Area, 69,686 sq mi (180,487 sq km). Pop. (2000) 5,595,211, a 9.3% increase since the 1990 census. Capital, Jefferson City. Largest city, Kansas City. Statehood, Aug. 10, 1821 (24th state). Highest pt., Taum Sauk Mt., 1,772 ft (540 m); lowest pt., St. Francis River, 230 ft (70 m). Nickname, Show Me State. Motto, Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto [The Welfare of the People Shall Be the Supreme Law]. State bird, bluebird. State flower, hawthorn. State tree, dogwood. Abbr., Mo.; MO
Two great rivers, the Mississippi and the Missouri, have had a great influence on the development of Missouri. The Mississippi tied the region to the South, particularly to New Orleans. The Missouri crosses the state from west to east and enters the Mississippi near St. Louis; the portion of its valley between St. Louis and what became Kansas City was the greatest avenue of early-19th-cent. advance westward across the continent.
The region N of the Missouri River is largely prairie land, where, as on the Iowa plains to the north, corn and livestock are raised. Most of the region S of the Missouri is covered by foothills and by the plateau of the Ozark Mts., a region of hill country populated by a relatively isolated, self-reliant people. The rough, heavily forested eastern section of the Ozarks extends into the less hilly farming plateau in the west and encompasses the irregular, twisting Lake of the Ozarks to the northwest.
In SW Missouri is a long, narrow area of flat land, part of the Great Plains, where livestock and forage crops are raised. In the southeast, in the "Bootheel" region below Cape Girardeau, are the cotton fields of the Mississippi floodplain, a once-swampy area improved after the establishment of a drainage system in 1805. The state's rivers have periodically flooded and eroded fertile farmlands. In 1993 flooding cost 31 lives and caused an estimated $3 billion in damage, much of it to agriculture. The Missouri River basin project represents a major flood control effort.
The capital is Jefferson City, and the largest cities are Kansas City, Saint Louis, Springfield, and Independence. Places of interest include the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, in St. Louis; George Washington Carver National Monument, in Diamond; Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, near Springfield; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, in Kansas City; the Harry S. Truman Memorial Library, in Independence; and the Museum of the American Indian, in St. Joseph. A 185-mi (300 km) bicycle trail stretches from near St. Louis to Sedalia.
Missouri's economy rests chiefly on industry. Aerospace and transportation equipment are the main manufactures; food products, chemicals, printing and publishing, machinery, fabricated metals, and electrical equipment are also important. St. Louis is an important center for the manufacture of metals and chemicals. In Kansas City, long a leading market for livestock and wheat, the manufacture of vending machines and of cars and trucks are leading industries.
Coal in the west and north central sections, lead in the southeast, and zinc in the southwest are among the resources exploited by Missouri's mining concerns. Lead (Missouri has been the top U.S. producer), cement, and stone are the chief minerals produced.
Missouri remains important agriculturally; with over 100,000 farms, the state ranks second only to Texas. The most valuable farm products are soybeans, corn, cattle, hogs, wheat, and dairy items. The development of resorts in the Ozarks, including Branson and several lakes, has boosted tourism income.
In 1945, Missouri adopted a new state constitution that remains in effect. The governor is elected for a term of four years. The general assembly (legislature) has a senate with 34 members and a house of representatives with 163 members. The state also elects nine representatives and two senators to the U.S. Congress and has 11 electoral votes in presidential elections. In 1992, Democrat Mel Carnahan was elected governor; he won reelection in 1996. After Gov. Carnahan died in a plane crash in Oct., 2000, Lt. Gov. Roger B. Wilson succeeded him. In November, Democrat Bob Holden was elected to the office. In 2004 Republican Matt Blunt won the governorship, but in 2008 voters elected a Democrat, Jay Nixon.
Institutions of higher learning include the Univ. of Missouri, with campuses at Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla, and Saint Louis; Missouri State Univ., at Springfield; Saint Louis Univ., Washington Univ., and Webster Univ., at St. Louis; Rockhurst College, at Kansas City; and Westminster College, at Fulton.
Missouri's recorded history begins in the latter half of the 17th cent. when the French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet descended the Mississippi River, followed by Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, who claimed the whole area drained by the Mississippi River for France, calling the territory Louisiana. When the French explorers arrived the area was inhabited by Native Americans of the Osage and the Missouri groups, and by the end of the 17th cent. French trade with the Native Americans flourished.
In the early 18th cent. the French worked the area's lead mines and made numerous trips through Missouri in search of furs. Trade down the Mississippi prompted the settlement of Ste. Geneviève about 1735 and the founding of St. Louis in 1764 by Pierre Laclede and René Auguste Chouteau, who were both in the fur-trading business. Although not involved in the last conflict (1754-63) of the French and Indian Wars, Missouri was affected by the French defeat when, in 1762, France secretly ceded the territory west of the Mississippi to Spain. In 1800 the Louisiana Territory (including the Missouri area) was retroceded to France, but in 1803 it passed to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
French influence remained dominant, even though by this time Americans had filtered into the territory, particularly to the lead mines at Ste Geneviève and Potosi. By the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition (1803-6), St. Louis was already known as the gateway to the Far West.Territorial Status and Statehood
The U.S. Territory of Missouri was set up in 1812, but settlement was slow even after the War of 1812. The coming of the steamboat increased traffic and trade on the Mississippi, and settlement progressed. Planters from the South had introduced slavery into the territory, but their plantations were restricted to a small area. However, the question of admitting the Missouri Territory as a state became a burning national issue because it involved the question of extending slavery into the territories. The dispute was resolved by the Missouri Compromise, which admitted (1821) Missouri to the Union as a slave state but excluded slavery from lands of the Louisiana Purchase north of lat. 36°30'N. (All of Missouri lies north of 36°30' except for the southeastern "bootheel.")
Slaveholding interests became politically powerful, but the state remained principally a fur-trading center. In 1822, W. H. Ashley (who later made a fortune in fur trading) led an expedition of the adventurous trappers who became known as mountain men up the Missouri River to explore the West for furs. From Missouri traders established a thriving commerce over the Santa Fe Trail with the inhabitants of New Mexico, and pioneers followed the Oregon Trail to settle the Northwest. Franklin, Westport, Independence, and St. Joseph became famous as the points of origin of these expeditions.
Settlement of Missouri itself quickened, spreading in the 1820s over the river valleys into central Missouri and by the 1830s into W Missouri. The boundaries of the state were formed after Native Americans gave up their claim to Platte co. in 1836; this strip of land in the northwest corner of Missouri was added to the state. Mormon immigrants came to settle Missouri in the 1830s, but their opposition to slavery and their growing numbers made them unwelcome and they were driven from the state in 1839. German immigrants, however, were cordially received during the 1840s and 50s, settling principally in the St. Louis area.Slavery, Civil War, and a New Missouri
In 1854 the problem of slavery was made acute with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, leaving the question of slavery in the Kansas and Nebraska territories to the settlers themselves. The proslavery forces in Missouri became very active in trying to win Kansas for the slave cause and contributed to the violence and disorder that tore the territory apart in the years just prior to the Civil War. Nevertheless Missouri also had leaders opposed to slavery, including one of its Senators, Thomas Hart Benton.
During the Civil War most Missourians remained loyal to the federal government. A state convention that met in Mar., 1861, voted against secession, and in 1862 the convention set up a provisional government. Guerrilla activities persisted during this period, and the lawlessness bred by civil warfare persisted in Missouri after the war in the activities of outlaws such as Jesse James.
A new Missouri rose out of the war—the semi-Southern atmosphere, along with the river life and steamboating, began to decline, but the flavor of the period was preserved in the works of one of Missouri's most celebrated sons, Mark Twain. The coming of the railroads brought the eventual decay of many of Missouri's river towns and tied the state more closely to the East and North. Urbanization and industrialization progressed, and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, held at St. Louis in 1904, dramatically revealed Missouri's economic growth.Political History
Since the brief period of radical Republican rule from 1864 to 1870, Missouri has been permanently wedded to neither major party. While tending toward the Republicans in the days of Theodore Roosevelt, it turned solidly Democratic for Franklin D. Roosevelt and helped to elect Missourian Harry S. Truman to the presidency in 1948. Political machines in the large cities have attracted national attention, notably the machine of Thomas J. Pendergast (1872-1945) in Kansas City. Missouri has contributed to the United States such outstanding statesmen as Champ Clark, James Reed, and W. Stuart Symington. Thomas Hart Benton, a descendant of the Missouri Senator of the same name, was one of the country's important artists.World War I to the Present
Although during World War I general prosperity prevailed in the state, the depression years of the 1930s sent farm values crashing, and many banks, especially in rural areas, failed. Prosperity returned during World War II, when both St. Louis and Kansas City served as vital transportation centers, and industrialization increased enormously. In the postwar period, Missouri became the second largest producer (behind Michigan) of automobiles in the nation. Although most industry remains based in the two metropolitan centers, smaller Missouri communities, especially suburbs, have since attracted much light and heavy industry, as well as former city dwellers. St. Louis lost half its population between 1950 to 1990, and out-migration has continued; what was once the fourth largest U.S. city is now barely in the top 50 in size.
See State Historical Society, Historic Missouri (1959); E. C. McReynolds, Missouri: A History of the Crossroads State (1962); Federal Writers' Project, Missouri: A Guide to the "Show Me" State (1941, repr. 1981); M. D. Rafferty, Missouri: A Geography (1983); A. M. Gibson, The Encyclopedia of Missouri (1985).
The principal headwaters of the Missouri are the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin rivers, which rise high in the Rocky Mts., SW Mont., and join to form the Missouri near Three Forks, Mont. The Missouri's upper course flows north through scenic mountain terrain including Gate of the Mountains, a deep gorge. At Great Falls, Mont., the river enters a 10-mi (16-km) stretch of cataracts that prevented navigation to the upper river and effectively established Fort Benton, Mont., as the head of navigation for 19th-century riverboats. Below Fort Benton the Missouri follows a meandering course east through the unspoiled Missouri Breaks and Fort Peck Lake (behind Fort Peck Dam) then southeast through the dammed Lakes Sakakawea and Oahe and across the Great Plains of the W central United States, crossing Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota, and forming part of the boundaries of Nebraska, Kansas, and Iowa before crossing Missouri and entering the Mississippi River 17 mi (27 km) N of St. Louis. Nicknamed "Big Muddy" for its heavy load of silt, the brown waters of the Missouri do not readily mix with the gray waters of the Mississippi until c.100 mi (160 km) downstream. The Yellowstone and Platte rivers are the Missouri's chief tributaries.
Above Sioux City, Iowa, the Missouri's fluctuating flow is regulated by seven major dams (Gavins Point, Fort Randall, Big Bend, Oahe, Garrison, Fort Peck, and Canyon Ferry) and more than 80 other dams on tributary streams. These dams, with their reservoirs, are part of the coordinated, basin-wide Missouri River basin project (authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1944), which provides for flood control, hydroelectric power, irrigation water, and recreational facilities. The dams serve to impound for later use the spring rains and snowmelt that swell the volume of the river in March and April and also the second flood stage that frequently occurs in June as the snow melts in the remoter mountain regions. Despite this system of dams, during the extremely rainy summer of 1993 the lower Missouri reached record levels, flooding many areas, eroding farmland, and depositing huge quantities of sand that damaged many thousands of acres of fertile bottomland.
Since the dams have no locks, Sioux City is the head of navigation for the 9-ft (2.7-m) channel maintained over the 760-mi (1,223-km) stretch downstream to the Mississippi. Tugboats pushing strings of barges move freight along this route. From December to March, navigation is interrupted by ice and low water levels (resulting from upstream freezing); summer water levels, which frequently fell so low as to cause river boats to go aground, are now maintained at safe levels by the release of water from Gavin Point Dam. Silt, fertilizers, and pesticides, which are contained in the runoff from agricultural lands, pollute the water above Sioux City, but wastes from industrial plants and from inadequately treated municipal sewage create a more serious level of pollution downstream. There has been a reduction in wetland areas and a loss of fish and wildlife due to the damming of the river.
The Missouri River was an important artery of commerce for Native American villages of the Plains culture long before Europeans arrived. The French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet passed the mouth of the river in 1683 and the Canadian explorer Vérendrye visited the upper reaches of the river in 1738. David Thompson, a Canadian fur trader, explored part of the river in 1797. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark followed the Missouri on their journey (1803-6) to the Pacific Ocean and described it at length (see Lewis and Clark expedition). The first steamboat ascended the river in 1819, and hundreds more later navigated the uncertain waters to Fort Benton. Mormons bound for Utah and pioneers bound for Oregon and California followed the Missouri valley and that of the Platte overland to the West. River traffic declined with the loss of freight to the railroads after the Civil War. Although it was revitalized in the mid-20th cent., in the section below Sioux City, through the navigational improvements and flood control efforts of the Missouri River basin project, barge traffic declined in the late 20th cent. Two stretches of the river are protected as the Missouri National Recreational River (see National Parks and Monuments (table)).
See B. De Voto, Across the Wide Missouri (1947, repr. 1972); H. M. Chittenden, Early Steamboat Navigation on the Missouri River (1972); B. Priddy, Across Our Wide Missouri (2 vol., 1982-84).
(1820) Act passed by the U.S. Congress admitting Missouri to the Union as the 24th state. After the territory requested statehood without slavery restrictions, Northern congressmen tried unsuccessfully to attach amendments restricting further slaveholding. When Maine (originally part of Massachusetts) requested statehood, a compromise led by Henry Clay allowed Missouri admission as a slave state and Maine as a free state, with slavery prohibited from then on in territories north of Missouri's southern border. Clay's compromise appeared to settle the slavery-extension issue but highlighted the sectional division.
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State (pop., 2000: 5,595,211), midwestern U.S. Bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska, it covers 69,709 sq mi (180,546 sq km); its capital is Jefferson City. The Missouri River runs from west to east across the state. The area north of it has rolling hills and fertile plains, the area south has deep valleys and swift streams. The region was originally inhabited by various Indian peoples, one of which, the Missouri, gave the state its name. The first permanent European settlement was made in 1735 at Ste. Genevieve by French hunters and lead miners. St. Louis was founded in 1764. The U.S. gained control of the region in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. It was part of Louisiana Territory in 1805 and Missouri Territory in 1812. An influx of U.S. settlers occurred after the War of 1812. Missouri became the 24th state in 1821, but only after the Missouri Compromise allowed its admission as a slave state. It suffered much tension between slaveholders and abolitionists, evidenced in the Dred Scott decision in 1857. Missouri remained in the Union during the American Civil War, though its citizens fought on both sides. After the war, its economic growth expanded and was celebrated in the St. Louis Exhibition of 1904. After World War II, its economy shifted from agriculture to manufacturing. It leads the nation in lead production, based mainly in the Ozarks region.
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Missouri mirrors the demographic, economic and political makeup of the nation with a mixture of urban and rural culture. It has long been considered a political bellwether state. It has both Midwestern and Southern cultural influences, reflecting its history as a border state. It is also a transition between the eastern and western United States, as St. Louis is often called the "western-most eastern city" and Kansas City the "eastern-most western city." Missouri's geography is highly varied. The northern part of the state lies in dissected till plains while the southern part lies in the Ozark Mountains, with the Missouri River dividing the two. The confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers is located near St. Louis.
The pronunciation of the final syllable of "Missouri" is a matter of some controversy, with a clear majority insisting on a relatively tense vowel (as in "meet"), while a minority prefers a lax vowel ("mitt" or "mutt"). The most thorough study of the question was done by dialectologist Donald Max Lance From a linguistic point of view, there is no correct pronunciation, but rather, there are simply patterns of variation, diachronic as well as synchronic, according to such divisions as geography, age, education, and/or rural vs. urban location.
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; on the east, across the Mississippi River, by Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee; on the south by Arkansas; and on the west by Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska (the last across the Missouri River). The two largest Missouri rivers are the Mississippi, which defines the eastern boundary of the state, and the Missouri, which flows from west to east through the state, practically connecting the two largest cities, Kansas City and St. Louis.
Although today the state is usually considered part of the Midwest, historically Missouri was sometimes considered 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" 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 farther north and of the state's large metropolitan areas, including those where most of the state's population resides (Kansas City, St. Louis, and Columbia), typically consider themselves Midwestern. In rural areas and cities farther south, such as (Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff, Springfield, and Sikeston), residents typically self-identify as more Southern.
North of the Missouri River lie the Northern Plains that stretch into Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. Here, gentle rolling hills remain behind from the glaciation that once extended from the north to the Missouri River. Missouri has many large river bluffs along the Mississippi, Missouri, and Meramec Rivers. The Ozark foothills begin around Rolla. The Ozark plateau begins around Springfield and extends into northwestern Arkansas, southeast Kansas, and northeast Oklahoma. Springfield in southwestern Missouri lies on the most northwestern part of the Ozark plateau. Southern Missouri rises to the Ozark Mountains, a dissected plateau surrounding the Precambrian igneous St. Francois Mountains.
The southeastern part of the state is the Bootheel region, part of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain or Mississippi embayment. It is in this part of the state as well as the South Central part that speech patterns are comparable to those of Kentucky, Arkansas, and Tennessee. This region is the lowest, flattest, and wettest part of the state, and 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 New Madrid Earthquake of 1811–1812.
|Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures For Various Missouri Cities|
Originally part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, Missouri was admitted as a slave state in 1821 as part of the Missouri Compromise. It earned the nickname "Gateway to the West" because it served as a departure point for settlers heading to the west. It was the starting point and the return destination of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. River traffic and trade along the Mississippi was integral to the state's economy. To try to control flooding, by 1860 the state had completed construction of of levees on the Mississippi.
The state was site of the epicenter of the 1812 New Madrid earthquake, possibly the most massive earthquake in the United States since the founding of the country. 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 enters the Missouri River. The river has moved since this designation. This line is known as the Osage Boundary. In 1835 the Platte Purchase was added to the northwest corner of the state after purchasing the land from the native tribes, making the Missouri River the border north of the Kansas River. This addition made what was already the largest state in the Union at the time (about to Virginia's 65,000 square miles (which included West Virginia at the time) even larger.
As many of the early settlers in western Missouri migrated from the Upper South, they brought along enslaved African Americans and a desire to continue their culture and the institution of slavery. They settled predominately in 17 counties along the Missouri River, in an area of flatlands that enabled plantation agriculture and became known as "Little Dixie." In the early 1830s, Mormon migrants from northern states and Canada began settling near Independence and areas just north of there. Conflicts over slavery and religion arose between the 'old settlers' (mainly from the South) and the Mormons (mainly from the North and Canada). The 'Mormon War' erupted. By 1839 settlers expelled the Mormons from Missouri.
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 resulted in both states' calling up militias along the border. After many incidents with Kansans crossing the western border for attacks (including setting a fire in the historic Westport area of Kansas City), a border war erupted between Missouri and Kansas.
From the 1830s to the 1860s, Missouri's population almost doubled with every decade. Most of the newcomers were Americans, but many Irish and German immigrants arrived in the late 1840s and 1850s. Having fled famine, oppression and revolutionary upheaval, they were not sympathetic to slavery.
Most Missouri farmers practiced subsistence farming. The majority of those who held slaves had fewer than 5 each. Planters, 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.
After the secession of Southern states began, 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 for training. Alarmed at this action, Union General Nathaniel Lyon struck first, encircling the peaceful camp and forcing the state troops to surrender. Lyon then directed his soldiers, largely non-English-speaking German immigrants, to march the prisoners through the streets, and 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."
These events heightened Confederate support within the state. Governor Jackson appointed Sterling Price, president of the convention on secession, as head of the new Missouri State Guard. In the face of General Lyon's rapid advance in the state, Jackson and Price were forced to flee the capital of Jefferson City on June 14, 1861. In the town of Neosho, Missouri, Jackson called the state legislature into session. They enacted a secession ordinance, recognized by the Confederacy on October 30, 1861.
With the elected governor absent from his capital and the legislators largely dispersed, Union forces installed an unelected pro-Union provisional government with Hamilton Gamble as provisional governor. President Lincoln's Administration immediately recognized Gamble's government as the legal government. This decision provided both pro-Union militia forces for service within the state and 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 and Texas under General Ben McCulloch. After winning victories at the battle of Wilson's Creek and the siege of Lexington, Missouri and suffering losses elsewhere, the Confederate forces had little choice but to retreat to Arkansas and later Marshall, Texas, 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. "Citizen soldiers" such as Colonel William Quantrill, Frank and Jesse James, the Younger brothers, and William T. Anderson made use of quick, small-unit tactics. Pioneered by the Missouri Partisan Rangers, such insurgencies also arose in other portions of the Confederacy occupied during the Civil War. Recently historians have assessed the James brothers' outlaw years as continuing guerrilla warfare after the official war was over.
In 1930, there was a diphtheria epidemic in the area around Springfield which killed approximately 100 people. Serum was rushed to the area and stopped the epidemic.
During the mid-1950s and 1960s, St. Louis suffered deindustrialization and loss of jobs in railroads and manufacturing as did other major industrial cities. At the same time highway construction made it easy for middle-class residents to leave the city for newer housing in the suburbs. The city has gone through decades of readjustment to developing a different economy. Suburban areas have developed separate job markets, both in knowledge industries and services, such as major retail malls.
In 2006, Missouri had an estimated population of 5,842,713; an increase of 45,010 (0.8 percent) from the prior year and an increase of 246,030 (4.4 percent) since the year 2000. 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 into the state. Immigration 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 (3,145,584 people, or 56.2%) live within the state's two largest metropolitan areas–St. Louis and Kansas City. The state's population density is also closer to the national average than any other state.
The U.S. Census of 2000 found that the population center of the United States is in Phelps County, Missouri. The center of population of Missouri itself is located in Osage County, in the city of Westphalia
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 (23.5 percent), Irish (12.7 percent), American (10.5 percent), English (9.5 percent) and French (3.5 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 of French ancestry are concentrated in the Mississippi River Valley south of St. Louis. A relatively small number (40,000-50,000) of recent Bosniak immigrants live mostly in the St. Louis area.
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.
The religious affiliations of the people of Missouri according to the American Religious Identification Survey:
Several religious organizations have headquarters in Missouri, including the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, which has its headquarters in Kirkwood, as well as the United Pentecostal Church International in Hazelwood, both outside St. Louis. Kansas City is the headquarters of the Church of the Nazarene. Independence, outside of Kansas City, is the headquarters for the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), and the Latter Day Saints group Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 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, which maintains several sites/visitors centers, and whose members make up about 1 percent of Missouri's population. Springfield is the headquarters of the Assemblies of God and the Baptist Bible Fellowship International. The General Association of General Baptists has its headquarters in Poplar Bluff. The Pentecostal Church of God is headquartered in Joplin.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Missouri's total state product in 2006 was $225.9 billion. Per capita personal income in 2006 was $32,707, ranking 26th in the nation. Major industries include aerospace, transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, printing/publishing, electrical equipment, light manufacturing, and beer.
The agriculture products of the state are beef, soybeans, pork, dairy products, hay, corn, poultry, sorghum, and eggs. 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 has vast quantities of limestone. Other resources mined are lead, coal, Portland cement, and crushed stone. Missouri produces the most lead of all of the states. Most of the lead mines are in the central eastern portion of the state. Missouri also ranks first or near first in the production of lime.
Tourism, services and wholesale/retail trade follow manufacturing in importance.
Personal income is taxed in 10 different earning brackets, ranging from 1.5 percent to 6.0 percent. Missouri's sales tax rate for most items is 4.225 percent. Additional local levies may apply. More than 2,500 Missouri local governments rely on property taxes levied on real property (real estate) and personal property. 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 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).
Springfield remains an operational hub for BNSF Railway.
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 of highways up to good condition by December 2007. In 2005 the number of traffic deaths in the state increased by 10 percent to 1,241.
|North-south routes||East-west routes|
The House of Representatives has 163 members who are apportioned based on the last decennial census. The Senate consists of 34 members from districts of approximately equal populations. The judicial department comprises the Supreme Court of Missouri, which has seven judges, the Missouri Court of Appeals (an intermediate appellate court divided into three districts, sitting in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Springfield), and 45 Circuit Courts which function as local trial courts. The executive branch is headed by the Governor of Missouri and includes five other state-wide elected offices.
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 official nickname, the "Show-Me State. As a result, and combined with the fact that Missouri is one of America's leading alcohol-producing states, regulation of alcohol and tobacco in Missouri is among the most laissez-faire 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. It never enacted statewide prohibition. 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 laws, no local option, no precise locations for selling liquor by the package (thereby allowing even drug stores and gas stations to sell any kind of liquor), no differentiation of laws based on alcohol percentage, no prohibition on consumption by minors (as opposed to possession), and no prohibition on absinthe. State law protects persons from arrest or criminal penalty for public intoxication and also expressly prohibits any jurisdiction from going dry. Missouri law also expressly allows parents and guardians to serve alcohol to their children. Along with the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana, 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.
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.
The largest county by size is Texas County (1,179 sq. miles) and Shannon County is second (1,004 sq. miles). Worth County is the smallest (266 sq. miles). The independent city of St. Louis City has only of area. St. Louis City is the most densely populated area in Missouri.
The largest county by population (2000 U.S. Census) is St. Louis County (1,016,315 residents), with Jackson County the second (654,880 residents). Worth County is the least populous, with 2,382 residents.
St. Louis 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. As of 2006, Greater St. Louis was the 16th largest urban area in the nation. Some of the major cities making up the St. Louis Metro area in Missouri include St. Charles, St. Peters, Florissant, Chesterfield, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, O'Fallon, Clayton, Ballwin, and University City.
Kansas City is Missouri's largest city and the principal city of the fifteen-county Kansas City Metropolitan Statistical Area, including six counties in the state of Kansas. As of 2004, it was the 27th largest metropolitan area in the nation. Some of the other major cities comprising the Kansas City metro area in Missouri include Independence, Lee's Summit, Blue Springs, Raytown, Liberty, and Gladstone.
Education is compulsory from ages seven to sixteen in Missouri, commonly but not exclusively divided into three tiers of primary and secondary education: elementary school, middle school 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 or MSHSAA.
Lincoln University in Jefferson City is one of a number of historically black colleges and universities. Founded in 1866, it was created by members of the 62nd and 65th United States Colored Troops as "Lincoln Institute", to provide education to freedmen. It was created on a model of combining academics and labor. In 1921, the state officially recognized the growth of Lincoln's undergraduate and graduate programs by classifying it as a university. The institution changed its name to "Lincoln University of Missouri." In 1954, the university began to accept applicants of all races.
To develop new teachers for needed public schools, in 1905 the state established a series of normal schools at colleges in each region of the state. This was based on the widely admired German model of public education. Normal schools were for the training of teachers of students in primary/elementary schools. The initial network consisted of Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri State University (formerly Southwest Missouri State University) in Springfield, Truman State University (formerly Northeast Missouri State University) in Kirksville, Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, and University of Central Missouri (formerly Central Missouri State University) in Warrensburg. Within several years, the normal school curriculum expanded to a full four years of academic subjects.
There are numerous junior colleges, trade schools, church universities and private universities in the state.
The state also funds a $2000, renewable merit-based scholarship, Bright Flight, given to the top 3 percent of Missouri High School graduates who attend a university in-state.
The 19th c. border wars between Missouri and Kansas have continued as a sports rivalry between the University of Missouri and University of Kansas. The rivalry is chiefly expressed through football games between the two colleges. It is the oldest college rivalry west of the Mississippi River and the second oldest in the nation. Each year when the universities meet to play, the game is coined "Border Showdown." An exchange occurs following the game where the winner gets to take a historic marching band drum, which has been passed back and forth for decades.
Teams in Kansas City and St. Louis.
MISSOURI WORKS WILL ATTRACT MORE NEXT-GENERATION JOBS, ENHANCE SKILLS OF MISSOURI'S WORKFORCE; STRATEGY IS GOVERNOR'S TOP LEGISLATIVE PRIORITY FOR 2012 GOV. NIXON ANNOUNCES MISSOURI WORKS STRATEGY TO CREATE CAREER OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NEW ECONOMY.
Jan 09, 2012; JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The following information was released by the office of the governor of Missouri: Gov. Jay Nixon...
MISSOURI WORKS WILL ATTRACT MORE NEXT-GENERATION JOBS, ENHANCE SKILLS OF MISSOURI'S WORKFORCE; STRATEGY IS GOVERNOR'S TOP LEGISLATIVE PRIORITY FOR 2012 GOV. NIXON VISITS SIKESTON BUSINESS TO OUTLINE MISSOURI WORKS STRATEGY.(Company overview)
Jan 13, 2012; SIKESTON, Mo. -- The following information was released by the office of the governor of Missouri: Gov. Jay Nixon was in...
MISSOURI WORKS WILL ATTRACT MORE NEXT-GENERATION JOBS, ENHANCE SKILLS OF MISSOURI'S WORKFORCE; STRATEGY IS GOVERNOR'S TOP LEGISLATIVE PRIORITY FOR 2012 GOV. NIXON VISITS HOWELL COUNTY BUSINESS TO OUTLINE MISSOURI WORKS STRATEGY.(Company overview)
Feb 01, 2012; WEST PLAINS, Mo. -- The following information was released by the office of the governor of Missouri: Gov. Jay Nixon today...