Where is missouri?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: June 29, 2024

Geographical Location

Missouri is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is bordered by eight states: Iowa to the north, Nebraska and Kansas to the west, Oklahoma to the southwest, Arkansas to the south, Tennessee to the southeast, Kentucky to the east, and Illinois to the northeast. This positioning makes Missouri a significant crossroads that connects the Midwest with the southern and western parts of the country.

Latitude and Longitude

Missouri spans a range of latitudes from approximately 36 degrees to 40 degrees north and longitudes from about 89 degrees to 95 degrees west. The state is about 300 miles wide and 270 miles long, covering an area of approximately 69,715 square miles.

Major Cities

Missouri hosts several major cities, each contributing to its unique character:

  • Kansas City: Located in the western part of the state, Kansas City is known for its jazz heritage, barbecue cuisine, and a vibrant arts scene.
  • St. Louis: Situated along the Mississippi River on the eastern border, St. Louis is famous for the Gateway Arch, a symbol of westward expansion. It's also a hub for cultural and historical attractions.
  • Springfield: Found in the southwestern part of the state, Springfield is known for its proximity to the Ozark Mountains and is often considered the birthplace of Route 66.
  • Columbia: Located in central Missouri, Columbia is home to the University of Missouri and is known for its educational and cultural contributions.
  • Jefferson City: As the state capital, Jefferson City is centrally located and is known for its historical significance and government institutions.

Topography and Natural Features

Missouri's topography is quite diverse:

  • Ozark Mountains: Located in the southern part of the state, the Ozarks are known for their rugged landscape, clear rivers, and abundant caves. This region is a popular destination for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and boating.
  • Mississippi River: Forming the eastern boundary of the state, the Mississippi River is a vital waterway for commerce and transportation.
  • Missouri River: Flowing from the northwest to the central part of the state, the Missouri River is the longest river in North America and has historical importance dating back to the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  • Plains and Prairies: Northern Missouri is characterized by rolling plains and fertile prairies, making it a significant area for agriculture.
  • Lake of the Ozarks: Created by the damming of the Osage River, this large reservoir is a popular destination for recreation and tourism.


Missouri experiences a humid continental climate, with some variations across the state:

  • Summers: Typically hot and humid, with temperatures often exceeding 90°F (32°C).
  • Winters: Can be cold, especially in the northern regions, with temperatures occasionally dropping below freezing.
  • Precipitation: Varies across the state, with the southeast generally receiving more rainfall than the northwest. Tornadoes are a risk, particularly in the late spring and early summer.
  • Spring and Fall: These seasons are generally mild and pleasant, making them popular times for outdoor activities.

Historical Context

Missouri has a rich historical background:

  • Indigenous Peoples: The area now known as Missouri was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Osage and Missouria.
  • European Exploration: In the late 17th century, French explorers were among the first Europeans to explore the region, which later became part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
  • Statehood: Missouri was admitted to the Union as the 24th state on August 10, 1821, under the Missouri Compromise, which allowed it to enter as a slave state, balanced by the admission of Maine as a free state.
  • Civil War: Missouri was a border state during the Civil War, with factions supporting both the Union and the Confederacy. This led to significant internal conflict and guerrilla warfare.


Missouri has a diverse economy that includes:

  • Agriculture: The state is a leading producer of soybeans, corn, and livestock. Its fertile soil and favorable climate support a robust agricultural sector.
  • Manufacturing: Missouri has a strong manufacturing base, producing goods ranging from automobiles and aerospace products to food and beverages.
  • Services: The service sector, including healthcare, education, and finance, plays a significant role in the state's economy.
  • Tourism: Attractions like Branson, the Lake of the Ozarks, and historical sites draw millions of visitors each year.

Cultural Significance

Missouri's cultural landscape is rich and varied:

  • Music: Known as the birthplace of ragtime and an important center for blues and jazz, Missouri has a significant musical heritage.
  • Literature: The state was home to famous writers such as Mark Twain and T.S. Eliot, whose works have left a lasting impact on American literature.
  • Festivals: Missouri hosts numerous festivals celebrating everything from its agricultural roots to its vibrant arts scene.
  • Sports: Home to major league sports teams like the Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) and the St. Louis Cardinals (MLB), sports play a vital role in Missouri's cultural identity.


Missouri is home to several notable educational institutions:

  • University of Missouri: Founded in 1839, it is the largest public university in the state and a major research institution.
  • Washington University in St. Louis: A prestigious private university known for its strong programs in medicine, law, and business.
  • Missouri State University: Located in Springfield, it is one of the largest public universities in the state, offering a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs.


Missouri's transportation infrastructure is well-developed:

  • Highways: The state is crisscrossed by major interstate highways, including I-70, I-44, and I-55, facilitating easy travel across the region.
  • Airports: Major airports in Kansas City and St. Louis provide international and domestic flights, while regional airports support local travel.
  • Railroads: Missouri has an extensive rail network, crucial for freight transportation and passenger travel.
  • Public Transit: Cities like St. Louis and Kansas City have public transportation systems that include buses and light rail services.

Unique and Rarely Known Details

Missouri has some lesser-known but intriguing aspects:

  • Ha Ha Tonka State Park: This park features the ruins of a stone castle built in the early 20th century, set against a backdrop of stunning natural beauty.
  • Wine Country: Missouri has a burgeoning wine industry, with the region around Hermann known for its vineyards and wineries.
  • Missouri Rhineland: An area along the Missouri River known for its German heritage and cultural festivals.
  • Bonne Terre Mine: Once one of the world's largest lead mines, it is now a unique dive destination, offering underwater tours in its flooded caverns.

The geography of Missouri is a tapestry of diverse landscapes and rich history, woven together by its rivers, cities, and cultural landmarks. Whether you're exploring the Ozark Mountains, navigating the bustling streets of Kansas City, or delving into the state's historical roots, there's no shortage of avenues to discover in Missouri.

Related Questions

What was the missouri compromise?

The Missouri Compromise was a significant event in the history of the United States, serving as an attempt to resolve the growing tensions between the Northern and Southern states over the issue of slavery. Enacted in 1820, it was a legislative agreement that had complex implications for the future of the nation.

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What is the capital of missouri?

Jefferson City is the capital of the state of Missouri, situated in the heart of the United States. This city, named after Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, is not only the political hub of Missouri but also a region rich in history and culture. Located on the northern edge of the Ozark Plateau, Jefferson City stands proudly along the southern bank of the Missouri River.

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Why is kansas city in missouri?

Kansas City, despite its name, is located in Missouri. This geographical quirk can be traced back to the mid-19th century, a time of rapid expansion and development in America's frontier territories. The city’s origins are deeply intertwined with the westward push of settlers and the establishment of trading posts along the Missouri River.

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What is missouri known for?

One of Missouri's most iconic landmarks is the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Standing at 630 feet tall, it is the tallest man-made monument in the United States. Completed in 1965, the Arch symbolizes the westward expansion of the United States, embodying the spirit of exploration and adventure. Designed by architect Eero Saarinen, the Arch offers breathtaking views of the Mississippi River and the city of St. Louis. Visitors can take a tram ride to the top, explore the Museum of Westward Expansion at its base, and learn about the history and significance of this monumental structure.

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