The Mississippi River originates in Itasca State Park
in the Minnesota North Woods, and runs through the mid-continental United States (31 states), two Canadian Provinces and the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Plain.
The Mississippi River is one of the world's major river systems in size, habitat diversity and biological productivity, with a subtropical delta in Louisiana and flowing into the Gulf of Mexico. With 3,705 km, it is the longest and largest river in North America, third longest river in the world, the second in watershed area and fifth in average discharge.
The river basin covers about 40% of the United States and about 12.5% of North America.