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In colonial times, Iowa was a part of French Louisiana and Spanish Louisiana; its state flag is patterned after the flag of France. After the Louisiana Purchase, people laid the foundation for an agriculture-based economy in the heart of the Corn Belt.
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Iowa is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States, bordered by the Mississippi River on the east and the Missouri River and the Big Sioux River on the west. Surrounding states include Wisconsin to the northeast, Illinois to the east, Missouri to the south, Nebraska to the west, South Dakota to the northwest, and Minnesota to the north.
In the latter half of the 20th century, Iowa’s agricultural economy made the transition to a diversified economy of advanced manufacturing, processing, financial services, information technology, biotechnology, and green energy production.] Iowa is the 26th most extensive in land area and the 30th most populous of the 50 United States. Its capital and largest city by population is Des Moines. Iowa has been listed as one of the safest states in which to live. Its nickname is the Hawkeye State.
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Iowa’s primary highway system makes up 9,000 miles of roadway within the state. These 9,000 miles make up the 10 Interstate Highways, 20 U.S. Highways, and nearly 100 state highways found partly or entirely in the state lines. The longest highway in Iowa is U.S. Route 30 at 332 miles. US 30 runs east-west through the state, beginning in the west crossing into the state through Blair, Nebraska and ending in the east crossing into Fulton, Illinois. The second longest route in the state is state highway Iowa 3 at 326.163 miles, beginning at the South Dakota state line in Westfield and crossing the state into Dubuque at the Indiana state line. Interstate 80 is the longest Interstate Highway in the state, running 306.286 miles from the Nebraska state line over the Missouri river and traveling east until reaching the Mississippi River and entering Illinois. The shortest highway in the state is Interstate 129 at only 0.286 miles, existing entirely within Sioux City.