The Show Me State

Where is it?

State Flag




Geographic coordinates:
36°N to 40°35'N
89°6'W to 95°42'W
total: 69,709 sq mi
land: 68,898 sq mi
water: 811 sq mi
coastline: N/A
shoreline: N/A
Bordering States:
Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: 230 ft
highest point: Taum Sauk Mountain 1,772 ft
The Mississippi and Missouri rivers are the two large rivers which flow through this state. North of the Missouri River lie the Northern Plains that stretch into Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. Here, gentle rolling hills remain behind from a glacier that once had extended from the north to the Missouri River.

Little Dixie is an area of Missouri that lies along the northern side of the Missouri River. The area is so named because of its settlement by people from the American South, also called "Dixie." It was settled before and following the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

The Ozark plateau begins south of the Missouri river and extends into Arkansas, southeast Kansas, and northeast Oklahoma. Springfield in southwestern Missouri lies on the Ozark plateau. Southern Missouri is the home of the Ozark Mountains, a dissected plateau surrounding the Precambrian igneous St. Francois Mountains. It is in the Ozarks that a distinct dialect, often compared to that of residents in certain areas of Kentucky and Tennessee, still exists.

The southeastern part of the state is home to the Bootheel, part of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain or Mississippi embayment. This region is the lowest, flattest and wettest part of the state, and among the poorest. It is also the most fertile. Cotton and rice production are prominent in this area. The Bootheel area was the location of the epicenter of the New Madrid Earthquake of 1811–1812.

Although now generally considered part of the Midwest, Missouri was once thought of as Southern, the institution of slavery in the state contributing in no small part to this. For example, Mark Twain, who grew up in Hannibal, in Life on the Mississippi described his upbringing as in "the South". Nonetheless, residents of the state's large metropolitan areas, including those where most of the state's population resides (St. Louis, Columbia, Kansas City) consider themselves Midwestern; rural areas and cities farther south (Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff, Springfield, and Sikeston) consider themselves more Southern.




6,063,589 (2014)
Largest City:
Kansas City: 459,787 (2010)
Age structure:
0-5 years old: 6.5%
<18 years old: 24.1%
65 years and over: 13.3%
Male: 48.8% Female: 51.2%
Population growth rate:
3.6% (2000-2005)
Population density:
80.27 per sq mi
Race(2000 Census):
White non-Hispanic: 83.1%
Hispanic: 2.6%
Black: 11.5%
Asian: 1.3%
Native American: 0.5%
Multi-Race: 1.3%
Christian: 77%
Other: 2%
Non-Religious: 15%
No Response: 6%




Originally part of the Louisiana Purchase, Missouri was admitted as a state in 1821 as part of the Missouri Compromise. It earned the nickname "Gateway to the West" because it served as a departure point for settlers heading to the west. It was the starting point and the return destination of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. During the Civil War, Missouri, a slave state, seceded from the Union, on October 31, 1861 by "An act declaring the political ties heretofore existing between the State of Missouri and the United States of America dissolved;" and joined the Confederate States of America the same day by enactment of "An act ratifying the Constitution of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America." Missouri's request for admission in the Confederate States of America was ratified by the Confederate Congress on November 26, 1861 in proceeding were recorded in the Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865 [Volume I] on pages 479-483. Sentiment was split with a portion of the populace supporting the Union. Union and Confederate forces fought in Missouri throughout the Civil War. As a result of Union successes the in the Civil War, the State of Missouri formed a government in exile in Marshall, Texas in 1863 under Governor Reynolds who replaced Governor Claiborne F. Jackson following his death in exile in Arkansas. In 1865 rather than surrendering to Union forces, Major General Sterling Price, Missouri's highest ranking military officer led his army to Mexico where he became leader of a colony of Confederate exiles at Carlota in the state of Veracruz. Missouri, however rejoined the union.




Jefferson City
August 10, 1821 (24th State)
State Tree:
Flowering Dogwood
State Bird:
State Flower:
The current constitution of Missouri, the fourth constitution for the state, was adopted in 1945 and provides for three branches of government, the legislative, judicial and executive branches. The legislative branch consists of two bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate. These bodies comprise the General Assembly of the State of Missouri. The House of Representatives has 163 members that are apportioned based on the last decennial census. The Senate consists of 34 members from districts divided such that the population of each district is approximately equal. The Judicial department consists of a supreme court consisting of 7 judges. Superior and inferior courts are also provided. The executive branch is headed by the governor.

Although neither major party has traditionally been dominant in Missouri, the Republican Party has been gaining strength in recent years. Missouri has a longer stretch of supporting the winning presidential candidate than any other state, having chosen with the nation in every election since 1904 with the exception of Adlai Stevenson in 1956. In 2004, George W. Bush won the state's 11 electoral votes by a margin of 7 percentage points with 53.3% of the vote. Missouri has a very notable urban-rural split, as Democrat John Kerry only won four of the state's 115 counties—St Louis City, St Louis County, Ste Genevieve, and Jackson County. Missouri has previously been considered a Democratic state, with its most prominent Democrat being Harry S. Truman. However, since the late 1970s the state has trended to Republicans.




The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Missouri's total state product in 2003 was $195 billion. Per capita personal income in 2003 was $29,464, 27th in the nation. Major industries include aerospace, transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, printing/publishing, electrical equipment, light manufacturing, and beer.

The agriculture products of the state are beef, soybeans, pork, dairy products, hay, corn, poultry, and eggs. Missouri is ranked 6th in the nation for the production of hogs and 7th for cattle. Missouri is ranked in the top 5 states in the nation for production of soy beans. As of 2001, there were 108,000 farms, the second largest number in any state after Texas. Missouri also actively promotes its quickly-growing wine industry.

Missouri has vast quantities of limestone. Other resources mined are lead, coal, Portland cement and crushed stone. Missouri produces the most lead of all of the states in the Union with most of these mines in the central eastern portion of the state. Missouri also ranks first or near first among the production of lime.

Tourism, services and wholesale/retail trade follow manufacturing in importance.