Iowa (abbr.: IA or Ia.), state of the United States of America, in the Midwest, 145,753 km2, with 2.7 million inhabitants; Capital: Des Moines. The state was named in 1846 after the Iowa River, a tributary of the Mississippi, which in turn was named after the Ioway or Kiowa Indian tribes.
Iowa belongs to the Great Plains. The landscape is undulating (highest point 510 m, on the northern border). The soil is very fertile. The largest rivers are the Mississippi, which runs along the entire eastern border, and the Missouri, which forms the western border of the state with its tributary the Big Sioux. Especially in the north there are quite a lot of small lakes. The climate has a continental character with short cold winters and long, fairly warm summers. Tornadoes and hail storms are most common in the spring.
The average population density is 19 inhabitants. per km2. 61% of the population lives in urban areas. The largest cities are Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Sioux City. See top cities in Iowa.
The Grain State is one of the richest agricultural states in the United States; more than 95% of the territory has been cultivated. The most important is animal husbandry (mainly pigs, also cattle and sheep). The main arable crops are maize, oats, soybeans and hay. Today, industry is also one of the major sources of income; it mainly includes the processing of agricultural products and the manufacture of agricultural machinery. Also of importance are the chemical and metal industry and the manufacture of instruments and tools.
The only national monument in Iowa is Effigy Mounds National Monument near Marquette (animal-shaped mounds raised by Native Americans). The area around Lake Okoboji and Lake Spirit is known for its scenic beauty. From 1855 to 1932, German and Swiss immigrants lived in the Amana Colonies as a community (including a museum).
In 1673, Iowa was first visited by whites (the French J. Marquette and L. Jolliet). The area belonged to the great Louisiana (French) territory, which became Spanish in 1763, French again in 1800, but already in 1803, by Jefferson’s famous purchase, American. It wasn’t until after the Black Hawk War against the Indians (1832) that pioneers began pouring in, so that Iowa Territory could be formed in 1838; in 1846, Iowa became the 29th state of the Union. In the American Civil War, Iowa sided with the North. At the end of the 19th century it was a center of the peasant reform movement and a stronghold of the Populist party. Republican power in the state has been gradually declining since the 1960s.