Iowa is another state located in the Midwestern United States similar to Illinois and Indiana that we have talked before. Iowa borders Minnesota to the north, Wisconsin to the northeast, Illinois to the east and southeast, Missouri to the south, Nebraska to the west, and South Dakota to the northwest. Iowa became the 29th state of the United States on December 28, 1846. What are some interesting facts about Iowa? In this article, we will talk about 10 interesting facts about Iowa, the Hawkeye State.
1. Iowa was a Part of French Louisiana and Spanish Louisiana
Iowa was a part of French Louisiana and Spanish Louisiana during the 18th and early 19th centuries. The state flag of Iowa is patterned after the flag of France. The United States acquired the territory of Louisiana, that including what is now Iowa state, from French First Republic in 1803 through Louisiana Purchase.
2. The State’s Capital, Most Populous City, and Largest Metropolitan Area of Iowa is Des Moines
Des Moines is the state capital of Iowa. It’s also the most populous city in Iowa. The Des Moines Metropolitan Area consists of six counties in central Iowa. It was incorporated as Fort Des Moines on September 22, 1851 but shortened to “Des Moines” in 1857. It’s named after the Des Moines River, that likely came from the French name Rivière des Moines that means “River of the Monks”.
3. Des Moines is a Major Center of the US Insurance Industry
Des Moines is a major center of the US insurance industry. The city was named the third-largest “insurance capital” of the world. Des Moines is home to many insurance companies, including the Principal Financial Group, EMC Insurance Group, Fidelity & Guaranty Life, Allied Insurance, GuideOne Insurance, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa, FBL Financial Group, and American Republic Insurance Company.
4. Iowa is the Nation’s Largest Producer of Ethanol and Corn
Iowa is the largest producer of Corn in the United States. In 2018, Iowa produces 19% of corns in the United States from its around 92,600 farms. From of its a third of corn, Iowa also becomes the largest Ethanol producer of the United States. For some years, we can also find that Iowa is also the largest grower of Soybeans.
5. Hawkeye Point is the Highest Natural Point in Iowa
The highest natural point in Iowa is Hawkeye point at 1,670 feet (510 m). Hawkeye point is located in Osceola County, approximately 4.5 miles (7.2 km) north of Sibley and 3.5 miles (5.6 km) south of the Iowa-Minnesota state border.
6. Iowa 80 is the World’s Largest Truck Stop
Iowa 80 is located along Interstate 80 off exit 284 near Walcott, Iowa. Iowa 80 is the world’s largest truck stop with 220-acre (89 ha) plot of land. Iowa 80 is three times larger than an average 75 acres (30 ha) truckstop and receives 5000 visitors daily.
7. Iowa is the State with the Highest Percentage of Electricity Generated by Wind
In 2019, 42% of electrical energy produced in Iowa is generated by Wind power. The generating capacity installed at the end of 2019 is over 10,201 megawatts. In wind generating capacity, Iowa ranked second among US States only behind Texas.
8. Eastern Goldfinch is the Official State Bird of Iowa
In 1933, Eastern Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) was designated as the official state bird of Iowa. Eastern Goldfinch, also called American goldfinch, is small migratory bird that can be found from southern Canada to Colorado, and east to the Carolinas during summer and from southern Canada south to Florida and central Mexico during winter.
9. Prairie rose is the Official State Flower of Iowa
Prairie Rose (Rosa pratincola), also called wild prairie rose, is the official state flower Iowa that was designated in 1897. Besides the official state flower of Iowa, Prairie rose is also the official state flower of North Dakota. The prairie rose is a rose species that is native to a large area of central North America. It can be found between the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains.
10. The Oak Tree is the Official State Tree of Iowa
The Oak tree, especially Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa), is the official state tree of Iowa that was designated in 1961. Oak tree is also the national tree of the United States. Oak tree from various species is also the official state tree of few other states in the United States.
For sure, there are more interesting facts about Iowa that are not mentioned in this article. It’s a good idea if you can share more interesting facts about Iowa that you know with us here.