According to babyinger, Missouri is located in the Midwestern United States and is bordered by eight states; Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. It has a total area of 69,709 square miles making it the 21st largest state in the U.S. The state has a variety of physical geography including lowlands along the Mississippi River and rolling plains to the north. The Ozark Plateau covers most of southern Missouri and is made up of high hills and deep valleys with steep bluffs and caves located throughout. The highest point in Missouri is Taum Sauk Mountain at 1,772 feet above sea level. In central Missouri lies the Missouri River Valley which cuts through the Ozark Plateau providing an area of fertile land for farming. To the west lies Kansas City which sits on top of limestone bluffs overlooking the Missouri River Valley below. Further south along the Mississippi River are several large cities such as St Louis which has a skyline dominated by its famous Gateway Arch monument. The river also provides many opportunities for recreational activities such as fishing and boating as well as providing access to other states for trade purposes. Further south still are several large lakes such as Lake of the Ozarks which provide more recreational activities for visitors to enjoy during their stay in Missouri.
Administrative Regions in Missouri
According to COUNTRYAAH.COM, Missouri is divided into 114 counties and one independent city, St. Louis. Each county is further divided into municipalities such as towns, cities and villages. The state capital is Jefferson City which lies on the Missouri River in the center of the state. The state also has nine congressional districts and is represented in the U.S House of Representatives by eight Democrats and one Republican. Missouri has two senators in the U.S Senate; Roy Blunt (R) and Josh Hawley (R). The state government consists of three branches; executive, legislative and judicial with a governor elected every four years to lead the executive branch. The legislative branch consists of two chambers; a House of Representatives with 163 members and a Senate with 34 members who are elected to serve four-year terms. Each county elects a circuit court judge to serve as its chief administrative officer who oversees all local government operations within that county’s jurisdiction.
The state is also divided into nine planning regions for administrative purposes which are determined by population density, economic development, tourism potential, transportation networks, natural resources and other factors such as cultural heritage sites or recreational areas. These regions are Eastern Ozarks Region, Central Ozarks Region, North Central Plains Region, South Central Plains Region, Northwest Plains Region, Northeast Plains Region, Southwest High Plains Region, Southeast Lowlands Region and St Louis Metropolitan Area region which includes St Louis city and parts of nearby counties in Illinois and Missouri. Each region has its own regional planning commission which works together with local governments to develop comprehensive plans for economic development within their respective jurisdictions.
Demographics of Missouri
According to the 2019 U.S. Census, the population of Missouri is 6,137,428 and the state is ranked 18th in population size among all states. The majority of the population (87.2%) is white, while 8% of residents are Black or African American, 2.3% are Hispanic or Latino and 2.2% are Asian. The median age is 37 years old and the gender ratio is slightly skewed towards males with 51.9% being male and 48.1% being female.
In terms of education, 85.5% of residents over 25 have at least a high school diploma or equivalent while 28% have a bachelor’s degree or higher which is slightly lower than the national average (33%). The median household income in Missouri is $54,521 which falls below the national average of $63,179 and unemployment rate stands at 3%.
The largest cities in Missouri include Kansas City (494,327), St Louis (302,838), Springfield (168,122), Columbia (125,268) and Independence (117,545). Kansas City has the highest concentration of African Americans in Missouri with 29%, followed by St Louis at 23%. In comparison to other states in the Midwest region such as Illinois and Iowa, Missouri has a higher percentage of Hispanics/Latinos making up 8%, whereas Illinois has 6%, Iowa 4%. In terms of religion, most residents identify as Christian with 68%, followed by unaffiliated with 22%.
Transportation in Missouri
Missouri is well-connected with a variety of transportation options available for residents and visitors. The state is served by a network of highways, interstates, railways, airports, and waterways. The main highway system in Missouri includes Interstate 44 (I-44), I-70, I-55 and I-35. Other important highways include U.S. Route 24 (US 24), US 50 and US 63. These highways connect the major cities within the state as well as connecting to other states in the region such as Kansas, Oklahoma and Illinois.
Missouri also has an extensive railway network which serves both passenger and freight traffic throughout the state. Amtrak operates two routes through Missouri that connect St Louis to Kansas City with stops in Jefferson City, Warrensburg, Sedalia and La Plata along the way. The freight railroads are operated by BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) which provides service throughout Missouri with lines running east/west from St Louis to Kansas City as well as north/south from St Louis to Springfield, MO.
In terms of air travel, there are several airports throughout the state including Lambert International Airport in St Louis which is one of the busiest airports in the Midwest region with daily flights to major cities across the country. Other airports include Kansas City International Airport (KCI), Springfield Branson National Airport (SGF), Joplin Regional Airport (JLN) and Columbia Regional Airport (COU).
Finally, Missouri has several waterways that can be used for transportation purposes including major rivers like Mississippi River, Missouri River and Osage River. There are also many smaller rivers such as Big Piney River which connects Lake of Ozarks to Arkansas border while Gasconade River connects Lake of Ozarks to Gasconade County near Waynesville MO. Additionally, there are several ports located along these rivers which facilitate commercial shipping activities within Missouri’s borders.