The Missouri River is the longest in the North American continent. It rises from the Rocky Mountains of Montana and flows south for 2,341 miles before draining into the Mississippi. The Missouri and the lower Mississippi Rivers form the fourth longest river system in the world. The river's drainage covers over half a million square miles of American and Canadian territories. Thousands of people and millions of animals depend on the river as a source of transportation and sustenance. In the 17th and 18th centuries, urban centers developed along the rivers because it provided easy access to water, food, and transport. In the 20th century, the river basin was designed for flood control, irrigation, and hydroelectric power. Heavy development has taken a toll on the fish and wildlife population, and the water quality. The following are the major cities on the banks of the Missouri River.
Cities on the Missouri River
Kansas is the largest city in Missouri and the 37th most populous in the country with a population of slightly less than half a million. The city was founded in the 1830s as a port at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. Kansas covers approximately 319 square miles of which four square miles is water.
Kansas City, Kansas
Kansas is the third largest city in the state of Kansas after Wichita and Overland Park with an estimated population of about 146,000. It is located at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers 3.3 miles from Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City covers approximately 128.38 square miles of which 3.57 square miles is water.
Independence city is the fifth largest in the state of Missouri and the county seat of Jackson County. It is a satellite city of Kansas City and part of the greater Kansas Metropolitan Area. Independence city has a population of approximately 120,000. It is located in the southern bank of the Missouri river close to the state border with Kansas. The city covers an area of 77.6 square miles of which 0.7 square miles is water
Sioux City, Iowa
Sioux is the fourth largest city in Iowa with a population of about 85,000. The city extends to Plymouth and Woodbury Counties. The city lies at the navigational head of the Missouri River 95 miles (153 km) north of the Omaha, Nebraska.
Tributaries of the Missouri River
There are about 95 significant and over 200 small tributaries of the Missouri River. Most of the large tributaries discharge close to the mouth. The Yellowstone and the Platte Rivers are the largest tributaries with a combined discharge of more than 12,000 cu ft/s. Other tributaries include the Jefferson, Kansas, Little Missouri, Osage, and Gallatin Rivers.