Missouri (see pronunciations) is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. Missouri is the 21st most extensive and the 18th most populous of the 50 United States. Missouri comprises 114 counties and the independent city of St. Louis.The four largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia. Missouri's capital is Jefferson City. The land that is now Missouri was acquired from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase and became known as the Missouri Territory. Part of the Territory was admitted into the union as the 24th state on August 10, 1821.Missouri's geography is highly varied.