Missouri
Overview
 
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

, bordered by Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

, Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

, Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

 and Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It comprises 114 counties and the independent city
Independent city
An independent city is a city that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity. These type of cities should not be confused with city-states , which are fully sovereign cities that are not part of any other sovereign state.-Historical precursors:In the Holy Roman Empire,...

 of St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

. The four largest urban areas are St.
Encyclopedia
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

, bordered by Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

, Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

, Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

 and Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It comprises 114 counties and the independent city
Independent city
An independent city is a city that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity. These type of cities should not be confused with city-states , which are fully sovereign cities that are not part of any other sovereign state.-Historical precursors:In the Holy Roman Empire,...

 of St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

. The four largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City
Kansas City Metropolitan Area
The Kansas City Metropolitan Area is a fifteen-county metropolitan area that is anchored by Kansas City, Missouri and is bisected by the border between the states of Missouri and Kansas. As of the 2010 Census, the metropolitan area has a population of 2,035,334. The metropolitan area is the...

, Springfield
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

, and Columbia
Columbia, Missouri
Columbia is the fifth-largest city in Missouri, and the largest city in Mid-Missouri. With a population of 108,500 as of the 2010 Census, it is the principal municipality of the Columbia Metropolitan Area, a region of 164,283 residents. The city serves as the county seat of Boone County and as the...

.
Missouri's capital is Jefferson City
Jefferson City, Missouri
Jefferson City is the capital of the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Cole County. Located in Callaway and Cole counties, it is the principal city of the Jefferson City metropolitan area, which encompasses the entirety of both counties. As of the 2010 census, the population was 43,079...

. The land that is now Missouri was acquired from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

 and became known as the Missouri Territory
Missouri Territory
The Territory of Missouri was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from June 4, 1812 until August 10, 1821, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Missouri.-History:...

. Part of the Territory was admitted into the union as the 24th state on August 10, 1821.

Missouri mirrors the demographic, economic and political makeup of the nation (in general) with a mix of urban and rural culture. It has long been considered a political bellwether state
Missouri bellwether
The Missouri bellwether is a political phenomenon that notes that the state of Missouri voted for the winner in all but two U.S. Presidential election since 1904 . While states like Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, and New Mexico have been arguably stronger indicators of political trends in recent years,...

. With the exceptions of 1956
United States presidential election, 1956
The United States presidential election of 1956 saw a popular Dwight D. Eisenhower successfully run for re-election. The 1956 election was a rematch of 1952, as Eisenhower's opponent in 1956 was Democrat Adlai Stevenson, whom Eisenhower had defeated four years earlier.Incumbent President Eisenhower...

 and 2008
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

, Missouri's results in U.S. presidential elections have accurately predicted the next President of the United States in every election since 1904
United States presidential election, 1904
The United States presidential election of 1904 held on November 8, 1904, resulted in the election to a full term for President Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt had succeeded to the presidency upon the assassination of William McKinley. The Republican Party unanimously nominated him for president at...

. It has both Midwestern and Southern
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 cultural influences, reflecting its history as a border state
Border states (Civil War)
In the context of the American Civil War, the border states were slave states that did not declare their secession from the United States before April 1861...

. It is also a transition between the Eastern and Western United States, as St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

 is often called the "western-most Eastern city" and Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

 the "eastern-most Western city." Missouri's geography is highly varied. The northern part of the state lies in dissected till plains
Dissected Till Plains
The Dissected Till Plains are physiographic sections of the Central Lowlands province, which in turn is part of the Interior Plains physiographic division of the United States, located in southern and western Iowa, northeastern Kansas, the southwestern corner of Minnesota, northern Missouri,...

 while the southern part lies in the Ozark Mountains (a dissected plateau
Dissected plateau
A dissected plateau is a plateau area that has been severely eroded so that the relief is sharp. Such an area may be referred to as mountainous, but dissected plateaus are distinguishable from orogenic mountain belts by the lack of folding, metamorphism, extensive faulting, or magmatic activity...

), with the Missouri River
Missouri River
The Missouri River flows through the central United States, and is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It is the longest river in North America and drains the third largest area, though only the thirteenth largest by discharge. The Missouri's watershed encompasses most of the American Great...

 dividing the two. The confluence
Confluence
Confluence, in geography, describes the meeting of two or more bodies of water.Confluence may also refer to:* Confluence , a property of term rewriting systems...

 of the Mississippi
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 and Missouri Rivers is located near St. Louis. The starting points of the Pony Express Trail and Oregon Trail
Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail is a historic east-west wagon route that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon and locations in between.After 1840 steam-powered riverboats and steamboats traversing up and down the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri rivers sped settlement and development in the flat...

 were both in Missouri. The mean center of United States population as of the 2010 Census is at the town of Plato
Plato, Missouri
Plato is an incorporated village in northwestern Texas County, Missouri, United States. It is located about twenty miles northwest of Houston, Missouri and ten miles south of Fort Leonard Wood on Route 32. Plato had an estimated population of 1,430 in 2000....

 in Texas County, Missouri
Texas County, Missouri
Texas County is a county located in South Central Missouri in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the county's population was 26,008. It's county seat is Houston. The county was organized in 1843 as Ashley County, changing its name in 1845 to Texas, after the Republic of Texas. The 2010 U.S...

.

Etymology

The state is named for the Missouri River
Missouri River
The Missouri River flows through the central United States, and is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It is the longest river in North America and drains the third largest area, though only the thirteenth largest by discharge. The Missouri's watershed encompasses most of the American Great...

, which was named after the Siouan-language tribe. They were called the ouemessourita (wimihsoorita), meaning "those who have dugout canoe
Canoe
A canoe or Canadian canoe is a small narrow boat, typically human-powered, though it may also be powered by sails or small electric or gas motors. Canoes are usually pointed at both bow and stern and are normally open on top, but can be decked over A canoe (North American English) or Canadian...

s", by the Miami-Illinois language speakers. The Illini were the first natives encountered by Europeans in the region and they adopted the name of the Missouri from them.

Geography

Missouri borders eight different states, as does its neighbor, Tennessee. No state in the U.S. touches more than eight states. Missouri is bounded on the north by Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

; on the east, across the Mississippi River, by Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

, and Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

; on the south by Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

; and on the west by Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, and Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

 (the last across the Missouri River). The two largest Missouri rivers are the Mississippi
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

, which defines the eastern boundary of the state, and the Missouri River
Missouri River
The Missouri River flows through the central United States, and is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It is the longest river in North America and drains the third largest area, though only the thirteenth largest by discharge. The Missouri's watershed encompasses most of the American Great...

, which flows from west to east through the state, essentially connecting the two largest metros, Kansas City and St. Louis.

Although today the state is usually considered part of the Midwest, historically Missouri was considered by many to be a Southern state, chiefly because of the settlement of migrants from the South and its status as a slave state before the Civil War. The counties that made up "Little Dixie
Little Dixie (Missouri)
Little Dixie is a 13- to 17-county region of Missouri found along the Missouri River, settled primarily by migrants from the hemp and tobacco districts of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee. Today, the region identifies with the Midwest, but because of Southerners settling there first, the...

" were those along the Missouri River in the center of the state, settled by Southern migrants who held the greatest concentration of slaves.

Residents of cities and rural areas farther north and of the state's large metropolitan areas, where most of the state's population resides (Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

, St. Louis, and Columbia
Columbia, Missouri
Columbia is the fifth-largest city in Missouri, and the largest city in Mid-Missouri. With a population of 108,500 as of the 2010 Census, it is the principal municipality of the Columbia Metropolitan Area, a region of 164,283 residents. The city serves as the county seat of Boone County and as the...

), typically consider themselves Midwestern.

In 2005, Missouri received 16,695,000 visitors to its national parks and other recreational areas totaling 202000 acres (817.5 km²), giving it $7.41 mil. in annual revenues, 26.6% of its operating expenditures.

Topography

North of, and in some cases just south of, the Missouri River
Missouri River
The Missouri River flows through the central United States, and is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It is the longest river in North America and drains the third largest area, though only the thirteenth largest by discharge. The Missouri's watershed encompasses most of the American Great...

 lie the Northern Plains that stretch into Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

, Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

, and Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

. Here, gentle rolling hills remain from the glaciation that once extended from the Canadian Shield to the Missouri River. Missouri has many large river bluffs along the Mississippi
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

, Missouri
Missouri River
The Missouri River flows through the central United States, and is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It is the longest river in North America and drains the third largest area, though only the thirteenth largest by discharge. The Missouri's watershed encompasses most of the American Great...

, and Meramec Rivers. Southern Missouri rises to the Ozark Mountains, a dissected plateau
Dissected plateau
A dissected plateau is a plateau area that has been severely eroded so that the relief is sharp. Such an area may be referred to as mountainous, but dissected plateaus are distinguishable from orogenic mountain belts by the lack of folding, metamorphism, extensive faulting, or magmatic activity...

 surrounding the Precambrian
Precambrian
The Precambrian is the name which describes the large span of time in Earth's history before the current Phanerozoic Eon, and is a Supereon divided into several eons of the geologic time scale...

 igneous St. Francois Mountains. This region also hosts karst topography
Karst topography
Karst topography is a geologic formation shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone or dolomite, but has also been documented for weathering resistant rocks like quartzite given the right conditions.Due to subterranean drainage, there...

 characterized by high limestone content with the formation of sinkholes and caves.
The southeastern part of the state is the Bootheel
Bootheel
The Missouri Bootheel is the southeasternmost part of the state of Missouri, extending south of 36°30’ north latitude, so called because its shape in relation to the rest of the state resembles the heel of a boot. Strictly speaking, it is composed of the counties of Dunklin, New Madrid, and Pemiscot...

 region, part of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain or Mississippi embayment
Mississippi embayment
The Mississippi Embayment is a physiographic feature in the south-central United States, part of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. It is essentially a northward continuation of the fluvial sediments of the Mississippi River Delta to its confluence with the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois. The embayment...

. This region is the lowest, flattest, and wettest part of the state. It is also among the poorest, as the economy is mostly agricultural. It is also the most fertile, with cotton and rice crops predominant. The Bootheel was the epicenter of the four New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811–1812.

Climate

Missouri generally has a humid continental climate
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 (Koppen climate classification Dfa) with cold winters and hot and humid summers. In the southern part of the state, particularly in the Bootheel, the climate borders on a humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa). Located in the interior United States, Missouri often experiences extremes in temperatures. Without high mountains or oceans nearby to moderate temperature, its climate is alternately influenced by air from the cold Arctic and the hot and humid Gulf of Mexico. Missouri's highest recorded temperature is 118 °F (47.8 °C) at Warsaw
Warsaw, Missouri
Warsaw is a city located in Benton County, Missouri. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 2,070. It is the county seat of Benton County. As of 2005, its estimated population was 2,268.-State and U.S. records:...

 and Union
Union, Missouri
Union is a city in and the county seat of Franklin County, Missouri, United States. The population was 10,204 at the 2010 census making Union the fastest growing community in Franklin County, Missouri. It is located on the Bourbeuse River. The city was founded in 1827 and is named after the...

 on July 14, 1954 while the lowest recorded temperature is -40 F also at Warsaw on February 13, 1905.

Missouri also receives extreme weather in the form of thunderstorms and powerful tornadoes. The most recent EF5
Enhanced Fujita Scale
The Enhanced Fujita Scale rates the strength of tornadoes in the United States based on the damage they cause.Implemented in place of the Fujita scale introduced in 1971 by Ted Fujita, it began operational use on February 1, 2007. The scale has the same basic design as the original Fujita scale:...

 tornado in the state to cause damage and casualties was the 2011 Joplin tornado
2011 Joplin tornado
The 2011 Joplin tornado was a devastating EF5 multiple-vortex tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, USA late in the afternoon of Sunday, May 22, 2011. It was part of a larger late-May tornado outbreak sequence and reached a maximum width of in excess of during its path through the southern part of...

, which destroyed roughly 1/3 of the city of Joplin
Joplin, Missouri
Joplin is a city in southern Jasper County and northern Newton County in the southwestern corner of the US state of Missouri. Joplin is the largest city in Jasper County, though it is not the county seat. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 50,150...

. The tornado caused an estimated $1–3 billion dollars in damages, killed 159 (+1 non-tornadic), and injured over 1,000 people. The tornado was the first EF5 to hit the state since 1957. The tornado was the deadliest in the U.S. since 1947, making it the 7th deadliest tornado in American history, but the 27th deadliest in the world.
Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures For Various Missouri Cities
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Columbia 37/18 44/23 55/33 66/43 75/53 84/62 89/66 87/64 79/55 68/44 53/33 42/22
Kansas City 36/18 43/23 54/33 65/44 75/54 84/63 89/68 87/66 79/57 68/46 52/33 40/22
Springfield 42/22 48/26 58/35 68/44 76/53 85/62 90/67 90/66 81/57 71/46 56/35 46/26
St. Louis 38/21 45/26 55/36 66/47 77/57 86/66 91/71 88/69 81/61 69/49 54/38 42/27

History

Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 inhabited Missouri for thousands of years before European exploration and settlement. Archaeological
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 excavations along the rivers have shown continuous habitation for more than 7,000 years. Beginning before 1000 CE
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

, there arose the complex Mississippian culture
Mississippian culture
The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American culture that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1500 CE, varying regionally....

, whose people created regional political centers at present-day St. Louis and across the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 at Cahokia
Cahokia
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is the area of an ancient indigenous city located in the American Bottom floodplain, between East Saint Louis and Collinsville in south-western Illinois, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri. The site included 120 human-built earthwork mounds...

, near present-day Collinsville, Illinois
Collinsville, Illinois
Collinsville is a city located mainly in Madison County, and partially in St. Clair County, both in Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 26,016. Collinsville is approximately 12 miles from St. Louis, Missouri and is considered part of that city's Metro-East area...

. Their large cities included thousands of individual residences, but they are known for their surviving massive earthwork mounds
Earthworks (archaeology)
In archaeology, earthwork is a general term to describe artificial changes in land level. Earthworks are often known colloquially as 'lumps and bumps'. Earthworks can themselves be archaeological features or they can show features beneath the surface...

, built for religious, political and social reasons, in platform
Platform (geology)
In geology, a platform is a continental area covered by relatively flat or gently tilted, mainly sedimentary strata, which overlie a basement of consolidated igneous or metamorphic rocks of an earlier deformation...

, ridgetop and conical
Cone (geometry)
A cone is an n-dimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a base to a point called the apex or vertex. Formally, it is the solid figure formed by the locus of all straight line segments that join the apex to the base...

 shapes. Cahokia was the center of a regional trading network that reached from the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 to the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

. The civilization declined by 1400 CE, and most descendants left the area long before the arrival of Europeans. St. Louis was at one time known as Mound City by the European Americans, because of the numerous surviving prehistoric mounds, since lost to urban development. The Mississippian culture left mounds throughout the middle Mississippi and Ohio river valleys, extending into the southeast as well as the upper river.

The first European settlers were mostly ethnic French Canadian
French Canadian
French Canadian or Francophone Canadian, , generally refers to the descendents of French colonists who arrived in New France in the 17th and 18th centuries...

s, who created their first settlement in Missouri at present-day Ste. Genevieve
Ste. Genevieve, Missouri
Ste. Genevieve is a city in and the county seat of Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri, United States. The population was 11,654 at the 2000 census...

, about an hour south of St. Louis. They had migrated about 1750 from the Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 Country. They came from colonial villages on the east side of the Mississippi River, where soils were becoming exhausted and there was insufficient river bottom land for the growing population. Ste. Genevieve became a thriving agricultural center, producing enough surplus wheat, corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

 and tobacco to ship tons of grain annually downriver to Lower Louisiana for trade. Grain production in the Illinois Country was critical to the survival of Lower Louisiana and especially the city of New Orleans.

St. Louis was founded soon after by French from New Orleans. It became the center of a regional fur trade
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

 with Native American tribes that extended up the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, which dominated the regional economy for decades. Trading partners of major firms shipped their furs from St. Louis by river down to New Orleans for export to Europe. They provided a variety of goods to traders for sale and trade with their Native American clients. The fur trade and associated businesses made St. Louis an early financial center and provided the wealth for some to build fine houses and import luxury goods. Its location near the confluence of the Illinois River meant it also handled produce from the agricultural areas. River traffic and trade along the Mississippi were integral to the state's economy, and as the area's first major city, St. Louis expanded greatly after the invention of the steamboat
Steamboat
A steamboat or steamship, sometimes called a steamer, is a ship in which the primary method of propulsion is steam power, typically driving propellers or paddlewheels...

 and the increased river trade.

Part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

 by the United States, Missouri earned the nickname "Gateway to the West" because it served as a major departure point for expeditions and settlers heading to the West in the 19th century. St. Charles, just west of St. Louis, was the starting point and the return destination of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Lewis and Clark Expedition
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, or ″Corps of Discovery Expedition" was the first transcontinental expedition to the Pacific Coast by the United States. Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson and led by two Virginia-born veterans of Indian wars in the Ohio Valley, Meriwether Lewis and William...

, which departed up the Missouri River in 1804 to explore the western territories to the Pacific Ocean. St. Louis was a major supply point for decades for parties of settlers heading west.
As many of the early American settlers in western Missouri migrated from the Upper South, they brought enslaved African Americans for labor, and a desire to continue their culture and the institution of slavery. They settled predominantly in 17 counties along the Missouri River, in an area of flatlands that enabled plantation agriculture and became known as "Little Dixie
Little Dixie (Missouri)
Little Dixie is a 13- to 17-county region of Missouri found along the Missouri River, settled primarily by migrants from the hemp and tobacco districts of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee. Today, the region identifies with the Midwest, but because of Southerners settling there first, the...

". In 1821 the territory was admitted as a slave state in 1821 as part of the Missouri Compromise
Missouri Compromise
The Missouri Compromise was an agreement passed in 1820 between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States Congress, involving primarily the regulation of slavery in the western territories. It prohibited slavery in the former Louisiana Territory north of the parallel 36°30'...

 with a temporary state capitol in St. Charles. In 1826 the capital was shifted to its permanent location of Jefferson City, also on the Missouri.

The state was rocked by the 1812 New Madrid earthquake. Casualties were light due to the sparse population.

Originally the state's western border was a straight line, defined as the meridian passing through the Kawsmouth, the point where the Kansas River
Kansas River
The Kansas River is a river in northeastern Kansas in the United States. It is the southwestern-most part of the Missouri River drainage, which is in turn the northwestern-most portion of the extensive Mississippi River drainage. Its name come from the Kanza people who once inhabited the area...

 enters the Missouri River. The river has moved since this designation. This line is known as the Osage Boundary. In 1835 the Platte Purchase
Platte Purchase
The Platte Purchase was a land acquisition in 1836 by the United States government from Native American tribes all of which was east bank lands along the Missouri River that added to the northwest corner of the state of Missouri. The area acquired is almost as large as the states of Delaware and...

 was added to the northwest corner of the state after purchase of the land from the native tribes, making the Missouri River the border north of the Kansas River. This addition increased the land area of what was already the largest state in the Union at the time (about 66500 square miles (172,234.2 km²) to Virginia's 65,000 square miles (which then included West Virginia).

In the early 1830s, Mormon
Mormon
The term Mormon most commonly denotes an adherent, practitioner, follower, or constituent of Mormonism, which is the largest branch of the Latter Day Saint movement in restorationist Christianity...

 migrants from northern states and Canada began settling near Independence and areas just north of there. Conflicts over religion and slavery arose between the 'old settlers' (mainly from the South) and the Mormons (mainly from the North). The Mormon War erupted in 1838. By 1839, with the help of an "Extermination Order" by Governor Lilburn Boggs
Lilburn Boggs
Lilburn Williams Boggs was the sixth Governor of Missouri from 1836 to 1840. He is now most widely remembered for his interactions with Joseph Smith and Porter Rockwell, and Missouri Executive Order 44, known by Mormons as the "Extermination Order", issued in response to the ongoing conflict...

, the old settlers forcefully expelled the Mormons from Missouri and confiscated their lands.

Conflicts over slavery exacerbated border tensions among the states and territories. In 1838–1839 a border dispute with Iowa over the so-called Honey Lands
Honey Lands
The Honey War was a bloodless territorial dispute in the 1830s between Iowa and Missouri over their border....

 resulted in both states' calling up militias along the border.

With increasing migration, from the 1830s to the 1860s Missouri's population almost doubled with every decade. Most of the newcomers were American-born, but many Irish and German immigrants arrived in the late 1840s and 1850s. As they were mostly Catholic, they mostly set up their own religious institutions in the state, which had been mostly Protestant. Having fled famine and oppression in Ireland, and revolutionary upheaval in Germany, the immigrants were not sympathetic to slavery. Many settled in cities, where they created a regional and then state network of Catholic churches and schools. Nineteenth-century German immigrants created the wine industry along the Missouri River and the beer industry in St. Louis.

Most Missouri farmers practiced subsistence farming before the Civil War. The majority of those who held slaves had fewer than 5 each. Planters
Planters
Planters is an American snack food company, a division of Kraft Foods, best known for its processed nuts and for the Mr. Peanut icon that symbolizes them. Mr. Peanut was created by grade schooler Antonio Gentile for a 1916 contest to design the company's brand icon...

, defined by historians as those holding 20 or more slaves, were concentrated in the counties known as "Little Dixie", in the central part of the state along the Missouri River. The tensions over slavery had chiefly to do with the future of the state and nation. In 1860 enslaved African Americans made up less than 10% of the state's population of 1,182,012. To try to control regular flooding of farmland and low-lying villages along the Mississippi, by 1860 the state had completed construction of 140 miles (225.3 km) of levees along the river.

American Civil War

After the secession of Southern states began in 1861, the Missouri legislature called for the election of a special convention on secession. The convention voted decisively to remain within the Union. Pro-Southern Governor Claiborne F. Jackson ordered the mobilization of several hundred members of the state militia who had gathered in a camp in St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

 for training. Alarmed at this action, Union General Nathaniel Lyon
Nathaniel Lyon
Nathaniel Lyon was the first Union general to be killed in the American Civil War and is noted for his actions in the state of Missouri at the beginning of the conflict....

 struck first, encircling the camp and forcing the state troops to surrender. Lyon directed his soldiers, largely non-English-speaking German immigrants, to march the prisoners through the streets, and they opened fire on the largely hostile crowds of civilians who gathered around them. Soldiers killed unarmed prisoners as well as men, women and children of St. Louis in the incident that became known as the "St. Louis Massacre
St. Louis massacre
The Camp Jackson Affair was an incident of civil unrest in the American Civil War on May 10, 1861, when Union military forces clashed with civilians on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri, resulting in the deaths of at least 28 people and injuries to another 100...

".

These events heightened Confederate
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 support within the state. Governor Jackson appointed Sterling Price
Sterling Price
Sterling Price was a lawyer, planter, and politician from the U.S. state of Missouri, who served as the 11th Governor of the state from 1853 to 1857. He also served as a United States Army brigadier general during the Mexican-American War, and a Confederate Army major general in the American Civil...

, president of the convention on secession, as head of the new Missouri State Guard
Missouri State Guard
The Missouri State Guard was a state militia organized in the state of Missouri during the early days of the American Civil War. While not initially a formal part of the Confederate States Army, the State Guard fought alongside Confederate troops and, at times, under regular Confederate...

. In the face of Union General Lyon's rapid advance through the state, Jackson and Price were forced to flee the capital of Jefferson City on June 14, 1861. In the town of Neosho, Missouri
Neosho, Missouri
Neosho is the most populous city in and the county seat of Newton County, Missouri, United States. Neosho is an integral part of the Joplin, Missouri Metropolitan Statistical Area....

, Jackson called the state legislature into session. They enacted a secession ordinance. However, even under the Southern view of secession, only the state convention had the sole power to secede. Since the convention was dominated by unionists, and the state was more pro-Union than pro-Confederate in any event, the ordinance of secession adopted by the legislature is generally given little credence. The Confederacy nonetheless recognized it on October 30, 1861.

With the elected governor absent from the capital and the legislators largely dispersed, the state convention was reassembled with most of its members present, save 20 that fled south with Jackson's forces. The convention declared all offices vacant, and installed Hamilton Gamble as the new governor of Missouri. President Lincoln's administration immediately recognized Gamble's government as the legal Missouri government. The federal government's decision enabled raising pro-Union militia forces for service within the state as well as volunteer regiments for the Union Army.

Fighting ensued between Union forces and a combined army of General Price's Missouri State Guard and Confederate troops from Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

 and Texas under General Ben McCulloch. After winning victories at the battle of Wilson's Creek
Battle of Wilson's Creek
The Battle of Wilson's Creek, also known as the Battle of Oak Hills, was fought on August 10, 1861, near Springfield, Missouri, between Union forces and the Missouri State Guard, early in the American Civil War. It was the first major battle of the war west of the Mississippi River and is sometimes...

 and the siege of Lexington, Missouri
Lexington, Missouri
Lexington is a city in Lafayette County, Missouri, United States. The population was 4,453 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Lafayette County. Located in western Missouri, Lexington lies about 40 miles east of Kansas City and is part of the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area...

 and suffering losses elsewhere, the Confederate forces retreated to Arkansas and later Marshall, Texas
Marshall, Texas
Marshall is a city in Harrison County in the northeastern corner of Texas. Marshall is a major cultural and educational center in East Texas and the tri-state area. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Marshall was about 23,523...

, in the face of a largely reinforced Union Army.

Though regular Confederate troops staged some large-scale raids into Missouri, the fighting in the state for the next three years consisted chiefly of guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

. "Citizen soldiers" or insurgents such as Colonel William Quantrill
William Quantrill
William Clarke Quantrill was a Confederate guerrilla leader during the American Civil War. After leading a Confederate bushwhacker unit along the Missouri-Kansas border in the early 1860s, which included the infamous raid and sacking of Lawrence, Kansas in 1863, Quantrill eventually ended up in...

, Frank
Frank James
Alexander Franklin "Frank" James was a famous American outlaw. He was the older brother of outlaw Jesse James.-Childhood:...

 and Jesse James, the Younger brothers
James-Younger gang
The James-Younger Gang was a notable 19th-century gang of American outlaws that included Jesse James.The gang was centered in the state of Missouri. Membership fluctuated from robbery to robbery, as the outlaws' raids were usually separated by many months...

, and William T. Anderson
William T. Anderson
William T. "Bloody Bill" Anderson was a pro-Confederate guerrilla leader in the American Civil War.Anderson was known for his brutality towards Union soldiers, and pro Union partisans, who were called Jayhawkers. Anderson participated in Quantrill's raid on Lawrence, Kansas on August 21, 1863...

 made use of quick, small-unit tactics. Pioneered by the Missouri Partisan Rangers, such insurgencies also arose in portions of the Confederacy occupied by the Union during the Civil War. Recently historians have assessed the James brothers' outlaw years as continuing guerrilla warfare after the official war was over. The activities of the 'Bald Knobbers' of south-central Missouri in the 1880s has also been seen as an unofficial continuation of insurgent hostilities long after the official end of the war.

20th century to present

In 1930, there was a diphtheria
Diphtheria
Diphtheria is an upper respiratory tract illness caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae, a facultative anaerobic, Gram-positive bacterium. It is characterized by sore throat, low fever, and an adherent membrane on the tonsils, pharynx, and/or nasal cavity...

 epidemic in the area around Springfield, which killed approximately 100 people. Serum was rushed to the area, and medical personnel stopped the epidemic.

During the mid-1950s and 1960s, St. Louis and Kansas City suffered deindustrialization and loss of jobs in railroads and manufacturing, as did other Midwestern industrial cities. In 1956 St. Charles was the site of the first interstate
Interstate Highway System
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, , is a network of limited-access roads including freeways, highways, and expressways forming part of the National Highway System of the United States of America...

 highway project. Such highway construction made it easy for middle-class residents to leave the city for newer housing developed in the suburbs, often former farmland where land was available at lower prices. These major cities have gone through decades of readjustment to develop different economies and adjust to demographic changes. Suburban areas have developed separate job markets, both in knowledge industries and services, such as major retail malls.

Demographics

According to the 2010 Census, Missouri had a population of 5,988,927; an increase of 392,369 (7.0 percent) since the year 2000. From 2000 to 2007, this includes a natural increase of 137,564 people since the last census (480,763 births less 343,199 deaths), and an increase of 88,088 people due to net migration
Human migration
Human migration is physical movement by humans from one area to another, sometimes over long distances or in large groups. Historically this movement was nomadic, often causing significant conflict with the indigenous population and their displacement or cultural assimilation. Only a few nomadic...

 into the state. Immigration
Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

 from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 50,450 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 37,638 people. Over half of Missourians (3,294,936 people, or 55.0%) live within the state's two largest metropolitan areas–-St. Louis and Kansas City
Missouri census statistical areas
The United States Census Bureau has defined 3 Combined Statistical Areas , 8 Metropolitan Statistical Areas , and 20 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in the State of Missouri...

. The state's population density 86.9 in 2009, is also closer to the national average (86.8 in 2009) than any other state.

The U.S. Census of 2000 found that the population center of the United States is in Phelps County, Missouri
Phelps County, Missouri
Phelps County is a county located in south-central Missouri in the United States.According to the U.S. Census Bureau, it includes the mean center of U.S. population in 2000. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the county's population was 39,825. A 2008 estimate, however, showed the population to be 42,205....

. The center of population
Center of population
In demographics, the center of population of a region is a geographical point that describes a centerpoint of the region's population...

 of Missouri itself is located in Osage County
Osage County, Missouri
Osage County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. The county was named for the Osage River. As of 2000, the population was 13,062. Its county seat is Linn. The center of population of Missouri is located in Osage County, in the city of Westphalia .Osage County is part of the...

, in the city of Westphalia
Westphalia, Missouri
Westphalia is a city in Osage County, Missouri, United States. The population was 320 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Jefferson City, Missouri Metropolitan Statistical Area....

.

As of 2004, the population included 194,000 foreign-born (3.4 percent of the state population).

The five largest ancestry groups in Missouri are: German
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

 (27.4 percent), Irish
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 (14.8 percent), English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 (10.2 percent), American (8.5 percent) and French
French American
French Americans or Franco-Americans are Americans of French or French Canadian descent. About 11.8 million U.S. residents are of this descent, and about 1.6 million speak French at home.An additional 450,000 U.S...

 (3.7 percent). "American" includes some of those reported as Native American or African American, but also European Americans whose ancestors have lived in the United States for a considerable time.

German Americans are an ancestry group present throughout Missouri. African Americans are a substantial part of the population in St. Louis, Kansas City, and in the southeastern Bootheel and some parts of the Missouri River Valley, where plantation agriculture was once important. Missouri Creoles
Creole peoples
The term Creole and its cognates in other languages — such as crioulo, criollo, créole, kriolu, criol, kreyol, kreol, kriulo, kriol, krio, etc. — have been applied to people in different countries and epochs, with rather different meanings...

 of French ancestry are concentrated in the Mississippi River Valley south of St. Louis (see Missouri French
Missouri French
Missouri French is a nearly extinct variety of the French language formerly spoken in the upper Mississippi River Valley in the Midwestern United States, particularly in eastern Missouri. Once spoken widely across the region known as the Illinois Country or Upper Louisiana, the dialect is now...

). Kansas City is home to large and growing immigrant communities from Latin America esp. Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Africa (i.e. Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, Somalia and Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

), and Southeast Asia including China and the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

; and Eastern Europe like the former Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 (see Bosnian American
Bosnian American
Bosnian Americans are Americans whose ancestry can be traced to Bosnia and Herzegovina. A large majority of Bosnian Americans emigrated to the United States during and after the Bosnian war which lasted from 1992-1995. History of Bosnian arrivals to the United States, however, dates back to as far...

). A notable Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 Indian population exists in Southern Missouri.

In 2004, 6.6 percent of the state's population was reported as younger than 5 years old, 25.5 percent younger than 18, and 13.5 percent was 65 or older. Females were approximately 51.4 percent of the population. 81.3 percent of Missouri residents were high school graduates (more than the national average), and 21.6 percent had a bachelor's degree or higher. 3.4 percent of Missourians were foreign-born, and 5.1 percent reported speaking a language other than English at home.

In 2000, there were 2,194,594 households in Missouri, with 2.48 people per household. The homeownership rate was 70.3 percent, and the mean value of an owner-occupied dwelling was $89,900. The median household income for 1999 was $37,934, or $19,936 per capita. There were 11.7 percent (637,891) Missourians living below the poverty line in 1999.

The mean commute time to work was 23.8 minutes.

Language

The majority of people in Missouri speak English. Approximately 5.1 percent of the population reported speaking a language other than English at home. The Spanish language is spoken in small Latino communities in the St. Louis and Kansas City Metro areas.

Missouri is home to an endangered dialect of the French language known as Missouri French
Missouri French
Missouri French is a nearly extinct variety of the French language formerly spoken in the upper Mississippi River Valley in the Midwestern United States, particularly in eastern Missouri. Once spoken widely across the region known as the Illinois Country or Upper Louisiana, the dialect is now...

. Speakers of the dialect, who call themselves Creole
Creole peoples
The term Creole and its cognates in other languages — such as crioulo, criollo, créole, kriolu, criol, kreyol, kreol, kriulo, kriol, krio, etc. — have been applied to people in different countries and epochs, with rather different meanings...

s
, are descendants of the French pioneers who settled the area then known as the Illinois Country
Illinois Country
The Illinois Country , also known as Upper Louisiana, was a region in what is now the Midwestern United States that was explored and settled by the French during the 17th and 18th centuries. The terms referred to the entire Upper Mississippi River watershed, though settlement was concentrated in...

 beginning in the late 17th century. It developed in isolation from French speakers in Canada and Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, becoming quite distinct from the varieties of Canadian French
Canadian French
Canadian French is an umbrella term referring to the varieties of French spoken in Canada. French is the mother tongue of nearly seven million Canadians, a figure constituting roughly 22% of the national population. At the federal level it has co-official status alongside English...

 and Louisiana Creole French
Louisiana Creole French
Louisiana Creole is a French Creole language spoken by the Louisiana Creole people of the state of Louisiana. The language consists of elements of French, Spanish, African, and Native American roots.-Geography:...

. Once widely spoken throughout the area, Missouri French is now nearly extinct, with only a few elderly speakers able to use it.

Religion

Of those Missourians who identify with a religion, three out of five are Protestants. There is also a moderate-sized Roman Catholic community in some parts of the state; approximately one out of five Missourians are Roman Catholic. Areas with large Catholic communities include St. Louis, Jefferson City, Westplex
Westplex
Westplex is an area within St. Charles County in east-central Missouri to the west of St. Louis County.The Westplex is part of St. Charles County that used to be called “The Golden Triangle”. The “Triangle” was formed by I-70 across the top, Missouri Route 94 to the east, and I-64 to the west. With...

, and the Missouri Rhineland
Missouri Rhineland
The Missouri Rhineland is a geographical area of Missouri that extends from west of St. Louis to slightly east of Jefferson City, located mostly in the Missouri River Valley on both sides of the river...

 (particularly that south of the Missouri River). The St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas also have important Jewish communities who have contributed much to the culture and charities of the cities; more recently, those same areas have Indian and Pakistani immigrants, who have created Hindu and Muslim congregations as well.

The religious affiliations of the people of Missouri according to the American Religious Identification Survey:
  • Christian – 77%
    • Anglican
      Anglicanism
      Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

       – 4%
      • Episcopal – 4%
    • Protestant
      Protestantism
      Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

       – 45% (Combined)
      • Baptist
        Baptist
        Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

         – 22%
      • Methodist
        Methodism
        Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

         – 7%
      • Lutheran
        Lutheranism
        Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

         – 4%
      • Other Protestant – 12%
    • Roman Catholic
      Roman Catholicism in the United States
      The Catholic Church in the United States is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, the Christian Church in full communion with the Pope. With more than 68.5 registered million members, it is the largest single religious denomination in the United States, comprising about 22 percent of the population...

       – 19%
    • Latter Day-Saint
      Latter Day Saint movement
      The Latter Day Saint movement is a group of independent churches tracing their origin to a Christian primitivist movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in the late 1820s. Collectively, these churches have over 14 million members...

       – 1%*
    • Other or unspecified Christian – 8%
  • Other religions – 2%
  • Not religious – 15%
  • No answer – 5%


The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church with 856,964; the Southern Baptist Convention
Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

 with 797,732; and the United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

 with 226,578.

Several religious organizations have headquarters in Missouri, including the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod is a traditional, confessional Lutheran denomination in the United States. With 2.3 million members, it is both the eighth largest Protestant denomination and the second-largest Lutheran body in the U.S. after the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Synod...

, which has its headquarters in Kirkwood
Kirkwood, Missouri
Kirkwood is an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis, located in St. Louis County, Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 27,540. Founded in 1853, the city is named for James Pugh Kirkwood, builder of the Pacific Railroad through that town. It was the first planned suburb located west...

, as well as the United Pentecostal Church International
United Pentecostal Church International
The United Pentecostal Church International is a Pentecostal Christian denomination, headquartered in the St. Louis suburb of Hazelwood, Missouri. It is a part of the Oneness or "Apostolic" portion of the Pentecostal Movement, and was formed in 1945 by a merger of the former Pentecostal Church,...

 in Hazelwood, both outside St. Louis. Independence
Independence, Missouri
Independence is the fourth largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri, and is contained within the counties of Jackson and Clay. It is part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area...

, near Kansas City, is the headquarters for the Community of Christ
Community of Christ
The Community of Christ, known from 1872 to 2001 as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints , is an American-based international Christian church established in April 1830 that claims as its mission "to proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace"...

 (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), and the group Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
The Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement. The president of the church is Frederick Niels Larsen, a direct descendant of Joseph Smith, Jr....

. This area and other parts of Missouri are also of significant religious and historical importance to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), which maintains several sites/visitors centers, and whose members make up about 1 percent, or 62,217 members, of Missouri's population. Springfield
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

 is the headquarters of the Assemblies of God and the Baptist Bible Fellowship International
Baptist Bible Fellowship International
The Baptist Bible Fellowship International is a separatist, fundamentalist Baptist organization formed in 1950 by members who separated from the World Baptist Fellowship. It is headquartered in Springfield, Missouri...

. The General Association of General Baptists
General Association of General Baptists
General Association of General Baptists - a group of Baptists holding the general atonement , located mostly in the midwestern United States....

 has its headquarters in Poplar Bluff
Poplar Bluff, Missouri
Poplar Bluff is a city in Butler County located in Southeast Missouri in the United States. It is the county seat of Butler County and is known as "The Gateway to the Ozarks" among other names. As of the 2000 U.S...

. The Pentecostal Church of God
Pentecostal Church of God
The Pentecostal Church of God is a trinitarian Pentecostal Christian denomination headquartered in Joplin, Missouri, United States. As of 2006, there were 117,000 members and 2,870 clergy in 1,170 churches in the United States. Sixty churches and missions exist among the Native Americans...

 is headquartered in Joplin
Joplin, Missouri
Joplin is a city in southern Jasper County and northern Newton County in the southwestern corner of the US state of Missouri. Joplin is the largest city in Jasper County, though it is not the county seat. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 50,150...

. The Unity Church
Unity Church
Unity, known informally as Unity Church, is a religious movement within the wider New Thought movement and is best known to many through its Daily Word devotional publication...

 is headquartered in Unity Village
Unity Village, Missouri
Unity Village is a village in Jackson County, Missouri, United States. The population was 140 at the 2000 census. The village is the world headquarters of Unity, which has over 2 million followers.-Geography:...

.

Economy

The Bureau of Economic Analysis
Bureau of Economic Analysis
The Bureau of Economic Analysis is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides important economic statistics including the gross domestic product of the United States. Its stated mission is to "promote a better understanding of the U.S...

 estimates that Missouri's total state product in 2006 was $225.9 billion. Per capita personal income in 2006 was $32,705, ranking 26th in the nation.
Major industries include aerospace
Aerospace
Aerospace comprises the atmosphere of Earth and surrounding space. Typically the term is used to refer to the industry that researches, designs, manufactures, operates, and maintains vehicles moving through air and space...

, transportation equipment, food processing
Food processing
Food processing is the set of methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food or to transform food into other forms for consumption by humans or animals either in the home or by the food processing industry...

, chemicals
Chemical industry
The chemical industry comprises the companies that produce industrial chemicals. Central to the modern world economy, it converts raw materials into more than 70,000 different products.-Products:...

, printing/publishing, electrical equipment
Electrical equipment
Electrical equipment includes any machine powered by electricity. They usually consists of an enclosure, a variety of electrical components, and often a power switch...

, light manufacturing, and beer.

The agriculture products of the state are beef, soybeans, pork, dairy products, hay
Hay
Hay is grass, legumes or other herbaceous plants that have been cut, dried, and stored for use as animal fodder, particularly for grazing livestock such as cattle, horses, goats, and sheep. Hay is also fed to pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs...

, corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

, poultry, sorghum
Sorghum
Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents...

, cotton, rice, and eggs
Egg (food)
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

. Missouri is ranked 6th in the nation for the production of hogs and 7th for cattle. Missouri is ranked in the top five 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 actively promotes its rapidly growing wine industry
Missouri wine
Missouri Wine refers to wine made from grapes grown in the U.S. state of Missouri. German immigrants in the early-to-mid-19th century, founded the wine industry in Missouri, resulting in its wine corridor being called the Missouri "Rhineland". Later Italian immigrants also entered wine production....

.

Missouri has vast quantities of limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

. Other resources mined are lead, coal, and crushed stone
Rock (geology)
In geology, rock or stone is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids.The Earth's outer solid layer, the lithosphere, is made of rock. In general rocks are of three types, namely, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic...

. Missouri produces the most lead of all of the states. Most of the lead mines are in the central eastern portion
Lead Belt
The Southeast Missouri Lead District, commonly called the Lead Belt, is a lead mining district in the southeastern part of Missouri. Counties in the Lead Belt include Saint Francois; Crawford; Dent; Iron; Madison: Reynolds; and Washington...

 of the state. Missouri also ranks first or near first in the production of lime
Lime (mineral)
Lime is a general term for calcium-containing inorganic materials, in which carbonates, oxides and hydroxides predominate. Strictly speaking, lime is calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide. It is also the name for a single mineral of the CaO composition, occurring very rarely...

, a key ingredient in Portland cement
Portland cement
Portland cement is the most common type of cement in general use around the world because it is a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar, stucco and most non-specialty grout...

.

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

Personal income
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

 is taxed in 10 different earning brackets, ranging from 1.5 percent to 6.0 percent. Missouri's sales tax
Sales tax
A sales tax is a tax, usually paid by the consumer at the point of purchase, itemized separately from the base price, for certain goods and services. The tax amount is usually calculated by applying a percentage rate to the taxable price of a sale....

 rate for most items is 4.225 percent. Additional local levies may apply. More than 2,500 Missouri local governments rely on property tax
Property tax
A property tax is an ad valorem levy on the value of property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; it may be paid to a national government, a federated state or a municipality...

es levied on real property (real estate) and personal property
Personal property
Personal property, roughly speaking, is private property that is moveable, as opposed to real property or real estate. In the common law systems personal property may also be called chattels or personalty. In the civil law systems personal property is often called movable property or movables - any...

. Most personal property is exempt, except for motorized vehicles. Exempt real estate includes property owned by governments and property used as nonprofit cemeteries, exclusively for religious worship, for schools and colleges and for purely charitable purposes. There is no inheritance tax
Inheritance tax
An inheritance tax or estate tax is a levy paid by a person who inherits money or property or a tax on the estate of a person who has died...

 and limited Missouri estate tax related to federal estate tax collection.

Missouri is the only state in the Union to have two Federal Reserve Banks: one in Kansas City (serving western Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, northern New Mexico, and Wyoming) and one in St. Louis (serving eastern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Indiana, western Kentucky, western Tennessee, northern Mississippi, and all of Arkansas).

As of January 2010, the state’s unemployment rate is 9.5%.

Air

The state of Missouri has two major airport hubs: Lambert-St. Louis International Airport
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is a Class B international airport serving Greater St. Louis. It is located approximately northwest of downtown St. Louis in unincorporated St. Louis County between Berkeley and Bridgeton. It is the largest and busiest airport in the state with 250 daily...

 and Kansas City International Airport
Kansas City International Airport
Kansas City International Airport , originally named Mid-Continent International Airport, is a public airport located 15 miles northwest of the central business district of Kansas City, in Platte County, Missouri, United States. In 2008, 10,469,892 passengers used the airport...

.

Rail

Two of the nation's three busiest rail centers are located in Missouri. Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

 is a major railroad hub for BNSF Railway
BNSF Railway
The BNSF Railway is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. It is one of seven North American Class I railroads and the second largest freight railroad network in North America, second only to the Union Pacific Railroad, its primary...

, Norfolk Southern Railway
Norfolk Southern Railway
The Norfolk Southern Railway is a Class I railroad in the United States, owned by the Norfolk Southern Corporation. With headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, the company operates 21,500 route miles in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia and the province of Ontario, Canada...

, Kansas City Southern Railway
Kansas City Southern Railway
The Kansas City Southern Railway , owned by Kansas City Southern Industries, is the smallest and second-oldest Class I railroad company still in operation. KCS was founded in 1887 and is currently operating in a region consisting of ten central U.S. states...

, and Union Pacific Railroad
Union Pacific Railroad
The Union Pacific Railroad , headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, is the largest railroad network in the United States. James R. Young is president, CEO and Chairman....

. Kansas City is the second largest freight rail center in the US (but is first in the amount of tonnage handled). Like Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

, St. Louis is a major destination for train freight. Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 passenger trains serve Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

, La Plata
La Plata, Missouri
La Plata is a city in Macon County, Missouri, United States. The population was 1,366 at the 2010 census.-History:On March 17, 1827, Drury Davis established a trading post about a half-mile west of what would become La Plata. The town would develop as the intersection of north and south stagecoach...

, Jefferson City, St. Louis, Lee's Summit, Independence
Independence, Missouri
Independence is the fourth largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri, and is contained within the counties of Jackson and Clay. It is part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area...

, Warrensburg
Warrensburg, Missouri
Warrensburg is a city in Johnson County, Missouri, United States. The population was 16,340 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Johnson County. The Warrensburg Micropolitan Statistical Area consists of Johnson County. It is home to the University of Central Missouri.-History:Warrensburg...

, Hermann
Hermann, Missouri
Hermann is a city designated in 1842 as the county seat of Gasconade County, Missouri, United States. It is near the center of the Missouri Rhineland and south of the Missouri River. The population was 2,674 at the 2000 census....

, Washington
Washington, Missouri
Washington is a city on the Missouri River in Franklin County, Missouri, United States. The population was 13,243 at the 2000 census. It is the corn cob pipe capital of the world, with Missouri Meerschaum located in Washington.-Geography:...

, Kirkwood
Kirkwood, Missouri
Kirkwood is an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis, located in St. Louis County, Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 27,540. Founded in 1853, the city is named for James Pugh Kirkwood, builder of the Pacific Railroad through that town. It was the first planned suburb located west...

, Sedalia
Sedalia, Missouri
Sedalia is a city located about south of the Missouri River in Pettis County, Missouri. U.S. Highway 50 and U.S. Highway 65 intersect in the city. As of 2006, the city had a total population of 20,669. It is the county seat of Pettis County. The Sedalia Micropolitan Statistical Area consists of...

, and Poplar Bluff.

The only urban light rail/subway system in Missouri is the St. Louis MetroLink
St. Louis Metrolink
MetroLink is the light rail transit system in the Greater St. Louis area of Missouri and the Metro East area of Illinois. The entire system currently consists of two lines connecting Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and Shrewsbury, MO with Scott Air Force Base near Shiloh, Illinois through...

 which connects the city of St. Louis with suburbs in Illinois and St. Louis County. It is one of the largest (track mileage) systems in the USA. In 2007 preliminary planning was being performed for a light rail system in the Kansas City area, but was defeated by voters in November 2008.

The Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center
Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center
The Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center, also known as Gateway Transportation Station or Gateway Station, is a rail and bus terminal station in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Opened in 2008 and operating 24 hours a day, it serves Amtrak, St. Louis MetroLink, MetroBus regional buses, Greyhound...

 in St. Louis is the largest active multi-use transportation center in the state. It is located in Downtown St. Louis next to the historic St. Louis Union Station
St. Louis Union Station
St. Louis Union Station, a National Historic Landmark, is a passenger train terminal in St. Louis, Missouri. Once the world's largest and busiest train station, it was converted in the early 1980s into a luxury hotel, shopping center, and entertainment complex...

 complex. It serves as a hub center/station for the city's rail system St. Louis MetroLink
St. Louis Metrolink
MetroLink is the light rail transit system in the Greater St. Louis area of Missouri and the Metro East area of Illinois. The entire system currently consists of two lines connecting Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and Shrewsbury, MO with Scott Air Force Base near Shiloh, Illinois through...

 and regional bus system St. Louis MetroBus, Greyhound
Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines, Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, is an intercity common carrier of passengers by bus serving over 3,700 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, operating under the well-known logo of a leaping greyhound. It was founded in Hibbing, Minnesota, USA, in 1914 and...

, Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 and city taxi services.

Springfield
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

 remains an operational hub for BNSF Railway.

Bus

Many cities have regular fixed-route systems, and many rural counties have rural public transit services. Greyhound, Trailways, and Megabus all provide inter-city bus service in Missouri.

Rivers

The Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 and Missouri River
Missouri River
The Missouri River flows through the central United States, and is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It is the longest river in North America and drains the third largest area, though only the thirteenth largest by discharge. The Missouri's watershed encompasses most of the American Great...

 are commercially navigable over their entire lengths in Missouri. The Missouri was channelized through dredging and jettys and the Mississippi was given a series of locks
Lock (water transport)
A lock is a device for raising and lowering boats between stretches of water of different levels on river and canal waterways. The distinguishing feature of a lock is a fixed chamber in which the water level can be varied; whereas in a caisson lock, a boat lift, or on a canal inclined plane, it is...

 and dams to avoid rocks and deepen the river. St. Louis is a major destination for barge traffic on the Mississippi River.

Roads

Main article List of Missouri highways

Several highways, detailed below, traverse the state.

Following the passage of Amendment 3 in late 2004, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) began its Smoother, Safer, Sooner road-building program with a goal of bringing 2200 miles (3,540.5 km) of highways up to good condition by December 2007. From 2006–2008 traffic deaths have decreased annually from 1,257 in 2005, to 1,096 in 2006, to 974 for 2007, to 941 for 2008.

Interstate freeways

  • Interstate 29, Interstate 229
    Interstate 229 (Missouri)
    Interstate 229 in the state of Missouri, USA, is an approximately 14 mile Interstate Highway spur designed to speed traffic from Interstate 29 to downtown Saint Joseph....

  • Interstate 35, Interstate 435 (Perimeter around Kansas City
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

    ), Interstate 635
    Interstate 635 (Kansas-Missouri)
    Interstate 635 is a connector highway between Interstate 35 in Overland Park, Kansas and Interstate 29 in Kansas City, Missouri, approximately 12 miles long. It is mostly in the U.S. state of Kansas, servicing the city of Kansas City, Kansas, but extends into Kansas City, Missouri as well...

  • Interstate 44
  • Interstate 55, Interstate 155
    Interstate 155 (Missouri-Tennessee)
    Interstate 155 is an east–west spur beginning in far southeast Missouri. The western terminus is south of Hayti, Missouri at Interstate 55, exits 17A and exit 17B . The route proceeds east to the Tennessee border, where it crosses over the Mississippi River...

    , Interstate 255 (the perimeter around the Illinois side of St. Louis
    St. Louis, Missouri
    St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

    )
  • Interstate 57
  • Interstate 64
  • Interstate 70, Interstate 170, Interstate 270
    Interstate 270 (Illinois-Missouri)
    Interstate 270 makes up a large portion of the outer belt freeway in the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area. The counterclockwise terminus of I-270 is at the junction with Interstate 55 in Mehlville, Missouri; the clockwise terminus of the freeway is at the junction with I-55 and I-70 north of...

     (the perimeter around the Missouri side of St. Louis
    St. Louis, Missouri
    St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

    ), Interstate 470
    Interstate 470 (Missouri)
    Interstate 470 is a loop of the Interstate Highway System that serves to link southeast Kansas City to Independence via Lee's Summit in Jackson County, Missouri. The western terminus of the freeway is at the Grandview Triangle interchange while the northern terminus is an cloverleaf interchange...

    , Interstate 670
    Interstate 670 (Kansas-Missouri)
    Interstate 670 is a 2.81 mile connector highway between I-70 in Kansas City, Kansas and I-70 in Kansas City, Missouri. The highway provides a more direct route through downtown Kansas City than the older mainline I-70, and avoids the sharp turn of the latter at the west end of the Intercity...

  • Interstate 72
  • Interstate 49 (In Progress)
  • Interstate 66
    Interstate 66 (west)
    The U.S. Department of Transportation had plans to extend Interstate 66 westward across the country to California. However, Interstate 66 west of Wichita, Kansas, has been postponed, with the Nevada and California sections cancelled...

     (Proposed)


United States Routes



North-south routesEast-west routes
  • U.S. Route 59
  • U.S. Route 159
  • U.S. Route 61
  • U.S. Route 63
  • U.S. Route 65
  • U.S. Route 67
  • U.S. Route 69
  • U.S. Route 169
  • U.S. Route 71
  • U.S. Route 275

  • U.S. Route 412
  • U.S. Route 24
  • U.S. Route 36
  • U.S. Route 136
  • U.S. Route 40
  • U.S. Route 50
  • U.S. Route 54
  • U.S. Route 56
  • U.S. Route 60
  • U.S. Route 160
  • U.S. Route 460 (decommissioned in Missouri)
  • U.S. Route 62
  • U.S. Route 66 (decommissioned)
  • U.S. Route 166
  • U.S. Route 400


Framework


The current Constitution of Missouri, the fourth constitution for the state, was adopted in 1945. It provides for three branches of government: the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. The legislative branch consists of two bodies: the House of Representatives
Missouri House of Representatives
The Missouri House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the Missouri General Assembly. It has 163 members, representing districts with an average size of 31,000 residents. House members are elected for two-year terms during general elections held in even-numbered years.In 1992 Missouri...

 and the Senate
Missouri Senate
The Missouri State Senate is the upper chamber of the Missouri General Assembly. It has 34 members, representing districts with an average population of 160,000...

. These bodies comprise the Missouri General Assembly
Missouri General Assembly
The Missouri General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Missouri. The bicameral General Assembly is composed of a 34-member Senate, and a 163-member House of Representatives. Members of both houses of the General Assembly are subject to term limits...

.

The House of Representatives has 163 members who are apportioned based on the last decennial census
United States Census
The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution. The population is enumerated every 10 years and the results are used to allocate Congressional seats , electoral votes, and government program funding. The United States Census Bureau The United States Census...

. The Senate consists of 34 members from districts of approximately equal populations. The judicial department comprises the Supreme Court of Missouri
Supreme Court of Missouri
The Supreme Court of Missouri is the highest court in the state of Missouri. It was established in 1820, and is located in Jefferson City, Missouri. Missouri voters have approved changes in the state's constitution to give the Supreme Court exclusive jurisdiction- the sole legal power to hear -...

, which has seven judges, the Missouri Court of Appeals
Missouri Court of Appeals
The Missouri Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court for the state of Missouri. The court handles most of the appeals from the Missouri Circuit Courts. The court is divided into three districts: Eastern The Missouri Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court for the state...

 (an intermediate appellate court
Appellate court
An appellate court, commonly called an appeals court or court of appeals or appeal court , is any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal...

 divided into three districts, sitting in Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

, St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

, and Springfield
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

), and 45 Circuit Courts which function as local trial courts. The executive branch is headed by the Governor of Missouri and includes five other statewide elected offices. Following the election of 2008, all but one of Missouri's statewide elected offices are held by Democrats
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

.

Harry S Truman (1884–1972), the 33rd President of the United States (Democrat, 1945–1953), was born in Lamar
Lamar, Missouri
Lamar is a city in Barton County, Missouri, United States. The population was 4,474 at the 2011 census. It is the county seat of Barton County. Lamar is well known as the birthplace of President Harry S. Truman.-Geography:...

. He was a judge in Jackson County
Jackson County, Missouri
Jackson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. With a population of 674,158 in the 2010 census, Jackson County is the second most populous of Missouri's counties, after St. Louis County. Kansas City, the state's most populous city and focus city of the Kansas City Metropolitan...

 and then represented the state in the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 for ten years, before being elected Vice-President in 1944
United States presidential election, 1944
The United States presidential election of 1944 took place while the United States was preoccupied with fighting World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had been in office longer than any other president, but remained popular. Unlike 1940, there was little doubt that Roosevelt would run for...

. He lived in Independence
Independence, Missouri
Independence is the fourth largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri, and is contained within the counties of Jackson and Clay. It is part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area...

 after retiring.

Status as a political bellwether

Past Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

Third Parties
Third party (United States)
The term third party is used in the United States for any and all political parties in the United States other than one of the two major parties . The term can also refer to independent politicians not affiliated with any party at all and to write-in candidates.The United States has had a...

2008 49.39% 1,445,814 49.25% 1,441,911 1.36% 39,889
2004 53.30% 1,455,713 46.10% 1,259,171 0.60% 16,480
2000 50.42% 1,189,924 47.08% 1,111,138 2.50% 58,830
1996 41.24% 890,016 47.54% 1,025,935 11.22% 242,114
1992 33.92% 811,159 44.07% 1,053,873 22.00% 526,238
1988 51.83% 1,084,953 47.85% 1,001,619 0.32% 6,656
1984 60.02% 1,274,188 39.98% 848,583 0.00% None
1980 51.16% 1,074,181 44.35% 931,182 4.49% 94,461
1976 47.47% 927,443 51.10% 998,387 1.42% 27,770
1972 62.29% 1,154,058 37.71% 698,531 0.00% None
1968 44.87% 811,932 43.74% 791,444 11.39% 206,126
1964 35.95% 653,535 64.05% 1,164,344 0.00% None
1960 49.74% 962,221 50.26% 972,201 0.00% None
1956 49.89% 914,289 50.11% 918,273 0.00% None
1952 50.71% 959,429 49.14% 929,830 0.15% 2,803
1948 41.49% 655,039 58.11% 917,315 0.39% 6,274
1944 48.43% 761,524 51.37% 807,804 0.20% 3,146
1940 47.50% 871,009 52.27% 958,476 0.23% 4,244
1936 38.16% 697,891 60.76% 1,111,043 1.08% 19,701
1932 35.08% 564,713 63.69% 1,025,406 1.22% 19,775
1928 55.58% 834,080 44.15% 662,562 0.27% 4,079
1924 49.58% 648,486 43.79% 572,753 6.63% 86,719
1920 54.56% 727,162 43.13% 574,799 2.32% 30,839
1916 46.94% 369,339 50.59% 398,032 2.46% 19,398
1912 29.75% 207,821 47.35% 330,746 22.89% 159,999
1908 48.50% 347,203 48.41% 346,574 3.08% 22,150
1904 49.93% 321,449 46.02% 296,312 4.05% 26,100
1900 45.94% 314,092 51.48% 351,922 2.58% 17,642

Missouri is widely regarded as a state bellwether in American politics. The state has a longer stretch of supporting the winning presidential candidate than any other state, having voted with the nation in every election since 1904 with two exceptions: in 1956
United States presidential election, 1956
The United States presidential election of 1956 saw a popular Dwight D. Eisenhower successfully run for re-election. The 1956 election was a rematch of 1952, as Eisenhower's opponent in 1956 was Democrat Adlai Stevenson, whom Eisenhower had defeated four years earlier.Incumbent President Eisenhower...

 when it voted for Governor
Governor of Illinois
The Governor of Illinois is the chief executive of the State of Illinois and the various agencies and departments over which the officer has jurisdiction, as prescribed in the state constitution. It is a directly elected position, votes being cast by popular suffrage of residents of the state....

 Adlai Stevenson of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 over the winner, incumbent President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Dwight Eisenhower of Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, and in 2008
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

 when it voted for Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 of Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

 over national winner Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 of Illinois, both by extremely narrow margins. Missouri was the closest state in both of those presidential elections.

Laissez-faire alcohol and tobacco laws

Missouri has been known for its population's generally "stalwart, conservative, noncredulous" attitude toward regulatory regimes, which is one of the origins of the state's unofficial nickname, the "Show-Me State." As a result, and combined with the fact that Missouri is one of America's leading alcohol and tobacco-producing states, regulation of alcohol and tobacco in Missouri is among the most laissez-faire
Laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

 in America.
With a large German immigrant population and the development of a brewing industry, Missouri always has had among the most permissive alcohol laws in the United States
Alcohol laws of the United States by state
This list of alcohol laws of the United States by State provides an overview of alcohol-related laws by state throughout the United States. This list is not intended to provide a breakdown of such laws by local jurisdiction within a state; see that state's alcohol laws page for more detailed...

. It never enacted statewide prohibition
Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban was mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Volstead Act set down the rules for enforcing the ban, as well as defining which...

. Missouri voters rejected prohibition in three separate referenda in 1910, 1912, and 1918. Alcohol regulation did not begin in Missouri until 1934. Today, alcohol laws are controlled by the state government, and local jurisdictions are prohibited from going beyond those state laws. Missouri has no statewide open container law or prohibition on drinking in public, no alcohol-related blue law
Blue law
A blue law is a type of law, typically found in the United States and, formerly, in Canada, designed to enforce religious standards, particularly the observance of Sunday as a day of worship or rest, and a restriction on Sunday shopping...

s, no local option
Local Option
Local Option is a term used to describe the freedom whereby local political jurisdictions, typically counties or municipalities, can decide by popular vote certain controversial issues within their borders. In practice, it usually relates to the issue of alcoholic beverage sales...

, no precise locations for selling liquor by the package (thus allowing even drug stores and gas stations to sell any kind of liquor), and no differentiation of laws based on alcohol percentage. Missouri had no laws prohibiting "consumption" of alcohol by minors (as opposed to possession), and state law protects persons from arrest or criminal penalty for public intoxication
Public intoxication
Public intoxication, also known as "drunk and disorderly", is a summary offense in many countries rated to public cases or displays of drunkenness...

. Missouri law expressly prohibits any jurisdiction from going dry
Dry county
A dry county is a county in the United States whose government forbids the sale of alcoholic beverages. Some prohibit off-premises sale, some prohibit on-premises sale, and some prohibit both. Hundreds of dry counties exist across the United States, almost all of them in the South...

. Missouri law also expressly allows parents and guardians to serve alcohol to their children. The Power & Light District in Kansas City is one of the few places in the United States where a state law explicitly allows persons over the age of 21 to possess and consume open containers of alcohol in the street (as long as the beverage is in a plastic cup).
As for tobacco, as of May 2010 Missouri has the lowest cigarette excise taxes in the United States, and the electorate voted in 2002 and 2006 to keep it that way. In 2007, Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

named Missouri's largest metropolitan area, St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

, America's "best city for smokers." According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are a United States federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services headquartered in Druid Hills, unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, in Greater Atlanta...

, in 2008 Missouri had the fourth highest percentage of adult smokers among U.S states, at 24.5%. Although Missouri's minimum age for purchase and distribution of tobacco products is 18, tobacco products can be distributed to persons under 18 by family members on private property. No statewide smoking ban
Smoking ban
Smoking bans are public policies, including criminal laws and occupational safety and health regulations, which prohibit tobacco smoking in workplaces and/or other public spaces...

 ever has been seriously entertained before the Missouri General Assembly
Missouri General Assembly
The Missouri General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Missouri. The bicameral General Assembly is composed of a 34-member Senate, and a 163-member House of Representatives. Members of both houses of the General Assembly are subject to term limits...

, and in October 2008, a statewide survey by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services found that only 27.5% of Missourians support a statewide ban on smoking in all bars and restaurants. Missouri state law permits bars, restaurants which seat less than 50 people, bowling alleys, and billiard parlors to decide their own smoking policies, without limitation.

Additionally, in Missouri, it is "an improper employment practice" for an employer to refuse to hire, to fire, or otherwise to disadvantage any person because that person lawfully uses alcohol and/or tobacco products when he or she is not at work.

Counties

Missouri has 114 counties and one independent city
Independent city
An independent city is a city that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity. These type of cities should not be confused with city-states , which are fully sovereign cities that are not part of any other sovereign state.-Historical precursors:In the Holy Roman Empire,...

 (St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

).

The largest county by size is Texas County
Texas County, Missouri
Texas County is a county located in South Central Missouri in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the county's population was 26,008. It's county seat is Houston. The county was organized in 1843 as Ashley County, changing its name in 1845 to Texas, after the Republic of Texas. The 2010 U.S...

 (1,179 sq. miles) and Shannon County
Shannon County, Missouri
Shannon County is a county located in South Central Missouri in the United States, and the second-largest by area in Missouri. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the county's population was 8,324. A 2008 estimate, however, showed the population to be 8,423. Its county seat is Eminence. The county was...

 is second (1,004 sq. miles). Worth County is the smallest (266 sq. miles). The independent city of St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

 has only 62 square miles (160.6 km²) of area. St. Louis City is the most densely populated area (5,724.7 per sq. mi.) in Missouri.

The largest county by population (2008 estimate) is St. Louis County
St. Louis County, Missouri
St. Louis County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. Its county seat is Clayton. St. Louis County is part of the St. Louis Metro Area wherein the independent City of St. Louis and its suburbs in St. Louis County, as well as the surrounding counties in both Missouri and Illinois all...

 (991,830 residents), with Jackson County
Jackson County, Missouri
Jackson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. With a population of 674,158 in the 2010 census, Jackson County is the second most populous of Missouri's counties, after St. Louis County. Kansas City, the state's most populous city and focus city of the Kansas City Metropolitan...

 second (668,417 residents), St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

 third (354,361), and St. Charles fourth (349,407). Worth County is the least populous with 2,039 residents.

Important cities and towns

Leading population centers
Rank City population County
Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...



St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...




Jefferson City
Jefferson City, Missouri
Jefferson City is the capital of the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Cole County. Located in Callaway and Cole counties, it is the principal city of the Jefferson City metropolitan area, which encompasses the entirety of both counties. As of the 2010 census, the population was 43,079...


1 Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

459,787 Jackson
Jackson County, Missouri
Jackson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. With a population of 674,158 in the 2010 census, Jackson County is the second most populous of Missouri's counties, after St. Louis County. Kansas City, the state's most populous city and focus city of the Kansas City Metropolitan...

, Clay, Platte
Platte County, Missouri
As of the census of 2000, there were 73,781 people, 29,278 households, and 20,231 families residing in the county. The population density was 176 people per square mile . There were 30,902 housing units at an average density of 74 per square mile...

, Cass
Cass County, Missouri
Cass County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of 2010, the population was 99,478. Its county seat is Harrisonville. The county was organized in 1835 as "Van Buren County", renamed in 1848 after Michigan U.S...

2 St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

319,294
3 Springfield
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

159,498 Greene
Greene County, Missouri
Greene County is a county located in Southwest Missouri. As of 2010, the population was 275,174 making it the fourth most populated county in Missouri. Its county seat is Springfield...

, Christian
Christian County, Missouri
Christian County is a county located in Southwest Missouri. The county had a population of 54,285 in 2000 census. According to the 2010 census, the county's population is 77,422 , making it the fastest growing county in Missouri and one of the fastest growing in the nation as the county becomes...

 
4 Independence
Independence, Missouri
Independence is the fourth largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri, and is contained within the counties of Jackson and Clay. It is part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area...

116,830 Jackson
Jackson County, Missouri
Jackson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. With a population of 674,158 in the 2010 census, Jackson County is the second most populous of Missouri's counties, after St. Louis County. Kansas City, the state's most populous city and focus city of the Kansas City Metropolitan...

 
5 Columbia
Columbia, Missouri
Columbia is the fifth-largest city in Missouri, and the largest city in Mid-Missouri. With a population of 108,500 as of the 2010 Census, it is the principal municipality of the Columbia Metropolitan Area, a region of 164,283 residents. The city serves as the county seat of Boone County and as the...

108,500 Boone
Boone County, Missouri
Boone County is a county centrally located in the U.S. state of Missouri. It is the eighth most populous county in Missouri. In 2010, the population was 162,642. Its county seat, Columbia, is the fifth largest city in Missouri and the anchor city of the Columbia Metropolitan Area.-History:Boone...

 
6 Lee’s Summit
Lee's Summit, Missouri
Lee's Summit is a city in the U.S. state of Missouri, and is contained within the counties of Jackson and Cass. As of the 2010 census found the population at 91,364 making it the sixth-largest city in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area and the sixth-largest city in Missouri...

91,364 Jackson
Jackson County, Missouri
Jackson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. With a population of 674,158 in the 2010 census, Jackson County is the second most populous of Missouri's counties, after St. Louis County. Kansas City, the state's most populous city and focus city of the Kansas City Metropolitan...

 
7 O'Fallon
O'Fallon, Missouri
O'Fallon is a suburban city along Interstate 70 between Lake St. Louis and St. Peters in Saint Charles County, Missouri. It is part of the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census population of 79,329, it is the seventh largest city in the state and the largest in St. Charles...

79,329 St.Charles 
8 St. Joseph 76,780 Buchanan
Buchanan County, Missouri
Buchanan County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of 2010, the population was 89,201. Its county seat is Saint Joseph. When originally formed in 1838, the county was named Roberts County, after settler Hiram Roberts; it was renamed in 1839 for James Buchanan, then a U.S....

 
9 St. Charles 65,794 St. Charles 
10 St. Peters 52,575 St. Charles 
10 Blue Springs
Blue Springs, Missouri
Blue Springs is a city in Jackson County, Missouri and is a satellite city of Kansas City, Missouri. As of the 2010 census the population at 52,575.- Geography :...

52,575 Jackson
Jackson County, Missouri
Jackson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. With a population of 674,158 in the 2010 census, Jackson County is the second most populous of Missouri's counties, after St. Louis County. Kansas City, the state's most populous city and focus city of the Kansas City Metropolitan...

 
12 Florissant
Florissant, Missouri
Florissant is a second-ring suburb of St. Louis, located in northern St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The city has a total population of 52,158 in 2010 census.-History:...

52,158 St. Louis County
St. Louis County, Missouri
St. Louis County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. Its county seat is Clayton. St. Louis County is part of the St. Louis Metro Area wherein the independent City of St. Louis and its suburbs in St. Louis County, as well as the surrounding counties in both Missouri and Illinois all...

 
13 Joplin
Joplin, Missouri
Joplin is a city in southern Jasper County and northern Newton County in the southwestern corner of the US state of Missouri. Joplin is the largest city in Jasper County, though it is not the county seat. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 50,150...

50,150 Jasper
Jasper County, Missouri
Jasper County is a county located in the US state of Missouri. It is included in the Joplin, Missouri Metropolitan Statistical Area. The 2010 total population of Jasper County was 117,404. It is the ninth most populous county in Missouri. Its county seat is Carthage, making it one of the few...

, Newton 
14 Chesterfield
Chesterfield, Missouri
Chesterfield is a second-ring western suburb of St. Louis and is the largest city in west St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. As of the 2010 census the population is 47,484. Chesterfield also celebrated its 20th birthday in 2008.- Geography :...

47,484 St. Louis County
St. Louis County, Missouri
St. Louis County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. Its county seat is Clayton. St. Louis County is part of the St. Louis Metro Area wherein the independent City of St. Louis and its suburbs in St. Louis County, as well as the surrounding counties in both Missouri and Illinois all...

 
15 Jefferson City
Jefferson City, Missouri
Jefferson City is the capital of the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Cole County. Located in Callaway and Cole counties, it is the principal city of the Jefferson City metropolitan area, which encompasses the entirety of both counties. As of the 2010 census, the population was 43,079...

43,079 Cole 
16 Cape Girardeau
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Cape Girardeau is a city located in Cape Girardeau and Scott counties in Southeast Missouri in the United States. It is located approximately southeast of St. Louis and north of Memphis. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 37,941. A college town, it is the home of Southeast Missouri...

37,941 Cape Girardeau
Cape Girardeau County, Missouri
Cape Girardeau County is a county located in Southeast Missouri in the United States. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the county's population was 75,764. While the largest city in the county is Cape Girardeau, the county seat is actually Jackson, which was the first city named in honor of President...

 
17 Wildwood
Wildwood, Missouri
Wildwood is a third-ring suburb of St. Louis, located in far western St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 35,517....

35,517 St. Louis County
St. Louis County, Missouri
St. Louis County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. Its county seat is Clayton. St. Louis County is part of the St. Louis Metro Area wherein the independent City of St. Louis and its suburbs in St. Louis County, as well as the surrounding counties in both Missouri and Illinois all...

 
18 Unversity City
University City, Missouri
University City is an inner-ring suburb in St. Louis County, Missouri. The population was 35,371 in 2010 census. The city was shaped by Washington University in St. Louis, whose campus abuts the city to the southeast....

35,371 St. Louis County
St. Louis County, Missouri
St. Louis County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. Its county seat is Clayton. St. Louis County is part of the St. Louis Metro Area wherein the independent City of St. Louis and its suburbs in St. Louis County, as well as the surrounding counties in both Missouri and Illinois all...

 
19 Ballwin
Ballwin, Missouri
Ballwin is a second-ring western suburb of St. Louis, located in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The population was to be 30,404 as of the 2010 census. It was named by Money Magazine in 2005 as 64th on the list of the 100 best cities in America. It is the only city in America named...

30,404 St. Louis County
St. Louis County, Missouri
St. Louis County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. Its county seat is Clayton. St. Louis County is part of the St. Louis Metro Area wherein the independent City of St. Louis and its suburbs in St. Louis County, as well as the surrounding counties in both Missouri and Illinois all...

 
20 Raytown
Raytown, Missouri
Raytown is a city in Jackson County, Missouri, United States, and is a suburb of Kansas City. The population was at 29,526 in 2010 census. The mayor of Raytown is David Bower.-History:...

29,526 Jackson
Jackson County, Missouri
Jackson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. With a population of 674,158 in the 2010 census, Jackson County is the second most populous of Missouri's counties, after St. Louis County. Kansas City, the state's most populous city and focus city of the Kansas City Metropolitan...

 
based on 2010 U.S. Census Bureau figures


Jefferson City is the state capital of Missouri.

The five largest cities in Missouri are Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

, St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

, Springfield
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

, Independence
Independence, Missouri
Independence is the fourth largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri, and is contained within the counties of Jackson and Clay. It is part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area...

, and Columbia
Columbia, Missouri
Columbia is the fifth-largest city in Missouri, and the largest city in Mid-Missouri. With a population of 108,500 as of the 2010 Census, it is the principal municipality of the Columbia Metropolitan Area, a region of 164,283 residents. The city serves as the county seat of Boone County and as the...

.

St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

 is the principal city of the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, comprising seventeen counties and the independent city of St. Louis; eight of those counties lie in the state of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

. As of 2009, St. Louis was the 18th largest metropolitan area in the nation with 2.83 million people. However, if ranked using Combined Statistical Area
Combined Statistical Area
The United States Office of Management and Budget defines micropolitan and metropolitan statistical areas. Metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas consist of one or more counties...

, it is 15th largest with 2.89 million people
Table of United States Combined Statistical Areas
thumb|An enlargeable map of the 125 [[Combined Statistical Area]]s of the [[United States]]The United States Office of Management and Budget has defined 125 Combined Statistical Areas for the United States of America...

. Some of the major cities making up the St. Louis Metro area in Missouri include St. Charles, St. Peters, Florissant
Florissant, Missouri
Florissant is a second-ring suburb of St. Louis, located in northern St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The city has a total population of 52,158 in 2010 census.-History:...

, Chesterfield
Chesterfield, Missouri
Chesterfield is a second-ring western suburb of St. Louis and is the largest city in west St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. As of the 2010 census the population is 47,484. Chesterfield also celebrated its 20th birthday in 2008.- Geography :...

, Creve Coeur
Creve Coeur, Missouri
Creve Coeur, derived from French for "heartbreak" , is a second-ring suburb of St. Louis, located in west St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The city derives its name from Creve Coeur Lake, which is shaped like a broken heart. The population was 17,833 at the 2010 census...

, Wildwood
Wildwood, Missouri
Wildwood is a third-ring suburb of St. Louis, located in far western St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 35,517....

, Maryland Heights
Maryland Heights, Missouri
Maryland Heights is a second-ring west-central suburb of St. Louis, located in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The population was 27,472 at the 2010 census. The city was incorporated in 1985. Edwin L. Dirck was elected the city's first mayor. Mark M. Levin has been City Administrator...

, O'Fallon
O'Fallon, Missouri
O'Fallon is a suburban city along Interstate 70 between Lake St. Louis and St. Peters in Saint Charles County, Missouri. It is part of the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census population of 79,329, it is the seventh largest city in the state and the largest in St. Charles...

, Clayton
Clayton, Missouri
Clayton is an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis and the county seat of St. Louis County, Missouri. The population was 15,939 at the 2010 census. The city was organized in 1877 and is named after Ralph Clayton, who donated the land for the courthouse.-Geography:...

, Ballwin
Ballwin, Missouri
Ballwin is a second-ring western suburb of St. Louis, located in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The population was to be 30,404 as of the 2010 census. It was named by Money Magazine in 2005 as 64th on the list of the 100 best cities in America. It is the only city in America named...

, and University City
University City, Missouri
University City is an inner-ring suburb in St. Louis County, Missouri. The population was 35,371 in 2010 census. The city was shaped by Washington University in St. Louis, whose campus abuts the city to the southeast....

.

Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

 is Missouri's largest city and the principal city of the fifteen-county Kansas City Metropolitan Statistical Area
Kansas City Metropolitan Area
The Kansas City Metropolitan Area is a fifteen-county metropolitan area that is anchored by Kansas City, Missouri and is bisected by the border between the states of Missouri and Kansas. As of the 2010 Census, the metropolitan area has a population of 2,035,334. The metropolitan area is the...

, including six counties in the state of Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

. As of 2009, it was the 29th largest metropolitan area in the nation, with 2.068 million people. Some of the other major cities comprising the Kansas City metro area in Missouri include Independence
Independence, Missouri
Independence is the fourth largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri, and is contained within the counties of Jackson and Clay. It is part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area...

, Lee's Summit
Lee's Summit, Missouri
Lee's Summit is a city in the U.S. state of Missouri, and is contained within the counties of Jackson and Cass. As of the 2010 census found the population at 91,364 making it the sixth-largest city in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area and the sixth-largest city in Missouri...

, Blue Springs
Blue Springs, Missouri
Blue Springs is a city in Jackson County, Missouri and is a satellite city of Kansas City, Missouri. As of the 2010 census the population at 52,575.- Geography :...

, Raytown
Raytown, Missouri
Raytown is a city in Jackson County, Missouri, United States, and is a suburb of Kansas City. The population was at 29,526 in 2010 census. The mayor of Raytown is David Bower.-History:...

, Liberty
Liberty, Missouri
Liberty is a city in Clay County, Missouri and is a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. At the 2007 population estimate, the city population was 29,993...

, and Gladstone
Gladstone, Missouri
Gladstone is a city in Clay County, Missouri, founded in 1952 and is a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. Like nearby North Kansas City, the city of Gladstone is now completely surrounded by Kansas City. Prior to 1952 this area was known as Linden. The population was 26,365 at the 2000 census...

.

Branson
Branson, Missouri
Branson is a city in Taney County in the U.S. state of Missouri. It was named after Reuben Branson, postmaster and operator of a general store in the area in the 1880s....

 is a major tourist attraction in the Ozarks
The Ozarks
The Ozarks are a physiographic and geologic highland region of the central United States. It covers much of the southern half of Missouri and an extensive portion of northwestern and north central Arkansas...

 of southwestern Missouri.

Missouri State Board of education

The Missouri State Board of Education has general authority over all public education in the state of Missouri. It is made up of eight citizens appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Missouri Senate.

Primary and secondary schools

Education is compulsory from ages seven to seventeen per Statute 167.031, RSMo, states that any parent, guardian or other person having custody or control of a child between the ages of seven (7) and the compulsory attendance age for the district, must ensure that the child is enrolled in and regularly attends public, private, parochial school, home school or a combination of schools for the full term of the school year.

The term "compulsory attendance age for the district" shall mean seventeen (17) years of age or having successfully completed sixteen (16) credits towards high school graduation in all other cases.
Children between the ages of five (5) and seven (7) are not required to be enrolled in school. However, if they are enrolled in a public school their parent, guardian or custodian must ensure that they regularly attend. Missouri schools are commonly but not exclusively divided into three tiers of primary and secondary education: elementary school, middle school
Middle school
Middle School and Junior High School are levels of schooling between elementary and high schools. Most school systems use one term or the other, not both. The terms are not interchangeable...

 or junior high school and high school. The public schools system includes kindergarten to 12th grade. District territories are often complex in structure. In some cases, elementary, middle and junior high schools of a single district feed into high schools in another district. High school athletics and competitions are governed by the Missouri State High School Activities Association
Missouri State High School Activities Association
The Missouri State High School Activities Association is the governing body for high school activities throughout the state of Missouri...

 or MSHSAA.

Homeschooling
Homeschooling
Homeschooling or homeschool is the education of children at home, typically by parents but sometimes by tutors, rather than in other formal settings of public or private school...

 is legal in Missouri and is an option to meet the compulsory education requirement. It is neither monitored nor regulated by the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

A supplemental education program, the Missouri Scholars Academy
Missouri Scholars Academy
Missouri Scholars Academy, or MSA, is a three-week residential summer program held on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Missouri for 330 of Missouri's top rising high school juniors. The official MSA website describes the goals of the Academy to be as such: "The academy reflects...

, provides an extracurricular learning experience for gifted high school students in the state of Missouri. The official MSA website describes the goals of the Academy to be as such: "The academy reflects Missouri's desire to strive for excellence in education at all levels. The program is based on the premise that Missouri's gifted youth must be provided with special opportunities for learning and personal development in order for them to realize their full potential."

Another highly accepted gifted school is the Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing
Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing
The Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing is a two-year residential early college entrance program for gifted high school students at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri, replacing the junior and senior years of high school...

, which is located at the Northwest Missouri State University
Northwest Missouri State University
Northwest Missouri State University is a state university in Maryville, Missouri. Founded in 1905 as a teachers college, it offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. The campus, based on the design for Forest Park at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, is the official Missouri State Arboretum....

.

Colleges and universities

The University of Missouri System is Missouri's statewide public university system. The flagship institution and largest university in the state is the University of Missouri
University of Missouri
The University of Missouri System is a state university system providing centralized administration for four universities, a health care system, an extension program, five research and technology parks, and a publishing press. More than 64,000 students are currently enrolled at its four campuses...

 in Columbia
Columbia, Missouri
Columbia is the fifth-largest city in Missouri, and the largest city in Mid-Missouri. With a population of 108,500 as of the 2010 Census, it is the principal municipality of the Columbia Metropolitan Area, a region of 164,283 residents. The city serves as the county seat of Boone County and as the...

. The others in the system are University of Missouri–Kansas City
University of Missouri–Kansas City
The University of Missouri–Kansas City is a public university located in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. It is a branch of the University of Missouri System. Its main campus is in Kansas City's Rockhill neighborhood east of the Country Club Plaza...

, University of Missouri–St. Louis
University of Missouri–St. Louis
The University of Missouri–St. Louis is one of four universities in the University of Missouri System. Established in 1963, it is the newest university in the UM System. , it is the largest university by enrollment in the St. Louis area with 16,548 students...

, and Missouri University of Science and Technology
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Missouri University of Science and Technology is an institution of higher learning located in Rolla, Missouri, United States, and part of the University of Missouri System...

 in Rolla
Rolla, Missouri
Rolla is a city in Phelps County, Missouri, United States, midway between the larger cities of St. Louis and Springfield along I-44. The population in the 2010 United States Census was 19,559.It is the county seat of Phelps County...

. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century the state established a series of normal school
Normal school
A normal school is a school created to train high school graduates to be teachers. Its purpose is to establish teaching standards or norms, hence its name...

s in each region of the state, originally named after the geographic districts: Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University
Truman State University
Truman State University is a public liberal arts and sciences university in Missouri, United States and a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. About 6,000 students attend Truman, pursuing degrees in 43 undergraduate and 9 Graduate programs. It is located in Kirksville in...

) (1867), Central Missouri State University (now the University of Central Missouri
University of Central Missouri
The University of Central Missouri is a four-year public institution in Warrensburg, Missouri.- History :...

) (1871), Southeast Missouri State University
Southeast Missouri State University
Southeast Missouri State University, is a public, accredited university located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, United States, near the banks of the Mississippi River. The institution, having started as a normal school, has a traditional strength in teacher education...

 (1873), Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University
Missouri State University
Missouri State University is a public university located in Springfield, Missouri, United States and founded in 1905. It is the state's second largest university, with an official enrollment of 20,802 in fall 2011...

) (1905), Northwest Missouri State University
Northwest Missouri State University
Northwest Missouri State University is a state university in Maryville, Missouri. Founded in 1905 as a teachers college, it offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. The campus, based on the design for Forest Park at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, is the official Missouri State Arboretum....

 (1905), Missouri Western State University
Missouri Western State University
Missouri Western State University is a public, co-educational university located in Saint Joseph, Missouri. The school enrolls 6,010 undergraduate students and 124 graduate students.-History:...

 (1915), and Missouri Southern State University
Missouri Southern State University
Missouri Southern State University is a public, state university located in Joplin, Missouri. Missouri Southern State University was formerly Missouri Southern State College and is also known as Missouri Southern, MSSU, or MoSo for short. Established in 1937 as Joplin Junior College, Missouri...

 (1937). Lincoln University and Harris-Stowe State University were established in the mid-nineteenth century and are historically black colleges and universities
Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Historically black colleges and universities are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before 1964 with the intention of serving the black community....

.

Among private institutions Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university located in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1853, and named for George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all fifty U.S. states and more than 110 nations...

 is a top 20 university and Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University is a private, co-educational Jesuit university located in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Founded in 1818 by the Most Reverend Louis Guillaume Valentin Dubourg SLU is the oldest university west of the Mississippi River. It is one of 28 member institutions of the...

 is ranked in the top 70s. There are numerous junior colleges, trade schools, church universities and other private universities in the state. A. T. Still University was the first osteopathic medical school in the world. Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal, MO, was one of the first colleges west of the Mississippi (founded 1858 in LaGrange, MO, and moved to Hannibal, MO, in 1928).

The state funds a $2000, renewable merit-based scholarship, Bright Flight
Bright Flight (Missouri Scholarship)
Bright Flight is a Missouri merit-based scholarship in the amount of $1750 per annum to Missouri's qualifying graduating high school seniors who enroll in a Missouri accredited college or university...

, given to the top three percent of Missouri high school graduates who attend a university in-state.

The 19th century border wars between Missouri and Kansas have continued as a sports rivalry between the University of Missouri
University of Missouri
The University of Missouri System is a state university system providing centralized administration for four universities, a health care system, an extension program, five research and technology parks, and a publishing press. More than 64,000 students are currently enrolled at its four campuses...

 and University of Kansas
University of Kansas
The University of Kansas is a public research university and the largest university in the state of Kansas. KU campuses are located in Lawrence, Wichita, Overland Park, and Kansas City, Kansas with the main campus being located in Lawrence on Mount Oread, the highest point in Lawrence. The...

. The rivalry is chiefly expressed through football and basketball games between the two universities. It is the oldest college rivalry west of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 and the second oldest in the nation. Each year when the universities meet to play, the game is coined "Border War." An exchange occurs following the game where the winner gets to take a historic Indian War Drum, which has been passed back and forth for decades.

Sports

Missouri hosted the 1904 Summer Olympics
1904 Summer Olympics
The 1904 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the III Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States from 1 July 1904, to November 23, 1904, at what is now known as Francis Field on the campus of Washington University...

 at St. Louis, the first time the games were hosted in the United States.

Professional Sports Teams

  • Major ouis Athletica (franchise folded in June 2010)
  • Major Indoor Soccer League
    Major Indoor Soccer League (2001–2008)
    The Major Indoor Soccer League was the top professional indoor soccer league in the USA. The league was a member of both the United States Soccer Federation and FIFA. The MISL had replaced the NPSL which folded in 2001. According to MISL.net, the league has ceased operations as of May 31, 2008...

    :
    St. Louis Steamers and Kansas City Comets
    Kansas City Comets
    The Kansas City Comets were a professional indoor soccer team based for most of its existence in Kansas City, Missouri. They played in the original Major Indoor Soccer League from 1979–1991, when they folded...

  • Arena Football
    Arena football
    Arena football is a variety of gridiron football played by the Arena Football League . It is a proprietary game, the rights to which are owned by Gridiron Enterprises, and is played indoors on a smaller field than American or Canadian outdoor football, resulting in a faster and higher-scoring game....

    :
    Kansas City Brigade
    Kansas City Brigade
    The Kansas City Command is a professional arena football team in the Arena Football League. The team was founded before the 2006 season. Former Kansas City Chiefs Strong safety Kevin Porter served as head coach...

    and River City Rage
    River City Rage
    The RiverCity Rage were a professional indoor football team in the Indoor Football League. They played home games at the Family Arena in Saint Charles, Missouri, part of the metropolitan area of St. Louis, Missouri, in past seasons, played in the Scottrade Center in downtown St...

    (UIFL)
  • World Team Tennis
    World Team Tennis
    World TeamTennis is a coed professional tennis league played with a unique team format in the United States. Each match consists of five sets. Each set features a different configuration . Coaches, before the match, decide the order in which the sets will be played...

    :
    Kansas City Explorers
    Kansas City Explorers
    The Kansas City Explorers is a World TeamTennis team that play at the Barney Allis Plaza in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, USA. The team also played in Kemper Arena from 1993 until 2001.-Championships:...

    , Springfield Lasers
    Springfield Lasers
    The Springfield Lasers are a World TeamTennis franchise. The franchise was purchased and donated to the city of Springfield, Missouri by the Cooper family in 1996. They play their home matches at Mediacom Stadium in the Cooper Tennis Complex.-History:...

    and St. Louis Aces
    St. Louis Aces
    The St. Louis Aces are a professional tennis team in the city of St. Louis, Missouri. They entered the World TeamTennis League in 1994, and won their only WTT Championship title two years later. The Aces play their home matches at the Dwight Davis Tennis Center in Forest Park...

  • Cycling
    Road bicycle racing
    Road bicycle racing is a bicycle racing sport held on roads, using racing bicycles. The term "road racing" is usually applied to events where competing riders start simultaneously with the winner being the first to the line at the end of the course .Historically, the most...

    :
    Tour of Missouri
    Tour of Missouri
    The Tour of Missouri is a professional road bicycle racing stage race in Missouri that started on September 11, 2007 with six days of racing. The organizers, who also run the Tour de Georgia and the Amgen Tour of California, billed it as the third highest profile race in the United States.The 2009...

  • Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

    :
    St. Louis Cardinals
    St. Louis Cardinals
    The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

    and Kansas City Royals
    Kansas City Royals
    The Kansas City Royals are a Major League Baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals are a member of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From 1973 to the present, the Royals have played in Kauffman Stadium...

  • NFL St. Louis Rams
    St. Louis Rams
    The St. Louis Rams are a professional American football team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are currently members of the West Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The Rams have won three NFL Championships .The Rams began playing in 1936 in Cleveland,...

    and Kansas City Chiefs
    Kansas City Chiefs
    The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. They are a member of the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League . Originally named the Dallas Texans, the club was founded by Lamar Hunt in 1960 as a...

  • NHL "'St. Louis Blues
    St. Louis Blues
    The St. Louis Blues are a professional ice hockey team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . The team is named after the famous W. C. Handy song "St. Louis Blues", and plays in the 19,150-seat Scottrade...

    '"

Minor leagues

  • Baseball:
    • Springfield Cardinals
      Springfield Cardinals
      The Springfield Cardinals are a minor league baseball team based in Springfield, Missouri. The team, which plays in the Texas League, is the Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals major-league club, and is owned by the Cardinals. The club plays at Hammons Field.The Springfield Cardinals...

       (Class AA, Texas League
      Texas League
      The Texas League is a minor league baseball league which operates in the South Central United States. It is classified a Double-A league. The league was founded in 1888 and ran through 1892...

      )
    • River City Rascals
      River City Rascals
      The River City Rascals are a professional baseball team based in O'Fallon, Missouri, in the United States. The Rascals are a member of the West Division of the Frontier League, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. From the 1999 season to the present, the Rascals have played their...

       (O'Fallon) (Independent, Frontier League
      Frontier League
      The Frontier League, based in Sauget, Illinois, is a professional, independent baseball organization located in the Midwestern United States, Western Pennsylvania, and Southern Ontario. It operates mostly in cities not served by Major or Minor League Baseball teams and is not affiliated with either...

      )
    • Chillicothe Mudcats (Independent, M.I.N.K. League)
    • Excelsior Springs Cougars (Independent, M.I.N.K. League)
    • Farmington Firebirds (Independent, KIT League
      KIT League
      The Kentucky-Illinois-Tennessee League is a summer collegiate wooden bat league. The league's name is formed from the initials of the states that originally hosted the first iteration of the KIT League...

      )
    • Joplin Outlaws (Independent, M.I.N.K. League)
    • Marysville Magpies (Independent, Jayhawk League)
    • Nevada Griffins (Independent, M.I.N.K. League)
    • Ozark Generals (Independent, M.I.N.K. League)
    • St. Joe Mustangs (Independent, M.I.N.K. League)
    • Sedalia Bombers (Independent, M.I.N.K. League)
    • St. Louis Tribe (Independent, MSBL National League)
    • Sikeston Bulls
      Sikeston Bulls
      The Sikeston Bulls are a summer collegiate baseball team based in Sikeston, Missouri. The team, which plays in the KIT League plays its home games in VFW Memorial Stadium, located in Sikeston, Missouri...

       (Independent, KIT League
      KIT League
      The Kentucky-Illinois-Tennessee League is a summer collegiate wooden bat league. The league's name is formed from the initials of the states that originally hosted the first iteration of the KIT League...

      )
    • Hannibal Cavemen
      Hannibal Cavemen
      The Hannibal Cavemen are a collegiate summer league baseball team located in Hannibal, Missouri, in the United States. They are a member of the West Division of the summer collegiate Prospect League.-History:...

       (Prospect League) Kansas City T-bones
      Kansas City T-Bones
      The Kansas City T-Bones are a professional baseball team based in Kansas City, Kansas, in the United States. The T-Bones are a member of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball...

       (Kansas City)
  • Ice Hockey:
    • St. Louis Chill (Midwest Hockey League
      Midwest Hockey League
      The Midwest Hockey League was a short-lived proposed low level minor pro hockey league that was scheduled to begin play in the 2009-2010 season...

      )
    • Missouri Mavericks
      Missouri Mavericks
      The Missouri Mavericks are an ice hockey team in the Central Hockey League. They play in Independence, Missouri, USA, located near Kansas City, Missouri, at the Independence Events Center.-History:...

       (Central Hockey League
      Central Hockey League
      The Central Hockey League is a mid-level professional hockey league, owned by Global Entertainment Corporation. Its current champions are the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, which defeated the Colorado Eagles four games to three in the 2011 playoffs....

      )

Former professional sports teams

  • National Football League
    National Football League
    The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

    :
    • St. Louis Cardinals (moved from Chicago in 1960; moved to Tempe, Arizona
      Tempe, Arizona
      Tempe is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2010 population of 161,719. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale...

       in 1988 and are now the Arizona Cardinals
      Arizona Cardinals
      The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football team based in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

      )
    • St. Louis All Stars
      St. Louis All Stars
      St. Louis All-Stars was a professional football team that played in the National Football League during the 1923 season. The team played at St. Louis, Missouri's Sportsman's Park...

       (active in 1923 only)
    • Kansas City (NFL)
      Kansas City (NFL)
      Kansas City, Missouri had a National Football League team prior to the Chiefs that operated under two different names: The Blues in 1924 and the Cowboys from 1925-1926. The Blues competed as a traveling team, playing all of their NFL games in other cities' stadia in their only year under that name...

       (Blues/Cowboys) (active 1924–1926, folded)
    • St. Louis Gunners
      St. Louis Gunners
      The St. Louis Gunners, were an independent professional football team based in St. Louis, Missouri, who played the last three games of the 1934 National Football League season, replacing the Cincinnati Reds on the league schedule after the Reds' league membership was suspended...

       (independent team, joined the NFL for the last three weeks of the 1934 season and folded thereafter)
  • Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

     (American League
    American League
    The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

    )
    :
    • St. Louis Browns (moved from Milwaukee in 1902; moved to Baltimore
      Baltimore
      Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

      , Maryland after the 1953 season and are now the Baltimore Orioles
      Baltimore Orioles
      The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league...

      )
    • Kansas City Athletics (moved from Philadelphia in 1955; moved to Oakland, California after the 1967 season and are now the Oakland Athletics
      Oakland Athletics
      The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the O.co Coliseum....

      )
  • National Basketball Association
    National Basketball Association
    The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

    :
    • St. Louis Bombers
      St. Louis Bombers (NBA)
      The St. Louis Bombers were a National Basketball Association team based in St. Louis, Missouri, founded in 1946. The team ceased operations in 1950.- Franchise history :...

       (charter BAA
      Basketball Association of America
      The Basketball Association of America was a professional basketball league in North America, founded in 1946. The league merged with the National Basketball League in 1949, forming the National Basketball Association ...

       franchise in 1946, joined the NBA when it formed in 1949; ceased operations in 1950)
    • St. Louis Hawks (moved from Milwaukee in 1955; moved to Atlanta in 1968 and are now the Atlanta Hawks
      Atlanta Hawks
      The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are part of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association .-The first years:...

      )
    • Kansas City Kings (moved to Sacramento
      Sacramento, California
      Sacramento is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the county seat of Sacramento County. It is located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California's expansive Central Valley. With a population of 466,488 at the 2010 census,...

       in 1985 and are now the Sacramento Kings
      Sacramento Kings
      The Sacramento Kings are a professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California, United States. They are currently members of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association...

      )
  • National Hockey League
    National Hockey League
    The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

    :
    • Kansas City Scouts
      Kansas City Scouts
      The Kansas City Scouts was a professional ice hockey team in the National Hockey League from 1974–76. In 1976, the franchise relocated to Denver, Colorado and became the Colorado Rockies...

       (1974 expansion team, moved to Denver, Colorado in 1976 and became the Colorado Rockies
      Colorado Rockies (NHL)
      The Colorado Rockies were an American professional ice hockey team in the National Hockey League that played in Denver, Colorado, from 1976 to 1982. They were a relocation of the Kansas City Scouts, a 1974 expansion team. The franchise moved to East Rutherford, New Jersey, in 1982 and was...

      , and would move again to Newark, New Jersey
      Newark, New Jersey
      Newark is the largest city in the American state of New Jersey, and the seat of Essex County. As of the 2010 United States Census, Newark had a population of 277,140, maintaining its status as the largest municipality in New Jersey. It is the 68th largest city in the U.S...

      ; now called the New Jersey Devils
      New Jersey Devils
      The New Jersey Devils are a professional ice hockey team based in Newark, New Jersey, United States. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League...

      )
    • St. Louis Eagles
      St. Louis Eagles
      The St. Louis Eagles were a professional ice hockey team and a former member of the National Hockey League based in St. Louis, Missouri. The Eagles existed for only one year, playing in the 1934–35 NHL season....

       (1934 relocation of the original Ottawa Senators
      Ottawa Senators (original)
      The Ottawa Senators were an amateur, and later, professional, ice hockey team based in Ottawa, Canada which existed from 1883 to 1954. The club was the first hockey club in Ontario, a founding member of the National Hockey League and played in the NHL from 1917 until 1934...

      , folded after the 1934–35 season)
  • Major League Soccer
    Major League Soccer
    Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

    :
    • Kansas City Wizards
      Kansas City Wizards
      Sporting Kansas City is an American professional soccer club based in Kansas City, Kansas that competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States of America and Canada...

       (founded in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1995; moved to Kansas City, Kansas
      Kansas City, Kansas
      Kansas City is the third-largest city in the state of Kansas and is the county seat of Wyandotte County. It is a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, and is the third largest city in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. The city is part of a consolidated city-county government known as the "Unified...

       in 2007)
  • Continental Basketball Association
    Continental Basketball Association
    The Continental Basketball Association was a professional men's basketball league in the United States, which has been on hiatus since the 2009 season.- History :...

    :
    • Teams in Kansas City and St. Louis

Naval vessels

Four US Navy vessels have been named after the state.
, a sidewheel frigate
Frigate
A frigate is any of several types of warship, the term having been used for ships of various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.In the 17th century, the term was used for any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being "frigate-built"...

 launched in 1841 and destroyed by fire in 1843, a Maine-class battleship
Maine class battleship
The three Maine class battleships: , , and were launched in the first several years of the 20th century. These were the first US capital ships to use smokeless powder for their main batteries, and the last to use Harvey armor. Smokeless powder allowed a decrease in gun size, with an increase in...

 in service from 1900 to 1922, an Iowa-class battleship
Iowa class battleship
The Iowa-class battleships were a class of fast battleships ordered by the United States Navy in 1939 and 1940 to escort the Fast Carrier Task Forces which would operate in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Six were ordered during the course of World War II, but only four were completed in...

 in service from 1944 to 1998; site of the official Japanese surrender of World War II; decommissioned in 1998; now a floating war memorial at Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii, a Virginia-class submarine
Virginia class submarine
The Virginia class is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines in service with the United States Navy. The submarines are designed for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions...

 joined the fleet after a commissioning ceremony July 31, 2010 at the Naval Submarine Base New London.

State nickname

The use of the unofficial nickname the Show-Me State has several possible origins. The phrase "I'm from Missouri" means 'I'm skeptical of the matter and not easily convinced'. This is related to the state's unofficial motto of "Show Me," whose origin is popularly ascribed to an 1899 speech by Congressman Willard Vandiver, who declared that "I come from a country that raises corn and cotton, cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I'm from Missouri, and you have got to show me." However, according to researchers, the phrase was in circulation earlier in the 1890s. According to another legend, the phrase was a reference to Missouri miners brought to Leadville, Colorado to take the place of striking miners and being unfamiliar with the mining methods there required frequent instruction.

Missouri is also known as "The Cave State" with over 6000 recorded caves (second to Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

). Perry County
Perry County, Missouri
Perry County is a county located in Southeast Missouri in the United States. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the county's population was 18,132. In 2008 the population was estimated to be 18,743. Its county seat is Perryville. The county was officially organized on November 16, 1820 from Ste...

 has both the largest number of caves and the single longest cave in the state.

Other nicknames include "The Lead State", "The Bullion State", "The Ozark State", "Mother of the West", "The Iron Mountain State", and "Pennsylvania of the West".

There is no official state nickname. However, the official state motto is "Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto", Latin for "Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law."

See also

  • Outline of geography
    Outline of geography
    The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to geography:Geography – science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth.- Geography is :...

    • Outline of North America
      • Outline of the United States
        • Outline of Missouri
          Outline of Missouri
          thumb|The location of the [[State of Missouri]] in the [[United States of America]]thumb|An enlargeable map of the [[State of Missouri]]The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the U.S. state of Missouri:...

  • Index of Missouri-related articles
  • List of National Register of Historic Places in Missouri
    National Register of Historic Places listings in Missouri
    This is a list of properties and historic districts in Missouri that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are NRHP listings all but one of Missouri's 114 counties and the one independent city of St. Louis....

  • List of people from Missouri


External links


}
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