How Many States Touch The Mississippi River


The Mississippi River is a major river system in the Midwest and south-central United States and it has a length of 2,320 miles. This river forms the border between 10 states and is connected to many more on its journey to meet the Gulf Of Mexico. The Mississippi River is known for its contribution to the settlement of the United States, so it is important to know how many states are connected and touched by it.

The States

The 10 states that touch the Mississippi River are Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. Each of these states is impacted by the Mississippi River in various ways.

Minnesota is the northernmost state to touch the Missisissippi, and the river serves as a natural border between Minnesota and Wisconsin. Iowa is one of the states most impacted by the Mississippi River, as it is home to the Quad Cities, a series of cities along the border of Iowa and Illinois.

Illinois contains part of the river known as the American Bottoms, while Tennessee and Kentucky are each home to significant sections of the river. Missouri and Arkansas border the Mississippi River throughout most of its course while Mississippi and Louisiana contain the end of the river, where it meets the GulfOf Mexico.


The Mississippi River has been an important source of water for many of the states that it touches. It serves as an important source of drinking water, agricultural water, and recreational opportunities. Additionally, the river has served as a major transportation route for many of these states.

The Mississippi River has also shaped the economic history of the countries along its banks. River towns have been established in many of the states that it touches, providing a center for growth and development. In many of these states, the Mississippi River has helped create an environment for industry and commerce to flourish.

The Mississippi River has been a source of inspiration for many writers, musicians, and artists. The river has been a inspirational muse for many of the writers of the World War II era, such as William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and Tennessee Williams.

Musicians such as Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen have written many songs about the river, while painters and photographers have captured its beauty and grandeur in their work.

Environmental Impacts

Despite its many benefits, the Mississippi River has faced environmental challenges over the years. Pollution from industry and agricultural runoff has been a major source of contamination. As the river has been a major source of drinking water for many communities, this contamination has posed a significant risk to public health.

In recent years, however, efforts have been made to restore the river to a more natural state. Conservation organizations such as The Nature Conservancy and the Audubon Society have worked to mitigate the effects of pollution and restore habitats for endangered species. Additionally, the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices has helped reduce the amount of runoff entering the river.


The states that touch the Mississippi River have taken steps to protect its banks and watersheds. Many of these states have implemented legislation aimed at controlling the amount of pollutants released into the river. Additionally, efforts have been made to preserve the beauty of these areas by conservation organizations and governments.

In Minnesota, for instance, the state legislature passed the “Forever Green Amendment” in 2008, which established a fund for the preservation of natural resources. This fund has been used to protect wetlands, lakes, and rivers, including the Mississippi River. The state of Iowa has also gone above and beyond in its efforts to protect the Mississippi River. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has enacted numerous regulations to ensure the health of the river, including limits on the types of wastewater that can be released into the river.

Economic Impact

The Mississippi River has been an integral part of the economic development of the states it touches. From its use as a transportation route to its many recreational opportunities, the Mississippi River has been a major driver of economic growth and employment throughout its course. The states of Iowa, Illinois, and Mississippi are particularly reliant on the river for economic development.

In Iowa, the river has helped create many jobs in the tourism, agricultural, and transportation industries. In Illinois, the river has been used for navigation and transportation, creating employment for many workers. Additionally, the river serves as a major source of recreation for many in the state. In Mississippi, the river provides a home for the Port of Vicksburg, which is an important economic hub for the state.


The Mississippi River is an iconic part of the United States and it touches 10 states on its journey to the Gulf Of Mexico. The river provides numerous benefits to the states it touches, including economic development, employment, recreational activities, and sources of drinking water. Despite the challenges posed by pollution, the states that touch the Mississippi River have taken steps to protect it and ensure its health.

Raymond Strasser is a passion-driven writer and researcher, dedicated to educating readers on the topic of world rivers. With a background in Geography and Environmental Studies, Raymond provides insightful pieces which explore the impact and importance that rivers have around the world.

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