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List of States in America

With populations, area, governors and name meanings and origin, and with images of states and flags


Touch State Abbreviation to show image of state and flag.  The Origin and Meaning of state names represent the prevailing consensus.  Click on any underlined name or place for more information.  Population is according to the 2016 estimate.  (See the map for renaming the states based upon contemporary naming practices.)


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State Name, Abbrev, Nickname, [Admitted Date]; Governor; Capital; Largest City;

(State Bird; Flower; Tree; Fish) Origin

{Res. Name} Population; Area & (Pop/Area); Land & (Pop/Area); (% Water)

Highest point; Lowest Point; Diff.

 #1    Alabama   AL  Yellowhammer State  [Dec.  14, 1819] Gov: Robert Bentley(R); Capitol: Montgomery; Largest City: Birmingham

(Yellowhammer; Camellia; Longleaf pine; Largemouth bass)

Origin: Choctaw, “plant-cutters”; Two Choctaw words: “alba” meaning vegetation, herbs or plants; and “amo” meaning gatherer or picker.

  {Residents: Alabamans}

  Pop: 4,863,300; Area: 52,419sq.mi.  (92.8pop/sq.mi.); Land: 50,744sq.mi.  (95.8pop/sq.mi.); (3.2% water)

  High: 2,413 feet at Cheaha Mountain; Low: 0 feet at Gulf of Mexico; diff.=2,413 feet

 #2    Alaska   AK  Last Frontier  [Jan.  03, 1959] Gov: Bill Walker(I); Capitol: Juneau; Largest City: Anchorage

(Willow ptarmigan; Forget-me-not; Sitka spruce; King salmon)

Origin: Aleut, “mainland”; From the Aleut word “Alyeska,” meaning “great land” or “that which the sea breaks against.”

  {Residents: Alaskans}

  Pop: 741,894; Area: 663,267sq.mi.  (1.1pop/sq.mi.); Land: 571,951sq.mi.  (1.3pop/sq.mi.); (13.8% water)

  High: 20,320 feet at Mount McKinley; Low: 0 feet at Pacific Ocean; diff.=20,320 feet

 #3    Arizona   AZ  Grand Canyon State  [Feb.  14, 1912] Gov: Doug Ducey(R); Capitol: Phoenix; Largest City: Phoenix

(Cactus wren; Saguaro cactus blossom; Blue palo verde; Arizona trout)

Origin: Aztec, or Pima, “silver-bearing,” or “small spring”; Origin of the name is uncertain.

  {Residents: Arizonans}

  Pop: 6,931,071; Area: 113,998sq.mi.  (60.8pop/sq.mi.); Land: 113,634sq.mi.  (61.0pop/sq.mi.); (0.3% water)

  High: 12,637 feet at Humphreys Peak; Low: 70 feet at Colorado River; diff.=12,567 feet

 #4    Arkansas   AR  Natural State  [June  15, 1836] Gov: Asa Hutchinson(R); Capitol: Little Rock; Largest City: Little Rock

(Mockingbird; Apple blossom; Pine; none )

Origin: Quapaw, Soiux “south wind”; Borrowed from an Illinois rendering of the tribal name kanze see Kansas, below, how the Miami and Illinois refer to the Quapaw.

  {Residents: Arkansans}

  Pop: 2,988,248; Area: 53,179sq.mi.  (56.2pop/sq.mi.); Land: 52,068sq.mi.  (57.4pop/sq.mi.); (2.1% water)

  High: 2,653 feet at Magazine Mountain; Low: 55 feet at Ouachita River; diff.=2,598 feet

 #5    California   CA  Golden State  [Sep.  09, 1850] Gov: Jerry Brown(D); Capitol: Sacramento; Largest City: Los Angeles

(California quail; California poppy; Coast Redwood, Giant Sequoia; Golden trout)

Origin: Spanish, where Queen Califia ruled; From “Califia” queen of a mythical Spanish island in a Spanish romance Las Sergas de Esplandian by Garcia Ordoñez de Montalvo, 1510.

  {Residents: Californians}

  Pop: 39,250,017; Area: 163,696sq.mi.  (239.8pop/sq.mi.); Land: 155,960sq.mi.  (251.7pop/sq.mi.); (4.7% water)

  High: 14,505 feet at Mount Whitney; Low: -282 feet at Badwater Basin; diff.=14,787 feet

 #6    Colorado   CO  Centennial State  [Aug.  01, 1876] Gov: John Hickenlooper(D); Capitol: Denver; Largest City: Denver

(Lark bunting; Rocky mountain columbine; Colorado blue spruce; Greenback cutthroat trout)

Origin: Spanish, “red color”; Originally referring to the Colorado River.

  {Residents: Coloradans}

  Pop: 5,540,545; Area: 104,094sq.mi.  (53.2pop/sq.mi.); Land: 103,718sq.mi.  (53.4pop/sq.mi.); (0.4% water)

  High: 14,440 feet at Mount Elbert; Low: 3,317 feet at Arikaree River; diff.=11,123 feet

 #7    Connecticut   CT  Constitution State  [Jan.  09, 1788] Gov: Dan Malloy(D); Capitol: Hartford; Largest City: Bridgeport

(American robin; Mountain laurel; White oak; American shad)

Origin: Mohican / Algonquin, “at the long tidal river”; From the Indian name for the Connecticut River.

  {Residents: Nutmeggers or Connecticuters}

  Pop: 3,576,452; Area: 5,543sq.mi.  (645.2pop/sq.mi.); Land: 4,845sq.mi.  (738.2pop/sq.mi.); (12.6% water)

  High: 2,380 feet at Mount Frissell; Low: 0 feet at Long Island Sound; diff.=2,380 feet

 #8    Delaware   DE  First State  [Dec.  07, 1787] Gov: John C. Carney, Jr.(D); Capitol: Dover; Largest City: Wilmington

(Blue hen chicken; Peach blossom; American holly; Weakfish)

Origin: French via English, “of the war”; After the Delaware River, which was named for Lord de la Warr.

  {Residents: Delawareans}

  Pop: 952,065; Area: 2,489sq.mi.  (382.5pop/sq.mi.); Land: 1,953sq.mi.  (487.5pop/sq.mi.); (21.5% water)

  High: 451 feet at Ebright Azimuth; Low: 0 feet at Atlantic Ocean; diff.=451 feet

 #9    District of Columbia   DC  Capital  [Nov.  17, 1800] Gov: Muriel Bowser(D); Capitol: Washington; Largest City: Washington

(Wood Thrush; American Beauty Rose; Scarlet Oak; none)

Origin: English, Named after the first US President; Named after the first US President.

  {Residents: Washingtonians}

  Pop: 681,170; Area: 68sq.mi.  (10,017.2pop/sq.mi.); Land: 61sq.mi.  (11,166.7pop/sq.mi.); (10.1% water)

  High: 409 feet at Fort Reno Park; Low: 0 feet at Potomac River; diff.=409 feet

 #10    Florida   FL  Sunshine State  [Mar.  03, 1845] Gov: Rick Scott(R); Capitol: Tallahassee; Largest City: Jacksonville

(Northern mockingbird; Orange blossom; Sabal palm; Florida largemouth bass)

Origin: Spanish, “flowers”; Explorer Ponce de Leon named the land after “Pascua de Florida” “Feast of Flowers” on Palm Sunday of 1513.

  {Residents: Floridians}

  Pop: 20,612,439; Area: 65,755sq.mi.  (313.5pop/sq.mi.); Land: 53,927sq.mi.  (382.2pop/sq.mi.); (18.0% water)

  High: 345 feet at Britton Hill; Low: 0 feet at Atlantic Ocean; diff.=345 feet

 #11    Georgia   GA  Peach State  [Jan.  02, 1788] Gov: Nathan Deal(R); Capitol: Atlanta; Largest City: Atlanta

(Brown thrasher; Cherokee rose; Southern live oak; Largemouth bass)

Origin: Latin, “George”; The feminine Latin form of “George,” named after King George II of England.

  {Residents: Georgians}

  Pop: 10,310,371; Area: 59,425sq.mi.  (173.5pop/sq.mi.); Land: 57,906sq.mi.  (178.1pop/sq.mi.); (2.6% water)

  High: 4,784 feet at Brasstown Bald; Low: 0 feet at Atlantic Ocean; diff.=4,784 feet

 #12    Hawaii   HI  Aloha State  [Aug.  21, 1959] Gov: David Ige(D); Capitol: Honolulu; Largest City: Honolulu

(Nēnē or Hawaiian Goo; Hawaiian hibiscus; Candlenut tree; Reef triggerfish)

Origin: Hawaiian, “small or new homeland”; May have been named for the traditional home of the Polynesians, called “Owhyhee.”

  {Residents: Hawaiians (natives) Islanders (non-natives)}

  Pop: 1,428,557; Area: 10,931sq.mi.  (130.7pop/sq.mi.); Land: 6,423sq.mi.  (222.4pop/sq.mi.); (41.2% water)

  High: 13,803 feet at Mauna Kea; Low: 0 feet at Pacific Ocean; diff.=13,803 feet

 #13    Idaho   ID  Gem State  [July  03, 1890] Gov: Butch Otter(R); Capitol: Boise; Largest City: Boise

(Mountain bluebird; Syringa, mock orange; Western white pine; Cutthroat trout)

Origin: English, invented word; Mining lobbyist George M. Willing invented the name saying it was a Shoshone Indian word that meant “Gem of the Mountains.”

  {Residents: Idahoans}

  Pop: 1,683,140; Area: 83,570sq.mi.  (20.1pop/sq.mi.); Land: 82,747sq.mi.  (20.3pop/sq.mi.); (1.0% water)

  High: 12,668 feet at Borah Peak; Low: 710 feet at Snake River; diff.=11,958 feet

 #14    Illinois   IL  Prairie State  [Dec.  03, 1818] Gov: Bruce Rauner(R); Capitol: Springfield; Largest City: Chicago

(Northern cardinal; Violet; White oak; Bluegill)

Origin: Algonquian, “warriors” or “superior men”; By French explorer Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle in 1679 after the Indians he found living along the banks. “Illini” was a confed. of Indian tribes.

  {Residents: Illinoisan or Illinoians}

  Pop: 12,801,539; Area: 57,914sq.mi.  (221.0pop/sq.mi.); Land: 55,583sq.mi.  (230.3pop/sq.mi.); (4.0% water)

  High: 1,235 feet at Charles Mound; Low: 279 feet at Mississippi River; diff.=956 feet

 #15    Indiana   IN  Hoosier State  [Dec.  11, 1816] Gov: Eric Holcomb(R); Capitol: Indianapolis; Largest City: Indianapolis

(Northern cardinal; Peony; Tulip-tree; none )

Origin: English, “Land of the Indians.”; The natives were called Indians because of Columbus’ error thinking he had reached the Asian India.

  {Residents: Hoosiers or Indianians or Indianans}

  Pop: 6,633,053; Area: 36,418sq.mi.  (182.1pop/sq.mi.); Land: 35,867sq.mi.  (184.9pop/sq.mi.); (1.5% water)

  High: 1,257 feet at Hoosier Hill; Low: 320 feet at Ohio River; diff.=937 feet

 #16    Iowa   IA  Hawkeye State  [Dec.  28, 1846] Gov: Terry Branstad(R); Capitol: Des Moines; Largest City: Des Moines

(Eastern goldfinch; Wild Prairie Rose; Bur oak; Channel catfish)

Origin: Dakota, “sleepy ones”; From the natives tribal name “Ayuxwa” which was spelled by the French as “Ayoua” and by the English as “Ioway.”

  {Residents: Iowans or Hawkeyes}

  Pop: 3,134,693; Area: 56,272sq.mi.  (55.7pop/sq.mi.); Land: 55,870sq.mi.  (56.1pop/sq.mi.); (0.7% water)

  High: 1,670 feet at Hawkeye Point; Low: 480 feet at Mississippi River; diff.=1,190 feet

 #17    Kansas   KS  Sunflower State  [Jan.  29, 1861] Gov: Sam Brownback(R); Capitol: Topeka; Largest City: Wichita

(Western Meadowlark; Sunflower; Eastern cottonwood; none )

Origin: Kaw, “south wind”; From the Kansas River which was named by the French after the Kanze natives who lived there.

  {Residents: Kansans or Jayhawkers}

  Pop: 2,907,289; Area: 82,277sq.mi.  (35.3pop/sq.mi.); Land: 81,815sq.mi.  (35.5pop/sq.mi.); (0.6% water)

  High: 4,039 feet at Mount Sunflower; Low: 679 feet at Verdigris River; diff.=3,360 feet

 #18    Kentucky   KY  Bluegrass State  [June  01, 1792] Gov: Matt Bevin(R); Capitol: Frankfort; Largest City: Louisville

(Northern cardinal; Goldenrod; Tulip-tree; Kentucky spotted bass)

Origin: Iroquoian, “prairie” or “field”; From the Iroquois Indian name referring to the landscape. Possibly a Wyandot or Iroquois name meaning “land of tomorrow.”

  {Residents: Kentuckians}

  Pop: 4,436,974; Area: 40,409sq.mi.  (109.8pop/sq.mi.); Land: 39,728sq.mi.  (111.7pop/sq.mi.); (1.7% water)

  High: 4,145 feet at Black Mountain; Low: 257 feet at Mississippi River; diff.=3,888 feet

 #19    Louisiana   LA  Pelican State  [Apr.  30, 1812] Gov: John Bel Edwards(D); Capitol: Baton Rouge; Largest City: New Orleans

(Brown pelican; Magnolia; Bald cypress; White crappie)

Origin: French, in honor of King “Louis”; French explorer Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle, first European to sail the Miss. River delta, named the area La Louisianne after Louis XIV of France.

  {Residents: Louisianians or Louisianans}

  Pop: 4,681,666; Area: 51,840sq.mi.  (90.3pop/sq.mi.); Land: 43,562sq.mi.  (107.5pop/sq.mi.); (16.0% water)

  High: 535 feet at Driskill Mountain; Low: -8 feet at New Orleans; diff.=543 feet

 #20    Maine   ME  Pine Tree State  [Mar.  15, 1820] Gov: Paul LePage(R); Capitol: Augusta; Largest City: Portland

(Black-capped chickadee; White pine cone and tassel; Eastern white pine; Landlocked Atlantic salmon)

Origin: English or French, “the main land”; May refer to the mainland, as opposed to the coastal islands, or may be named after the French province of Maine.

  {Residents: Mainers or Main Staters}

  Pop: 1,331,479; Area: 35,385sq.mi.  (37.6pop/sq.mi.); Land: 30,862sq.mi.  (43.1pop/sq.mi.); (12.8% water)

  High: 5,368 feet at Mount Katahdin; Low: 0 feet at Atlantic Ocean; diff.=5,368 feet

 #21    Maryland   MD  Old Line State  [Apr.  28, 1788] Gov: Larry Hogan(R); Capitol: Annapolis; Largest City: Baltimore

(Baltimore oriole; Black-eyed susan; White oak; Rockfish)

Origin: English, in honor of Queen “Mary”; After Queen Henrietta Maria of England, wife of King Charles I.

  {Residents: Marylanders}

  Pop: 6,016,447; Area: 12,407sq.mi.  (484.9pop/sq.mi.); Land: 9,774sq.mi.  (615.6pop/sq.mi.); (21.2% water)

  High: 3,360 feet at Hoye-Crest; Low: 0 feet at Atlantic Ocean; diff.=3,360 feet

 #22    Massachusetts   MA  Bay State  [Feb.  06, 1788] Gov: Charlie Baker(R); Capitol: Boston; Largest City: Boston

(Black-capped chickadee; Mayflower; American elm; Cod)

Origin: Algonquian, “great hill place” or “by the little mount; Named after the natives that lived in the region.

  {Residents: Bay Staters or Massachusettsans}

  Pop: 6,811,779; Area: 10,555sq.mi.  (645.4pop/sq.mi.); Land: 7,840sq.mi.  (868.8pop/sq.mi.); (25.7% water)

  High: 3,492 feet at Mount Greylock; Low: 0 feet at Atlantic Ocean; diff.=3,492 feet

 #23    Michigan   MI  Great Lakes State  [Jan.  26, 1837] Gov: Rick Snyder(R); Capitol: Lansing; Largest City: Detroit

(American robin; Apple blossom; Eastern white pine; Brook trout)

Origin: Ottawa or Chippewa, “large body of water”; Also possibly from the Chippewa Indian word “majigan” which means “clearing of land.”

  {Residents: Michiganians or Michiganders}

  Pop: 9,928,301; Area: 96,716sq.mi.  (102.7pop/sq.mi.); Land: 56,804sq.mi.  (174.8pop/sq.mi.); (41.3% water)

  High: 1,979 feet at Mount Arvon; Low: 571 feet at Lake Erie; diff.=1,408 feet

 #24    Minnesota   MN  North Star State  [May  11, 1858] Gov: Mark Dayton(D); Capitol: St. Paul; Largest City: Minneapolis

(Common loon; Pink and white lady's slipper; Red Pine; Walleye)

Origin: Dakota, “cloudy water”; From the Minnesota River named by the Dakota Sioux.

  {Residents: Minnesotans}

  Pop: 5,519,952; Area: 86,939sq.mi.  (63.5pop/sq.mi.); Land: 79,610sq.mi.  (69.3pop/sq.mi.); (8.4% water)

  High: 2,301 feet at Eagle Mountain; Low: 601 feet at Lake Superior; diff.=1,700 feet

 #25    Mississippi   MS  Magnolia State  [Dec.  10, 1817] Gov: Phil Bryant(R); Capitol: Jackson; Largest City: Jackson

(Northern mockingbird; Magnolia; Southern magnolia; Largemouth bass)

Origin: Ojibwe, “great river”; The Indian name for the river that was used on Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle’s map.

  {Residents: Mississippians}

  Pop: 2,988,726; Area: 48,430sq.mi.  (61.7pop/sq.mi.); Land: 46,907sq.mi.  (63.7pop/sq.mi.); (3.1% water)

  High: 807 feet at Woodall Mountain; Low: 0 feet at Gulf of Mexico; diff.=807 feet

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 #26    Missouri   MO  Show Me State  [Aug.  10, 1821] Gov: Eric Greitens(R); Capitol: Jefferson City; Largest City: Kansas City

(Eastern bluebird; Hawthorn; Flowering dogwood; Channel catfish)

Origin: Algonquian, “dugout canoe”; From the Missouri River, after the Missouri tribe known for their dugout canoes.

  {Residents: Missourians}

  Pop: 6,093,000; Area: 69,704sq.mi.  (87.4pop/sq.mi.); Land: 68,886sq.mi.  (88.5pop/sq.mi.); (1.2% water)

  High: 1,772 feet at Taum Sauk Mountain; Low: 230 feet at Saint Francis River; diff.=1,542 feet

 #27    Montana   MT  Treasure State  [Nov.  08, 1889] Gov: Steve  Bullock(D); Capitol: Helena; Largest City: Billings

(Western meadowlark; Hawthorn; Ponderosa pine; Cutthroat trout)

Origin: Spanish, “mountainous”; A derivation of the Latin word “montaanus.”

  {Residents: Montanan}

  Pop: 1,042,520; Area: 147,042sq.mi.  (7.1pop/sq.mi.); Land: 145,552sq.mi.  (7.2pop/sq.mi.); (1.0% water)

  High: 12,807 feet at Granite Peak; Low: 1,800 feet at Kootenai River; diff.=11,007 feet

 #28    Nebraska   NE  Cornhusker State  [Mar.  01, 1867] Gov: Pete Ricketts(R); Capitol: Lincoln; Largest City: Omaha

(Western meadowlark; Goldenrod; Eastern cottonwood; Channel catfish)

Origin: Soiux, “flat waters”; Referring to the Platte River, which means “flat river” in French.

  {Residents: Nebraskans; sometimes Cornhuskers}

  Pop: 1,907,116; Area: 77,354sq.mi.  (24.7pop/sq.mi.); Land: 76,873sq.mi.  (24.8pop/sq.mi.); (0.6% water)

  High: 5,424 feet at Panorama Point; Low: 849 feet at Missouri River; diff.=4,575 feet

 #29    Nevada   NV  Silver State  [Oct.  31, 1864] Gov: Brian Sandoval(R); Capitol: Carson City; Largest City: Las Vegas

(Mountain bluebird; Sagebrush; Single-leaf Pinyon, Bristlecon; Lahontan cutthroat trout)

Origin: Spanish, “snow covered”; After the Sierra Nevada, or “snowy range.”

  {Residents: Nevadans}

  Pop: 2,940,058; Area: 110,561sq.mi.  (26.6pop/sq.mi.); Land: 109,826sq.mi.  (26.8pop/sq.mi.); (0.7% water)

  High: 13,147 feet at Boundary Peak; Low: 479 feet at Colorado River; diff.=12,668 feet

 #30    New Hampshire   NH  Granite State  [June  21, 1788] Gov: Chris Sununu(R); Capitol: Concord; Largest City: Manchester

(Purple finch; Purple lilac; American white birch; Brook trout)

Origin: English, New + name of an English county; Named for county of Hampshire, England, by Captain John Mason.

  {Residents: New Hampshirites; Granite Staters}

  Pop: 1,334,795; Area: 9,350sq.mi.  (142.8pop/sq.mi.); Land: 8,968sq.mi.  (148.8pop/sq.mi.); (4.1% water)

  High: 6,288 feet at Mount Washington; Low: 0 feet at Atlantic Ocean; diff.=6,288 feet

 #31    New Jersey   NJ  Garden State  [Dec.  18, 1787] Gov: Chris Christie(R); Capitol: Trenton; Largest City: Newark

(Eastern goldfinch; Violet; Northern red oak; Brook trout)

Origin: English, New + name of an island; Name after the island of Jersey in the English Channel by Sir John Berkley and Sir George Carteret.

  {Residents: New Jerseyites; New Jerseyans}

  Pop: 8,944,469; Area: 8,721sq.mi.  (1,025.6pop/sq.mi.); Land: 7,417sq.mi.  (1,205.9pop/sq.mi.); (15.0% water)

  High: 1,803 feet at High Point; Low: 0 feet at Atlantic Ocean; diff.=1,803 feet

 #32    New Mexico   NM  Land of Enchantment  [Jan.  06, 1912] Gov: Susana Martinez(R); Capitol: Santa Fe; Largest City: Albuquerque

(Roadrunner; Yucca flower; Piñon Pine; Rio Grande cutthroat trout)

Origin: Aztec via Spanish, refers to the land north of the upper Rio Grande; Anglicized version of “Nuevo Mexico,” from Aztec meaning “place of the god Mexitli.”

  {Residents: New Mexicans}

  Pop: 2,081,015; Area: 121,589sq.mi.  (17.1pop/sq.mi.); Land: 121,355sq.mi.  (17.1pop/sq.mi.); (0.2% water)

  High: 13,167 feet at Wheeler Peak; Low: 2,842 feet at Red Bluff Reservoir; diff.=10,325 feet

 #33    New York   NY  Empire State  [July  26, 1788] Gov: Andrew Cuomo(D); Capitol: Albany; Largest City: New York City

(Eastern bluebird; Rose; Sugar maple; Brook trout)

Origin: English, New + name of an English duke; After York, England, to honor the then Duke of York later King James II of England.

  {Residents: New Yorkers}

  Pop: 19,745,289; Area: 54,556sq.mi.  (361.9pop/sq.mi.); Land: 47,214sq.mi.  (418.2pop/sq.mi.); (13.5% water)

  High: 5,334 feet at Mount Marcy; Low: 0 feet at Atlantic Ocean; diff.=5,334 feet

 #34    North Carolina   NC  Old North State  [Nov.  21, 1789] Gov: Roy Cooper(D); Capitol: Raleigh; Largest City: Charlotte

(Northern cardinal; Flowering dogwood; Pine; Channel Bass)

Origin: Latin, North + “Charles”; From the name Carolus, in honor of King Charles I of England.

  {Residents: North Carolinians}

  Pop: 10,146,788; Area: 53,819sq.mi.  (188.5pop/sq.mi.); Land: 48,711sq.mi.  (208.3pop/sq.mi.); (9.5% water)

  High: 6,684 feet at Mount Mitchell; Low: 0 feet at Atlantic Ocean; diff.=6,684 feet

 #35    North Dakota   ND  Peace Garden State  [Nov.  02, 1889] Gov: Doug Burgum(R); Capitol: Bismarck; Largest City: Fargo

(Western meadowlark; Wild prairie rose; American elm; Northern pike)

Origin: Sioux, North + “ally”; After the Dakota tribe.

  {Residents: North Dakotans}

  Pop: 757,952; Area: 70,700sq.mi.  (10.7pop/sq.mi.); Land: 68,976sq.mi.  (11.0pop/sq.mi.); (2.4% water)

  High: 3,506 feet at White Butte; Low: 750 feet at Red River; diff.=2,756 feet

 #36    Ohio   OH  Buckeye State  [Mar.  01, 1803] Gov: John Kasich(R); Capitol: Columbus; Largest City: Columbus

(Northern cardinal; Scarlet carnation; Ohio buckeye; Walleye)

Origin: Iroquois, “large creek”; After the name of both the Ohio River and Allegheny River. Often incorrectly given as “beautiful river”

  {Residents: Ohioans; or Buckeyes}

  Pop: 11,614,373; Area: 44,825sq.mi.  (259.1pop/sq.mi.); Land: 40,948sq.mi.  (283.6pop/sq.mi.); (8.6% water)

  High: 1,550 feet at Campbell Hill; Low: 455 feet at Ohio River; diff.=1,095 feet

 #37    Oklahoma   OK  Sooner State  [Nov.  16, 1907] Gov: Mary Fallin(R); Capitol: Oklahoma City; Largest City: Oklahoma City

(Scissor-tailed flycatcher; Oklahoma rose; Eastern redbud; White bass)

Origin: Choctaw, “red people”; Invented by native American missionary Allen Wright from two Choctaw words, “ukla” meaning people and “huma” meaning red.

  {Residents: Oklahomans}

  Pop: 3,923,561; Area: 69,898sq.mi.  (56.1pop/sq.mi.); Land: 68,667sq.mi.  (57.1pop/sq.mi.); (1.8% water)

  High: 4,973 feet at Black Mesa; Low: 289 feet at Little River; diff.=4,684 feet

 #38    Oregon   OR  Beaver State  [Feb.  14, 1859] Gov: Kate Brown(D); Capitol: Salem; Largest City: Portland

(Western meadowlark; Oregon grape; Douglas fir; Chinook salmon)

Origin: Uncertain, “beautiful”; First named by Major Robert Rogers in a petition to King George III.

  {Residents: Oregonians}

  Pop: 4,093,465; Area: 98,381sq.mi.  (41.6pop/sq.mi.); Land: 95,997sq.mi.  (42.6pop/sq.mi.); (2.4% water)

  High: 11,249 feet at Mount Hood; Low: 0 feet at Pacific Ocean; diff.=11,249 feet

 #39    Pennsylvania   PA  Keystone State  [Dec.  12, 1787] Gov: Tom Wolf(D); Capitol: Harrisburg; Largest City: Philadelphia

(Ruffed grouse; Mountain laurel; Eastern hemlock; Brook trout)

Origin: Latin, “Penn’s woods”; After Admiral William Penn.

  {Residents: Pennsylvanians}

  Pop: 12,784,227; Area: 46,055sq.mi.  (277.6pop/sq.mi.); Land: 44,816sq.mi.  (285.3pop/sq.mi.); (2.7% water)

  High: 3,213 feet at Mount Davis; Low: 0 feet at Delaware River; diff.=3,213 feet

 #40    Rhode Island   RI  Ocean State  [May  29, 1790] Gov: Gina Raimondo(D); Capitol: Providence; Largest City: Providence

(Rhode Island red chicken; Violet; Red maple; Striped bass)

Origin: Dutch, “red island”; Named “Roodt Eylandt” by Dutch explorer Adrian Block, it was anglicized when the region came under British rule.

  {Residents: Rhode Islanders}

  Pop: 1,056,426; Area: 1,545sq.mi.  (683.8pop/sq.mi.); Land: 1,045sq.mi.  (1,010.9pop/sq.mi.); (32.4% water)

  High: 812 feet at Jerimoth Hill; Low: 0 feet at Atlantic Ocean; diff.=812 feet

 #41    South Carolina   SC  Palmetto State  [May  23, 1788] Gov: Henry McMaster(R); Capitol: Columbia; Largest City: Columbia

(Carolina wren; Yellow jessamine; Sabal palm; Striped bass)

Origin: Latin, South + “Charles”; from the name Carolus, in honor of King Charles I of England.

  {Residents: South Carolinians}

  Pop: 4,961,119; Area: 32,020sq.mi.  (154.9pop/sq.mi.); Land: 30,109sq.mi.  (164.8pop/sq.mi.); (6.0% water)

  High: 3,560 feet at Sassafras Mountain; Low: 0 feet at Atlantic Ocean; diff.=3,560 feet

 #42    South Dakota   SD  Mount Rushmore State  [Nov.  02, 1889] Gov: Dennis Daugaard(R); Capitol: Pierre; Largest City: Sioux Falls

(Common pheasant; Pasque flower; Black Hills spruce; Walleye)

Origin: Sioux, South + “ally”; After the Dakota tribe.

  {Residents: South Dakotans}

  Pop: 865,454; Area: 77,116sq.mi.  (11.2pop/sq.mi.); Land: 75,884sq.mi.  (11.4pop/sq.mi.); (1.6% water)

  High: 7,244 feet at Harney Peak; Low: 966 feet at Big Stone Lake; diff.=6,278 feet

 #43    Tennessee   TN  Volunteer State  [June  01, 1796] Gov: Bill Haslam(R); Capitol: Nashville; Largest City: Memphis

(Northern mockingbird; Iris; Tulip-tree; Largemouth bass)

Origin: Cherokee, possibly “river with a big bend”; After the river and from a Cherokee village in the region that was called “Tanasie.”

  {Residents: Tennesseans}

  Pop: 6,651,194; Area: 42,143sq.mi.  (157.8pop/sq.mi.); Land: 41,217sq.mi.  (161.4pop/sq.mi.); (2.2% water)

  High: 6,643 feet at Clingmans Dome; Low: 178 feet at Mississippi River; diff.=6,465 feet

 #44    Texas   TX  Lone Star State  [Dec.  29, 1845] Gov: Greg Abbott(R); Capitol: Austin; Largest City: Houston

(Northern mockingbird; Texas bluebonnet; Pecan; Guadalupe bass)

Origin: Caddo, “friend”; “Tejas” referred to the Caddo tribes. The Spanish made it texas.

  {Residents: Texans}

  Pop: 27,862,596; Area: 268,581sq.mi.  (103.7pop/sq.mi.); Land: 261,797sq.mi.  (106.4pop/sq.mi.); (2.5% water)

  High: 8,751 feet at Guadalupe Peak; Low: 0 feet at Gulf of Mexico; diff.=8,751 feet

 #45    Utah   UT  Beehive State  [Jan.  04, 1896] Gov: Gary Herbert(R); Capitol: Salt Lake City; Largest City: Salt Lake City

(California gull; Sego lily; Blue spruce; Bonneville cutthroat trout)

Origin: Western Apache, “high”; Europeans took the Apache word “Yuttahih” their name for the Navajo tribes living higher in the mountains to refer to the Utes.

  {Residents: Utahns or Utahans}

  Pop: 3,051,217; Area: 84,899sq.mi.  (35.9pop/sq.mi.); Land: 82,144sq.mi.  (37.1pop/sq.mi.); (3.2% water)

  High: 13,528 feet at Kings Peak; Low: 2,000 feet at Beaver Dam Wash; diff.=11,528 feet

 #46    Vermont   VT  Green Mountain State  [Mar.  04, 1791] Gov: Phil Scott(R); Capitol: Montpelier; Largest City: Burlington

(Hermit thrush; Red clover; Sugar maple; Brook trout, walleye)

Origin: French, “green mountain”; The English form of the name “Verd Mont" given by French explorer Samuel de Champlain.

  {Residents: Vermonters}

  Pop: 624,594; Area: 9,614sq.mi.  (65.0pop/sq.mi.); Land: 9,249sq.mi.  (67.5pop/sq.mi.); (3.8% water)

  High: 4,395 feet at Mount Mansfield; Low: 95 feet at Lake Champlain; diff.=4,300 feet

 #47    Virginia   VA  Old Dominion State  [June  25, 1788] Gov: Terry McAuliffe(D); Capitol: Richmond; Largest City: Virginia Beach

(Northern cardinal; American dogwood; Flowering dogwood; Brook trout)

Origin: Latin, “country of the Virgin”; After Elizabeth I of England, who was known as the “Virgin Queen” because she never married.

  {Residents: Virginians}

  Pop: 8,411,808; Area: 42,774sq.mi.  (196.7pop/sq.mi.); Land: 39,594sq.mi.  (212.5pop/sq.mi.); (7.4% water)

  High: 5,729 feet at Mount Rogers; Low: 0 feet at Atlantic Ocean; diff.=5,729 feet

 #48    Washington   WA  Evergreen State  [Nov.  11, 1889] Gov: Jay Inslee(D); Capitol: Olympia; Largest City: Seattle

(Willow goldfinch; Coast rhododendron; Western hemlock; Steelhead trout)

Origin: English, English surname; After the first U.S. president, George Washington.

  {Residents: Washingtonians}

  Pop: 7,288,000; Area: 71,300sq.mi.  (102.2pop/sq.mi.); Land: 66,544sq.mi.  (109.5pop/sq.mi.); (6.7% water)

  High: 14,410 feet at Mount Rainier; Low: 0 feet at Pacific Ocean; diff.=14,410 feet

 #49    West Virginia   WV  Mountain State  [June  20, 1863] Gov: Jim Justice(D); Capitol: Charleston; Largest City: Charleston

(Northern cardinal; Rhododendron; Sugar maple; Brook trout)

Origin: Latin, state west of Virginia; In 1863, when the western counties of Virginia were about to be admitted to the Union, delegates chose the state name over Kanawha, Allegheny, and Augusta.

  {Residents: West Virginians}

  Pop: 1,831,102; Area: 24,230sq.mi.  (75.6pop/sq.mi.); Land: 24,078sq.mi.  (76.0pop/sq.mi.); (0.6% water)

  High: 4,863 feet at Spruce Knob; Low: 0 feet at Potomac River; diff.=4,863 feet

 #50    Wisconsin   WI  Badger State  [May  29, 1848] Gov: Scott Walker(R); Capitol: Madison; Largest City: Milwaukee

(American robin; Wood violet; Sugar maple; Muskellunge)

Origin: Chippewa, possibly “grassy place”; After the Wisconsin River. Origin is uncertain.

  {Residents: Wisconsinites}

  Pop: 5,778,708; Area: 65,498sq.mi.  (88.2pop/sq.mi.); Land: 54,310sq.mi.  (106.4pop/sq.mi.); (17.1% water)

  High: 1,951 feet at Timms Hill; Low: 579 feet at Lake Michigan; diff.=1,372 feet

 #51    Wyoming   WY  Equality State  [July  10, 1890] Gov: Matt Mead(R); Capitol: Cheyenne; Largest City: Cheyenne

(Western meadowlark; Indian paintbrush; Plains cottonwood; Cutthroat trout)

Origin: Algonquian, “wiche weamiing” or “on the great plain”; After a tribal village in Pennsylvania wiped out in 1778 by a combined force of British soldiers, Tories sympathizers and Iroquois Indians.

  {Residents: Wyomingites}

  Pop: 585,501; Area: 97,814sq.mi.  (6.0pop/sq.mi.); Land: 97,101sq.mi.  (6.0pop/sq.mi.); (0.7% water)

  High: 13,809 feet at Gannett Peak; Low: 3,099 feet at Belle Fourche River; diff.=10,710 feet

* Officially RI is State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

 

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