Missouri, one of the midwestern states of the United States. It is almost centrally located in the nation and is bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. The Mississippi River forms the eastern border; the Missouri River nearly bisects the state. With an area of 69,709 square miles (180,546 km 2), Missouri ranks 21st among the states.

Missouri'sMissouri's state bird is the bluebird.
Missouri in brief
General information
Statehood: Aug. 10, 1821, the 24th state.
State abbreviations: Mo. (traditional); MO (postal).
State capital: Jefferson City, Missouri's capital since 1826. Earlier capitals were St. Louis (1820) and St. Charles (1821-1826).
State motto: Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto (The Welfare of the People Shall Be the Supreme Law).
Popular name: The Show Me State.
State song: "Missouri Waltz." Words by J. R. Shannon; music from a melody obtained from John V. Eppel.
Symbols of Missouri
State bird: Native bluebird.
State floral emblem: White hawthorn blossom.
State tree: Flowering dogwood.
State flag and seal: Missouri's state flag, adopted in 1913, has three horizontal stripes of red, white, and blue (top to bottom) that symbolize loyalty to the Union as well as valor, purity, vigilance, and justice. The coat of arms in the center is surrounded by a ring of 24 stars, which show that Missouri was the 24th state. On the state seal, adopted in 1822, two grizzly bears support a shield featuring symbols of Missouri on the left and the arms of the United States on the right. The bears represent the state's strength and the bravery of its citizens.
Land and climate
Area: 69,709 mi2 (180,546 km2), including 811 mi2. (2,100 km2) of inland water.
Elevation: Highest—Taum Sauk Mountain, 1,772 ft (540 m) above sea level. Lowest--230 ft. (70 m) above sea level, along the St. Francis River near Cardwell.
Record high temperature: 118 degrees F (48 degrees C) at Clinton on July 15, 1936, at Lamar on July 18, 1936, and at Union and Warsaw on July 14, 1954.
Record low temperature: –40 degrees F (–40 degrees C) at Warsaw on Feb. 13, 1905.
Average July temperature: 78 degrees F (26 degrees C).
Average January temperature: 30 degrees F (–1 degree C).
Average yearly precipitation: 40 in (102 cm).
Population: 5,595,211.
Rank among the states: 17th.
Density: 80 per mi2 (31 per km2), U.S. average 78 per mi2 (30 per km2).
Distribution: 69 percent urban, 31 percent rural.
Largest cities in Missouri: Kansas City (441,545); St. Louis (348,189); Springfield (151,580); Independence (113,288); Columbia (84,531); St. Joseph (73,990).
Chief products
Agriculture: beef cattle, corn, cotton, grain sorghum, hay, hogs, soybeans, turkeys.
Manufacturing: chemicals, fabricated metal products, machinery, printed materials, processed foods and beverages, transportation equipment.
Mining: coal, lead, limestone, portland cement.
State government
Governor: 4-year term.
State senators: 34; 4-year terms.
State representatives: 163; 2-year terms.
Counties: 114.
Federal government
United States senators: 2.
United States representatives: 9.
Electoral votes: 11.
Sources of information
For information about tourism, write to: Division of Tourism, 301 W. High Street, P.O. Box 1055, Jefferson City, MO 65102. The Web site at http://www.visitmo.com also provides information.
For information on the economy, write to: Department of Economic Development, P.O. Box 1157, Jefferson City, MO 65102-1157. The state's official Web site at http://www.state.mo.us also provides a gateway to much information on Missouri's economy, government, and history.