Iowa (IA)


Iowa was admitted to the union on December 28, 1846 as the 29th state. As a Midwestern state, Iowa forms a bridge between the forests of the east and the grasslands of the high prairie plains of the west.

The gently rolling landscape rises slowly as it extends westward from the Mississippi River, which forms the entire eastern border. The Missouri River and tributary, the Big Sioux, form the western border, making Iowa the only U.S. state with two parallel rivers defining its borders.

Iowa is bordered by the states of Minnesota to the north, Wisconsin and Illinois to the east, Missouri to the south, and Nebraska and South Dakota to the west. Des Moines, in the south-central part of the state, is the capital.

The state name is derived from the Iowa Native American people who once inhabited the area.


Iowa is a Midwestern state located in the Great Plains region of the United States. It is bordered by Minnesota to the north, Wisconsin and Illinois to the east, Missouri to the south, and South Dakota and Nebraska to the west. The eastern two-thirds of Iowa are generally part of the Central Lowlands physiographic region while the western third is part of the Great Plains.

The majority of Iowa lies within a humid continental climate zone with cold winters, hot summers, and abundant rainfall throughout the year. The average annual temperature for Iowa is 49°F (9°C). The state experiences four distinct seasons with temperatures ranging from -13°F (-25°C) in winter to 93°F (34°C) in summer.

The landscape of Iowa consists primarily of flat plains interspersed with rolling hills and low bluffs along its many rivers. The northern border of Iowa is formed by two major rivers: the Mississippi River on its western side, and the Des Moines River on its eastern side. These rivers provide a rich source for agricultural production as well as recreational activities such as fishing and boating.

The highest point in Iowa is Hawkeye Point at 1,670 feet (509 meters) above sea level located in Osceola County near Sibley. The lowest point in Iowa is at 480 feet (146 meters) above sea level located near Keokuk along the Mississippi River.

Iowa’s topography includes numerous natural features including prairies, wetlands, woodlands, limestone bluffs along its rivers, lakes and reservoirs created by dams on some larger rivers such as Lake Red Rock near Knoxville or Lake Rathbun near Moravia or Lake MacBride near Solon; caves like Maquoketa Caves State Park; scenic waterfalls like Dunnings Spring Falls near Cascade; and rocky outcrops like Pikes Peak State Park near McGregor or Effigy Mounds National Monument near Harpers Ferry.

Overall, Iowa’s geography consists mostly of wide open spaces with rolling hills that make up its agricultural heartland filled with rich soils ideal for farming crops like corn and soybeans that are staples for livestock feed throughout America’s Midwest region.

Cities in Iowa

Below are the top 15 cities by population in Iowa. For all cities and towns in the state, please see Iowa cities list.

Iowa is a beautiful state filled with vibrant cities and towns. From the bustling metropolis of Des Moines to the smaller city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa has something for everyone. Des Moines is the state capital and largest city in Iowa, with a population of over 218,000. It has a wide variety of cultural activities, ranging from art galleries and museums to live music and sports events. The city is also home to several universities, including Drake University and Grandview University. Cedar Rapids is another popular destination in Iowa; it’s known as the “City of Five Seasons” because it enjoys four distinct seasons each year. It’s also home to several large employers such as Rockwell Collins and Quaker Oats Company, as well as numerous restaurants and shopping centers. Davenport is another great city in Iowa; it’s located along the Mississippi River and offers plenty of outdoor activities, such as fishing, boating, hiking, biking, golfing, and more. The city also has several universities such as St. Ambrose University and Palmer College of Chiropractic. Lastly, Sioux City is located in northwest Iowa along the Missouri River; it’s known for its vibrant art scene with galleries featuring local artists from all over the Midwest region. Sioux City also boasts some great shopping options with stores like Macy’s at Southern Hills Mall or Walmart Supercenter at Hamilton Boulevard Shopping Center. No matter what you’re looking for in an Iowa city – culture or outdoor activities – you’re sure to find something that fits your needs!

Rank City Population
1 Des Moines 213,545
2 Cedar Rapids 136,512
3 Davenport 101,725
4 Sioux City 85,081
5 Iowa City 74,240
6 Waterloo 67,695
7 West Des Moines 67,640
8 Ankeny 66,346
9 Ames 65,522
10 Council Bluffs 62,617
11 Dubuque 59,379
12 Urbandale 45,037
13 Marion 41,023
14 Cedar Falls 40,500
15 Bettendorf 38,631

Counties in Iowa

The State of Iowa consists of 99 counties. They are:

  1. Adair County, Iowa
  2. Adams County, Iowa
  3. Allamakee County, Iowa
  4. Appanoose County, Iowa
  5. Audubon County, Iowa
  6. Benton County, Iowa
  7. Black Hawk County, Iowa
  8. Boone County, Iowa
  9. Bremer County, Iowa
  10. Buchanan County, Iowa
  11. Buena Vista County, Iowa
  12. Butler County, Iowa
  13. Calhoun County, Iowa
  14. Carroll County, Iowa
  15. Cass County, Iowa
  16. Cedar County, Iowa
  17. Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
  18. Cherokee County, Iowa
  19. Chickasaw County, Iowa
  20. Clarke County, Iowa
  21. Clay County, Iowa
  22. Clayton County, Iowa
  23. Clinton County, Iowa
  24. Crawford County, Iowa
  25. Dallas County, Iowa
  26. Davis County, Iowa
  27. Decatur County, Iowa
  28. Delaware County, Iowa
  29. Des Moines County, Iowa
  30. Dickinson County, Iowa
  31. Dubuque County, Iowa
  32. Emmet County, Iowa
  33. Fayette County, Iowa
  34. Floyd County, Iowa
  35. Franklin County, Iowa
  36. Fremont County, Iowa
  37. Greene County, Iowa
  38. Grundy County, Iowa
  39. Guthrie County, Iowa
  40. Hamilton County, Iowa
  41. Hancock County, Iowa
  42. Hardin County, Iowa
  43. Harrison County, Iowa
  44. Henry County, Iowa
  45. Howard County, Iowa
  46. Humboldt County, Iowa
  47. Ida County, Iowa
  48. Iowa County, Iowa
  49. Jackson County, Iowa
  50. Jasper County, Iowa
  51. Jefferson County, Iowa
  52. Johnson County, Iowa
  53. Jones County, Iowa
  54. Keokuk County, Iowa
  55. Kossuth County, Iowa
  56. Lee County, Iowa
  57. Linn County, Iowa
  58. Louisa County, Iowa
  59. Lucas County, Iowa
  60. Lyon County, Iowa
  61. Madison County, Iowa
  62. Mahaska County, Iowa
  63. Marion County, Iowa
  64. Marshall County, Iowa
  65. Mills County, Iowa
  66. Mitchell County, Iowa
  67. Monona County, Iowa
  68. Monroe County, Iowa
  69. Montgomery County, Iowa
  70. Muscatine County, Iowa
  71. O’Brien County, Iowa
  72. Osceola County, Iowa
  73. Page County, Iowa
  74. Palo Alto County, Iowa
  75. Plymouth County, Iowa
  76. Pocahontas County, Iowa
  77. Polk County, Iowa
  78. Pottawattamie County, Iowa
  79. Poweshiek County, Iowa
  80. Ringgold County, Iowa
  81. Sac County, Iowa
  82. Scott County, Iowa
  83. Shelby County, Iowa
  84. Sioux County, Iowa
  85. Story County, Iowa
  86. Tama County, Iowa
  87. Taylor County, Iowa
  88. Union County, Iowa
  89. Van Buren County, Iowa
  90. Wapello County, Iowa
  91. Warren County, Iowa
  92. Washington County, Iowa
  93. Wayne County, Iowa
  94. Webster County, Iowa
  95. Winnebago County, Iowa
  96. Winneshiek County, Iowa
  97. Woodbury County, Iowa
  98. Worth County, Iowa
  99. Wright County, Iowa