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Iowa is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states: Wisconsin to the northeast, Illinois to the east and southeast, Missouri to the south, Nebraska to the west, South Dakota to the northwest, and Minnesota to the north.
During the 18th and early 19th centuries, Iowa was a part of French Louisiana and Spanish Louisiana; its state flag is patterned after the flag of France. After the Louisiana Purchase, people laid the foundation for an agriculture-based economy in the heart of the Corn Belt. In the latter half of the 20th century, Iowa's agricultural economy transitioned to a diversified economy of advanced manufacturing, processing, financial services, information technology, biotechnology, and green energy production.Iowa is the 26th most extensive in total area and the 31st most populous of the 50 U.S. states with a population of 3,190,369 according to the 2020 census. The state's capital, most populous city, and largest metropolitan area fully located within the state is Des Moines. A portion of the larger Omaha, Nebraska, metropolitan area extends into three counties of southwest Iowa. Iowa has been listed as one of the safest U.S. states to live in.
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Cedar Rapids () is the second-largest city in Iowa, United States and is the county seat of Linn County. The city lies on both banks of the Cedar River, 20 miles (32 km) north of Iowa City and 100 miles (160 km) northeast of Des Moines, the state's capital and largest city. It is a part of the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City region of Eastern Iowa, which includes Linn, Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Jones, Johnson, and Washington counties.As of the 2020 United States Census, the city population was 137,710. The estimated population of the three-county Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the nearby cities of Marion and Hiawatha, was 255,452 in 2008. Cedar Rapids is an economic hub of the state, located at the core of the Interstate 380 corridor. The Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is also a part of a Combined Statistical Area (CSA) with the Iowa City MSA. A flourishing center for arts and culture in Eastern Iowa, the city is home to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, the Paramount Theatre, Orchestra Iowa, Theatre Cedar Rapids, the African American Museum of Iowa, and the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance. In the 1990s and 2000s, several Cedar Rapidians became well-known actors, including Ashton Kutcher, Elijah Wood, Terry Farrell, and Ron Livingston. The city is the setting for the musical The Pajama Game and the comedy film Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids is nicknamed the "City of Five Seasons", for the so-called "fifth season," which is time to enjoy the other four. The symbol of the five seasons is the Tree of Five Seasons sculpture in downtown along the north river bank. The name "Five Seasons" and representations of the sculpture appear throughout the city in many forms.
The Amana Colonies are seven villages on 26,000 acres (11,000 ha) located in Iowa County in east-central Iowa, United States: Amana (or Main Amana, German: Haupt-Amana), East Amana, High Amana, Middle Amana, South Amana, West Amana, and Homestead. The villages were built and settled by German Pietists, who were persecuted in their homeland by the German state government and the Lutheran Church. Calling themselves the True Inspiration Congregations (German: Wahre Inspirations-Gemeinden), they first settled in New York near Buffalo in what is now the town of West Seneca. However, seeking more isolated surroundings, they moved to Iowa (near present-day Iowa City) in 1856. They lived a communal life until 1932. For eighty years, the Amana Colony maintained an almost completely self-sufficient local economy, importing very little from the industrializing American economy. The Amanians were able to achieve this independence and lifestyle by adhering to the specialized crafting and farming occupations that they had brought with them from Europe. Craftsmen passed their skills and techniques on from one generation to the next. They used hand, horse, wind, and water power, and made their own furniture, clothes, and other goods. The community voted to form a for-profit organization during the Great Depression, the Amana Society (Amana-Gesellschaft), which included the Amana Corporation. Today, the Seven Villages of Amana are a tourist attraction known for its restaurants and craft shops. The colony was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1965. As of the 2010 Census, the population of the seven villages in order of population was as follows: Middle Amana (581) Amana (Main Amana) (442) South Amana (159) Homestead (148) West Amana (135) High Amana (115) East Amana (56)
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