Stately Knowledge: Facts about the United States

States Ranked by Size & Population

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See the Area Measurement section of the U.S. Census’s Census 2000 Geographic Definitions page for definitions of Size, Land Area, and Water Area.

Source for Population: 2020 Population and Housing State Data

Source for Population Density: Population density in the U.S. by federal states including the District of Columbia in 2020

Source for Size, Land Area, and Water Area: United States Summary: 2010 Population and Housing Unit Counts

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States Ranked by Population

States in the US are all very different from each other. So, it comes as no surprise that they have very different population estimates. Also, since the resident population of the United States continues to grow, state populations are in a constant state of flux. As of February 2021, the population of the United States is slightly over 330 million.

The United States Census Bureau’s population statistics encompass the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five US territories, including Puerto Rico. The official Census takes into account the total number of people residing in the US, including citizens, permanent residents, and long-term visitors. Federal employees serving abroad, both civilian and military, as well as their dependents, are counted in their home state.

This population of the United States is unevenly distributed across all states and territories. Generally speaking, states located around the border – East Coast, West Coast and the South – are more populous than those that are more interior – the Midwest and the Great Plains. There are a few exceptions to this rule; the state of Illinois, for example, is located in the Midwest but is highly populated, mainly in the Chicago area.

The table below lists all US states ranked by population.

Rank by Populations
Rank State Population
All United States 331,449,281
1 California 39,538,223
2 Texas 29,145,505
3 Florida 21,538,187
4 New York 20,201,249
5 Pennsylvania 12,812,508
6 Illinois 12,702,379
7 Ohio 11,799,448
8 Georgia 10,711,908
9 North Carolina 10,439,388
10 Michigan 10,077,331
11 New Jersey 9,288,994
12 Virginia 8,631,393
13 Washington 7,705,281
14 Arizona 7,151,502
15 Massachusetts 7,029,917
16 Tennessee 6,910,840
17 Indiana 6,785,528
18 Maryland 6,177,224
19 Missouri 6,154,913
20 Wisconsin 5,893,718
21 Colorado 5,773,714
22 Minnesota 5,706,494
23 South Carolina 5,118,425
24 Alabama 5,024,279
25 Louisiana 4,657,757
26 Kentucky 4,505,836
27 Oregon 4,237,256
28 Oklahoma 3,959,353
29 Connecticut 3,605,944
30 Utah 3,271,616
31 Iowa 3,190,369
32 Nevada 3,104,614
33 Arkansas 3,011,524
34 Mississippi 2,961,279
35 Kansas 2,937,880
36 New Mexico 2,117,522
37 Nebraska 1,961,504
38 Idaho 1,839,106
39 West Virginia 1,793,716
40 Hawaii 1,455,271
41 New Hampshire 1,377,529
42 Maine 1,362,359
43 Rhode Island 1,097,379
44 Montana 1,084,225
45 Delaware 989,948
46 South Dakota 886,667
47 North Dakota 779,094
48 Alaska 733,391
49 Washington, D.C. 689,545
50 Vermont 643,077
51 Wyoming 576,851

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States Ranked by Size (Total Area)

The United States is the third largest country in the world by area and ranks just behind Russia and Canada. All 50 states in the US vary drastically in area. The largest state, Alaska is more than 400 times larger than Rhode Island, the smallest state. In the US, a large area does not mean a large population. Texas, for example, is bigger than California, but the latter is more populous.
When it comes to size comparison, Alaska is staggeringly big; bigger than the next three largest states (Texas, California and Montana) combined, and twice the size of the second largest state, Texas. The smallest state, Rhode Island could fit into Alaska nearly 486 times. And if Washington DC were a state, it would certainly be the smallest.
The 10 largest states by area – Alaska, Texas, California, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon and Wyoming – are located west of the Mississippi River. The 7 smallest states – Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island – are among the 13 original colonies and are located in the northeast part of the country.
The table below lists all US states ranked by size.
Rank by Size (Total Area)
Rank State Size
(land & water)
(square miles)
All United States 3,796,742.23
1 Alaska 665,384.04
2 Texas 268,596.46
3 California 163,694.74
4 Montana 147,039.71
5 New Mexico 121,590.30
6 Arizona 113,990.30
7 Nevada 110,571.82
8 Colorado 104,093.67
9 Oregon 98,378.54
10 Wyoming 97,813.01
11 Michigan 96,713.51
12 Minnesota 86,935.83
13 Utah 84,896.88
14 Idaho 83,568.95
15 Kansas 82,278.36
16 Nebraska 77,347.81
17 South Dakota 77,115.68
18 Washington 71,297.95
19 North Dakota 70,698.32
20 Oklahoma 69,898.87
21 Missouri 69,706.99
22 Florida 65,757.70
23 Wisconsin 65,496.38
24 Georgia 59,425.15
25 Illinois 57,913.55
26 Iowa 56,272.81
27 New York 54,554.98
28 North Carolina 53,819.16
29 Arkansas 53,178.55
30 Alabama 52,420.07
31 Louisiana 52,378.13
32 Mississippi 48,431.78
33 Pennsylvania 46,054.34
34 Ohio 44,825.58
35 Virginia 42,774.93
36 Tennessee 42,144.25
37 Kentucky 40,407.80
38 Indiana 36,419.55
39 Maine 35,379.74
40 South Carolina 32,020.49
41 West Virginia 24,230.04
42 Maryland 12,405.93
43 Hawaii 10,931.72
44 Massachusetts 10,554.39
45 Vermont 9,616.36
46 New Hampshire 9,349.16
47 New Jersey 8,722.58
48 Connecticut 5,543.41
49 Delaware 2,488.72
50 Rhode Island 1,544.89
51 Washington, D. C. 68.34

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States Ranked by Land Area

Rank by Land Area
Rank State Land Area
(square miles)
All United States 3,531,905.43
1 Alaska 570,640.95
2 Texas 261,231.71
3 California 155,779.22
4 Montana 145,545.80
5 New Mexico 121,298.15
6 Arizona 113,594.08
7 Nevada 109,781.18
8 Colorado 103,641.89
9 Wyoming 97,093.14
10 Oregon 95,988.01
11 Idaho 82,643.12
12 Utah 82,169.62
13 Kansas 81,758.72
14 Minnesota 79,626.74
15 Nebraska 76,824.17
16 South Dakota 75,811.00
17 North Dakota 69,000.80
18 Missouri 68,741.52
19 Oklahoma 68,594.92
20 Washington 66,455.52
21 Georgia 57,513.49
22 Michigan 56,538.90
23 Iowa 55,869.36
24 Illinois 55,518.93
25 Wisconsin 54,157.80
26 Florida 53,924.76
27 Arkansas 52,035.48
28 Alabama 50,645.33
29 North Carolina 48,617.91
30 New York 47,126.40
31 Mississippi 46,923.27
32 Pennsylvania 44,742.70
33 Louisiana 43,203.90
34 Tennessee 41,234.90
35 Ohio 40,860.69
36 Virginia 39,490.09
37 Kentucky 39,486.34
38 Indiana 35,826.11
39 Maine 30,842.92
40 South Carolina 30,060.70
41 West Virginia 24,038.21
42 Maryland 9,707.24
43 Vermont 9,216.66
44 New Hampshire 8,952.65
45 Massachusetts 7,800.06
46 New Jersey 7,354.22
47 Hawaii 6,422.63
48 Connecticut 4,842.36
49 Delaware 1,948.54
50 Rhode Island 1,033.81
51 Washington, D. C. 61.05

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States Ranked by Water Area

Rank by Water Area
Rank State Water Area
(square miles)
All United States 264,836.79
1 Alaska 94,743.10
2 Michigan 40,174.61
3 Florida 12,132.94
4 Wisconsin 11,338.57
5 Louisiana 9,174.23
6 California 7,915.52
7 New York 7,428.58
8 Texas 7,364.75
9 Minnesota 7,309.09
10 North Carolina 5,201.25
11 Washington 4,842.43
12 Maine 4,536.82
13 Hawaii 4,509.09
14 Ohio 3,964.89
15 Virginia 3,284.84
16 Massachusetts 2,754.33
17 Utah 2,727.26
18 Maryland 2,698.69
19 Illinois 2,394.62
20 Oregon 2,390.53
21 South Carolina 1,959.79
22 Georgia 1,911.66
23 Alabama 1,774.74
24 North Dakota 1,697.52
25 Mississippi 1,508.51
26 Montana 1,493.91
27 New Jersey 1,368.36
28 Pennsylvania 1,311.64
29 South Dakota 1,304.68
30 Oklahoma 1,303.95
31 Arkansas 1,143.07
32 Missouri 965.47
33 Idaho 925.83
34 Kentucky 921.46
35 Tennessee 909.36
36 Nevada 790.65
37 Wyoming 719.87
38 Connecticut 701.06
39 Indiana 593.44
40 Delaware 540.18
41 Nebraska 523.64
42 Kansas 519.64
43 Rhode Island 511.07
44 Colorado 451.78
45 Iowa 415.68
46 Vermont 399.71
47 New Hampshire 396.51
48 Arizona 396.22
49 New Mexico 292.15
50 West Virginia 191.83
51 Washington, D. C. 7.29

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States Ranked by Population Density

Rank by Population Density
(number of people
per square mile of land area)
Rank State Population Density
All United States 93.29
1 Washington, D. C. 11,685.51
2 New Jersey 1,207.83
3 Massachusetts 833.68
4 Connecticut 734.92
5 Maryland 623.99
6 Delaware 506.32
7 New York 410.32
8 Florida 405.45
9 Ohio 286.19
10 Pennsylvania 285.73
11 California 252.74
12 Illinois 226.73
13 Hawaii 218.89
14 North Carolina 218.04
15 Vermont 217.52
16 Indiana 188.56
17 Georgia 186.26
18 Michigan 176.31
19 Rhode Island 173.53
20 South Dakota 167.01
21 New Hampshire 152.62
22 Virginia 115.78
23 Kentucky 113.37
24 Tennessee 112.4
25 West Virginia 107.7
26 Louisiana 107.53
27 Alabama 97.18
28 Missouri 89.52
29 Washington 74.25
30 Minnesota 71.07
31 Utah 67.63
32 Arizona 65.33
33 Mississippi 63.23
34 Arkansas 58.25
35 Oklahoma 58.03
36 Iowa 56.64
37 Colorado 56.04
38 Oregon 44.19
39 Maine 43.78
40 Texas 39.54
41 Kansas 35.64
42 Nevada 28.59
43 Nebraska 25.22
44 Idaho 22.11
45 New Mexico 17.36
46 South Carolina 11.78
47 North Dakota 11.09
48 Montana 7.42
49 Wisconsin 6
50 Wyoming 6
51 Alaska 1.28

 

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