Missouri, one of the midwestern states of the United States. It is bordered by Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee, across the Mississippi R. (E), Arkansas (S), Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska (W), and Iowa (N).
Area, 69,686 sq mi (180,487 sq km).
Pop. (2000) 5,595,211, a 9.3% increase since the 1990 census.
Capital, Jefferson City.
Largest city, Kansas City.
Motto, Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto [The Welfare of the People Shall Be the Supreme Law]
State bird, bluebird.
State flower, hawthorn.
State tree, dogwood.
The capital is Jefferson City, and the largest cities are Kansas City, Saint Louis, Springfield , and Independence. Places of interest include the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, in St. Louis; George Washington Carver National Monument, in Diamond; Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, near Springfield; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, in Kansas City; the Harry S. Truman Memorial Library, in Independence; and the Museum of the American Indian, in St. Joseph. A 185-mi (300 km) bicycle trail stretches from near St. Louis to Sedalia.
Missouri's economy rests chiefly on industry. Aerospace and transportation equipment are the main manufactures; food products, chemicals, printing and publishing, machinery, fabricated metals, and electrical equipment are also important. St. Louis is an important center for the manufacture of metals and chemicals. In Kansas City, long a leading market for livestock and wheat, the manufacture of vending machines and of cars and trucks are leading industries.
Coal in the west and north central sections, lead in the southeast, and zinc in the southwest are among the resources exploited by Missouri's mining concerns. Missouri remains important agriculturally; with over 100,000 farms, the state ranks second only to Texas. The most valuable farm products are soybeans, corn, cattle, hogs, wheat, and dairy items. The development of resorts in the Ozarks, including Branson and several lakes, has boosted tourism income.
*Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyright (c) 2003.