Missouri Facts 

Missouri is a midwestern state covered with grassy plains, forests, and mountains. It’s home to art museums, jazz clubs, and delicious barbecue.

Whether you’re interested in sports, history, food, or culture, Mississippi has something for everyone.


Quick Facts

  • Capital: Jefferson City
  • Population: 6 million
  • Nickname: The Show-Me State
  • Key Cities: Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Jefferson City, Joplin
  • Postal Abbreviation: MO
  • Major Industries: Transportation, beverages, defense and aerospace, food processing, mining


  • How did Missouri get its name: The name “Missouri” comes from Indian syllables meaning “town of the large canoes,” “wooden canoe people,” or “he of the big canoe.”
  • Date admitted to the Union: Friday, August 10, 1821


  • Size: 69,704 sq. miles
  • Lowest point: Saint Francis River at 230 feet
  • Highest point: Taum Sauk Mountain at 1,772 feet
  • Counties: 114
  • Famous locations: Gateway Arch, Branson Strip, Forest Park, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, National World War I Museum and Memorial

Famous Missourians

  • John Goodman- actor
  • Ginger Rogers- actress
  • Maya Angelou- poet/author
  • Don Cheadle- actor
  • Cedric the Entertainer- comedian
  • Akon- singer

Fun Facts

  • Missouri shares a border with eight different states: Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. It’s tied with Tennessee for the “friendliest” state in the nation.
  • Another nickname for Missouri is “The Cave State.” It’s home to more than 6,000 caves and the only cave restaurant in the United States (found in Richland, Missouri).


  • In 1904, the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri introduced treats including cotton candy, iced tea, Dr. Pepper, and the waffle cone.
  • Four of the largest earthquakes in North American history occurred in New Madrid, Missouri between December 1811 and February 1812.
  • Missouri got its “Show-Me State” nickname in 1899 when Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver said, “I’m from Missouri and you’ve got to show me!”
  • During Abraham Lincoln’s presidential campaign, Valentine Tapley from Pike County, Missouri swore he would never shave again if Lincoln were elected. Tapley kept his promise and grew his beard to twelve feet and six inches before his death in 1910.