From Free net encyclopedia
- For the Native American tribe, see Missouri tribe.
- For the North American river, see Missouri River.
Missouri's border physically touches a total of eight different states. It 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 latter across the Missouri River.) The Mississippi and Missouri rivers are the two large rivers which flow through this state.
North of the Missouri River lie the Northern Plains that stretch into Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. Here, gentle rolling hills remain behind from a glacier that once had extended from the north to the Missouri River.
The Ozark plateau begins south of the river and extends into Arkansas, southeast Kansas, and northeast Oklahoma. Springfield in southwestern Missouri lies on the Ozark plateau. Southern Missouri is the home of the Ozark Mountains, a dissected plateau surrounding the Precambrian igneous St. Francois Mountains. It is in the Ozarks that a distinct dialect, often compared to that of residents in certain areas of Kentucky and Tennessee, still exists.
The southeastern part of the state is home to the Bootheel, part of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain or Mississippi embayment. This region is the lowest, flattest and wettest part of the state. It is also the most fertile. Cotton and rice production are prominent in this area. The Bootheel area was the part of the New Madrid Earthquake of 1811–1812.
Although now generally considered part of the Midwest, Missouri was once thought of as Southern, and still is by many Missourians today. For example, Mark Twain, who grew up in Hannibal, in Life on the Mississippi described his upbringing as in "the South". Still, while larger cities, especially those in the northern part of the state (St. Louis, Columbia, Kansas City) consider themselves "Midwestern", rural areas and cities farther south (Cape Girardeau and Springfield) consider themselves more "Southern".
Originally part of the Louisiana Purchase, Missouri was admitted as a 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. During the Civil War, Missouri, a slave state, remained in the Union, but sentiment was split with a significant portion of the populace supporting the Confederate cause.
As of 2005, Missouri has an estimated population of 5,800,310, which is an increase of 40,778, or 0.7%, from the prior year and an increase of 203,627, or 3.6%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 115,403 people (that is 401,148 births minus 285,745 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 69,669 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 42,690 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 26,979 people.
As of 2004, the population included 194,000 foreign-born (3.4% of the state population).
Race and ancestry
The racial makeup of the state and comparison to the prior census: Template:Racial demographics begin Template:Racial demographics White Template:Racial demographics Black Template:Racial demographics Asian Template:Racial demographics Amerindian Template:Racial demographics Other Template:Racial demographics Mixed Template:Racial demographics Hispanic Template:Racial demographics end
The five largest ancestry groups in Missouri are: German (23.5%), Irish (12.7%), American (10.5%), English (9.5%), French (3.5%). 'American' includes those reported as Native American or African American.
German-Americans are a large ancestry group present in most of Missouri. In southern Missouri, most residents are of British/American ancestry. The northern edge of the state also has a high proportion of residents of British and American ancestry. Blacks are populous in the City of St Louis and central Kansas City as well as in the southeastern bootheel and some areas of the Missouri River Valley, places where plantation agriculture was once important. Missouri Creoles of French ancestry are concentrated in the Mississippi River valley south of St. Louis.
6.6% of its population were reported as under 5, 25.5% under 18, and 13.5% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51.4% of the population.
3.4% of Missourians are foreign-born, and 5.1% speak a language other than English at home. The 1997 birth and death rates were:
81.3% were high school graduates (higher than the national average) while 21.6% had a bachelor's degree or higher.
The mean commute time to work was 23.8 minutes. The homeownership rate in 2000 was 70.3% with the mean value of the owner occupied dwelling being $89,900. There were 2,194,594 households with 2.48 people per household. The median household money income for 1999 was $37,934 with the 1999 Per Capita Money Income of $19,936. There were 11.7% (637,891) Missourians living below the poverty line in 1999.
The religious affiliations of the people of Missouri:
- Christian – 83%
- Other Religions – 1%
- Non-Religious – 16%
Of those Missourians who identify with a religion, three in four are Protestants. There is also a moderate-sized Catholic community present in the some parts of the state; approximately one out of five Missourians are Catholics. Heavily Catholic areas include Kansas City and St Louis.
A number of religious organizations have their headquarters in Missouri, including the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, which has its headquarters in Kirkwood, 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. Springfield is the headquarters of the Assemblies of God. The General Association of General Baptists has its headquarters in Poplar Bluff.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Missouri's total state product in 2003 was $195 billion. Per capital personal income in 2003 was $29,464, 27th in the nation. Major industries include aerospace, transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, printing/publishing, electrical equipment, light manufacturing.
The agriculture products of the state are beef, soybeans, pork, dairy products, hay, hemp, corn, poultry, and eggs. Missouri is ranked 6th in the nation for the production of hogs and 7th for cattle. Missouri is ranked in the top 5 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 also actively promotes its quickly-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 in the Union with most of these mines in the central eastern portion of the state. Missouri also ranks first or near first among 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. Some personal property is exempt, including household goods, inventories, wearing apparel and items of personal use and adornment. 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.
Kansas City is still a major railroad hub for BNSF Railway, Norfolk Southern, Kansas City Southern, and Union Pacific. The state of Missouri also has two major airport hubs now as well with Kansas City International Airport and Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Several highways also 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 2,200 miles of highways up to good condition by December 2007. In 2005 the number of traffic deaths in the state increased by 10% to 1,241.
- Interstate 29, Interstate 229
- Interstate 35, Interstate 435 (the Perimeter around the Kansas City Metropolitan Area), Interstate 635
- Interstate 44
- Interstate 55, Interstate 155, Interstate 255
- Interstate 57
- Interstate 64
- Interstate 70, Interstate 170, Interstate 270 (the Perimeter around the Missouri side of the St. Louis Metropolitan Area), Interstate 470, Interstate 670
- Interstate 72
- Interstate 49 (Proposed)
United States highways
|North-south routes||East-west routes|
Law and government
The current constitution of Missouri, the fourth constitution for the state, was adopted in 1945 and provides for three branches of government, the legislative, judicial and executive branches. The legislative branch consists of two bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate. These bodies comprise the General Assembly of the State of Missouri.
The House of Representatives has 163 members that are apportioned based on the last decennial census. The Senate consists of 34 members from districts divided such that the population of each district is approximately equal.
The Judicial department consists of a supreme court consisting of 7 judges. Superior and inferior courts are also provided.
The executive branch is headed by the governor.
- The Governor of Missouri is Matt Blunt (Republican).
- The Lieutenant Governor of Missouri is Peter Kinder (Republican)
- The Missouri Attorney General is Jay Nixon (Democrat)
- The Missouri Secretary of State is Robin Carnahan (Democrat)
- The Missouri State Auditor is Claire McCaskill (Democrat)
- The Missouri State Treasurer is Sarah Steelman (Republican)
- The Senior United States Senator is Christopher S. "Kit" Bond (Republican)
- The Junior United States Senator is James M. Talent (Republican)
Although neither major party has traditionally been dominant in Missouri, the Republican Party has been gaining strength there in recent years. Missouri has a longer stretch of supporting the winning presidential candidate than any other state, having chosen with the nation in every election since 1904 with the exception of Adlai Stevenson in 1956. In 2004, George W. Bush won the state's 11 electoral votes by a margin of 7 percentage points with 53.3% of the vote. Democrat John Kerry only won four of the state's 115 counties—St Louis City, St Louis County, Ste Genevieve, and Jackson County.
- St. Louis — the largest metropolitan area.
- Kansas City — the largest city.
- Springfield — the third-largest city; Missouri State University.
- Columbia — the University of Missouri at Columbia.
- Branson — major tourist destination
- Cape Girardeau
- Sainte Genevieve — oldest permanent European settlement west of the Mississippi River.
- Saint Joseph — the Pony Express began here
- Hannibal — where Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) lived.
- Independence — hometown of president Harry S. Truman
- Saint Charles — the beginning of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the first state capital.
- Rolla — the University of Missouri - Rolla
- Jefferson City — the state capital.
- Sedalia — home of the Missouri state fair.
Missouri's public school system includes kindergarten to 12th grade and requires all children between the ages of 7–16 inclusive to be enrolled in a school. The University of Missouri is Missouri's statewide public university system, having campuses in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia and Rolla. The state also funds a $2000, renewable merit-based scholarship, Bright Flight, given to the top 3% of Missouri High School graduates who attend a university in-state.
Colleges and universities
Professional sports teams
- Baseball: Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals
- Football: Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams
- Hockey: St. Louis Blues
- Soccer: Kansas City Wizards
- Indoor Soccer: St. Louis Steamers and Kansas City Comets
- Arena Football: Kansas City Brigade and River City Rage
- Tennis: St. Louis Aces, Kansas City Explorers, and Springfield Lasers
- Pronunciation of the state's name varies considerably and is a source of some contention; some use a distinct "long i" at the end, and others a "schwa"; other less common variants exist as well.
- The state is named after the Missouri Siouan Indian tribe meaning "town of the large canoes".
- Missouri River
- Missouri tribe
- Missouri Pacific Railroad
- Henry Shaw Ozark Corridor
- List of people from Missouri and the Missouri Wall of Fame
- Historical Houses in Missouri
- List of individuals executed in Missouri
- List of BSA local councils and districts in Missouri
- List of Missouri State Highways
- List of television stations in Missouri
- Missouri Day
- U.S. Census Bureau.
- Missouri Government
- Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis
- State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia
- Missouri's African American History
- African American Businesses and Information Resource
- Missouri State Tourism Office
- State and Local Government on the Net
- Vital Records Information
- Census Data
- Missouri authors and literature at the Southern Literary Review
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