Iowa Geography and Economy

Iowa Geography and Economy

Iowa. One of the states of the United States of America, located in the Central-West Region of the country. 92% of the state’s population is white, and the largest ethnic group in Iowa is Germans, who make up 35.7% of the state’s population. Its main sources of income are manufacturing, agriculture and tourism. It is the largest producer of soybeans and ethanol in the United States, and owns the largest pig herd in the country. The name of the state comes from the Iowa Native American people who inhabited the region. The first Europeans to explore the region that now constitutes the US state of Iowa were the French Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette in 1673, who described the region as green and fertile. The first white settlers settled in the region in June 1833. On December 28, 1846, Iowa became the 29th state in the Union. According to, Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Iowa.


According to Abbreviationfinder, Iowa borders Minnesota to the north, Nebraska to the west, South Dakota to the northwest, Missouri to the south, Wisconsin to the northeast, and Illinois to the east. The Mississippi River constitutes the eastern border of the state, and the Missouri River the western one. Iowa has 99 counties. The state capital, Des Moines, is located in Polk County.

There are several natural lakes in the state, the most important of which are Spirit Lakes, West Okoboji, and East Okoboji in northwestern Iowa. Man-made lakes include Lakes Odessa, Saylorville, Red Rock, Coralville, MacBride, and Rathbun.

The topography of the state is formed by plains with gentle undulations. Hills of loess are found along the western border of the state, some of which are several hundred feet deep. In the northeast, along the Mississippi River, is a section of the Driftless Zone, which in Iowa consists of low, rugged hills covered in a coniferous landscape — a landscape not generally associated with this state.

The lowest point is Keokuk in southeastern Iowa, at 146 m, and the highest point, at 509 m, is Hawkeye Point, located north of the city of Sibley, in northwestern Iowa.

The average elevation of the state is 335 m. Considering the size of the state (145,743 km²), there is very little elevation difference.

Iowa has the highest average radon concentrations in the nation due to significant glaciation that crushed the granitic rocks of the Canadian Shield and settled into soils, enriching Iowa’s farmlands.

Because of the large surface area of ​​rocky land, radon is released as a boiling gas from soils. Many cities in the state, such as Iowa City, have passed radon resistance requirements for the construction of all new homes.


Iowa’s gross domestic product was $ 103 billion in 2003. The state’s per capita income, meanwhile, was $ 28,340. Iowa’s unemployment rate was 4.1%.

The primary sector accounts for 4% of Iowa’s GDP. Together, agriculture and livestock account for 4% of Iowa’s GDP, and employ approximately 136,000 people. The effects of fishing and forestry are minor in the state’s economy. Iowa has about 94,000 farms, covering more than 90% of the state. Only Nebraska has a higher percentage in relation to the area of ​​the state covered by farms. Iowa is the largest corn producer in the United States, producing about one-fifth of the corn produced in the country. Iowa also has the largest pig herd in the country.

The state is also one of the largest soybean producers in the country. Iowa concentrates about a quarter of the American pig herd. Other important Iowa farm products are straw, oats, apples, legumes, and cattle.

The secondary sector accounts for 26% of GDP. The manufacturing industry contributes 22% of the state’s GDP and employs approximately 267 thousand people. The total value of products manufactured in the state is $ 31 billion. The main industrialized products manufactured in the state are industrially processed foods, machinery, chemical products, electrical equipment and transportation vehicles. Iowa is the largest ethanol producer in the country. The construction industry accounts for 4% of the state’s GDP, employing approximately 100,000 people. The effects of mining on the state’s economy are minor, employing about 3,000 people. The main natural mineral resource in the state is limestone.

The tertiary sector contributes 70% of GDP. Approximately 17% of the state’s GDP is generated through community and personal services. This sector employs about 535 thousand people. Wholesale and retail trade accounts for 16% of the state’s GDP, and employs approximately 420,000 people. Financial and real estate services account for about 16% of the state’s GDP, employing approximately 135 thousand people. Des Moines is the financial center of the state, and the second largest center for the insurance industry in the United States (behind only Hartford, Connecticut), and the third largest in the world (behind London and Hartford). 12% of Iowa’s GDP, employing approximately 254 thousand people Transportation, telecommunications and public utilities employ 92 thousand people, and they account for 9% of Iowa’s GDP. About 85% of the electricity generated in the state is produced in coal-fired or oil-fired thermoelectric plants. The only nuclear power plant in the state, the Duane Arnold Energy Center, produces 11%, and hydroelectric plants produce about 2%.

Iowa Geography and Economy

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