77 Iowa Facts and Weird Laws

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Iowa’s midwestern charm sets this state apart from others. Iowa’s cities are welcoming and friendly; from Des Moines to Cedar Rapids, this state is the one you visit when you want to explore unique places.

When you explore this state, you’ll gain knowledge, enjoy the adventure, and you are likely to draw inspiration from the scenic landscapes.

We’ve compiled fun facts about Iowa to let you know why people keep going to this Iowa. You will also learn about the state’s history, politics, famous locations, and famous people who call this state home.

Here are the Iowa facts that even locals would love to know.

Weird Iowa Facts

  1. There are more hogs than people in Iowa.
  2. Iowa beats all the United States in corn production.
  3. Iowa is home to the world’s largest truck stop, the Iowa 80 Truckstop.
  4. In the American Gothic painting, the American Gothic House is in Eldon, Iowa.
  5. Iowa is the Ice Cream capital of the world.
  6. Iowa has the highest literacy rate in the country.
  7. Iowa is home to Otto Frederick Rohwedder, the inventor of the bread-slicing machine.
  8. Iowa was the third state to legalize same-sex marriage.
  9. Iowa is home to the world’s largest nickel.
  10. Iowa has one of the largest farmland in the nation.

Iowa Facts – Politics, And Government 

  1. Iowa has six of the electoral votes in the electoral college.
  2. Iowa politics is unpredictable, and this makes it exciting. Democrats have won six out of the past nine presidential elections. The huge Republican Party victory margin in 2016 and 2020 shows that this state has turned red.
  3. The Iowa caucus is the first of such in the United States. This meeting takes place biennially to elect delegates to state conferences.
  4. President Joe Biden is the first Democrat to win the elections without carrying Iowa since Jimmy Carter in 1976. 
  5. President Joe Biden is also the first to win the elections without winning Wapello county since 1916.
  6. Former U.S. President Donald Trump is the first Republican nominee, since 1984, to win Iowa twice in a row (2016 and 2020). Ronald Reagan achieved this feat in 1980 and 1984.
  7. The voting trend in the last election shows that whites with no college degree and the majority of Christians supported Trump.
  8. The University of Iowa was the first U.S. university to grant admission to men and women on equal grounds in 1847. 
  9. In 1869, Iowa granted women rights to practice law, making it the first state to do so in the country.
  10. The government of Iowa granted “partial suffrage” to women in 1894. Women could vote on problems but not for candidates.  
  11. The ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920 gave women full suffrage. 
  12. Iowa is the first midwestern state and the third U.S. state to allow same-sex marriage. 
  13. Both the governor and lieutenant governor of Iowa state are elected on a joint ticket. They are the head of the executive branch.
  14. Iowa has a bicameral legislature with one hundred members of the House of Representatives (serve two-year terms) and fifty members of the Senate (serve four-year team).
  15. Iowa has a nonpartisan legislative service bureau to draw new congressional or legislative districts.
  16. Iowa Supreme Court has nine justices appointed by the governor. It serves as the top court in the state. 
  17. The 43rd and current governor of Iowa is a Republican, Kim Reynolds.
People have been making fun of the delay issues in Iowa Caucus. Credits. Know your meme. 

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Iowa Facts – History 

  1. American Indians arrived in the present-day Iowa state as early as 13,000 years ago.
  2. These hunting and gathering tribes developed social, economic, and political systems before the arrival of Europeans. 
  3.  Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet, while traveling on the Mississippi River, were the first Europeans to document Iowa.
  4.  The region of Iowa was formerly French territory before 1763 when the French gave control of this territory to the Spanish. 
  5. Iowa was part of Louisiana territory. 
  6. Iowa found itself in the District of Louisiana when the Congress divided La Louisiane into two parts after the Louisiana purchase. 
  7. The first Americans settled along the Mississippi River in 1833. 
  8.  The U.S. Congress created the Iowa territory in 1838, and the president-appointed governor of the state was Robert Lucas.
  9. Iowa joined the Union in 1846, becoming the 29th state to achieve statehood.
  10. The state’s first capitol building was in Iowa city. The Old capitol building is now home to a Museum.
  11.   The American Civil War was not fought in Iowa, but this state contributed nearly 75,000 men to the Union. 
  12. The Iowa name originated from Ioways (or Iowas) people of the Sioux Native Americans. It means beautiful land. 
  13. The Hawkeye State is the popular nickname of Iowa State. 

Iowa Facts – Geography

Credits: Wattpad
  1. Iowa is a Midwestern state of the United States that lies between the Big Sioux River, the Mississippi River, and the Missouri River.
  2.  Iowa is the 26th largest state in the United States of America, with 55,857.1 square miles.
  3. It borders Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.
  4. Iowa is the only state with river borders on its east and west boundaries. 
  5. . The Hawkeye Point is Iowa’s highest point at 1670 feet above sea level, whereas the Mississippi River is its lowest point at 480 feet.
  6. Iowa has three geological regions: the young drift plains, the driftless area, and the deserted till plains. 
  7. The Hawkeye State has 33 natural lakes, with the deepest being the Great Lakes.
  8. Before the European settlement, nearly 6 million acres of land was a wetland. 
  9. Artificial lakes include Lake Odessa, Rathbun Lake, Saylorville Lake, Coralville Lake, Lake Red Rock, and Lake MacBride.
  10. Northwest Iowa has natural lakes such as the West Okoboji Lake, Spirit Lake,  and East Okoboji Lake. 
Lake Okoboji. Credits: Unsplash
  1. Tallgrass Prairie, Savannah, dense forests, wetlands, and river valleys constitute the natural vegetation of this state.
  2. The entire state experiences a humid continental climate.
  3. Des Moines experiences an annual temperature of 10°C (50°F). Snowfall is prevalent in this state. Springs are known for severe weather, including thunderstorms and tornadoes.
Credits: Pinterest
  1. Summer ushers in heat and humidity. The state’s highest temperature was  48°C (118 °F) recorded on July 20, 1934, at Keokuk. An -44°C (-47°F) temperature is Iowa’s lowest ever. It was recorded on January 12, 1912, in Washta.

Iowa Facts – Plants And Animal Life

Credits: Unsplash
  1.  Iowa’s forest is home to red foxes, white-tail deer, coyotes, bobcats, and gray foxes.
  2. Its native small animals include muskrat, eastern mole, otters, and opossums.
  3. Mallards, blue-winged teals, and cranes are native waterfowl species. 
Credits: Unsplash
  1. The country’s only land bird with a plumage color, the bobolink, is native to this state.
  2. Moose, wolves, elk, bears, and mountain lions enter the Hawkeye eye state from its neighbor states.
  3.  Iowa is home to rodents such as the eastern squirrel. 
  4. Iowa State is home to nine bat species. The rarest bat, the little brown bat, lives here.
  5. The Iowa state bird is the American goldfinch.
  6.  The Hawkeye State is home to 28 snakes and four rattlesnake species, namely the Eastern Massasauga, Copperhead, Prairie rattlesnakes, and the Timber rattlesnake.
  7. The endangered animal species in this state include the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake, bald eagle, osprey, and the trumpeter swan.
  8. Wild Rose is the state flower, and the official state tree is the burr oak.
  9. The trees that thrive in Iowa include the Silver maple, Burr oak, American hornbeam, Sugar maple, swamp white oak, etc.

Iowa Facts – Demographics

Des Moines. Credits: Unsplash
  1. Iowa is the 31st largest state by population in the country. It has over 3,190,369 people.
  2. Des Moines is the largest capital city of Iowa. This city has a population of over 210,330 people. 
  3.  Residents of Iowa are called Iowans or Hawkeyes.
  4. Over 70% of the people living in Iowa were born in the state. 
  5. Whites are the predominant group in Iowa. They constitute over 80% of the total population.
  6. The prevailing religious group is the Protestants, followed by Catholics.
  7. Over 90% of Iowans speak English. Therefore, it is the most spoken language in this state.
  8. Apart from English and Spanish, no other language has over 0.5% speakers of the total population.
  9. Over 40% of Iowans are college-educated.
Credit: Pinterest

Iowa Facts – Economy

  1. Iowa is one of the states with the largest farmland in the country. 
Credits:  Business Record
  1. This state has rich soils and enough rainfall to support agriculture. 
  2. Iowa is one of the leading producers of corn, hogs, and soya beans.
  3. Viticulture is common in Iowa. The state has hundreds of vineyards for commercial purposes.
  4. Originally, this state’s industries depended largely on agriculture for raw materials.
  5. Today, Banking, biotechnology, insurance, education, research, and development are the key pillars of the Iowa economy. 
  6. Mineral resources mined in this state include gypsum, quarry, and cement.
  7. The state is a major producer of ethanol in the country.
  8. It is also one of the top wind energy producers in the United States.
  9. Deere & Company, the leading agricultural equipment manufacturer, has plants in Des Moines, Davenport, Ottumwa, Waterloo, and Dubuque.
  10. Other products manufactured in this state include rolled aluminum, electrical appliances, chemicals, motor homes, and foodstuffs.
  11. Iowa State University is the state’s largest university while the University of Iowa is the oldest.
Credits: Wattpad

Famous Locations in Iowa

  1. National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, located in Dubuque, features live animals, collections, and exhibits that headline the importance (geological and cultural) of national rivers in the country.
  2. National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, located in Cedar Rapids, allows you to learn more about the Czech and Slovaks.
  3. Preparation Canyon State Park.
  4. Enjoy a view of downtown Des Moines at the State Capitol building on Grand Avenue, Des Moines.
  5. Maquoketa Caves State Park is the perfect destination for hiking. 
  6. Travel to the past at Amana colonies in Eastern Iowa.
  7. RAGBRAI is an annual bike racing event that showcases the friendly Midwestern culture.
  8. The Bridges of Madison County promises a scenic adventure.
  9. Des Moines Art Center has collections of sculptures, photography, and painting.
  10. Herbert Hoover National Historic Site,near Iowa City, celebrates the life of the 31st President of the United States, Hebert Hoover.
  11. Field of Dreams Movie Site in Dyersville is an exquisite location you’ll love, especially when you are a fan of the Field of Dreams Movie.
  12. Sioux City is home to the Sioux City Public Museum and the Sioux City Art Center with amazing displays.

Famous People From Iowa

  • Born Colby Daniel Lopez in Davenport, Seth Rollins is a professional wrestler.
  • Herbert Hoover, dead, was born in West Branch. He was the 31st U.S. President.
  • Julia Michaels, born in 1993, is a singer.
  • Kate Mulgrew, born in 1955, is a popular actress.
  • Shawn Johnson, born in 1992, is a gymnast.
  • Danielle Colby, born in Davenport, is a Reality T.V. personality. 
Credits: Pinterest

Common Misconceptions About Iowa

Iowa is flat 

Yes, much of it is flat. But a bike racer will tell how surprising the terrain is, especially to those with this notion. Some regions are hilly, and others are flat. 

Nothing much is going on in Iowa

The University of Iowa occupies fourth place in the Princeton Review of Top party schools in America.

All Iowans are farmers 

Credits: Meme Base

Not all Iowans farm. There are other sectors like banking, etc.

Iowa is not open to new ideas

No, Iowa isn’t monocultural. Iowans voted for Barack Obama because they believed in new ideas.

Iowans live on the farm

Credits: Reddit

This state has more farms than most US states, but not everyone lives on them. The urban population is growing.

Iowans fear traffic laws

Credits: Meme Arsenal

Who doesn’t worry about breaking traffic laws?

Weird Laws in Iowa 

Many of the laws below were passed a long time ago, but they still exist in many Iowa cities, but many of them go unenforced. It is easier to pass laws than to revoke them, so some very strange laws remain on the books. Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.

Here are some of our favorites.

  1. Kissing a lady in public when you are a mustached man is illegal. 
  2. A kiss should not last longer than five minutes. It is illegal. 
  3. Selling drugs without a drug tax stamp may land you in trouble.
  4. By law, a one-armed piano player shouldn’t charge a fee when playing.
  5. Using a dead person’s license plate or handicapped parking is illegal.
  6. It’s illegal for ministers to carry their liquor across state lines without a permit.
  7. Reading a person’s palms within the city limits may land you in trouble in Cedar Rapids.
  8. It’s illegal for horses to eat fire hydrants in Marshalltown.
  9. In Mount Vernon, throwing stones or bricks into a highway is illegal unless you have City Council’s written permission. 
  10. It’s unlawful to wink at a lady you don’t know in Ottumwa.
It’s unlawful to wink at a lady you don’t know in Ottumwa. Image: Popsugar

Final Thought

As you can see, Iowa produces more than just corn. Famous people were born in this state, and many others call it home.

With its beautiful landscape, Iowa has some of the most scenic places in the United States. 

Visit Iowa to learn, enjoy the adventure, play your favorite recreation sports, and spark your creativity.

Iowa Facts And Stats

CapitalDes Moines
Population2020 (3,190,369)
GovernorKim Reynolds ( Republican Party)
Date Of AdmissionDecember 28, 1846
U.S. SenatorsJoni Ernst ( R)
Chuck Grassley (R)
US House of Representatives4(of 435 Seats) 
State NicknameThe Hawkeye State
State Motto“Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain”
State Song“Song of Iowa” by Samuel Hawkins Marshall 
State FlowerPrairie Rose
State FishChannel Catfish 
State BirdAmerican Goldfinch
State TreeBurr Oak
State RockGeodes
Neighbor StatesSouth DakotaIllinois Wisconsin MissouriNebraska Minnesota

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Iowa a good state to live in?

Yes, it is peaceful with a low crime rate, good jobs, and a low cost of living. 

What are the 3 interesting facts about Iowa?

  • Iowa has the largest number of pigs of any state in the country.
  • Iowa is the only state bordering two rivers –the Missouri River and the Mississippi River.
  • Iowa is where the ” Hawkeye ” Red Delicious Apple was grown first.

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[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa

[2] https://www.traveliowa.com/getinspireddetails/famous-people-from-iowa/64/

[3] https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/iowa-usia.htm

[4] https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.onlyinyourstate.com/iowa/10-weird-laws-ia/amp/

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Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

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