Iowa (/ˈaɪəwə/ (listen)) is a state in the Midwestern United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states; Wisconsin to the northeast, Illinois to the east, Missouri to the south, Nebraska to the west, South Dakota to the northwest and Minnesota to the north.
In colonial times, Iowa was a part of French Louisiana and Spanish Louisiana; its state flag is patterned after the flag of France. After the Louisiana Purchase, people laid the foundation for an agriculture-based economy in the heart of the Corn Belt.
In the latter half of the 20th century, Iowa's agricultural economy made the transition to a diversified economy of advanced manufacturing, processing, financial services, information technology, biotechnology, and green energy production. Iowa is the 26th most extensive in land area and the 30th most populous of the 50 U.S states. Its capital and largest city by population is Des Moines. Iowa has been listed as one of the safest states in which to live. Its nickname is the Hawkeye State.
|State of Iowa|
|Motto(s): Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.|
|State song(s): "The Song of Iowa"|
(and largest city)
|Largest metro||Omaha (Nebr.) Metro Area|
|• Total||56,272.81 sq mi |
|• Width||200 miles (322 km)|
|• Length||310 miles (499 km)|
|• % water||0.70|
|• Latitude||40° 23′ N to 43° 30′ N|
|• Longitude||90° 8′ W to 96° 38′ W|
|• Total||3,145,711 (2017 est.)|
|• Density||54.8/sq mi (21.2/km2)|
|• Median household income||$60,855 (16th)|
|• Highest point||Hawkeye Point|
1,671 ft (509 m)
|• Mean||1,100 ft (340 m)|
|• Lowest point||Confluence of Mississippi River and Des Moines River|
480 ft (146 m)
|Before statehood||Iowa Territory|
|Admission to Union||December 28, 1846 (29th)|
|Governor||Kim Reynolds (R)|
|Lieutenant Governor||Adam Gregg (R) (acting)|
|Legislature||Iowa General Assembly|
|• Upper house||Senate|
|• Lower house||House of Representatives|
|U.S. Senators||Chuck Grassley (R)|
Joni Ernst (R)
|U.S. House delegation||1: Abby Finkenauer (D)|
2: Dave Loebsack (D)
3: Cindy Axne (D)
4: Steve King (R) (list)
|Time zone||Central: UTC −6/−5|
|Iowa state symbols|
The Flag of Iowa
The Seal of Iowa
|State route marker|
Released in 2004
|Lists of United States state symbols|
Iowa is bordered by the Mississippi River on the east; the Missouri River and the Big Sioux River on the west; the northern boundary is a line along 43 degrees, 30 minutes north latitude.[note 1] The southern border is the Des Moines River and a not-quite-straight line along approximately 40 degrees 35 minutes north, as decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in Missouri v. Iowa (1849) after a standoff between Missouri and Iowa known as the Honey War.
Iowa is the only state whose east and west borders are formed entirely by rivers.
Iowa's bedrock geology generally increases in age from west to east. In northwest Iowa, Cretaceous bedrock can be 74 million years old; in eastern Iowa Cambrian bedrock dates to c. 500 million years ago.
Iowa is generally not flat; most of the state consists of rolling hills. Iowa can be divided into eight landforms based on glaciation, soils, topography, and river drainage. Loess hills lie along the western border of the state, some of which are several hundred feet thick. Northeast Iowa along the Mississippi River is part of the Driftless Zone, consisting of steep hills and valleys which appear almost mountainous.
Several natural lakes exist, most notably Spirit Lake, West Okoboji Lake, and East Okoboji Lake in northwest Iowa (see Iowa Great Lakes). To the east lies Clear Lake. Man-made lakes include Lake Odessa, Saylorville Lake, Lake Red Rock, Coralville Lake, Lake MacBride, and Rathbun Lake. The state's northwest area has many remnants of the once common wetlands, such as Barringer Slough.
Iowa's natural vegetation is tallgrass prairie and savanna in upland areas, with dense forest and wetlands in flood plains and protected river valleys, and pothole wetlands in northern prairie areas. Most of Iowa is used for agriculture; crops cover 60% of the state, grasslands (mostly pasture and hay with some prairie and wetland) cover 30%, and forests cover 7%; urban areas and water cover another 1% each.
There is a dearth of natural areas in Iowa; less than 1% of the tallgrass prairie that once covered most of Iowa remains intact; only about 5% of the state's prairie pothole wetlands remain, and most of the original forest has been lost. As of 2005 Iowa ranked 49th of U.S. states in public land holdings. Threatened or endangered animals in Iowa include the interior least tern, piping plover, Indiana bat, pallid sturgeon, the Iowa Pleistocene land snail, Higgins' eye pearly mussel, and the Topeka shiner. Endangered or threatened plants include western prairie fringed orchid, eastern prairie fringed orchid, Mead's milkweed, prairie bush clover, and northern wild monkshood.
The explosion in the number of high-density livestock facilities in Iowa has led to increased rural water contamination and a decline in air quality. Other factors negatively affecting Iowa's environment include the extensive use of older coal-fired power plants, fertilizer and pesticide runoff from crop production, and diminishment of the Jordan Aquifer.
Iowa has a humid continental climate throughout the state (Köppen climate classification Dfa) with extremes of both heat and cold. The average annual temperature at Des Moines is 50 °F (10 °C); for some locations in the north the figure is under 45 °F (7 °C), while Keokuk, on the Mississippi River, averages 52 °F (11 °C). Winters are often harsh and snowfall is common.
Spring ushers in the beginning of the severe weather season. Iowa averages about 50 days of thunderstorm activity per year. The 30 year annual average Tornadoes in Iowa is 47. In 2008, twelve people were killed by tornadoes in Iowa, making it the deadliest year since 1968 and also the second most tornadoes in a year with 105, matching the total from 2001.
Iowa summers are known for heat and humidity, with daytime temperatures sometimes near 90 °F (32 °C) and occasionally exceeding 100 °F (38 °C). Average winters in the state have been known to drop well below freezing, even dropping below −18 °F (−28 °C). Iowa's all-time hottest temperature of 118 °F (48 °C) was recorded at Keokuk on July 20, 1934; the all-time lowest temperature of −47 °F (−44 °C) was recorded at Elkader on February 3, 1996.
Iowa has a relatively smooth gradient of varying precipitation across the state, with areas in the southeast of the state receiving an average of over 38 inches (97 cm) of rain annually, and the northwest of the state receiving less than 28 inches (71 cm). The pattern of precipitation across Iowa is seasonal, with more rain falling in the summer months. Virtually statewide, the driest month is January or February, and the wettest month is June, owing to frequent showers and thunderstorms, some of which produce hail, damaging winds and/or tornadoes. In Des Moines, roughly in the center of the state, over two-thirds of the 34.72 inches (88.2 cm) of rain falls from April through September, and about half of the average annual precipitation falls from May through August, peaking in June.
When American Indians first arrived in what is now Iowa more than 13,000 years ago, they were hunters and gatherers living in a Pleistocene glacial landscape. By the time European explorers and traders visited Iowa, American Indians were largely settled farmers with complex economic, social, and political systems. This transformation happened gradually. During the Archaic period (10,500–2,800 years ago), American Indians adapted to local environments and ecosystems, slowly becoming more sedentary as populations increased.
More than 3,000 years ago, during the Late Archaic period, American Indians in Iowa began utilizing domesticated plants. The subsequent Woodland period saw an increased reliance on agriculture and social complexity, with increased use of mounds, ceramics, and specialized subsistence. During the Late Prehistoric period (beginning about AD 900) increased use of maize and social changes led to social flourishing and nucleated settlements.
The arrival of European trade goods and diseases in the Protohistoric period led to dramatic population shifts and economic and social upheaval, with the arrival of new tribes and early European explorers and traders. There were numerous Indian tribes living in Iowa at the time of early European exploration. Tribes which were probably descendants of the prehistoric Oneota include the Dakota, Ho-Chunk, Ioway, and Otoe. Tribes which arrived in Iowa in the late prehistoric or protohistoric periods include the Illiniwek, Meskwaki, Omaha, and Sauk.
The first known European explorers to document Iowa were Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet who traveled the Mississippi River in 1673 documenting several Indian villages on the Iowa side. The area of Iowa was claimed for France and remained a French territory until 1763. The French, before their impending defeat in the French and Indian War, transferred ownership to their ally, Spain. 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.
Iowa was part of a territory known as La Louisiane or Louisiana, and European traders were interested in lead and furs obtained by Indians. The Sauk and Meskwaki effectively controlled trade on the Mississippi in the late 18th century and early 19th century. Among the early traders on the Mississippi were Julien Dubuque, Robert La Salle, and Paul Marin. Along the Missouri River at least five French and English trading houses were built before 1808. In 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte took control of Louisiana from Spain in a treaty.
After the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, Congress divided the Louisiana Purchase into two parts—the Territory of Orleans and the District of Louisiana, with present-day Iowa falling in the latter. The Indiana Territory was created in 1800 to exercise jurisdiction over this portion of the District; William Henry Harrison was its first governor. 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.
Fort Madison was built to control trade and establish U.S. dominance over the Upper Mississippi, but it was poorly designed and disliked by the Sauk and Ho-Chunk, many of whom allied with the British, who had not abandoned claims to the territory. Fort Madison was defeated by British-supported Indians in 1813 during the War of 1812, and Fort Shelby in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, also fell to the British. Black Hawk took part in the siege of Fort Madison.
The U.S. encouraged settlement of the east side of the Mississippi and removal of Indians to the west. Trade continued in furs and lead, but disease and forced population movement decimated Indian cultures and economies. A disputed 1804 treaty between Quashquame and William Henry Harrison that surrendered much of Illinois to the U.S. enraged many Sauk and led to the 1832 Black Hawk War. As punishment for the uprising, and as part of a larger settlement strategy, treaties were subsequently designed to remove all Indians from Iowa.
The Sauk and Meskwaki were pushed out of the Mississippi valley in 1832, out of the Iowa River valley in 1843, and out of Iowa altogether in 1846. Many Meskwaki later returned to Iowa and settled near Tama, Iowa; the Meskwaki Settlement remains to this day. In 1856 the Iowa Legislature passed an unprecedented act allowing the Meskawki to purchase the land; Indians were not usually permitted to do so. The Ho-Chunk were removed from Iowa in 1850, and the Dakota were removed by the late 1850s. Western Iowa around modern Council Bluffs was used as a way station for other tribes being moved west, including the Potawatomi.
The first American settlers officially moved to Iowa in June 1833. Primarily, they were families from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. On July 4, 1838, the U.S. Congress established the Territory of Iowa. President Martin Van Buren appointed Robert Lucas governor of the territory, which at the time had 22 counties and a population of 23,242.
Almost immediately after achieving territorial status, a clamor arose for statehood. On December 28, 1846, Iowa became the 29th state in the Union when President James K. Polk signed Iowa's admission bill into law. Once admitted to the Union, the state's boundary issues resolved, and most of its land purchased from the Indians, 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.
Iowa has a long tradition of state and county fairs. The first and second Iowa State Fairs were held in the more developed eastern part of the state at Fairfield. The first fair was held October 25–27, 1854, at a cost of around $323. Thereafter, the fair moved to locations closer to the center of the state and in 1886 found a permanent home in Des Moines. The State Fair has been held every year since except for the year 1898 due to the Spanish–American War and the World's Fair being held in nearby Omaha, Nebraska. The fair was also a World War II wartime casualty from 1942–1945, as the fairgrounds were being used as an army supply depot.
Iowa supported the Union during the Civil War, voting heavily for Abraham Lincoln, though there was a strong antiwar "Copperhead" movement among settlers of southern origins and among Catholics. There were no battles in the state, although the battle of Athens, Missouri, 1861, was fought just across the Des Moines River from Croton, Iowa, and shots from the battle landed in Iowa. Iowa sent large supplies of food to the armies and the eastern cities.
Much of Iowa's support for the Union can be attributed to Samuel J. Kirkwood, its first wartime governor. Of a total population of 675,000, about 116,000 men were subjected to military duty. 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.
Most fought in the great campaigns in the Mississippi Valley and in the South. 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. They served with the Army of the Potomac in Virginia and fought under Union General Philip Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley. Many died and were buried at Andersonville. They marched on General Nathaniel Banks' ill-starred expedition to the Red River. Twenty-seven Iowans have been awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government, which was first awarded in the Civil War.
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.
Following the Civil War, Iowa's population continued to grow dramatically, from 674,913 people in 1860 to 1,194,020 in 1880. The introduction of railroads in the 1859s and 1860s transformed Iowa into a major agricultural producer.
In 1917, the United States entered World War I and farmers as well as all Iowans experienced a wartime economy. For farmers, the change was significant. Since the beginning of the war in 1914, Iowa farmers had experienced economic prosperity. In the economic sector, Iowa also has undergone considerable change. Beginning with the first farm-related industries developed in the 1870s, Iowa has experienced a gradual increase in the number of business and manufacturing operations.
The transition from an agricultural economy to a mixed economy happened slowly. The Great Depression and World War II accelerated the shift away from smallholder farming to larger farms, and began a trend of urbanization. The period since World War II has witnessed a particular increase in manufacturing operations. While agriculture continued to be the state's dominant industry, Iowans also produce a wide variety of products including refrigerators, washing machines, fountain pens, farm implements, and food products.
After bottoming out in the 1980s, Iowa's economy began to become increasingly less dependent on agriculture, and by the early 21st century was characterized by a mix of manufacturing, biotechnology, finance and insurance services, and government services. The population of Iowa has increased at a faster rate than the U.S. as a whole, and Iowa now has a predominantly urban population. The Iowa Economic Development Authority, created in 2011 has replaced the Iowa Department of Economic Development and its annual reports are a source of economic information.
Of the residents of Iowa, 72.2% were born in Iowa, 23.2% were born in a different US state, 0.5% were born in Puerto Rico, U.S. Island areas, or born abroad to American parent(s), and 4.1% were foreign born.
Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 29,386 people, while migration within the country produced a net loss of 41,140 people. 6.5% of Iowa's population were reported as under the age of five, 22.6% under 18, and 14.7% were 65 or older. Males made up approximately 49.6% of the population. The population density of the state is 52.7 people per square mile. The center of population of Iowa is in Marshall County, in the city of Marshalltown.
As of the 2010 Census, the population of Iowa was 3,046,355. The gender makeup of the state was 49.5% male and 50.5% female. 23.9% of the population were under the age of 18; 61.2% were between the ages of 18 and 64; and 14.9% were 65 years of age or older.
The table below shows the racial composition of Iowa's population as of 2016.
|Race||Population (2016 est.)||Percentage|
|Black or African American||103,052||3.3%|
|American Indian and Alaska Native||9,951||0.3%|
|Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander||2,422||0.1%|
|Some other race||39,410||1.3%|
|Two or more races||61,294||2.0%|
|Black or African American||1.7%||2.1%||2.9%|
|American Indian and Alaska Native||0.3%||0.3%||0.4%|
|Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander||–||–||0.1%|
|Two or more races||–||1.1%||1.8%|
According to the 2016 American Community Survey, 5.6% of Iowa's population were of Hispanic or Latino origin (of any race): Mexican (4.3%), Puerto Rican (0.2%), Cuban (0.1%), and other Hispanic or Latino origin (1.0%). The five largest ancestry groups were: German (35.1%), Irish (13.5%), English (8.2%), American (5.8%), and Norwegian (5.0%).
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. Urban counties in Iowa grew 8.5% from 2000 to 2008, while rural counties declined by 4.2%. The shift from rural to urban has caused population increases in more urbanized counties such as Dallas, Johnson, Linn, Polk, and Scott, at the expense of more rural counties.
Iowa, in common with other Midwestern states (especially Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota), is feeling the brunt of rural flight, although Iowa has been gaining population since approximately 1990. Some smaller communities, such as Denison and Storm Lake, have mitigated this population loss through gains in immigrant laborers.
Another demographic problem for Iowa is the brain drain, in which educated young adults leave the state in search of better prospects in higher education or employment. During the 1990s, Iowa had the second highest exodus rate for single, educated young adults, second only to North Dakota. Significant loss of educated young people contributes to economic stagnation and the loss of services for remaining citizens.
|Rank||City||2017 city population||2010 city population||Change||Metropolitan Statistical Area||2016 metro population||2010 metro population||2016 metro change|
|1||Des Moines||217,521||203,433||+6.93%||Des Moines–West Des Moines||634,725||569,633||+11.43%|
|2||Cedar Rapids||132,228||126,326||+4.67%||Cedar Rapids||267,799||257,940||+3.82%|
|4||Sioux City||82,514||82,684||−0.21%||Sioux City||168,806||168,563||+0.14%|
|5||Iowa City||75,798||67,862||+11.69%||Iowa City||168,828||152,586||+10.64%|
|8||West Des Moines||65,608||56,609||+15.90%||Des Moines–West Des Moines||611,549|
|9||Ankeny||62,416||45,582||+36.93%||Des Moines–West Des Moines||611,549|
|10||Council Bluffs||62,316||62,230||+0.14%||Omaha–Council Bluffs||924,129||865,350||+6.79%|
|12||Urbandale||43,592||39,463||+10.46%||Des Moines–West Des Moines||611,549|
|13||Cedar Falls||41,570||39,260||+5.88%||Waterloo–Cedar Falls||169,993|
Note: Births in table don't add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.
|White:||35,240 (90.1%)||35,528 (89.5%)||35,279 (89.3%)||...|
|> Non-Hispanic White||32,302 (82.6%)||32,423 (81.7%)||32,028 (81.1%)||31,376 (79.6%)|
|Black||2,232 (5.7%)||2,467 (6.2%)||2,597 (6.6%)||2,467 (6.3%)|
|Asian||1,353 (3.5%)||1,408 (3.5%)||1,364 (3.4%)||1,270 (3.2%)|
|American Indian||269 (0.7%)||284 (0.7%)||242 (0.6%)||147 (0.4%)|
|Hispanic (of any race)||3,175 (8.1%)||3,315 (8.3%)||3,418 (8.6%)||3,473 (8.8%)|
|Total Iowa||39,094 (100%)||39,687 (100%)||39,482 (100%)||39,403 (100%)|
A 2001 survey from the City University of New York found 52% of Iowans are Protestant, while 23% are Catholic, and other religions made up 6%. 13% responded with non-religious, and 5% did not answer. A survey from the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) in 2010 found that the largest Protestant denominations were the United Methodist Church with 235,190 adherents and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 229,557. The largest non Protestant religion was Catholicism with 503,080 adherents. The state has a great number of Reformed denominations. The Presbyterian Church (USA) had almost 290 congregations and 51,380 members followed by the Reformed Church in America with 80 churches and 40,000 members, and the United Church of Christ had 180 churches and 39,000 members.
The study Religious Congregations & Membership: 2000 found in the southernmost two tiers of Iowa counties and in other counties in the center of the state, the largest religious group was the United Methodist Church; in the northeast part of the state, including Dubuque and Linn counties (where Cedar Rapids is located), the Catholic Church was the largest; and in ten counties, including three in the northern tier, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was the largest. The study also found rapid growth in Evangelical Christian denominations. Dubuque is home to the Archdiocese of Dubuque, which serves as the ecclesiastical province for all 3 other dioceses in the state and for all the Catholics in the entire state of Iowa.
Historically, religious sects and orders who desired to live apart from the rest of society established themselves in Iowa, such as the Amish and Mennonite near Kalona and in other parts of eastern Iowa such as Davis County and Buchanan County. Other religious sects and orders living apart include Quakers around West Branch and Le Grand, German Pietists who founded the Amana Colonies, followers of Transcendental Meditation who founded Maharishi Vedic City, and Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance monks and nuns at the New Melleray and Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbies near Dubuque.
As of 2016 about 6,000 Jews live in Iowa, with about 3000 of them in Des Moines.
English is the most common language used in Iowa, used by 94% of the population. William Labov and colleagues, in the monumental Atlas of North American English found the English spoken in Iowa divides into multiple linguistic regions. 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 also found in North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. 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 also found in eastern Nebraska, central Illinois, and central Indiana. 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.
After English, Spanish is the second-most-common language spoken in Iowa, with 120,000 people in Iowa of Hispanic or Latino origin and 47,000 people born in Latin America. The third-most-common language is German, spoken by 17,000 people in Iowa; two notable German dialects used in Iowa include Amana German spoken around the Amana Colonies, and Pennsylvania German, spoken among the Amish in Iowa. The Babel Proclamation of 1918 banned the speaking of German in public. Around Pella, residents of Dutch descent once spoke the Pella Dutch dialect.
Des Moines is the largest city in Iowa and the state's political and economic center. It is home to the Iowa State Capitol, the State Historical Society of Iowa Museum, Drake University, Des Moines Art Center, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Principal Riverwalk, the Iowa State Fair, Terrace Hill, and the World Food Prize. Nearby attractions include Adventureland and Prairie Meadows Racetrack Casino in Altoona, Living History Farms in Urbandale, Trainland USA in Colfax, and the Iowa Speedway and Valle Drive-In in Newton.
The Clint Eastwood movie The Bridges of Madison County, based on the popular novel of the same name, took place and was filmed in Madison County. Also in Madison County is the John Wayne Birthplace Museum in Winterset.
Iowa City is home to the University of Iowa, which includes the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Old Capitol building. Because of the extraordinary history in the teaching and sponsoring of creative writing that emanated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and related programs, Iowa City was the first American city designated by the United Nations as a "City of Literature" in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art has collections of paintings by Grant Wood and Marvin Cone. Cedar Rapids is also home to the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library and Iowa's only National Trust for Historic Preservation Site, Brucemore mansion.
Davenport boasts the Figge Art Museum, River Music Experience, Putnam Museum, Davenport Skybridge, Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Quad Cities, and plays host to the annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, and the Quad City Air Show, which is the largest airshow in the state.
Some of the most dramatic scenery in Iowa is found in the unique Loess Hills. The Iowa Great Lakes include several resort areas such as Spirit Lake, Arnolds Park, and the Okoboji Lakes. The Sanford Museum and Planetarium in Cherokee, Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Arnolds Park Amusement Park (one of the oldest amusement parks in the country) in Arnolds Park, The Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn, and the Fort Museum and Frontier Village in Fort Dodge are regional destinations.
Every year in early May, the city of Orange City holds the annual Tulip Festival, a celebration of the strong Dutch heritage in the region.
Council Bluffs, the major city of southwest Iowa, sits at the base of the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway. With three casino resorts, the city also includes such cultural attractions as the Western Hills Trails Center, Union Pacific Railroad Museum, the Grenville M. Dodge House, and the Lewis and Clark Monument.
Northwest Iowa is home to some of the largest concentrations of wind turbine farms in the world. Other western communities with vibrant historic downtown areas include Storm Lake, Spencer, Le Mars, Glenwood, Carroll, Harlan, Atlantic, Red Oak, Denison, Creston, Mount Ayr, Sac City, and Walnut.
The Driftless Area of northeast Iowa has many steep hills and deep valleys, checkered with forest and terraced fields. Effigy Mounds National Monument in Allamakee and Clayton Counties has the largest assemblage of animal-shaped prehistoric mounds in the world.
Fort Dodge is home of The Fort historical museum and the Blanden Art Museum, and host Frontiers Days which celebrate the town history.
RAGBRAI – the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa – attracts thousands of bicyclists and support personnel. It has crossed the state on various routes each year since 1973. Iowa is home to more than 70 wineries, and hosts five regional wine tasting trails. Many Iowa communities hold farmers' markets during warmer months; these are typically weekly events, but larger cities can host multiple markets.
CNBC's list of "Top States for Business in 2010" has recognized Iowa as the sixth best state in the nation. Scored in 10 individual categories, Iowa was ranked 1st when it came to the "Cost of Doing Business"; this includes all taxes, utility costs, and other costs associated with doing business. Iowa was also 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".
While Iowa is often viewed as a farming state, in reality agriculture is a small portion of a diversified economy, with manufacturing, biotechnology, finance and insurance services, and government services contributing substantially to Iowa's economy. This economic diversity has helped Iowa weather the late 2000s recession better than most states, with unemployment substantially lower than the rest of the nation.
If the economy is measured by gross domestic product, in 2005 Iowa's GDP was about US $124 billion. If measured by gross state product, for 2005 it was US $113.5 billion. Its per capita income for 2006 was US $23,340.
As of December 2015, the state's unemployment rate is 3.4%.
Manufacturing is the largest sector of Iowa's economy, with $20.8 billion (21%) of Iowa's 2003 gross state product. Major manufacturing sectors include food processing, heavy machinery, and agricultural chemicals. Sixteen percent of Iowa's workforce is dedicated to manufacturing.
Food processing is the largest component of manufacturing. Besides processed food, industrial outputs include machinery, electric equipment, chemical products, publishing, and primary metals. 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. Meatpacker Tyson Foods has 11 locations, second only to its headquarter state Arkansas.
Major non-food manufacturing firms with production facilities in Iowa include 3M, ALCOA, Amana Corporation, Dexter Apache Holdings, Inc., Electrolux/Frigidaire, Emerson Process Management, Fisher Controls International, Hagie Manufacturing Company, HON Industries, The HON Company, SSAB, John Deere, Lennox Manufacturing, Maytag Corporation, Pella Corporation, Procter & Gamble, Rockwell Collins, Terex, Vermeer Company, and Winnebago Industries.
Directly and indirectly, agriculture has been a major component of Iowa's economy. As of 2007 the direct production and sale of raw agricultural products contributed only about 3.5% of Iowa's gross state product. In 2002 the impact of the indirect role of agriculture in Iowa's economy, including agriculture-affiliated business, was calculated at 16.4% in terms of value added and 24.3% in terms of total output. This was lower than the economic impact of non-farm manufacturing, which accounted for 22.4% of total value added and 26.5% of total output. Iowa's main agricultural products are hogs, corn, soybeans, oats, cattle, eggs, and dairy products. Iowa is the nation's largest producer of ethanol and corn and some years is the largest grower of soybeans. In 2008, the 92,600 farms in Iowa produced 19% of the nation's corn, 17% of the soybeans, 30% of the hogs, and 14% of the eggs.
As of 2009 major Iowa agricultural product processors include Archer Daniels Midland, Ajinomoto, Cargill, Inc., Diamond V Mills, Garst Seed Company, Heartland Pork Enterprises, Hy-Vee, Monsanto Company, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, and Quaker Oats.
As of 2014, there were 16 organizations offering health insurance products in Iowa, per the State of Iowa Insurance Division. Iowa was the 4th out of 10 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 (HMO), preferred provider organization (PPO), point-of-service (POS) and consumer-driven health care plans. According to the AMA annual report from 2007 Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield had provided 71% of the state's health insurance.
The Iowa Insurance Division "Annual report to the Iowa Governor and the Iowa Legislature" from November 2014 looked at the 95% of health insurers by premium, which are 10 companies. It found Wellmark Inc. to dominate the 3 health insurance markets it examined (individual, small group and large group) at 52-67%.:2 Wellmark HealthPlan of Iowa and Wellmark Inc had the highest risk-based capital percentages of all 10 providers at 1158% and 1132%, respectively.:31 Rising RBC is an indication of profits.:31
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.
Iowa is host to at least two business incubators, Iowa State University Research Park and the BioVentures Center at the University of Iowa. The Research Park hosts about 50 companies, among them NewLink Genetics, which develops cancer immunotherapeutics, and the U.S. animal health division of Boehringer Ingelheim, Vetmedica.
Ethanol production consumes approximately one-third of Iowa's corn production, and renewable fuels account for 8% of the state's gross domestic product. A total of 39 ethanol plants produced 3.1 billion US gallons (12,000,000 m3) of fuel in 2009.
Renewable energy has become a major economic force in northern and western Iowa, with wind turbine electrical generation increasing exponentally since 1990. In 2010, wind power in Iowa accounted for 15.4% of electrical energy produced, and 3675 megawatts of generating capacity had been installed at the end of the year. Iowa ranked first of U.S. states in percentage of total power generated by wind and second in wind generating capacity behind Texas. Major producers of turbines and components in Iowa include Acciona Energy of West Branch, TPI Composites of Newton, and Siemens Energy of Fort Madison.
In 2016, Iowa was the headquarters for three of the top 2,000 companies for revenue. They include Principal Financial, Rockwell Collins, and American Equity Investment. Iowa is also headquarters to other companies including Hy-Vee, Pella Corporation, Vermeer Company, Kum & Go gas stations, Von Maur, Pioneer Hi-Bred, and Fareway.
Iowa imposes taxes on net state income of individuals, estates, and trusts. There are nine income tax brackets, ranging from 0.36% to 8.98%, as well as four corporate income tax brackets ranging from 6-12%, giving Iowa the country's highest marginal corporate tax rate. The state sales tax rate is 6%, with non-prepared food having no tax. Iowa has one local option sales tax that may be imposed by counties after an election. Property tax is levied on the taxable value of real property. Iowa has more than 2,000 taxing authorities. Most property is taxed by more than one taxing authority. The tax rate differs in each locality and is a composite of county, city or rural township, school district and special levies. Iowa allows its residents to deduct their federal income taxes from their state income taxes.
Iowa has four primary interstate highways. Interstate 29 (I-29) travels along the state's western edge through Council Bluffs and Sioux City. I-35 travels from the Missouri state line to the Minnesota state line through the state's center, including Des Moines. I-74 begins at I-80 just northeast of Davenport. I-80 travels from the Nebraska state line to the Illinois state line through the center of the state, including Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Iowa City, and the Quad Cities. I-380 is an auxiliary Interstate Highway, which travels from I-80 near Iowa City through Cedar Rapids ending in Waterloo and is part of the Avenue of the Saints highway. Iowa is among the few jurisdictions where municipalities install speed cameras on interstate highways providing a substantial revenue source from out of state drivers.
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. Smaller airports in the state include the Davenport Municipal Airport (Iowa), Dubuque Regional Airport, Fort Dodge Regional Airport, Mason City Municipal Airport, Sioux Gateway Airport, Southeast Iowa Regional Airport, and Waterloo Regional Airport.
Amtrak's California Zephyr serves the south of Iowa with stops at Burlington, Mount Pleasant, Ottumwa, Osceola, and Creston on its daily route between Chicago and Emeryville, California (across the bay from San Francisco). Fort Madison is served by Amtrak's Southwest Chief, running daily between Chicago and Los Angeles.
Other statewide elected officials are:
The Code of Iowa contains Iowa's statutory laws. It is periodically updated by the Iowa Legislative Service Bureau, with a new edition published in odd-numbered years and a supplement published in even-numbered years.
Iowa is an alcohol monopoly or alcoholic beverage control state.
The two U.S. Senators:
The four U.S. Representatives:
After the 2010 United States Census and the resulting redistricting, Iowa lost one seat in Congress, falling to four seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Incumbent U.S. Representatives Leonard Boswell (D) and Tom Latham (R) ran against each other in 2012 in the third congressional district which had new boundaries; Latham won and retired after the 2014 elections. King represented the old fifth congressional district.
In Iowa, the term "political party" refers to political organizations which have received two percent or more of the votes cast for president or governor in the "last preceding general election". Iowa recognizes three political parties – the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, and the Libertarian Party. The Libertarian Party obtained official political party status in 2017 as a result of presidential candidate Gary Johnson receiving 3.8% of the Iowa vote in the 2016 general election. Third parties, officially termed "nonparty political organizations", can appear on the ballot as well. Four of these have had candidates on the ballot in Iowa since 2004 for various positions: the Constitution Party, the Green Party, the Pirate Party, and the Socialist Workers Party.
|2016||51.15% 800,983||41.74% 653,669|
|2012||46.18% 730,617||51.99% 822,544|
|2008||44.74% 677,508||54.04% 818,240|
|2004||49.92% 751,957||49.28% 741,898|
|2000||48.22% 634,373||48.60% 638,517|
|1996||39.92% 492,644||50.31% 620,258|
|1992||37.33% 504,890||43.35% 586,353|
|1988||44.8% 545,355||55.1% 670,557|
|1984||53.32% 703,088||45.97% 605,620|
As a result of the 2010 elections, each party controlled one house of the Iowa General Assembly: the House had a Republican majority, while the Senate had a Democratic majority. As a result of the 2016 elections, Republicans gained control of the Senate. Incumbent Democratic governor Chet Culver was defeated in 2010 by Republican Terry Branstad, who had served as governor from 1983 to 1999. On December 14, 2015, Branstad became the longest serving governor in U.S. history, serving (at that time) 20 years, 11 months, and 3 days; eclipsing George Clinton, who served 21 years until 1804. Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds succeeded him on May 24, 2017, following Branstad's appointment as U.S. Ambassador to China.
As of February 1, 2016, there were 2,095,639 registered voters. 635,687 or 30.3% were Democrats, 800,629 or 38.2% of voters were not registered in a party, 651,039 or 31.1% were Republicans, and 8,284 or 0.004% were registered with another party.
The state gets considerable attention every four years because the Iowa caucus, gatherings of voters to select delegates to the state conventions, is the first presidential caucus in the country. The caucuses, held in January or February of the election year, involve people gathering in homes or public places and choosing their candidates, rather than casting secret ballots as is done in a presidential primary election. Along with the New Hampshire primary the following week, Iowa's caucuses have become the starting points for choosing the two major-party candidates for president. The national and international media give Iowa and New Hampshire extensive attention, which gives Iowa voters leverage. Those who enter the caucus race often expend enormous effort to reach voters in each of Iowa's 99 counties.
In the 19th century Iowa was among the earliest states to enact prohibitions against race discrimination, especially in education, but was slow to achieve full integration in the 20th century. In the very first decision of the Supreme Court of Iowa–In Re the Matter of Ralph, decided July 1839–the Court rejected slavery in a decision that found a slave named Ralph became free when he stepped on Iowa soil, 26 years before the end of the Civil War. The state did away with racial barriers to marriage in 1851, more than 100 years before the U.S. Supreme Court would ban miscegenation statutes nationwide.
The Iowa Supreme Court decided Clark v. The Board of Directors in 1868, ruling that racially segregated "separate but equal" schools had no place in Iowa, 85 years before Brown v. Board of Education. By 1875, a number of additional court rulings effectively ended segregation in Iowa schools. Social and housing discrimination continued against Blacks at state universities until the 1950s. The Court heard Coger v. The North Western Union Packet Co. in 1873, ruling against racial discrimination in public accommodations 91 years before the U.S. Supreme Court reached the same decision.
In 1884, the Iowa Civil Rights Act apparently outlawed discrimination by businesses, reading: "All persons within this state shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, restaurants, chophouses, eating houses, lunch counters, and all other places where refreshments are served, public conveyances, barber shops, bathhouses, theaters, and all other places of amusement." However, the courts chose to narrowly apply this act, allowing de facto discrimination to continue. Racial discrimination at public businesses was not deemed illegal until 1949, when the court ruled in State of Iowa v. Katz that businesses had to serve customers regardless of race; the case began when Edna Griffin was denied service at a Des Moines drugstore. Full racial civil rights were codified under the Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965.
As with racial equality, Iowa was a vanguard in women's rights in the mid-19th century, but was slow to give women the right to vote. In 1847, the University of Iowa became the first public university in the U.S. to admit men and women on an equal basis. 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. Several attempts to grant full voting rights to Iowa women were defeated between 1870 and 1919. In 1894 women were given "partial suffrage", which allowed them to vote on issues, but not for candidates. It was not until the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1920 that women had full suffrage in Iowa. Although Iowa supported the Federal Equal Rights Amendment, in 1980 and 1992 Iowa voters rejected an Equal Rights Amendment to the state constitution. Iowa did add the word "women" to the Iowa Constitution in 1998. After Amendment, it reads: "All men and women are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights – among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness." 
In the aftermath of the civil rights movement, court decisions in Iowa clarified and expanded citizens' rights. The landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969) confirmed the right of students to express political views. The state's law criminalizing same-sex sexual activity was repealed in June 1976, 27 years before Lawrence v. Texas.
On April 3, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court decided Varnum v. Brien, holding in a unanimous decision, the state's law forbidding same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. This made Iowa the third state in the U.S. and first in the Midwest to permit same-sex marriage.  (See LGBT rights in Iowa.)
Iowa has Ten official partner jurisdictions:
Iowa is often credited with the start of the high school movement in the U.S. Around 1910, secondary schools as we know them today were established across the state, which was unprecedented at the time. As the high school movement gathered pace and went beyond Iowa, there was clear evidence of how more time spent in school led to greater income.
The four-year graduation rate for high schoolers was 90% in 2015. The state has the top graduation rate in the nation. Iowa has 365 school districts, and has the 12th lowest student-to-teacher ratio of 13.8. Teacher pay is ranked 42nd, with the average salary being $39,284.
The Iowa State Board of Education works with the Iowa Department of Education to provide oversight, supervision, and support for the state's education system that includes all public elementary and secondary schools, nonpublic schools that receive state accreditation, area education agencies, community colleges, and teacher preparation programs. The State Board consists of ten members: nine voting members who are appointed by the governor for six-year terms and subject to Senate confirmation; and one nonvoting student member who serves a one-year term, also appointed by the governor. The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners is an autonomous board in control of teacher licensure standards and professional discipline; it has a majority of licensed teachers as members and is the oldest state educational board.
As of 2015 transportation spending is a significant part of the budgets of rural school districts as many are geographically large and must transport students across vast distances. This reduces the amount of money spent on other aspects of the districts.
The Iowa Board of Regents is composed of nine citizen volunteers appointed by the governor to provide policymaking, coordination, and oversight of the state's public universities, two special K-12 schools, and affiliated centers.
Iowa's three public universities include:
The special K-12 schools include the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs and the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton. Both Iowa State University and The University of Iowa are major research institutions and members of the prestigious Association of American Universities. In addition to the three state universities, Iowa has multiple private colleges and universities.
Private colleges and universities include:
Private liberal arts colleges include:
The state has four major college teams playing in Division I for all sports. In football, Iowa State University and the University of Iowa compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), whereas the University of Northern Iowa and Drake University compete in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Although Iowa has no professional major league sports teams, Iowa has minor league sports teams in baseball, basketball, hockey, and other sports.
|Iowa Hawkeyes football||Iowa City||67,512|
|Iowa State Cyclones football||Ames||52,197|
|Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball||Iowa City||14,976|
|Iowa State Cyclones men's basketball||Ames||14,192|
|Northern Iowa Panthers football||Cedar Falls||12,490|
|Iowa State Cyclones women's basketball||Ames||9,289|
|Iowa Hawkeye Wrestling||Iowa City||8,358|
The state has four NCAA Division I college teams. In NCAA FBS, the University of Iowa Hawkeyes play in the Big Ten Conference and the Iowa State University Cyclones compete in the Big 12 Conference. The two intrastate rivals compete annually for the Cy-Hawk Trophy as part of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series.
In NCAA FCS, the University of Northern Iowa Panthers play at the Missouri Valley Conference and Missouri Valley Football Conference (despite the similar names, the conferences are administratively separate), whereas the Drake University Bulldogs play at the Missouri Valley Conference in most sports and Pioneer League for football.
Des Moines is home to the Iowa Cubs, a Class AAA team in the Pacific Coast League and affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Iowa has four Class A minor league teams in the Midwest League: the Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton LumberKings, and the Quad Cities River Bandits. The Sioux City Explorers are part of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
The United States Hockey League has five teams in Iowa: the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, Sioux City Musketeers, Waterloo Black Hawks, Des Moines Buccaneers, and the Dubuque Fighting Saints. The North Iowa Bulls play in the North American 3 Hockey League in Mason City.
The Des Moines Menace of the USL Premier Development League play their home games at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, Iowa. Starting in the 2015-16 season of the Major Arena Soccer League, the Cedar Rapids Rampage plays in the U.S. Cellular Center. As well as the Cedar Rapids Rampage United plays at Kingston Stadium.
Iowa has two professional basketball teams. The Iowa Wolves, an NBA G League team that plays in Des Moines, is owned and affiliated with the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA. The Sioux City Hornets play in the American Basketball Association.
Iowa has three professional football teams. The Sioux City Bandits play in the Champions Indoor Football league. The Iowa Barnstormers play in the Indoor Football League at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. The Cedar Rapids Titans play in the Indoor Football League at the U.S. Cellular Center.
The Iowa Speedway oval track has hosted auto racing championships such as the IndyCar Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Truck Series since 2006. Also, the Knoxville Raceway dirt track hosts the Knoxville Nationals, one of the classic sprint car racing events.
The John Deere Classic is a PGA Tour golf event held in the Quad Cities since 1971. The Principal Charity Classic is a Champions Tour event since 2001. The Des Moines Golf and Country Club hosted the 1999 U.S. Senior Open and has scheduled the 2017 Solheim Cup.
Iowa was the birthplace of U.S. President Herbert Hoover, Vice President Henry A. Wallace, and two first ladies, Lou Henry Hoover and Mamie Eisenhower. Other national leaders who lived in Iowa include President Ronald Reagan, President Richard Nixon, John L. Lewis, Harry Hopkins, Carrie Chapman Catt, Jefferson Davis, Chief Black Hawk, and John Brown.
Five Nobel Prize winners hail from Iowa: Norman Borlaug, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize; Thomas Cech, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry; Alan J. Heeger, also a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry; John Mott, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize; and Stanley B. Prusiner, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Other notable scientists who worked or were born in Iowa include astronomer and space pioneer James A. Van Allen, ecologist Aldo Leopold, computer pioneer John Vincent Atanasoff, inventor and plant scientist George Washington Carver, geochemist Clair Cameron Patterson, and Intel founder Robert Noyce.
Notable writers, artists, and news personalities from Iowa include Bill Bryson, Corey Taylor, George Gallup, Susan Glaspell, Mauricio Lasansky, Tomas Lasansky, Harry Reasoner, Phil Stong, and Grant Wood.
Musicians, actors, and entertainers from 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, Tionne Watkins of TLC, John Wayne, Brooks Wheelan, Andy Williams, Meredith Willson, and Elijah Wood.
Olympic gold medal winning athletes from Iowa include Tom Brands, Dan Gable, Shawn Johnson, and Cael Sanderson. Iowa athletes inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame include Cap Anson, Fred Clarke, and Bob Feller. In college football, Jay Berwanger was the first winner of the Downtown Athletic Club Trophy in 1935, later renamed the Heisman Trophy and won by Nile Kinnick in 1939. In professional football, Kurt Warner was the Super Bowl XXXIV MVP winner and a two-time NFL MVP award winner. Frank Gotch was a World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, Zach Johnson won the 2007 Masters Golf Tournament and the 2015 British Open, and Jeremy Hellickson won the 2011 American League Rookie of the Year award pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays. Former WWE Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins, is from Davenport, IA. The first UFC Welterweight Champion and a member of the UFC Hall of Fame, Pat Miletich, was born in Davenport.
| List of U.S. states by date of statehood
Admitted on December 28, 1846 (29th)
Ames is a city in central Iowa approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of Des Moines. It is best known as the home of Iowa State University (ISU), with leading Agriculture, Design, Engineering, and Veterinary Medicine colleges. A United States Department of Energy national laboratory, Ames Laboratory, is located on the ISU campus.
In 2017, Ames had a population of 66,498. Iowa State University is home to 36,321 students (Fall 2017), which make up approximately one half of the city's population.
Ames also hosts United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sites: the largest federal animal disease center in the United States, USDA's Agricultural Research Service's National Animal Disease Center (NADC)., as well as, one of two national USDA sites for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which comprises the National Veterinary Services Laboratory and the Center for Veterinary Biologics. Ames has the headquarters for the Iowa Department of Transportation.
In 2010, Ames was ranked ninth on CNNMoney "Best Places to Live" list.Ashton Kutcher
Christopher Ashton Kutcher (; born February 7, 1978) is an American actor and investor. He began his acting career portraying Michael Kelso in the Fox sitcom That '70s Show (1998–2006). He made his film debut in the romantic comedy Coming Soon (1999), followed by the comedy film Dude, Where's My Car? (2000), which was a box office hit. In 2003, Kutcher moved into romantic comedies, appearing in that year's Just Married and My Boss's Daughter. In 2003, he created and produced the television series Punk'd, also serving as host for the first eight of its ten seasons. In 2004, Kutcher starred in the lead role of the psychological film The Butterfly Effect.
Kutcher subsequently appeared in more romantic comedies, including Guess Who (2005), A Lot Like Love (2005), What Happens in Vegas (2008), and No Strings Attached (2011). He starred as Walden Schmidt on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men (2011–2015). In 2013, Kutcher portrayed Steve Jobs in the biographical film Jobs. Since 2016, he has starred as Colt Bennett in the Netflix series The Ranch.
Beyond entertainment, Kutcher is also a venture capitalist. He is a co-founder of the venture capital firm A-Grade Investments. At SXSW on March 14, 2015, Kutcher announced Sound Ventures, the successor to A-Grade Investments managing a fund backed by institutional funding. Kutcher has also successfully invested in several high technology startups. Kutcher has investments in over 60 companies, the most prominent of which include Skype, Foursquare, Airbnb, Path and Fab.com. Kutcher has invested in five startups as of August 2017 -- Neighborly, Zenreach, ResearchGate, Kopari Beauty, and Lemonade -- marking his foray into the "insurtech" sector.Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids is the second-largest city in Iowa and is the county seat of Linn County. The city lies on both banks of the Cedar River, 20 miles (32 km) north of Iowa City and 100 miles (160 km) northeast of Des Moines, the state's capital and largest city. It is a part of the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor of Linn, Benton, Cedar, Jones, Johnson, and Washington counties.As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was 126,326. The estimated population of the three-county Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the nearby cities of Marion and Hiawatha, was 255,452 in 2008. Cedar Rapids is an economic hub of the state, located in the core of the Interstate 380.
The Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is also a part of a Combined Statistical Area (CSA) with the Iowa City MSA. This CSA plus two additional counties are known as the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids (ICR) Corridor and collectively have a population of over 450,000.
A flourishing center for arts and culture in Eastern Iowa, the city is home to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, the Paramount Theatre, Orchestra Iowa, Theatre Cedar Rapids, the African-American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa, the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance. In the 1990s and 2000s, several Cedar Rapidians became well-known actors, including Bobby Driscoll, Ashton Kutcher, Elijah Wood, and Ron Livingston. The city is the setting for the musical The Pajama Game and the comedy film Cedar Rapids.
Cedar Rapids is nicknamed the "City of Five Seasons", for the "fifth season", which is time to enjoy the other four. The symbol of the five seasons is the Tree of Five Seasons sculpture in downtown along the north river bank. The name "Five Seasons" and representations of the sculpture appear throughout the city in many forms.Chuck Grassley
Charles Ernest Grassley (born September 17, 1933) is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Iowa, first elected in 1980. A member of the Republican Party, Grassley previously served in the Iowa House of Representatives (1959–1975) and in the United States House of Representatives (1975–1981). He chaired the Senate Finance Committee from January to June 2001 and from January 2003 to December 2006. As of January 2015, Grassley was the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and is again United States Senate Committee on Finance chairman in 2019. When Orrin Hatch's term ended on January 3, 2019, Grassley became the most senior Republican in the Senate. On November 14, 2018, Grassley was nominated by the Republicans to be President pro tempore of the United States Senate for the 116th United States Congress to replace the retiring Orrin Hatch.Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines ( (listen)) is the capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Iowa. It is also the county seat of Polk County. A small part of the city extends into Warren County. It was incorporated on September 22, 1851, as Fort Des Moines, which was shortened to "Des Moines" in 1857. It is on and named after the Des Moines River, which likely was adapted from the French colonial name, Rivière des Moines, meaning "River of the Monks". The city's population was 217,521 as of the 2017 population estimate. The five-county metropolitan area is ranked 89th in terms of population in the United States with 634,725 residents according to the 2016 estimate by the United States Census Bureau.Des Moines is a major center of the U.S. insurance industry, and has a sizable financial services and publishing business base. The city was credited as the "number one spot for U.S. insurance companies" in a Business Wire article and named the third-largest "insurance capital" of the world. The city is the headquarters for the Principal Financial Group, the Meredith Corporation, Ruan Transportation, EMC Insurance Companies, and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Other major corporations such as Wells Fargo, Voya Financial, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, ACE Limited, Marsh, Monsanto, and DuPont Pioneer have large operations in or near the metropolitan area. In recent years, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, and Facebook have built data-processing and logistical facilities in the Des Moines area. Forbes ranked Des Moines as the "Best Place for Business" in both 2010 and 2013. In 2014, NBC ranked Des Moines as the "Wealthiest City in America" according to its criteria.Des Moines is an important city in U.S. presidential politics; as the state's capital, it is the site of the first caucuses of the presidential primary cycle. Many presidential candidates set up campaign headquarters in Des Moines. A 2007 article in The New York Times said, "If you have any desire to witness presidential candidates in the most close-up and intimate of settings, there is arguably no better place to go than Des Moines."Iowa-class battleship
The Iowa-class battleships were a class of six fast battleships ordered by the United States Navy in 1939 and 1940. They were initially intended to intercept fast capital ships such as the Japanese Kongō class while also be capable of operating in a traditional battle line. The Iowa class was designed to meet the Second London Naval Treaty's "escalator clause" limit of 45,000-long-ton (45,700 t) standard displacement. Four vessels, Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri, and Wisconsin, were completed; two more, Illinois and Kentucky, were laid down but canceled in 1945 and 1958 respectively, and both hulls were scrapped in 1958–59.
The four Iowa-class ships were the last battleships commissioned in the US Navy. All older US battleships were decommissioned by 1947 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Registry (NVR) by 1963. Between the mid-1940s and the early 1990s, the Iowa-class battleships fought in four major US wars. In the Pacific Theater of World War II, they served primarily as fast escorts for Essex-class aircraft carriers of the Fast Carrier Task Force and also shelled Japanese positions. During the Korean War, the battleships provided naval gunfire support (NGFS) for United Nations forces, and in 1968, New Jersey shelled Viet Cong and Vietnam People's Army forces in the Vietnam War. All four were reactivated and modernized at the direction of Congress in 1981, and armed with missiles during the 1980s, as part of the 600-ship Navy initiative. During Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Missouri and Wisconsin fired missiles and 16-inch (406 mm) guns at Iraqi targets.
Costly to maintain, the battleships were decommissioned during the post-Cold War draw down in the early 1990s. All four were initially removed from the Naval Vessel Register, but the United States Congress compelled the Navy to reinstate two of them on the grounds that existing NGFS would be inadequate for amphibious operations. This resulted in a lengthy debate over whether battleships should have a role in the modern navy. Ultimately, all four ships were stricken from the Naval Vessel Register and released for donation to non-profit organizations. With the transfer of Iowa in 2012, all four are part of non-profit maritime museums across the US.Iowa City, Iowa
Iowa City is a city in Johnson County, Iowa, United States. It is the home of The University of Iowa and county seat of Johnson County, at the center of the Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population at 75,798 in 2017, making it the state's fifth-largest city. Iowa City is the county seat of Johnson County. The metropolitan area, which encompasses Johnson and Washington counties, has a population of over 171,000.
Iowa City was the second capital of the Iowa Territory and the first capital city of the State of Iowa. The Old Capitol building is a National Historic Landmark in the center of the University of Iowa campus. The University of Iowa Art Museum and Plum Grove, the home of the first Governor of Iowa, are also tourist attractions. In 2008, Forbes magazine named Iowa City the second-best small metropolitan area for doing business in the United States.Iowa Hawkeyes football
The Iowa Hawkeyes football team represents the University of Iowa in college football. The Hawkeyes compete in the West division of the Big Ten Conference. They have been a member of the Big Ten since 1900, and are currently a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) member of the NCAA. The Hawkeyes play their home games in Iowa City, Iowa at Kinnick Stadium, with a capacity of 69,250. The Hawkeyes are currently coached by Kirk Ferentz, who is in his 20th season as the head coach and is the longest current tenured head coach in NCAA Division I FBS.Iowa State University
Iowa State University of Science and Technology, generally referred to as Iowa State, is a public land-grant and space-grant research university located in Ames, Iowa, United States. It is the largest university in the state of Iowa and the third largest university in the Big 12 athletic conference. Iowa State is classified as a research university with "highest research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Iowa State is also a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), which consists of 60 leading research universities in North America.Founded in 1858 and coeducational from its start, Iowa State became the nation's first designated land-grant institution when the Iowa Legislature accepted the provisions of the 1862 Morrill Act on September 11, 1862, making Iowa the first state in the nation to do so.Iowa State's academic offerings are administered today through eight colleges, including the graduate college, that offer over 100 bachelor's degree programs, 112 master's degree programs, and 83 at the Ph.D. level, plus a professional degree program in Veterinary Medicine.Iowa State University's athletic teams, the Cyclones, compete in Division I of the NCAA and are a founding member of the Big 12 Conference. The Cyclones field 16 varsity teams and have won numerous NCAA national championships.Jason Momoa
Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa (born August 1, 1979) is an American actor, writer, film producer, director and model. He is known for portraying Aquaman in the DC Extended Universe, beginning with the 2016 superhero film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and on in the 2017 ensemble Justice League and his 2018 solo film Aquaman. He is also known for his television roles as Ronon Dex on the military science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis (2004–2009), Khal Drogo in the HBO fantasy television series Game of Thrones (2011–2012) and as Declan Harp in the Netflix series Frontier (2016–present).
Momoa portrayed the title character in the sword and sorcery film Conan the Barbarian (2011). Road to Paloma was Momoa's first film as director, writer, and producer. He also starred in the lead role in the film, released on July 11, 2014.John Wayne
Marion Mitchell Morrison (born Marion Robert Morrison; May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), known professionally as John Wayne and nicknamed "Duke", was an American actor and filmmaker. An Academy Award-winner for True Grit (1969), Wayne was among the top box office draws for three decades.Born in Winterset, Iowa, Wayne grew up in Southern California. He was president of Glendale High class of 1925. He found work at local film studios when he lost his football scholarship to the University of Southern California as a result of a bodysurfing accident. Initially working for the Fox Film Corporation, he appeared mostly in bit parts. His first leading role came in Raoul Walsh's Western The Big Trail (1930), an early widescreen film epic which was a box-office failure. Only leading roles in numerous B movies followed during the 1930s, most of them also Westerns.
Wayne's career was rejuvenated with John Ford's Stagecoach (1939) making him an instant mainstream star. He starred in 142 motion pictures altogether, including the dozens with his name above the title produced before 1939. Biographer Ronald Davis said, "John Wayne personified for millions the nation's frontier heritage. Eighty-three of his movies were Westerns, and in them he played cowboys, cavalrymen, and unconquerable loners extracted from the Republic's central creation myth."Wayne's other roles in Westerns include a cattleman driving his herd north on the Chisholm Trail in Red River (1948), a Civil War veteran whose young niece is abducted by a tribe of Comanches in The Searchers (1956), a troubled rancher competing with a lawyer (James Stewart) for a woman's hand in marriage in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), and a cantankerous one-eyed marshal in True Grit (1969). He is also remembered for his roles in The Quiet Man (1952), Rio Bravo (1959) with Dean Martin, and The Longest Day (1962). In his final screen performance, he starred as an aging gunfighter battling cancer in The Shootist (1976). He appeared with many important Hollywood stars of his era, and made his last public appearance at the Academy Awards ceremony on April 9, 1979.Kurt Warner
Kurtis Eugene Warner (born June 22, 1971) is a former American football quarterback. He played for three National Football League (NFL) teams: the St. Louis Rams, the New York Giants, and the Arizona Cardinals. He was originally signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 1994 after playing college football at Northern Iowa. Warner went on to be considered the best undrafted NFL player of all time, following a 12-year career regarded as one of the greatest stories in NFL history. Warner was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017, and is the only person inducted into both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Arena Football Hall of Fame.
Warner first attained stardom while playing for the St. Louis Rams from 1998 to 2003, where he won NFL MVP awards in 1999 and 2001 as well as the Super Bowl MVP award in Super Bowl XXXIV when he and the Rams beat the Tennessee Titans. He led the 2008 Arizona Cardinals to Super Bowl XLIII (the franchise's first Super Bowl berth), and owns three of the top five highest single-game passing yardage totals in Super Bowl history. Warner is one of only two quarterbacks to win the Super Bowl in their first season as a starter, the other being Tom Brady. Warner currently holds the tenth-highest career passer rating of all-time (93.7), and the fourth-highest career completion percentage in NFL history with 65.5%.In 13 career playoff games, Warner ranks 5th all-time in completion percentage (66.5%), 10th in yards per attempt (8.55), and 10th in passer rating (102.8). He announced his retirement after the conclusion of the 2009 season.Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the longest river of the United States and the chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows generally south for 2,320 miles (3,730 km) to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains. The main stem is entirely within the United States; the total drainage basin is 1,151,000 sq mi (2,980,000 km2), of which only about one percent is in Canada. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth-longest and fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.Native Americans have lived along the Mississippi River and its tributaries for thousands of years. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies. The arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers, then settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers. The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, New France, and the early United States, and then as a vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of the ideology of manifest destiny, the Mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States.
Formed from thick layers of the river's silt deposits, the Mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile regions of the United States; steamboats were widely used in the 19th and early 20th centuries to ship agricultural and industrial goods. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi's capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory, due to the river's strategic importance to the Confederate war effort. Because of substantial growth of cities and the larger ships and barges that replaced steamboats, the first decades of the 20th century saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees, locks and dams, often built in combination. A major focus of this work has been to prevent the lower Mississippi from shifting into the channel of the Atchafalaya River and bypassing New Orleans.
Since the 20th century, the Mississippi River has also experienced major pollution and environmental problems – most notably elevated nutrient and chemical levels from agricultural runoff, the primary contributor to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone.National Register of Historic Places listings in Iowa
This is a list of properties and historic districts in Iowa that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are listings in all of Iowa's 99 counties, adding up to over 2,200 total.
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted December 21, 2018.Slipknot (band)
Slipknot is an American heavy metal band from Des Moines, Iowa. The band was founded in 1995 by percussionist Shawn Crahan, drummer Joey Jordison and bassist Paul Gray. After several lineup changes in its early years, the band settled on nine members for more than a decade: Shawn Crahan, Joey Jordison, Paul Gray, Corey Taylor, Mick Thomson, Jim Root, Craig Jones, Sid Wilson, and Chris Fehn. Gray died on May 24, 2010, and was replaced during 2011–2014 by guitarist Donnie Steele. Jordison was fired from the band on December 12, 2013. Steele left during the recording sessions for .5: The Gray Chapter. The band found replacements in Alessandro Venturella on bass and Jay Weinberg on drums. After the departure of Jordison, as of December 2013 the only founding member in the current lineup is percussionist Crahan.
Slipknot is well known for its attention-grabbing image, aggressive style of music, and energetic and chaotic live shows. The band rapidly rose to success following the release of their eponymous debut album in 1999. The 2001 follow-up album, Iowa, although darker in tone, made the band more popular. After a brief hiatus, Slipknot returned in 2004 with Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), before going on another hiatus and returning in 2008 with its fourth album, All Hope Is Gone, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. After another long hiatus, Slipknot released its fifth studio album, .5: The Gray Chapter, in 2014. The band has released two live albums titled 9.0: Live and Day of the Gusano: Live in Mexico, a compilation album titled Antennas to Hell, and five live DVDs.Steve King
Steven Arnold King (born May 28, 1949) is an American politician and former businessman serving as a U.S. Representative from Iowa since 2003. A member of the Republican Party, he represented Iowa's 5th congressional district until 2013, when redistricting renumbered it the 4th. This district is in northwestern Iowa and includes Sioux City. He is the only Republican in Iowa's House delegation.
King is an opponent of immigration and multiculturalism, and has a long history of racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric and actions. King has spoken favorably of white supremacist ideas, specifically against Jews, African Americans, Latinos and immigrants in general, and has supported European right-wing populist and far-right politicians accused of racism and Islamophobia. For much of King's Congressional tenure, Republican Party politicians and officials were largely silent about his rhetoric, and frequently sought his endorsement and campaigned with him because of King's popularity with Iowa conservative voters. A short time before the 2018 election, the National Republican Congressional Committee withdrew funding for King's reelection campaign and its Chairman, Steve Stivers, condemned King's conduct. Following a January 2019 interview in which King questioned why terms such as "white nationalist" and "white supremacy" were considered offensive, the Republican Steering Committee removed King from all House committee assignments.The Anti-Defamation League, an organization founded to oppose antisemitism and other forms of bigotry, has denounced him and called for him to be censured. The Washington Post has described King as the "Congressman most openly affiliated with white nationalism."Terry Bradshaw
Terry Paxton Bradshaw (born September 2, 1948) is a former American football quarterback who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL). Since 1994, he has been a TV sports analyst and co-host of Fox NFL Sunday. Bradshaw is also an actor, having participated in many television shows and films, most notably starring in the movie Failure to Launch. He played for 14 seasons with Pittsburgh, won four Super Bowl titles in a six-year period (1974, 1975, 1978, and 1979), becoming the first quarterback to win three and four Super Bowls, and led the Steelers to eight AFC Central championships. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989, his first year of eligibility. Bradshaw was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
A tough competitor, Bradshaw is known for having one of the most powerful arms in NFL history. He also called his own plays throughout his football career. His physical skills and on-the-field leadership played a major role in the Pittsburgh Steelers' history. During his career, he passed for more than 300 yards in a game only seven times, but three of those performances came in the postseason, and two of those in Super Bowls. He played very well in the Super Bowl, and in four career Super Bowl appearances, he passed for 932 yards and 9 touchdowns, both Super Bowl records at the time of his retirement. In 19 post-season games, he completed 261 passes for 3,833 yards.USS Iowa (BB-61)
USS Iowa (BB-61) is a retired battleship, the lead ship of her class, and the fourth in the United States Navy to be named after the state of Iowa. Owing to the cancellation of the Montana-class battleships, Iowa is the last lead ship of any class of United States battleships and was the only ship of her class to have served in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II.
During World War II, she carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt across the Atlantic to Mers El Kébir, Algeria, en route to a meeting of vital importance in 1943 in Tehran with Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Britain and Josef Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union. When transferred to the Pacific Fleet in 1944, Iowa shelled beachheads at Kwajalein and Eniwetok in advance of Allied amphibious landings and screened aircraft carriers operating in the Marshall Islands. She also served as the Third Fleet flagship, flying Admiral William F. Halsey's flag at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. During the Korean War, Iowa was involved in raids on the North Korean coast, after which she was decommissioned into the United States Navy reserve fleets, better known as the "mothball fleet." She was reactivated in 1984 as part of the 600-ship Navy plan and operated in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets to counter the recently expanded Soviet Navy. In April 1989, an explosion of undetermined origin wrecked her No. 2 gun turret, killing 47 sailors.
Iowa was decommissioned for the last time in October 1990 after 19 total years of active service, and was initially stricken from the Naval Vessel Register (NVR) in 1995. She was reinstated from 1999 to 2006 to comply with federal laws that required retention and maintenance of two Iowa-class battleships. In 2011 Iowa was donated to the Los Angeles–based non-profit Pacific Battleship Center and was permanently moved to Berth 87 at the Port of Los Angeles in 2012, where she was opened to the public as the USS Iowa Museum.University of Iowa
The University of Iowa (also known as the UI, U of I, UIowa, or simply Iowa) is the flagship public research university of the state of Iowa. Its main campus is in Iowa City, Iowa. Founded in 1847, it is the oldest and the second largest university in the state. The University of Iowa is organized into 11 colleges offering more than 200 areas of study and seven professional degrees.Located on an urban 1,880 acre campus on the banks of the Iowa River, the University of Iowa is classified as a Doctoral University with Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classifications. The university is best known for its programs in health care, law, and the fine arts, with programs ranking among the top 25 nationally in those areas. The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the Stead Family Children's Hospital are ranked nationally by U.S. News and World Report in eleven specialties. The university was the original developer of the Master of Fine Arts degree and it operates the Iowa Writer's Workshop, which has produced 17 of the university's 46 Pulitzer Prize winners. Iowa is a member of the Association of American Universities, the Universities Research Association, and the Big Ten Academic Alliance.
Among American universities, the University of Iowa was the first public university to open as coeducational, opened the first coeducational medical school, opened the first Department of Religious Studies at a public university, and was the first university to officially recognize an LGBT student organization. The University of Iowa's 33,000 students take part in nearly 500 student organizations. Iowa's 22 varsity athletic teams, the Iowa Hawkeyes, compete in Division I of the NCAA and are members of the Big Ten Conference. The University of Iowa alumni network exceeds 250,000 graduates located around the globe.