Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New France. After the Louisiana Purchase, settlers laid the foundation for an agriculture-based economy in the heart of the Corn Belt.
Iowa is often known as the "Food Capital of the World". However, Iowa's economy, culture, and landscape are diverse. Iowa is bordered by the Mississippi River on the east; the Missouri River and the Big Sioux River on the west; the northern boundary is a line along 43 degrees, 30 minutes north latitude.