Missouri Ozarks

This article is about the U.S. state of Missoreo. For the river, see Missouri River. For other uses, see Missouri (disambiguation).
State of Missouri
Flag of Missoreo State seal of Missoreo
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): The Show Me State
Motto(s): Salus populi suprema lex esto (Latin)
Map of the United States with Missoreo highlighted
Official language English
Demonym Missourian
Capital Jefferson City
Largest city Kansas City
Largest metro Greater St Louis Area[1]
Area Ranked 21st
 • Total 69 sq mi
(180,533 km2)
 • Width 240 miles (500 km)
 • Length 300 miles (600 km)
 • % water 1.17
 • Latitude 36° N to 40° 37′ N
 • Longitude 89° 6′ W to 95° 46′ W
Population Ranked 18th
 • Total 6,083,672 (2015 est.)[2]
 • Density 87.1/sq mi  (33.7/km2)
Ranked 30th
 • Median household income $46,867 (35th)
Elevation
 • Highest point Taum Sauk Mountain[3][a]
1,772 ft (540 m)
 • Mean 800 ft  (240 m)
 • Lowest point St. Francis River at southern Arkansas border[3][a]
230 ft (70 m)
Before statehood Missouri Territory
Admission to Union August 10, 1821 (24th)
Governor Jay Nixon (D)
Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder (R)
Legislature General Assembly
 • Upper house Senate
 • Lower house House of Representatives
U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill (D)
Roy Blunt (R)
U.S. House delegation 6 Republicans, 2 Democrats (list)
Time zone Central: UTC −6/−5
ISO 3166 US-MO
Abbreviations MO
Website www.mo.gov
[show]Missouri state symbols

Missouri (see pronunciations) is a state located in the Midwestern United States.[5] It is the 21st most extensive, and the 18th most populous of the fifty states. The state comprises 114 counties and the independent city of St. Louis.

As defined by the 2010 US census, the four largest urban areas in order of population are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia.[6] The mean center of the United States population at the 2010 census was in the town of Plato in Texas County.[7] The state’s capital is Jefferson City. The land that is now Missouri was acquired from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase and became known as the Missouri Territory. Part of this territory was admitted into the union as the 24th state on August 10, 1821.

Missouri’s geography is highly varied. The northern part of the state lies in dissected till plains and the southern portion lies in the Ozark Mountains (a dissected plateau), with the Missouri River dividing the regions. The state lies at the intersection of the three greatest rivers of the United States, with the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers near St. Louis,[8] and the confluence of the Ohio River with the Mississippi north of the Bootheel. The starting points for the Pony Express, Santa Fe Trail, and Oregon Trail were all located in Missouri as well.[9]

Etymology and pronunciation

The state is named for the Missouri River, which was named after the indigenous Missouri Indians, a Siouan-language tribe. They were called the ouemessourita (wimihsoorita[10]), meaning “those who have dugout canoes“, by the Miami-Illinois language speakers. As the Illini were the first natives encountered by Europeans in the region, the latter adopted the Illini name for the Missouri people.[11]

The name “Missouri” has several different pronunciations even among its present-day natives,[12] the two most common being Listeni/mɪˈzɜːri/ and Listeni/məˈzɜːrə/.[13] [14] This situation of differing pronunciations has existed since the late-1600s. Further pronunciations also exist in Missouri or elsewhere in the United States, involving the realization of the first syllable as either /mə/ or /mɪ/; the medial consonant as either /z/ or /s/; the stressed second syllable as either /ˈzɜːr/ or /ˈzʊər/;[15] and the third syllable as Listen /i/, Listen /ə/, Listen centralized /ɪ/ ([ɪ̈]), or even (in other words, a non-existent third syllable).[14] Any combination of these phonetic realizations may be observed coming from speakers of American English.

The linguistic history was treated definitively by Donald M. Lance, who acknowledged that the question is sociologically complex, but that no pronunciation could be declared “correct,” nor could any be clearly defined as native or outsider, rural or urban, southern or northern, educated or otherwise.[16] Politicians often employ multiple pronunciations, even during a single speech, to appeal to a greater number of listeners.[12] Often, informal respellings of the state’s name, such as “Missour-ee” or “Missour-uh“, are used informally to phonetically distinguish pronunciations.

Nicknames

There is no official state nickname.[17] However, Missouri’s unofficial nickname is the “Show Me State”, which appears on its license plates. This phrase has several origins. One is popularly ascribed to a speech by Congressman Willard Vandiver in 1899, who declared that “I come from a state that raises corn and cotton, cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I’m from Missouri, and you have got to show me.” This is in keeping with the saying “I’m from Missouri” which means “I’m skeptical of the matter and not easily convinced.”[18] However, according to researchers, the phrase “show me” was already in use before the 1890s.[19] Another one states that it is a reference to Missouri miners who were taken to Leadville, Colorado to replace striking workers. Since the new men were unfamiliar with the mining methods, they required frequent instruction.[17]

Other nicknames for Missouri include “The Lead State”, “The Bullion State”, “The Ozark State”, “The Mother of the West”, “The Iron Mountain State”, and “Pennsylvania of the West”.[20] It is also known as the “Cave State” because there are more than 6000 recorded caves in the state (second to Tennessee). Perry County is the county with the largest number of caves and the single longest cave.[21]

The official state motto is Latin: “Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto”, which means “Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law.”[22]

Geography

Main article: Geography of Missouri

Missouri, showing major cities and roads.

Missouri is landlocked and borders eight different states as does its neighbor, Tennessee. No state in the U.S. touches more than eight. Missouri is bounded by Iowa on the north; by Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee across the Mississippi River on the east; on the south by Arkansas; and by Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska (the last across the Missouri River) on the west. The two largest rivers are the Mississippi (which defines the eastern boundary of the state) and the Missouri River (which flows from west to east through the state) essentially connecting the two largest metros of Kansas City and St. Louis.

Although it is usually today considered part of the Midwest,[23][24] Missouri was historically considered by many to be a border state, chiefly because of the settlement of migrants from the South and its status as a slave state before the Civil War, balanced by the influence of the St. Louis. The counties that made up “Little Dixie” were those along the Missouri River in the center of the state, settled by Southern migrants who held the greatest concentration of slaves.

In 2005, Missouri received 16,695,000 visitors to its national parks and other recreational areas totaling 202,000 acres (820 km2), giving it $7.41 million in annual revenues, 26.6% of its operating expenditures.[25]

Topography

A physiographic map of Missouri.

North of, and in some cases just south of, the Missouri River lie the Northern Plains that stretch into Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. Here, rolling hills remain from the glaciation that once extended from the Canadian Shield to the Missouri River. Missouri has many large river bluffs along the Mississippi, Missouri, and Meramec Rivers. Southern Missouri rises to the Ozark Mountains, a dissected plateau surrounding the Precambrian igneous St. Francois Mountains. This region also hosts karst topography characterized by high limestone content with the formation of sinkholes and caves.[26]

The southeastern part of the state is known as the Bootheel region, which is part of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain or Mississippi embayment. This region is the lowest, flattest, warmest, and wettest part of the state. It is also among the poorest, as the economy there is mostly agricultural.[27] It is also the most fertile, with cotton and rice crops predominant. The Bootheel was the epicenter of the four New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811 and 1812.

Climate

Main article: Climate of Missouri

Missouri map of Köppen climate classification.

Missouri generally has a humid continental climate with cold snowy winters and hot, humid, and wet summers. In the southern part of the state, particularly in the Bootheel, the climate becomes humid subtropical. Located in the interior United States, Missouri often experiences extremes in temperatures. Without high mountains or oceans nearby to moderate temperature, its climate is alternately influenced by air from the cold Arctic and the hot and humid Gulf of Mexico. Missouri’s highest recorded temperature is 118 °F (48 °C) at Warsaw and Union on July 14, 1954 while the lowest recorded temperature is −40 °F (−40 °C) also at Warsaw on February 13, 1905.

Located in Tornado Alley, Missouri also receives extreme weather in the form of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. The most recent tornado in the state to cause damage and casualties was the 2011 Joplin tornado, which destroyed roughly one-third of the city of Joplin. The tornado caused an estimated $1–3 billion in damages, killed 159 (+1 non-tornadic), and injured over 1,000 people. It was the first EF5 to hit the state since 1957 and the deadliest in the U.S. since 1947, making it the seventh deadliest tornado in American history and 27th deadliest in the world. St. Louis and its suburbs also have a history of experiencing particularly severe tornadoes, the most recent memorable one being an EF4 tornado that damaged Lambert-St. Louis International Airport on April 22, 2011. One of the worst tornadoes in American history struck St. Louis on May 27, 1896.

Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures For Various Missouri Cities.
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Columbia 37/18 44/23 55/33 66/43 75/53 84/62 89/66 87/64 79/55 68/44 53/33 42/22
Kansas City 36/18 43/23 54/33 65/44 75/54 84/63 89/68 87/66 79/57 68/46 52/33 40/22
Springfield 42/22 48/26 58/35 68/44 76/53 85/62 90/67 90/66 81/57 71/46 56/35 46/26
St. Louis [28] 40/24 45/28 56/37 67/47 76/57 85/67 89/71 88/69 80/61 69/49 56/38 43/27
Source:[29]

History

Main article: History of Missouri
External video
Westminster College gym from NE 1.jpg
Missouri, Westminister College Gymnasium in Fulton, Missouri

Indigenous peoples inhabited Missouri for thousands of years before European exploration and settlement. Archaeological excavations along the rivers have shown continuous habitation for more than 7,000 years. Beginning before 1000 CE, there arose the complex Mississippian culture, whose people created regional political centers at present-day St. Louis and across the Mississippi River at Cahokia, near present-day Collinsville, Illinois. Their large cities included thousands of individual residences, but they are known for their surviving massive earthwork mounds, built for religious, political and social reasons, in platform, ridgetop and conical shapes. Cahokia was the center of a regional trading network that reached from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. The civilization declined by 1400 CE, and most descendants left the area long before the arrival of Europeans. St. Louis was at one time known as Mound City by the European Americans, because of the numerous surviving prehistoric mounds, since lost to urban development. The Mississippian culture left mounds throughout the middle Mississippi and Ohio river valleys, extending into the southeast as well as the upper river.

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis

The first European settlers were mostly ethnic French Canadians, who created their first settlement in Missouri at present-day Ste. Genevieve, about an hour south of St. Louis. They had migrated about 1750 from the Illinois Country. They came from colonial villages on the east side of the Mississippi River, where soils were becoming exhausted and there was insufficient river bottom land for the growing population. Sainte-Geneviève became a thriving agricultural center, producing enough surplus wheat, corn and tobacco to ship tons of grain annually downriver to Lower Louisiana for trade. Grain production in the Illinois Country was critical to the survival of Lower Louisiana and especially the city of New Orleans.

St. Louis was founded soon after by French from New Orleans in 1764. From 1764 to 1803, European control of the area west of the Mississippi to the northernmost part of the Missouri River basin, called Louisiana, was assumed by the Spanish as part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, due to Treaty of Fontainebleau[30] (in order to have Spain join with France in the war against England). The arrival of the Spanish in St. Louis was in September 1767.

St. Louis became the center of a regional fur trade with Native American tribes that extended up the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, which dominated the regional economy for decades. Trading partners of major firms shipped their furs from St. Louis by river down to New Orleans for export to Europe. They provided a variety of goods to traders, for sale and trade with their Native American clients. The fur trade and associated businesses made St. Louis an early financial center and provided the wealth for some to build fine houses and import luxury items. Its location near the confluence of the Illinois River meant it also handled produce from the agricultural areas. River traffic and trade along the Mississippi were integral to the state’s economy, and as the area’s first major city, St. Louis expanded greatly after the invention of the steamboat and the increased river trade.

Early nineteenth century

Napoleon Bonaparte had gained Louisiana for French ownership from Spain in 1800 under the Treaty of San Ildefonso, after it had been a Spanish colony since 1762. But the treaty was kept secret. Louisiana remained nominally under Spanish control until a transfer of power to France on November 30, 1803, just three weeks before the cession to the United States.

Part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase by the United States, Missouri earned the nickname Gateway to the West because it served as a major departure point for expeditions and settlers heading to the West during the 19th century. St. Charles, just west of St. Louis, was the starting point and the return destination of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which ascended the Missouri River in 1804, in order to explore the western lands to the Pacific Ocean. St. Louis was a major supply point for decades, for parties of settlers heading west.

As many of the early settlers in western Missouri migrated from the Upper South, they brought enslaved African Americans as agricultural laborers, and they desired to continue their culture and the institution of slavery. They settled predominantly in 17 counties along the Missouri River, in an area of flatlands that enabled plantation agriculture and became known as “Little Dixie.” In 1821 the former Missouri Territory was admitted as a slave state, in accordance with the Missouri Compromise, and with a temporary state capital in St. Charles. In 1826, the capital was shifted to its current, permanent location of Jefferson City, also on the Missouri River.

The state was rocked by the 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes. Casualties were few due to the sparse population.

Originally the state’s western border was a straight line, defined as the meridian passing through the Kawsmouth,[31] the point where the Kansas River enters the Missouri River. The river has moved since this designation. This line is known as the Osage Boundary.[32] In 1836 the Platte Purchase was added to the northwest corner of the state after purchase of the land from the native tribes, making the Missouri River the border north of the Kansas River. This addition increased the land area of what was already the largest state in the Union at the time (about 66,500 square miles (172,000 km2) to Virginia’s 65,000 square miles, which then included West Virginia).[33]

In the early 1830s, Mormon migrants from northern states and Canada began settling near Independence and areas just north of there. Conflicts over religion and slavery arose between the ‘old settlers’ (mainly from the South) and the Mormons (mainly from the North). The Mormon War erupted in 1838. By 1839, with the help of an “Extermination Order” by Governor Lilburn Boggs, the old settlers forcefully expelled the Mormons from Missouri and confiscated their lands.

Conflicts over slavery exacerbated border tensions among the states and territories. From 1838 to 1839, a border dispute with Iowa over the so-called Honey Lands resulted in both states’ calling-up of militias along the border.

With increasing migration, from the 1830s to the 1860s Missouri’s population almost doubled with every decade. Most of the newcomers were American-born, but many Irish and German immigrants arrived in the late 1840s and 1850s. As a majority were Catholic, they set up their own religious institutions in the state, which had been mostly Protestant. Having fled famine and oppression in Ireland, and revolutionary upheaval in Germany, the immigrants were not sympathetic to slavery. Many settled in cities, where they created a regional and then state network of Catholic churches and schools. Nineteenth-century German immigrants created the wine industry along the Missouri River and the beer industry in St. Louis.

Most Missouri farmers practiced subsistence farming before the American Civil War. The majority of those who held slaves had fewer than five each. Planters, defined by some historians as those holding twenty slaves or more, were concentrated in the counties known as “Little Dixie“, in the central part of the state along the Missouri River. The tensions over slavery chiefly had to do with the future of the state and nation. In 1860, enslaved African Americans made up less than 10% of the state’s population of 1,182,012.[34] In order to control the flooding of farmland and low-lying villages along the Mississippi, the state had completed construction of 140 miles (230 km) of levees along the river by 1860.[35]

American Civil War

After the secession of Southern states began in 1861, the Missouri legislature called for the election of a special convention on secession. The convention voted decisively to remain within the Union. Pro-Southern Governor Claiborne F. Jackson ordered the mobilization of several hundred members of the state militia who had gathered in a camp in St. Louis for training. Alarmed at this action, Union General Nathaniel Lyon struck first, encircling the camp and forcing the state troops to surrender. Lyon directed his soldiers, largely non-English-speaking German immigrants, to march the prisoners through the streets, and they opened fire on the largely hostile crowds of civilians who gathered around them. Soldiers killed unarmed prisoners as well as men, women and children of St. Louis in the incident that became known as the “St. Louis Massacre“.

These events heightened Confederate support within the state. Governor Jackson appointed Sterling Price, president of the convention on secession, as head of the new Missouri State Guard. In the face of Union General Lyon’s rapid advance through the state, Jackson and Price were forced to flee the capital of Jefferson City on June 14, 1861. In the town of Neosho, Missouri, Jackson called the state legislature into session. They enacted a secession ordinance. However, even under the Southern view of secession, only the state convention had the power to secede. Since the convention was dominated by unionists, and the state was more pro-Union than pro-Confederate in any event, the ordinance of secession adopted by the legislature is generally given little credence. The Confederacy nonetheless recognized it on October 30, 1861.

With the elected governor absent from the capital and the legislators largely dispersed, the state convention was reassembled with most of its members present, save 20 that fled south with Jackson’s forces. The convention declared all offices vacant, and installed Hamilton Gamble as the new governor of Missouri. President Lincoln’s administration immediately recognized Gamble’s government as the legal Missouri government. The federal government’s decision enabled raising pro-Union militia forces for service within the state as well as volunteer regiments for the Union Army.

Fighting ensued between Union forces and a combined army of General Price’s Missouri State Guard and Confederate troops from Arkansas and Texas under General Ben McCulloch. After winning victories at the battle of Wilson’s Creek and the siege of Lexington, Missouri and suffering losses elsewhere, the Confederate forces retreated to Arkansas and later Marshall, Texas, in the face of a largely reinforced Union Army.

Though regular Confederate troops staged some large-scale raids into Missouri, the fighting in the state for the next three years consisted chiefly of guerrilla warfare. “Citizen soldiers” or insurgents such as Captain William Quantrill, Frank and Jesse James, the Younger brothers, and William T. Anderson made use of quick, small-unit tactics. Pioneered by the Missouri Partisan Rangers, such insurgencies also arose in portions of the Confederacy occupied by the Union during the Civil War. Historians have portrayed stories of the James brothers’ outlaw years as an American “Robin Hood” myth.[36] The vigilante activities of the Bald Knobbers of the Ozarks in the 1880s were an unofficial continuation of insurgent mentality long after the official end of the war, and they are a favorite theme in Branson’s self-image.[37]

Union Station in St. Louis was the largest and busiest train station in the world when it opened in 1894.

Child shoe workers in Kirksville, Missouri, 1910. Photographed by Lewis Hine as part of the Progressive Era assault on child labor.

20th century to present

The Progressive Era (1890s to 1920s) saw numerous prominent leaders from Missouri trying to end corruption and modernize politics, government and society. Joseph “Holy Joe” Folk was a key leader who made a strong appeal to middle class and rural evangelical Protestants. Folk was elected governor as a progressive reformer and Democrat in the 1904 election. He promoted what he called “the Missouri Idea”, the concept of Missouri as a leader in public morality through popular control of law and strict enforcement. He successfully conducted antitrust prosecutions, ended free railroad passes for state officials, extended bribery statutes, improved election laws, required formal registration for lobbyists, made racetrack gambling illegal, and enforced the Sunday-closing law. He helped enact Progressive legislation, including an initiative and referendum provision, regulation of elections, education, employment and child labor, railroads, food, business, and public utilities. A number of efficiency-oriented examiner boards and commissions were established during Folk’s administration, including many agricultural boards and the Missouri library commission.[38]

Between the Civil War and the end of World War II, Missouri transitioned from a rural economy to a hybrid industrial-service-agricultural economy as the Midwest rapidly industrialized. The expansion of railroads to the West transformed Kansas City into a major transportation hub within the nation. The growth of the Texas cattle industry along with this increased rail infrastructure and the invention of the refrigerated boxcar also made Kansas City a major meatpacking center, as large cattle drives from Texas brought herds of cattle to Dodge City and other Kansas towns. There, the cattle were loaded onto trains destined for Kansas City, where they were butchered and distributed to the eastern markets. The first half of the twentieth century was the height of Kansas City’s prominence and its downtown became a showcase for stylish Art Deco skyscrapers as construction boomed.

In 1930, there was a diphtheria epidemic in the area around Springfield, which killed approximately 100 people. Serum was rushed to the area, and medical personnel stopped the epidemic.

During the mid-1950s and 1960s, St. Louis and Kansas City suffered deindustrialization and loss of jobs in railroads and manufacturing, as did other Midwestern industrial cities. In 1956 St. Charles claims to be the site of the first interstate highway project.[39] Such highway construction made it easy for middle-class residents to leave the city for newer housing developed in the suburbs, often former farmland where land was available at lower prices. These major cities have gone through decades of readjustment to develop different economies and adjust to demographic changes. Suburban areas have developed separate job markets, both in knowledge industries and services, such as major retail malls.

Demographics

Missouri population density map.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 19,783
1820 66,586 236.6%
1830 140,455 110.9%
1840 383,702 173.2%
1850 682,044 77.8%
1860 1,182,012 73.3%
1870 1,721,295 45.6%
1880 2,168,380 26.0%
1890 2,679,185 23.6%
1900 3,106,665 16.0%
1910 3,293,335 6.0%
1920 3,404,055 3.4%
1930 3,629,367 6.6%
1940 3,784,664 4.3%
1950 3,954,653 4.5%
1960 4,319,813 9.2%
1970 4,676,501 8.3%
1980 4,916,686 5.1%
1990 5,117,073 4.1%
2000 5,595,211 9.3%
2010 5,988,927 7.0%
Est. 2015 6,083,672 1.6%
Source: 1910–2010[40]
2015 estimate[2]

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Missouri was 6,083,672 on July 1, 2015, a 1.58% increase since the 2010 United States Census.[2]

Missouri had a population of 5,988,927, according to the 2010 Census; an increase of 392,369 (7.0 percent) since the year 2000. From 2000 to 2007, this includes a natural increase of 137,564 people since the last census (480,763 births less 343,199 deaths), and an increase of 88,088 people due to net migration into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 50,450 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 37,638 people. Over half of Missourians (3,294,936 people, or 55.0%) live within the state’s two largest metropolitan areas–St. Louis and Kansas City. The state’s population density 86.9 in 2009, is also closer to the national average (86.8 in 2009) than any other state.

In 2011, the racial composition of the state was:

In 2011, 3.7% of the total population was of Hispanic or Latino origin (they may be of any race).[41] In 2011, 28.1% of Missouri’s population younger than age 1 were minorities.[42]

Missouri racial breakdown of population
[hide]Racial composition 1990[43] 2000[44] 2010[45]
White 87.7% 84.9% 82.8%
Black 10.7% 11.3% 11.6%
Asian 0.8% 1.1% 1.6%
Native 0.4% 0.4% 0.5%
Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
0.1% 0.1%
Other race 0.4% 0.8% 1.3%
Two or more races 1.5% 2.1%

The U.S. Census of 2000 found that the population center of the United States is in Phelps County, Missouri. The center of population of Missouri itself is located in Osage County, in the city of Westphalia.[46]

In 2004, the population included 194,000 foreign-born (3.4 percent of the state population).

The five largest ancestry groups in Missouri are: German (27.4 percent), Irish (14.8 percent), English (10.2 percent), American (8.5 percent) and French (3.7 percent).

German Americans are an ancestry group present throughout Missouri. African Americans are a substantial part of the population in St. Louis (56.6% of African Americans in the state lived in St. Louis or St. Louis County as of the 2010 census), Kansas City, Boone County and in the southeastern Bootheel and some parts of the Missouri River Valley, where plantation agriculture was once important. Missouri Creoles of French ancestry are concentrated in the Mississippi River Valley south of St. Louis (see Missouri French). Kansas City is home to large and growing immigrant communities from Latin America esp. Mexico and Colombia, Africa (i.e. Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria), and Southeast Asia including China and the Philippines; and Europe like the former Yugoslavia (see Bosnian American). A notable Cherokee Indian population exists in Missouri.

In 2004, 6.6 percent of the state’s population was reported as younger than 5 years old, 25.5 percent younger than 18, and 13.5 percent was 65 or older. Females were approximately 51.4 percent of the population. 81.3 percent of Missouri residents were high school graduates (more than the national average), and 21.6 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher. 3.4 percent of Missourians were foreign-born, and 5.1 percent reported speaking a language other than English at home.

In 2010, there were 2,349,955 households in Missouri, with 2.45 people per household. The home ownership rate was 70.0 percent, and the median value of an owner-occupied housing unit was $137,700. The median household income for 2010 was $46,262, or $24,724 per capita. There were 14.0 percent (1,018,118) Missourians living below the poverty line in 2010.

The mean commute time to work was 23.8 minutes.

Language

The vast majority of people in Missouri speak English. Approximately 5.1% of the population reported speaking a language other than English at home. The Spanish language is spoken in small Latino communities in the St. Louis and Kansas City Metro areas.[citation needed]

Missouri is home to an endangered dialect of the French language known as Missouri French. Speakers of the dialect, who call themselves Créoles, are descendants of the French pioneers who settled the area then known as the Illinois Country beginning in the late 17th century. It developed in isolation from French speakers in Canada and Louisiana, becoming quite distinct from the varieties of Canadian French and Louisiana Creole French. Once widely spoken throughout the area, Missouri French is now nearly extinct, with only a few elderly speakers able to use it.[47][48]

Religion

According to a Pew Research study[49] conducted in 2014, 80% of Missourians identify with a religion. 77% affiliate with Christianity and its various denominations, and the other 3% are adherents of non-Christian religions. The remaining 20% have no religion, with 2% specifically identifying as atheists and 3% identifying as agnostics (the other 15% do not identify as “anything as particular”).

Broken down, the religious demographics of Missouri are as follows:

  • Christian – 77%
    • Evangelical Protestant – 36%
    • Mainline Protestant – 16%
    • Historically Black Protestant – 6%
    • Catholic – 16%
    • Mormon – 1%
    • Orthodox Christian – <1%
    • Jehovah’s Witness – <1%
    • Other Christian – <1%
  • Non-Christian Religions – 3%
    • Jewish – <1%
    • Muslim – <1%
    • Buddhist – 1%
    • Hindu – <1%
    • Other World Religions – <1%
  • Unaffiliated (No religion) – 20%
    • Atheist – 2%
    • Agnostic – 3%
    • Nothing in particular – 15%
  • Don’t know – <1%

The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2010 were the Southern Baptist Convention with 749,685; the Roman Catholic Church with 724,315; and the United Methodist Church with 226,409.[50]

Among the other denominations there are approximately 93,000 Mormons in 253 congregations, 25,000 Jewish adherents in 21 temples, 12,000 Muslims in 39 masjids, 7,000 Buddhists in 34 temples, 7,000 Hindus in 17 temples, 2,500 Unitarians in 9 congregations, 2,000 Baha’i in 17 temples, 5 Sikh temples, a Zorastrian temple, a Jain temple and an uncounted number of neopagans.[51]

Several religious organizations have headquarters in Missouri, including the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, which has its headquarters in Kirkwood, as well as the United Pentecostal Church International in Hazelwood, both outside St. Louis.

Independence, near Kansas City, is the headquarters for the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) and the group Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This area and other parts of Missouri are also of significant religious and historical importance to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), which maintains several sites and visitors centers.

Springfield is the headquarters of the Assemblies of God USA and the Baptist Bible Fellowship International. The General Association of General Baptists has its headquarters in Poplar Bluff. The Unity Church is headquartered in Unity Village.

Economy

Commemorative US quarter featuring the Lewis and Clark expedition

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Missouri’s total state product in 2006 was $225.9 billion. Per capita personal income in 2006 was $32,705,[25] ranking 26th in the nation. Major industries include aerospace, transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, printing/publishing, electrical equipment, light manufacturing, and beer.

The agriculture products of the state are beef, soybeans, pork, dairy products, hay, corn, poultry, sorghum, cotton, rice, and eggs. Missouri is ranked 6th in the nation for the production of hogs and 7th for cattle. Missouri is ranked in the top five states in the nation for production of soy beans, and it is ranked fourth in the nation for the production of rice. In 2001, there were 108,000 farms, the second-largest number in any state after Texas. Missouri actively promotes its rapidly growing wine industry.

Missouri has vast quantities of limestone. Other resources mined are lead, coal, and crushed stone. Missouri produces the most lead of all of the states. Most of the lead mines are in the central eastern portion of the state. Missouri also ranks first or near first in the production of lime, a key ingredient in Portland cement.

Missouri also has a growing science and biotechnology field. Monsanto, one of the largest gene companies in America, is based in St. Louis.

Tourism, services and wholesale/retail trade follow manufacturing in importance.

Missouri is the only state in the Union to have two Federal Reserve Banks: one in Kansas City (serving western Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, northern New Mexico, and Wyoming) and one in St. Louis (serving eastern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Indiana, western Kentucky, western Tennessee, northern Mississippi, and all of Arkansas).[52]

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City services the western portion of Missouri, as well as all of Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, and northern New Mexico

As of November 2014, the state’s unemployment rate was 4.8%, while the nation overall was 5.5%.[53]

Taxation

Personal income is taxed in ten different earning brackets, ranging from 1.5% to 6.0%. Missouri’s sales tax rate for most items is 4.225% with some additional local levies. More than 2,500 Missouri local governments rely on property taxes levied on real property (real estate) and personal property.

Most personal property is exempt, except for motorized vehicles. Exempt real estate includes property owned by governments and property used as nonprofit cemeteries, exclusively for religious worship, for schools and colleges and for purely charitable purposes. There is no inheritance tax and limited Missouri estate tax related to federal estate tax collection.

Energy

In 2012, Missouri had roughly 22,000 MW of installed electricity generation capacity.[54] In 2011, 82% of Missouri’s electricity was generated by coal.[55] 10% was generated from the state’s only nuclear power plant,[55] the Callaway Plant in Callaway County, northeast of Jefferson City. 5% was generated by natural gas.[55] 1% was generated by hydroelectric sources,[55] such as the dams for Truman Lake and Lake of the Ozarks. Missouri has a small but growing amount of wind and solar power—wind capacity increased from 309 MW in 2009 to 459 MW in 2011, while photovoltaics have increased from 0.2 MW to 1.3 MW over the same period.[56][57]

Oil wells in Missouri produced 120,000 barrels of crude oil in fiscal 2012.[58] There are no oil refineries in Missouri.[57][59]

Transportation

Airports

Missouri has two major airport hubs: Lambert–St. Louis International Airport and Kansas City International Airport. Residents of Mid-Missouri use Columbia Regional Airport (COU) to fly to either Chicago (ORD) or Dallas (DFW).[60] Southern Missouri has the Springfield-Branson National Airport (SFG) with multiple non-stop destinations.[61]

Rail

Amtrak station in Kirkwood.

Two of the nation’s three busiest rail centers are located in Missouri. Kansas City is a major railroad hub for BNSF Railway, Norfolk Southern Railway, Kansas City Southern Railway, and Union Pacific Railroad. Kansas City is the second largest freight rail center in the US (but is first in the amount of tonnage handled). Like Kansas City, St. Louis is a major destination for train freight. Springfield remains an operational hub for BNSF Railway.

Kansas City Streetcar crossing Main Street near Union Station

Amtrak passenger trains serve Kansas City, La Plata, Jefferson City, St. Louis, Lee’s Summit, Independence, Warrensburg, Hermann, Washington, Kirkwood, Sedalia, and Poplar Bluff. A proposed high-speed rail route in Missouri as part of the Chicago Hub Network has received $31 million in funding.[62]

The only urban light rail/subway system operating in Missouri is MetroLink, which connects the city of St. Louis with suburbs in Illinois and St. Louis County. It is one of the largest systems (by track mileage) in the United States. A streetcar line in downtown Kansas City is scheduled to open in 2015.[63]

The Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center in St. Louis is the largest active multi-use transportation center in the state. It is located in downtown St. Louis, next to the historic Union Station complex. It serves as a hub center/station for MetroLink, the MetroBus regional bus system, Greyhound, Amtrak, and taxi services.

Bus

Many cities have regular fixed-route systems, and many rural counties have rural public transit services. Greyhound and Trailways provide inter-city bus service in Missouri. Megabus serves St. Louis, but discontinued service to Columbia and Kansas City in 2015.[64]

Rivers

The Mississippi River and Missouri River are commercially navigable over their entire lengths in Missouri. The Missouri was channelized through dredging and jettys and the Mississippi was given a series of locks and dams to avoid rocks and deepen the river. St. Louis is a major destination for barge traffic on the Mississippi.

Roads

Several highways, detailed below, traverse the state.

Following the passage of Amendment 3 in late 2004, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) began its Smoother, Safer, Sooner road-building program with a goal of bringing 2,200 miles (3,500 km) of highways up to good condition by December 2007. From 2006–2010 traffic deaths have decreased annually from 1,257 in 2005, to 1,096 in 2006, to 992 for 2007, to 960 for 2008, to 878 in 2009, to 821 in 2010.[65]

Interstate freeways

Interstate 70 in Central Missouri.

The only section of freeway in Missouri to have High-Occupancy Vehicle Lane (HOV) is Interstate 55 from Ste. Genevieve, Missouri to Interstate 270-255 Interchange in St. Louis County. They were striped, registered, and opened on February 10, 2013. HOV Lanes are also being striped on Interstate 70 in St. Charles County through Interstate 270 in Saint Louis County, and on the North-South corridor of Interstate 270 in central St. Louis County.

United States Routes

North-south routes

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