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List of states
Capital: Des Moines
State motto: "Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain"
Official language : English
Surface: 145,743 km²
Residents: 3,155,070 (2019) (21.7 U. / km²)
Member since: December 28, 1846
Time zone: UTC − 6 ( CST )
UTC − 5 (daylight saving time)
The highest point: 509 m (Hawkeye Point)
Average Height: 335 m
Deepest point: 149 m Mississippi River
Governor : Kim Reynolds ( R )
Post  / Office /  ISO IA / IA / US-IA
Map of Iowa
Map of Iowa
Topographic map of Iowa
Topographic map of Iowa

Iowa ( English pronunciation  [ ˈaɪ̯əwə ] ) has been the 29th state of the United States of America since joining the Union on December 28, 1846  . The state is located in the Midwest and is known for growing corn and its wide open spaces. The only exceptions to the village and small town structure are the large regions around Des Moines , Cedar Rapids , Davenport and Sioux City . Please click to listen!Play


Geographical location

Iowa is located in the American Midwest. The state is bordered by Minnesota to the north, Nebraska and South Dakota to the west, Missouri to the south, and Wisconsin and Illinois to the east .

The Mississippi River forms the state's eastern border. In the west, rivers also form the state border - south of Sioux City it is the Missouri River , north of it the Big Sioux River . The topography of the state is characterized by hilly plains. Loess elevations can be found along the western border, some are several hundred meters thick. The so-called Iowa Great Lakes are among the few naturally formed lakes - including Big Spirit Lake , East Okoboji Lake and West Okoboji Lake . You are in the northwest of the state, just off the Minnesota border.

The annual rainfall in Iowa decreases towards the northwest. The more forested areas of the south and east merge into the high grass prairie of the Great Plains in the north and west .

The lowest point is the Mississippi River at Keokuk in southeast Iowa (175 m); the highest point is Hawkeye Point (509 m). In relation to the area, the height differences are small.

With a total area of ​​145,743 km², Iowa ranks 26th in the middle of all US states by area size. 1,042 km² (0.71 percent) of the state is water.

Extension of the national territory

Iowa extends over a latitude of 320 km from 40 ° 36'N to 43 ° 30'N and has a length of 500 km from 89 ° 5'W to 96 ° 31'W.



Population development
Census Residents ± in%
1840 43,112 -
1850 192.214 345.8%
1860 674.913 251.1%
1870 1,194,020 76.9%
1880 1,624,615 36.1%
1890 1,912,297 17.7%
1900 2,231,853 16.7%
1910 2,224,771 -0.3%
1920 2,404,021 8.1%
1930 2,470,939 2.8%
1940 2,538,268 2.7%
1950 2,621,073 3.3%
1960 2,757,537 5.2%
1970 2,824,376 2.4%
1980 2,913,808 3.2%
1990 2,776,755 -4.7%
2000 2,926,324 5.4%
2010 3,046,355 4.1%
Before 1900

1900-1990 2000

Population density

Iowa has 3,156,145 inhabitants (as of 2018 estimated), of which 88.7 percent are white , 5.0 percent Hispanics or Latinos , 2.9 percent black or African-American , 1.7 percent Asian-American and 0.4 percent Native American .

Most of the residents of Iowa have European ancestry. With around 36 percent (2014), people of German origin form by far the largest group. The Amana Colonies on the Iowa River are still German today.


The largest religious community in Iowa is the Roman Catholic Church, which makes up around 23 percent of the population. The individual Protestant denominations are much less represented. However, if the various Protestant groups are added up, Iowa is more Protestant. The religious communities with the largest number of members in 2000 were the Catholic Church with 558,092, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 268,543 and the United Methodist Church with 248,211 followers.

The building "Trinity Church" in Manning became famous . Because of the reduced community, it was laboriously transported on a flatbed truck to a place 10 km away.

When asked "What is your religion?", Iowa residents replied in 2001:

Biggest cities

West Des Moines Dubuque (Iowa) Ames (Iowa) Council Bluffs Iowa City Waterloo (Iowa) Sioux City Davenport (Iowa) Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Des Moines United States Census 2010


In the northeast of the state on the banks of the Mississippi River lies the Effigy Mounds National Monument , a memorial and archaeological reserve for man-made mounds called Mounds , which dates from an early Native American culture in the Woodland period between 500 BC. BC and around the year 1200 were built.

The state was named after the Iowa tribe and in 1846 the 29th state. Iowa is also known as Hawkeye State as a tribute to Chief Black Hawk .

With its fertile prairies and predominance of agriculture , Iowa is one of the typical states of the Midwest , as 90 percent of the area is used for agriculture. Iowa is also called Corn State because of the growing of corn . Hunting and fishing are popular. There are also many parks, often of historical importance.

Iowa's first capital was Iowa City . When the population center moved to the west due to increasing settlement, it was decided to move the capital closer to the geographical center of the state. In 1857 Des Moines was designated the capital. Iowa supported the Union during the American Civil War . No battles took place within the national territory. The closest battle was that of Athens, Missouri (1861). Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood sent 116,000 men from Iowa to the Union Army (out of a total population of 675,000).

Leading the way in civil rights

Iowa has always been a pioneer in granting civil rights. In 1839 the Iowa Supreme Court , the highest court in the state, declared slavery unlawful decades before the civil war resolved the matter nationally. In 1868, the court ruled that forms of segregation , such as racial segregation in schools, were also prohibited in Iowa, while the US Supreme Court did not take the Brown v. Board of Education passed a judgment to this effect. In 1873, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that racial discrimination in public institutions was against the law, nearly a hundred years before the national court ruled.

In 1869, Iowa became the first state to allow women access to legal professions.

In 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a state law prohibiting homosexual marriage violates the constitutional principle of equality and is therefore void. This made Iowa the third state after Massachusetts and Connecticut in which same-sex partners are allowed to marry.


Presidential election results
year Democrats republican
2016 41.74% 653,669 51.15% 800,983
2012 51.99% 822,544 46.18% 730,617
2008 54.04% 818,240 44.74% 677,508
2004 49.28% 741,898 49.92% 751,957
2000 48.60% 638,517 48.22% 634,373
1996 50.31% 620,258 39.92% 492,644
1992 43.35% 586,353 37.33% 504,890
1988 54.71% 670,557 44.50% 545,355
1984 45.89% 605,620 53.27% 703,088
1980 38.60% 508,672 51.31% 676,026
1976 48.46% 619,931 49.47% 632,863
1972 40.48% 496,206 57.61% 706,207
1968 40.82% 476,699 53.01% 619,106
1964 61.88% 733,030 37.92% 449,148
1960 43.22% 550,565 56.71% 722,381

The state is of particular importance in the election campaigns for the US presidency : Iowa is traditionally the state in which the first party primaries are held. They give the people of Iowa great political weight in election years.

Iowa is also a swing state where it is difficult to predict election results. Although Iowa was democratic from the late 1980s to the turn of the millennium, Iowa fell to the Republicans for the first time since 1984 in the 2004 presidential election , with a very close result . In 2008 the Democrats won the majority again; This succeeded again in 2012 . In the 2016 election, however, the Republicans won again significantly. Iowa currently has six electors in Electoral College since 2012 . In 1988 there were eight.



Iowa's current US Senators are Chuck Grassley ( R ) and Joni Ernst (R). In the 116th Congress House of Representatives, the state delegation consists of three Democrats and one Republican. The loss of a constituency due to adjustments made after the 2010 United States Census came at the expense of the Democrats, who previously owned a 3-2 minority.

death penalty

The death penalty was first abolished in Iowa in 1872 , but was reintroduced in 1878. It was abolished again in 1965. Efforts to introduce the death penalty for cases of kidnapping, sexually assaulted and killed children failed in the Iowa Senate in 2006 . Still, the previous year the Sioux City Federal District Court sentenced two defendants to death in the state's first death sentence in 40 years.

Culture and sights

Natural monuments

The National Park Service (NPS) has two National Historic Trails for Iowa :

There are also seven National Natural Landmarks (as of September 30, 2017).

Cultural monuments

The NPS maintains a National Historic Site and a National Monument for Iowa :

Iowa also has 26 National Historic Landmarks and 2,365 structures and sites that are on the National Register of Historic Places (as of September 30, 2017).

Economy and Infrastructure

The real gross domestic product per capita real GDP was USD 57,028 in 2016 (national average of the 50 US states: USD 57,118; national ranking: 20). The unemployment rate was 2.9% in November 2017 (national average: 4.1%).

Iowa's main products are pork , corn , soybeans , potatoes , beef and dairy products . Other products are goods for food production, machines, electronics, chemical products, as well as products of the printing trade and the metal industry. The tractor was invented in the small village of Froehlich in northeast Iowa . Today the tractor manufacturer John Deere produces a considerable part of its products in the factories in Davenport and Waterloo. The state of Iowa is part of the Corn Belt .


The major state colleges are Iowa State University , the University of Iowa , University of Northern Iowa, and Morningside College . Other universities are included in the list of universities in Iowa .


  • William Roba, German-Iowan Studies. Selected Essays , (= New German-American Studies, Volume 28) New York et al. 2004, 132 pp., ISBN 0-8204-5287-4 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Iowa  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikivoyage: Iowa  Travel Guide
Commons : Iowa  - collection of pictures, videos, and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. "Quick Facts Iowa, UNITED STATES"
  2. ^ US Census Bureau _ Census of Population and Housing . Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  3. Extract from . Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  4. Excerpt from February 28, 2011.
  5. ( Memento from February 13, 2020 in the web archive )
  6. ^ The Association of Religion Data Archives Maps & Reports ( Memento from August 26, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  7. ^ Iowa Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage . Retrieved December 3, 2010.
  8. ^ David Leip: Dave Leip's Atlas of US Presidential Elections. Retrieved November 28, 2018 .
  9. .
  10. Larry Wayne Koch, Colin Wark, John F. Galliher: The Death of the American Death Penalty: States Still Leading the Way. Northeastern University Press, Lebanon 2012, ISBN 978-1-55553-782-1 , pp. 12-14.
  11. ^ Iowa. In: Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  12. ^ Iowa. In: Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  13. ^ US Department of Commerce, BEA, Bureau of Economic Analysis: Bureau of Economic Analysis. Retrieved August 27, 2017 (American English).
  14. ^ Unemployment Rates for States. Retrieved January 8, 2018 .

Coordinates: 42 °  N , 93 °  W