States Ranked by Size & Population

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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. With growth in the form of natural births and inward migration (both domestic and foreign), and declines from deaths and outward migration, state populations are in a constant state of flux. As of July 2021, the population of the United States is over 331 million.

Map of the US showing population in the states.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. The most populated states are California, Texas and Florida, while the states with the least population are Vermont and Wyoming.

The table below lists all US states ranked by population, from largest to smallest.

Rank by Populations
Rank State Population in 2021 Population in 2020
All United States 331,893,745 331,449,281
1 California 39,237,836 39,538,223
2 Texas 29,527,941 29,145,505
3 Florida 21,781,128 21,538,187
4 New York 19,835,913 20,201,249
5 Pennsylvania 12,964,056 12,812,508
6 Illinois 12,671,469 12,702,379
7 Ohio 11,780,017 11,799,448
8 Georgia 10,799,566 10,711,908
9 North Carolina 10,551,162 10,439,388
10 Michigan 10,050,811 10,077,331
11 New Jersey 9,267,130 9,288,994
12 Virginia 8,642,274 8,631,393
13 Washington 7,738,692 7,705,281
14 Arizona 7,276,316 7,151,502
15 Massachusetts 6,984,723 7,029,917
16 Tennessee 6,975,218 6,910,840
17 Indiana 6,805,985 6,785,528
18 Missouri 6,168,187 6,154,913
19 Maryland 6,165,129 6,177,224
20 Wisconsin 5,895,908 5,893,718
21 Colorado 5,812,069 5,773,714
22 Minnesota 5,707,390 5,706,494
23 South Carolina 5,190,705 5,118,425
24 Alabama 5,039,877 5,024,279
25 Louisiana 4,624,047 4,657,757
26 Kentucky 4,509,394 4,505,836
27 Oregon 4,246,155 4,237,256
28 Oklahoma 3,986,639 3,959,353
29 Connecticut 3,605,597 3,605,944
30 Utah 3,337,975 3,271,616
31 Iowa 3,193,079 3,190,369
32 Nevada 3,143,991 3,104,614
33 Arkansas 3,025,891 3,011,524
34 Mississippi 2,949,968 2,961,279
35 Kansas 2,934,582 2,937,880
36 New Mexico 2,115,877 2,117,522
37 Nebraska 1,963,692 1,961,504
38 Idaho 1,900,923 1,839,106
39 West Virginia 1,782,959 1,793,716
40 Hawaii 1,441,553 1,455,271
41 New Hampshire 1,388,992 1,377,529
42 Maine 1,372,247 1,362,359
43 Montana 1,104,271 1,084,225
44 Rhode Island 1,095,610 1,097,379
45 Delaware 1,003,384 989,948
46 South Dakota 895,376 886,667
47 North Dakota 774,948 779,094
48 Alaska 732,673 733,391
49 Washington, D.C. 670,050 689,545
50 Vermont 645,570 643,077
51 Wyoming 578,803 576,851

(Source: Population Estimates, July 1, 2021 and April 1, 2020)

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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 is Alaska, which 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 be the smallest.
The 10 largest states by area are Alaska, Texas, California, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon and Wyoming. They 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 plus Washington, D.C. ranked by size, from biggest to smallest.
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

(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 Size, Land Area, and Water Area: United States Summary: 2010 Population and Housing Unit Counts.)

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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

The population density of an area is the average measure of the number of people that occupy one square unit of that area. It is calculated for each state by dividing the population of that state by its land area. 

As stated before, the size of a state is not necessarily an indicator of the size of its population. Alaska, which is the largest state, has among the lowest state populations in the country. This makes it the least densely populated in the country. New Jersey, on the other hand, is the 46th smallest state by land size, but it also ranks 11th by population. Thus, the small size and large population makes New Jersey the most densely populated state. (Though it has been included in the table below, the capital city Washington D.C. is not a state. If it was a state, it would replace New Jersey as the most densely populated.)

The table ranks states in order of their population density in 2021, from highest to lowest.

Rank by Population Density
(number of people
per square mile of land area)
Rank State Population Density
All United States 93.970
1 Washington, D. C. 10975.429
2 New Jersey 1260.110
3 Rhode Island 1059.778
4 Massachusetts 895.470
5 Connecticut 744.594
6 Maryland 635.1062
7 Delaware 514.941
8 New York 420.908
9 Florida 403.917
10 Pennsylvania 289.746
11 Ohio 288.297
12 California 251.881
13 Illinois 228.236
14 Hawaii 224.449
15 Virginia 218.846
16 North Carolina 217.022
17 Indiana 189.972
18 Georgia 187.774
19 Michigan 177.768
20 South Carolina 172.674
21 Tennessee 169.158
22 New Hampshire 155.148
23 Washington 116.449
24 Kentucky 114.201
25 Texas 113.033
26 Wisconsin 108.865
27 Louisiana 107.028
28 Alabama 99.513
29 Missouri 89.730
30 West Virginia 74.171
31 Minnesota 71.676
32 Vermont 70.043
33 Arizona 64.055
34 Mississippi 62.867
35 Arkansas 58.150
36 Oklahoma 58.118
37 Iowa 57.152
38 Colorado 56.078
39 Maine 44.491
40 Oregon 44.236
41 Utah 40.622
42 Kansas 35.893
43 Nevada 28.638
44 Nebraska 25.560
45 Idaho 23.001
46 New Mexico 17.443
47 South Dakota 11.810
48 North Dakota 11.231
49 Montana 7.587
50 Wyoming 5.961
51 Alaska 1.283

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Population Trends in the USA

  • In recent years, the US has witnessed slower rates of population growth. Factors contributing to this are decreased fertility and international migration. The July 2021 population estimates released by the US Census Bureau, however, display a growth of 0.1% from 2020 to 2021, which is the lowest ever recorded in the country. The drastic drop is widely attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic which broke out in 2020 and led to increased deaths, and lockdowns which further stemmed international migration. 
  • Other than mortality rates, one of the most significant factors affecting individual state populations is domestic migration. In the past year (2020-21) while the population in states such as California and New York notably declined, domestic migration pushed up numbers in Southern and Mid-Western states such as Texas, Arizona and Florida.

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