Iowa (i/ˈaɪ.əwə/) is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". 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 occasionally known as the "Food Capital of the World".
In the latter half of the 20th century, Iowa's agricultural economy made the transition to a diversified economy of advanced manufacturing, processing, financial services, biotechnology, and green energy production (Iowa has the highest percentage of wind power of any state). Iowa is the 26th most extensive in land area and the 30th most populous of the 50 United States. Its capital and largest city is Des Moines. Iowa has been listed as one of the safest states in which to live.