Iowa is located in the Midwestern Region of the United States, perfectly centered between six other states. Sandwiched between Minnesota in the north and Missouri to the south, Iowa is completely landlocked. The closest body of water is Lake Michigan, which is accessible if you travel to the east, pass through northern Illinois or southern Wisconsin, and make your way to the coast.
Iowa is located at a latitude of 41.8780° N and a longitude of 93.0977° W. Along with Minnesota and Missouri, the Hawkeye State also shares borders with Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, and South Dakota. The geographic center point of Iowa is located roughly five miles away from Ames, Iowa, in Story County.
The northernmost point of Iowa is along the border that separates Iowa from Minnesota an South Dakota. To the south, the most extreme point is along the Des Moines River in Lee County. The easternmost point is located where the Mississippi River runs between the cities of Sabula and Clinton. The westernmost point of Iowa located along the Big Sioux River, just outside of Plymouth County.
The total area of Iowa is approximately 56,273 square miles. The state is 200 miles wide and 310 miles long. With a population of 3,160,000 people, Iowa’s population density registers at about 55 people per square mile. This makes Iowa the thirtieth largest state based on population size and density. Based on total area, Iowa is the twenty-sixth largest state in the U.S. By looking at the relationship between population and area, you can see that more people and smaller dimensions increases population density.
Iowa experiences severe weather with clear distinctions between all four seasons. The weather and climate are both attributable to Iowa’s location in the Midwest. With cool fronts coming in from the Great Lakes and its positioning in the northern United States, Iowa has drastically different weather conditions throughout the year.
On average, Iowa is at an elevation level of 1,100 feet above sea level. At its highest peak, Iowa’s Hawkeye Point boasts an impressive 1,670 feet above sea level. The lowest point of elevation in Iowa is the point where the Des Moines River and the Mississippi River intersect. Together, these rivers flow at 480 feet above sea level.