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Table of Contents
Iowa is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States, a region sometimes called the “American Heartland.”
See the fact file below for more information on Iowa, or you can download our 24-page Iowa worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The first recorded history of Iowa begins with the civilization of the Native Americans, which was written by two French explorers.
- In the summer of 1673, two French explorers named Louis Joliet and Father Jacques Marquette, along with their five crewmen, journeyed down the Mississippi River, passing through what is now Iowa.
- The Paleo-Indians, the earliest ancestors of Native Americans, are said to have been the first inhabitants of what is now known as the state of Iowa.
- They lived on ice-free land approximately 14,000 years ago, when the Des Moines Lobe was covered by ice caps.
- It is believed that the 1673 voyage was the first time Europeans traveled to the Iowa region. Following their survey of the area, the Frenchmen noted and described Iowa’s lands as lush, green, and fertile.
- Before 1673, however, the area had long been home to a large number of Native Americans. Approximately 17 different Indian tribes, such as the Ioway, Sauk, Meskwaki, Sioux, Potawatomi, Oto, and Missouri, lived here at various times.
- By 1830, the Potawatomi, Oto, and Missouri Indians had sold their land to the Federal Government, while the Sauk and Meskwaki remained in Iowa until 1845.
- The Sauk and Meskwaki are said to have been the largest and most powerful tribes in the Upper Mississippi Valley. They only stayed in their main villages for a few months out of the year.
- They would travel across western Illinois and eastern Iowa at times, hunting, fishing, and gathering food and materials to build household items. They would also travel north into Minnesota every spring to tap maple trees and make maple syrup.
- By December 28, 1846, Iowa officially became the 29th state to join the Union. Iowa, as a Midwestern state, connects the forests of the east with the grasslands of the high prairie plains to the west.
- Iowa is a state in the Midwest of the United States with a total area of 145,743.8 square miles (234,551 km).
- Iowa is the 26th largest and 30th most highly populated state in the United States.
- Des Moines, Iowa’s capital, is the largest and most populous city in the state. It is located in the state’s south-central region, at the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers.
- During the most recent Ice Age, glaciers covered most of central and northern Iowa.
- As the ice masses melted, they left an imprint on the land as a result. The Des Moines Lobe, a large expanse of fertile land in north-central Iowa, was once covered by an extension of the Wisconsin Glacier and is a very flat area with a few gently rolling hills scattered about.
- Iowa is bound on the east by six different states and on the west by the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers.
- The majority of the state’s topography consists of rolling hills, with some steep hills and valleys in some areas due to previous glaciations.
- Iowa also has a large number of natural lakes. Spirit Lake, West Okoboji Lake, and East Okoboji Lake are the largest.
- The most recent official population figures for Iowa totaled 3,196,911+ people in 2022.
- Because Iowa’s vast expanses are flat and areas are mostly used for farmland and such, the population rate is extremely low. With a land area of 56,272 square miles (145,743 square kilometers), it is the 26th largest state in the country in terms of land mass.
- Iowa’s median age is 38 years old and the gender breakdown is roughly 50.3% female and 49.7%, male. In terms of religion, Iowa demonstrates its general preferences with 77% Christian-based faith, 1% non-Christian-based faith, and 21% identifying as non-affiliated with any religion.
- With a predominantly white population, Iowa has been regarded as one of the least diverse states. Iowa is one of 10 states with a white population that exceeds 90%. In contrast, the state’s Hispanic population has increased significantly.
- The Hispanic population increased by more than 110% between 2000 and 2014, and future growth is expected to continue, with the state approaching 500,000 Hispanic residents by 2050.
- Following the expansion of the railroads across the United States, Iowa became an agricultural state for the remainder of the 1800s and into the 1900s.
- However, following World War II and the Great Depression, Iowa’s economy began to deteriorate, and the Farm Crisis caused a downturn in the state in the 1980s.
- After the state’s economy hit rock bottom in the 1980s, Iowa gradually became more reliant on agriculture.
- There is still a good balance of financial and insurance services, government programs, manufacturing, and biotechnology, which has allowed Iowa’s population to grow faster than the rest of the country. Moreover, the state of Iowa is also known as the “Food Capital of the World.”
- Because of Iowa’s fertile soil, grain production, particularly corn production, is an important part of the state’s economy. Hay and oats are also important crops in the state. Iowa uses corn to feed livestock, so cattle and pig production are important economic drivers.
- In 1997, Iowa led the nation in corn, soybeans, hogs, and pig production, and was among the top 10 states in cattle production. Today, Iowa has the second highest farm income in the United States.
- Iowa is widely regarded as the birthplace of the American high school movement and remains one of the top educational performers today.
- Secondary schools, as we know them today, first appeared in the state around 1910, which was unusual at the time.
- As the high school movement gained traction and spread beyond Iowa, it became clear that more time spent in school resulted in higher profitability for the state.
- Every local school district in Iowa is required to provide a comprehensive education for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
- All residents of the state are entitled to free public education until the age of 21, and state law requires all children aged 6 to 16 to attend school either in their assigned “resident” district, through open enrollment in another district or through private instruction (homeschooling).
- Iowan culture has been built almost entirely on a foundation of agriculture. The first settlers arrived in the 1830s to farm, and farming is still the state’s main economic driver. Aside from a few urban pockets in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa is a vast rolling farmland state.
- The landscape is dominated by small rural towns populated by friendly Midwest people.
- Iowa has vibrant cultural scenes in both large and small towns. Throughout the year, from Des Moines and Cedar Rapids to Pella and Okoboji, there are opportunities to visit art galleries, music venues, museums, and multicultural heritage festivals.
- Iowa’s vibrant communities are filled with art, music, fervent sports fan bases, and farm-to-table dining, creating an environment that combines the best of big city living and small-town comfort.
- When Iowans are not working, they enjoy spending their free time outdoors fishing, hunting, boating, and biking. This is a state that loves its land because it is essential for both work and recreation.
Iowa State Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Iowa across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching kids about Iowa, a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States, a region sometimes called the “American Heartland.”
Complete List of Included Worksheets
Below is a list of all the worksheets included in this document.
- Iowa Facts
- Iowa Summarized
- State Knowledge
- Beautiful Iowa
- Faces of Iowa
- The 31st President
- Power of the Wind
- Greetings from Iowa!
- The Anthem
- Iowa Today
- Travel E-Brochure
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Link will appear as Iowa Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, March 2, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.