Iowa State Overview

State of Iowa general data

  • Time zone: 7 hours less than Italy
  • Capital: Monks
  • Main towns: Cedar Rapids, Davenport, DubuqueIowa City, Sioux City, Waterloo.
  • Area: 145.744 km²
  • Population: 3,100,000 inhabitants approximately.
  • Population density: 21,2 residents / km²
  • State abbreviation: IA
  • Entry into the United States: It joins the United States on December 28, 1846, it is the 29th state to join the union.

According to, Iowa is part of the Central Plain region, an area between the Appalachian Mountains and the Great Plains. The state is mostly occupied by a fertile prairie, with the highest elevation in the north, 509m, bordering the state of Minnesota, and the lowest point in the southeast. The region comprising the state of Iowa during the Pleistocene was subjected to the effects of four glaciations. Therefore, glaciations and interglacial periods, (which began 1.6 million years ago, and ended approximately ten thousand years ago), shaped the soil of this territory, and caused the course of the main rivers to change. The north-central region of Iowa, covered by the last ice age, it is a relatively more undulating area than the rest of the state. The southern section of the state is a region of low hills.

In general, Iowa rivers that flow southwest are tributaries of the Missouri River, and those that flow southeast flow into the Mississippi. The longest river in Iowa is the Des Moines which runs 800km up to the Mississippi. Other important waterways are the Turkey River, the Wapsipinicon; Iowa and its tributaries, Cedar and Skunk. The major rivers of the Missouri Basin are: the Floyd, the Little Sioux, the Boyer, and the Nishnabotna. As for natural lakes, most are concentrated in the northwest Iowa region, and are Spirit, West Okoboji, Storm, and Clear Lakes. The Rathbun and the Red Rock are the largest artificial lakes.

Flora and fauna – The forests, which are found mainly in the hilly south-east, occupy less than 10,000 km2. The fauna includes white deer, birds and small wild animals that have adapted to agricultural settlements. Instead, buffaloes, pumas and other large mammals have disappeared.

The climate – The springs are humid and its summers hot. Winters are cold, with temperatures often below -15 ° C, while in summer, it sometimes reaches 35 ° C. In the capital, the average temperature in January is -6 ° C and in July 24 ° C. Precipitation in the form of snow is common during the winter months. Average annual rainfall is 660 mm in the north-west and 910 mm in the south-east, with much more frequent thunderstorms in June than in the winter months, due to the effect of tropical wetlands from the Gulf of Mexico.

Des Moines

According to, Des Moines is the capital of Iowa and the seat of Polk County. The city is located in the central part of the state, at the confluence of the Des Moines River with the Raccoon River. Largest city in Iowa, Des Moines is the state’s commercial, manufacturing, and transportation hub. The main products include: agricultural machinery, processed food, and tires. Numerous insurance companies have headquarters or offices in the Des Moines metropolitan area, making the region one of the nation’s leading insurance industry centers. The city is served by the Des Moines Municipal Airport.

One of the main museums in the city is the Des Moines Art Center (1948), designed by the Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, and to which two pavilions were added, one in 1968, designed by Leoh Ming Pei, and the other in 1985. Other museums are the Science Center of Iowa, and the Polk County Heritage Gallery. The Sherman Hill Historic District includes many historic buildings, including Salisbury House (1923-1928), a replica of the Royal House of Salisbury in England, and Terrace Hill, a Victorian mansion (1867-1869), now the residence of the governor of Iowa. The Iowa State Fair, born in 1878, is an annual Des Moines event.

According to, Fort Des Moines fort was built at the confluence of the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers by the federal government in the year 1843. Two years later, numerous white settlers settled in the region around the fort and, in 1851, the community took the name of Fort Des Moines. After the union of the cities of East Des Moines and Fort Des Moines under the name of Des Moines (1857), the city became the capital of the state. Its name derives from the homonymous river. Perhaps this name, Des Moines, comes from the Indian name of the river or from the French moyen (‘middle’) for its location between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.

Useful numbers from Des Moines

Number per emergenze 911


Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines

1111 6th Ave

Des Moines, IA 50314 TEL. (515) 247-3121


Dsm Police Union

Des Moines, IA 50310 TEL.(515) 334-7423

City Data

Inhabitants – approximately 210,000

Area – 200 sq km

Prefix 515

Iowa State Overview