Missouri State Facts: 25 Important Facts About Missouri [The Show-Me State]

Last updated on July 4th, 2018

Missouri is the 18th most populous and the 21st most extensive of the United States. It lies in the Midwestern United States. The state attained statehood on August 10, 1821, becoming the 24th state to join the union. It has eight (8) bordering states including Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, and Kentucky. See the full list of states and their borders here. Missouri (nicknamed: The Show-Me State) has 114 counties. The state’s capital is Jefferson City. With these facts about Missouri, let us learn more about its history, geography, people, economy and more.     

1. Human settlement has been recorded in the region for at least 12,000 years ago.[1]

2. Missouri was once an important hub for transportation and commerce in early America. [2]

3. Missouri has the largest beer producing plant in the country as it house the maker of Budweiser beer – the Anheuser-Busch.[2]

4. Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet were the first Europeans to set foot on the land in 1673 while travelling down the Mississippi River.[3]

5. The “Missouri Gazette”, the first newspaper in Missouri, was founded in Missouri in 1808 by Joseph Charles.[3]

Missouri on map

6. Mark Twain, a world’s renowned influential writer, was born in Missouri in 1835.[3]

7. In 1849, a cholera epidemic struck St. Louis, killing over 4,000 people.[3]

8. In 1911, a lightning strike on Missouri State Capitol that resulted in a fire destroyed the building completely.[3]

9. Missouri is named after the Missouri River, which was named after the indigenous Missouri Indians. The Missouri River is the longest river in the USA.[1]

10. Missouri is a landlocked state and borders eight states. Both Missouri and Tennessee have borders with the most number of states (8 states) in the U.S.[1] (See the list of U.S. states and their borders here.)

11. The Mississippi and the Missouri River are the two largest rivers of the state.[1]

12. Missouri is one of the leading producers of transportation equipment.[4]

13. Missouri is a leading lead-producing state. The deposit of the metal fostered the first European settlement in the state in about 1750.[5]

14. Ice cream cones made from waffles were first invented in Missouri in the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 when an ice cream vendor ran out of cups to supply the ice cream. The vendor asked a waffle vendor to roll waffles to supply the ice cream, and hence the birth of the cone took place. [12]

15. The first parachute jump from a plane was also made at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis on March 1, 1912.[5]

16. Harry S. Truman (33rd president of the U.S.) was the only president of the United States born in Missouri. (Born: 8 May 1884, Lamar, Missouri, United States; Died: 26 December 1972, Kansas City, Missouri, United States)[6]

17. Kansas City, Missouri, is home to more than 200 fountains. The city is only behind Rome in the total number of fountains. It is also nicknamed “the City of Fountains”. Other nicknames of Kansas City include Heart of America and America’s Creative Crossroads.[7]

18. Union Station the second-largest working train station in the U.S. behind the Grand Central terminal is in Kansas City, Missouri. It was built in 1914.[7]

19. The American Jazz Museum – the first museum solely dedicated to Jazz music is also located in Kansas City, Missouri.[7]

20. Big Springs, Missouri is one of the largest springs in the U.S. and the world. The spring has an average flow of 470 cubic feet (13,000 L) of water per second.[8]

21. Gateway Arch, in St. Louis, is the tallest man-made national monument in the United States. It is 630 feet tall. The monument is also known as the “Gateway to the West”.[9]

Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.

22. Missouri, along with Illinois and Indiana, also witnessed the deadliest tornado in U.S. history – The Tri-State Tornado. The tornado killed 695 people which is more than twice as many as the second deadliest in the U.S. history.[10]

23. Missouri is also known as the Cave State. It has more than 6,000 caves.[14]

24. Kansas City and St. Louis are home to more than half of the state’s population.[11]

25. Missouri is home to almost 10,000 farms which cover 66% of the state’s total land area. The average size of a farm in Missouri is 269 acres and they are generally family owned and operated. Soybean and corn are the state’s top crops.[13]

Missouri – Quick Facts and State Symbols

State AbbreviationMO
State CapitalJefferson City
Largest CityKansas City
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 69,704 sq miles; Land Only: 68,886 sq miles
(Estimate July 1, 2017 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodAugust 10, 1821
State rank by population18th
State rank by date of formation24th
State rank by area21st
Number of Counties114
Bordering StatesArkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee
Official LanguageEnglish
Highest PointTaum Sauk Mountain
1,772 ft (540 m)
Lowest pointSt. Francis River at Arkansas border
230 ft (70 m)
Length300 miles (480 km)
Width240 miles (390 km)
GovernorEric Greitens
Electoral Votes10
State MottoSalus populi suprema lex esto (Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law)
State NicknameShow-me State
% Water1.17
Nobel Prize WinnersJack Kilby (Physics, 2000)
Roger D. Kornberg (Chemistry, 2006)
T.S. Eliot (Literature, 1948)
Steven Chu (Physics, 1997)
Famous peopleRoger Wehrli (Pro Football player)
Yogi Berra (Baseball player)
Jo Jo White (Basketball player)
Pat LaFontaine (Hockey player)
John Goodman (Actor)
Eminem (Singer)
U.S. President Born in Missouri1. Harry S. Truman.
State AnimalMissouri mule
State Flag

Flag of Missouri.svg

State seal

Seal of Missouri.svg

State coat of arms

Coat of arms of Missouri.svg

State quarter

Missouri quarter

State fish

Paddlefish Polyodon spathula.jpg

State AmphibianBullfrog

Ouaouaron / Bullfrog
State BirdBluebird

Eastern Bluebird-27527-2.jpg

State Game Bird
Bobwhite Quail

Quail 7-10-14

Orconectes limosus - Kamberkrebs.jpg



State ReptileThree-toed box turtle

Three-toed Box Turtle.jpg

State HorseMissouri Fox Trotting Horse

Quick Trigger Missouri Fox Trotter.jpeg

State DinosaurHypsibema missouriensis

State FlowerHawthorn

Common hawthorn flowers.jpg

State Insect

Honey Bee
State FossilCrinoid

Agaricocrinus americanus Carboniferous Indiana.jpg

State TreeFlowering Dogwood

dogwood & blue sky
Longitude89° 6′ W to 95° 46′ W
Latitude36° 0′ N to 40° 37′ N
Time ZoneEastern Time Zone,
Area Codes314, 417, 557, 573, 636, 660, 816, 975
Data SourceWikipedia, 1Keydata
Table last updated9th April , 2018


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri
  2. https://www.history.com/topics/us-states/missouri
  3. https://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/history/timeline/timeline1.asp
  4. https://www.infoplease.com/us/states/missouri
  5. https://awesomeamerica.com/missouri/
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_S._Truman
  7. http://kcmayor.org/about-kc
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Spring_(Missouri)
  9. https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/worlds-tallest-buildings-monuments-and-other-structures/8/
  10. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/30/us/deadliest-tornadoes/index.html
  11. http://www.americaslibrary.gov/es/mo/es_mo_subj.html
  12. http://www.americaslibrary.gov/es/mo/es_mo_cone_1.html
  13. https://www.farmflavor.com/missouri-agriculture/
  14. https://dnr.mo.gov/geology/docs/gcwinter8.pdf