasoner, and Grant Wood.

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Musicians, actors, and entertainers born or raised in Iowa include Tom Arnold, Julia Michaels, Bix Beiderbecke, Johnny Carson, Buffalo Bill Cody, Simon Estes, Nathan Jonas Jordison, Corey Taylor, Shawn Crahan, William Frawley, Charlie Haden, Ashton Kutcher, Cloris Leachman, Glenn Miller, Kate Mulgrew, Eric Christian Olsen, Donna Reed, George Reeves, Brandon Routh, Jean Seberg, John Wayne, Brooks Wheelan, Andy Williams, Meredith Willson, Elijah Wood, Jason Momoa, and Hynden Walch.

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Iowa athletes inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame include Cap Anson, Fred Clarke, Red Faber, and Bob Feller.

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