The US consists of 50 states, here you can see them all at a glance:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
These 50 US states form the nation USA, the United States of America. The individual states are also called federal states. They correspond roughly to the states of Germany. On this page you will find all important information about the states of the USA.
In addition to the states of the US, there are a number of territories that belong to the US but are not assigned to any of its states. You can read more about them below.
Table of contents
The US States in detail
In the following overview you will find detailed information about each state of the US.
The state of Alabama is located in the southeastern United States. It has a narrow access to the Gulf of Mexico, which belongs to the Atlantic Ocean. The capital of Alabama, with a population of about 200,000, is the city of Montgomery. The largest city in the state is Birmingham, with a population of about 210,000. Alabama was one of the states where slaves were massively exploited on the cotton plantations. Today Alabama belongs to the poorer regions of the USA. The climate is subtropical. The highest mountain in the state of Alabama is the 735 meter high Cheaha Peak. The Russell Cave National Monument is located in Alabama. In a cave there were found traces of people who lived more than 9,000 years ago.
Alaska is the state of geographical superlatives. It is not only the largest state in the US in terms of area, but also the largest exclave in the world. Because Alaska is separated from the rest of the USA by Canada. The capital of Alaska is Juneau, which with about 30,000 inhabitants is not the largest city in the state. For that is Anchorage with about 300,000 inhabitants. Alaska is the northernmost, westernmost and easternmost state of the USA. The highest mountain of Alaska is the 6.190 meters high Denali. It is also the highest mountain in the USA and in North America. The Yukon River, which is the fifth longest river on the North American continent, flows right through Alaska and flows from there into the Bering Sea. Climatically, Alaska reaches into the polar region. Alaska was bought from the Russian Empire by the USA in 1867.
The state of Arizona is located in the southwest of the USA and has an external border with the Mexican states of Baja California and Sonora. The capital and largest city of Arizona is Phoenix, with a population of about 1.6 million. The world-famous Grand Canyon, a gorge carved deep into the rock by the Colorado River, is located in northwestern Arizona. The state is characterized by the desert climate of the region and the barren landscape is the setting for many movies. The impressive Monument Valley with its spectacular rock formations is also partly located in Arizona. The highest mountain in Arizona is Humphreys Peak at 3,851 meters. On the border with the neighboring state of California is the Hoover Dam. The lake it dams is called Lake Mead and is the largest reservoir in the United States.
The state of Arkansas is located in the southeastern United States. Almost its entire eastern border is marked by the Mississippi River. The Mississippi and Missouri river systems are one of the largest in the world. The capital and largest city of Arkansas, with a population of about 200,000, is Little Rock, centrally located in the state. The climate in Arkansas is predominantly suptropical. The highest mountain in the state is Mount Magazine, which is 839 meters high. It is located in the Ozark Mountains, which belong to the US Interior Highlands and are the only somewhat higher mountain range in the US between the Appalachians in the east and the Rocky Mountains in the west.
The state of California is located in the west of the USA on the Pacific coast. With almost 40 million inhabitants, California is the most populous state in the US. In second place is Texas, which has only about 25 million inhabitants. The capital of California is Sacramento, which has about 509,000 inhabitants. The largest city is Los Angeles, which has 3.8 million inhabitants. With San Diego and San José, there are two more cities with millions of inhabitants in California. San Francisco, with a population of around 883,00, is also located in the state of California. California is very present in the media and perception. Not least because the center of the film industry in the USA, namely Hollywood, is a district of Los Angeles. In the south, California has an external border with the Mexican state of Baja California. The border is known for drug smuggling and illegal immigration to the USA. The highest mountain in California is Mount Whitney, which is 4,421 meters high. Mount Whitney is also the highest mountain in the US outside of Alaska. The state territory of California includes not only the coastal region but also various mountains and deserts. Some of the famous national parks, such as Yosemite and Joshua Tree National Parks, are located in California. And one of the hottest places in the world, Death Valley, is also located there.
The state of Colorado is centrally located in the west of the US. Its capital is Denver, with a population of just over 700,000. Colorado belongs to the so-called Mountain States. The Mountain States are those states of the USA through which the Rocky Mountains run. The highest mountain in the state is Mount Elbert, which is 4,401 meters high. Mount Elbert is the second highest mountain in the US outside of Alaska, after Mount Whitney in California. The climate of Colorado is continental. That means it can get very hot during the day and very cold at night. There is also a big climatic difference between summer and winter. The Mesa Verde National Park is located in Colorado. There are archaeologically interesting rock settlements of an ancient civilization. With an average altitude of over 2,000 meters, Colorado is the highest state in the US overall.
The third smallest of the US states by area is Connecticut, located in the northeast. Connecticut has a coastline facing the Atlantic Ocean. It is located on Long Island Sound, the inlet on which Long Island, which belongs to New York State, is also located. The capital of Connecticut is Hartford, with a population of about 120,000. The largest city in the state, however, is Bridgeport, with about 140,000 inhabitants. The highest point of Connecticut is on the southern slope of Mount Frissell and is 725 meters high. However, the 748-meter peak is already in the neighboring state of Massachusetts. The mountain belongs to the Appalachian mountain range. Connecticut belongs to the so-called Thirteen Colonies. The Thirteen Colonies were those British colonies that declared their independence from the British colonial power in 1776 through the Declaration of Independence. Connecticut is home to Yale University, one of the most elite universities in the world.
The state of Delaware is the second smallest of the states of the USA in terms of its area. It is located on the approximately 300 kilometer long Delmarva Peninsula on the east coast of the USA. Its capital is Dover, with a population of about 36,000. The largest city in the state, on the other hand, is Wilmington, with a population of about 71,000. The highest elevation is the Ebright Azimuth at 137 meters. Delaware is also one of the Thirteen Colonies and was the first state to recognize the US Constitution in 1787. Therefore, Delaware is also known as The First State. Since there are special tax advantages for companies in Delaware, many companies in the USA have their headquarters in Delaware. There is a building in Wilmington, called the Corporation Trust Center, where almost 300,000 companies have their headquarters.
The state of Florida is located in the southeast of the US. It is largely located on the peninsula of the same name in the Atlantic Ocean. The west coast of Florida lies on the Gulf of Mexico. Climatically, the north of Florida belongs to the subtropics and the south to the tropics. A well-known national park in Florida are the Everglades. Characteristic for the landscape of Florida are the grasslands covered by water, the swamps and the mangrove forests. The capital of the state is Tallahassee with about 181,000 inhabitants. The largest city in Florida is Jacksonville, which has a population of about 822,000. Another important city in Florida is Miami with about 400,000 inhabitants. The well-known launch site for space rockets Cape Canaveral is located in Florida. The highest point of the state of Florida is Britton Hill with 105 meters height, which is the lowest highest elevation of all states in the USA. South of the state’s mainland are the more than 200 islands of the Florida Keys. This tropical island chain is almost 300 kilometers long and is largely connected by a road, the Overseas Highway.
The state of Georgia is also located in the southeast of the USA. North of Florida, it lies on the Atlantic coast, which stretches for about 160 kilometers on the state territory. The capital of Georgia is Atlanta with about 473,000 inhabitants. Atlanta is also the largest city in Georgia. Georgia belongs to the Thirteen Colonies and was – like the already mentioned states of Arkansas and Florida – part of the Confederate States of America during the period from 1861 to 1865, which existed alongside the USA during this period. You can learn more about it below. The highest mountain in Georgia is the 1,458 meter high Brasstown Bald. It is located in the very north of the state on the border with North Carolina. Georgia is the filming location for the famous zombie TV series The Walking Dead.
Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States on August 21, 1959. It is thus the youngest state of the US before Alaska, which also joined in 1959. The territory of Hawaii is located on a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean. This is almost 3,700 kilometers away from the mainland of the US. The climate of Hawaii is tropical. The capital and largest city of Hawaii is Honolulu. Honolulu has about 352,000 inhabitants and is the only major city in Hawaii. The islands of Hawaii are of volcanic origin and some of the volcanoes are still active today. The volcanoes in Hawaii are among the largest in the world. The highest peak of Hawaii is the 4,205 meter high volcano Mauna Kea, but it is no longer active. If you measure the height below sea level, Mauna Kea is the highest mountain in the world at 10,203 meters. The volcano Mauna Loa is also located in Hawaii and is the second largest volcano on earth in terms of volume. Its weight is so great that it changes the shape of the tectonic plate on which it lies.
The state of Idaho is located in the northwest of the US and has an external border with the Canadian province of British Columbia in the north. The capital of Idaho is Boise with about 223,000 inhabitants. The landscape of Idaho is in large parts quite unspoiled and mountainous. Politically, the state is considered rather conservative; it has been firmly in Republican hands for several decades. In the west, on the border with Washington, lies the deepest gorge in North America, Hells Canyon. It is 2,438 meters deep, deeper than the Grand Canyon. Also, Shoshone Falls is located in Idaho, which is higher than Niagara Falls with a drop of 65 meters. The highest mountain in the state of Idaho is Borah Peak, which is 3,857 meters high.
The state of Illinois is located in the Midwest of the USA and has in the northeast part on Lake Michigan, a lake of the group of the five Great Lakes of North America. For comparison, Lake Michigan is approximately 100 times the size of Lake Constance. The capital of Illinois is Springfield, which has about 116,000 inhabitants. By far the largest city in the state, however, is Chicago. Chicago has almost 3 million inhabitants and is the third largest city in the USA after New York City and Los Angeles. The climate in Illinois is continental with hot summers and cold winters. The highest elevation in Illinois is the 376 meter high hill Charles Mound in the very north of the state. One of the most famous roads in the USA begins in the state of Illinois. Namely, the historic Route 66 connects Chicago, located in Illinois, with Santa Monica in California. Route 66 is considered one of the first connections of the east and west coasts of the USA.
The state of Indiana is also assigned to the Midwest region of the US. It lies just east of Illinois and also shares the shores of Lake Michigan to the north. The capital of Indiana is Indianapolis, which has about 855,000 inhabitants. The name of the state is derived from the Native Americans, the Indians. Almost everywhere in the territory of the states of today’s USA they were expelled, murdered and oppressed by the European settlers under the euphemistic term Indian Wars. The highest elevation in the state of Indiana is the 383 meter high Hoosier Hill.
Iowa is also located in the Midwest region of the US and is very rural. The entire eastern border of Iowa is formed by the Mississippi River. The state capital is Des Moines with about 215,000 inhabitants. Iowa is considered one of the most progressive states in the US in terms of civil rights. For example, slavery, racial segregation and discrimination against women or homosexuals were eliminated in Iowa much earlier (at least on paper) than in other states of the USA. The Iowa-born band Slipknot named one of its albums after the state. The highest hill in the state is Hawkeye Point. It is 509 meters high, only about 20 meters higher than its surroundings. There is a grain silo on its summit. Supposedly, there is even a summit book.
The state of Kansas is located pretty much in the middle of the US. It is part of the Midwest region and is largely located in the Great Plains. The Great Plains are the prairie landscape east of the mountains of the Rocky Mountains, which stretches from north to south through the USA. The capital of Kansas is Topeka, with a population of about 127,000. The state’s largest city is Wichita, with a population of about 390,000. Kansas lies almost entirely within the area known as Tornado Alley. Tornado Alley is the area of the US where there is a particularly high probability of tornadoes. Time and again, the tornadoes’ twisters cause damage. The climate of Kansas is continental. The highest mountain in the territory of Kansas is Mount Sunflower, which is 1,239 meters high.
The state of Kentucky is located in the central west of the US, but is counted as part of the South. Its capital is Frankfort. With a population of around 26,000, Frankfort is by no means the largest city in Kentucky. The state’s largest city by far is Louisville, with a population of about 616,000. The state of Kentucky is home to Mammoth Cave National Park. The Mammoth Cave is located in this national park. It is the largest known cave in the world with 663 kilometers. The highest mountain in the state of Kentucky is Black Mountain, which is 1,263 meters high. Black Mountain is located in a coal mining area. After protests against coal mining in the area of the mountain, the state of Kentucky bought the mining rights to prevent the peak from collapsing.
The state of Louisiana is located in the south of the US on the Gulf of Mexico. It belongs to the region of the southern states. Large parts of Louisiana are wetlands. Among other things, the 12,000 square kilometer delta of the Mississippi River is located in Louisiana. The state’s climate is subtropical. During the summer months, the coast is regularly hit by hurricanes. A particularly violent one in recent times was Hurricane Kathrina, which took the lives of nearly 500 people in 2005 and left great devastation in its wake. The capital of Louisiana is Baton Rouge, which has a population of about 228,000. The largest city in the state is New Orleans, which is considered the center of jazz and voodoo music in the United States. The highest elevation in the state of Louisiana is Mount Driskill. It is a whopping 163 meters high, making it the third lowest elevation of any state in the US after Florida and Delaware.
The state of Maine is located at the extreme northwestern point of the United States, and only the territories of Alaska in the eastern hemisphere of the Earth are further east. Maine has an external border with the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick. The capital of Maine is Augusta, with a population of about 19,000. The largest city in the state is Portland, with a population of about 66,000. Thus, there is no major city in the state of Maine. The climate in Maine is cool-moderate. The highest mountain in the state is Mount Katahdin, which is 1,606 meters high. Maine has one national park, Acadia National Park. It is largely located on Mount Desert Island and is known for its rugged wild rocky coastline. Maine is the only state in the US that is officially bilingual. In addition to English, French is also spoken.
The state of Maryland is located on the east coast of the US and belongs to the Northeast region. Its capital is Annapolis, with a population of around 38,000. The largest city in Maryland, on the other hand, is Baltimore, with a population of around 615,000. Part of the state of Maryland, like Delaware and Virginia, is located on the Delmarva Peninsula. Between the peninsula and the mainland lies the Chesapeake Bay. Across the bay is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, which at 7 kilometers long is one of the longest suspension bridges in the entire world. Further south, there is another connection between the mainland USA and the Delmarva Peninsula: the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel in the state of Virginia. The highest mountain in the state of Maryland is the 1,020-meter Hoye Crest, located in the far western part of the state. Not far from Baltimore is Fort Meade, where the headquarters of one of the intelligence agencies of the United States is located. Namely, the NSA is located here, which has enjoyed some attention in recent years due to the revelations of Edward Snowden.
The state of Massachusetts is also located on the east coast of the US and is part of the Northwest region. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston. Boston has about 618,00 inhabitants. With the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Harvard University, two important institutions of the USA in the field of science and education are located in the state of Massachusetts. The highest mountain in Massachusetts is Mount Greylock, which is 1,064 meters high. From the top of the mountain, on a clear day, you can see five US states at once. The Technical University in Karlsruhe in Germany has given itself the name KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) in reference to MIT.
The state of Michigan is located in the north of the US and has an external border with the Canadian province of Ontario. Michigan has shore shares on four of the five Great Lakes. Namely, there are shores on Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Erie and Lake Huron. Because of its location on the Great Lakes, Michigan is the state in the US with the longest overall freshwater shoreline. The capital of Michigan is Lansing with a population of 116,000. The largest city in Michigan is Detroit. Detroit has 670,000 inhabitants and is located right on the border with Canada. The city was famous for the automobile production. However, after their decay, there is a lot of vacancy in Detroit, which made it famous for their abandoned places. Michigan is located on two peninsulas in the Great Lakes region. The two parts of Michigan are separated by Lake Michigan and the two states of Illinois and Indiana, respectively, and are reconnected by the 8-kilometer-long Mackinac Bridge. The highest mountain in the state of Michigan is Mount Arvon, 603 meters high.
The state of Minnesota is also located in the north of the US and has an external border with the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. The capital of Minnesota is Saint Paul, which has about 308,000 inhabitants. The state’s largest city is Minneapolis, with a population of 383,000. Together, the two cities form the Twin Cities metropolitan region. Minnesota also bears the name Land of 10,000 Lakes, which is a slight understatement, because in truth there are nearly 12,000 lakes on the state’s territory. Except for Alaska, Minnesota is both the northernmost and coldest of all the states in the United States. The highest mountain in Minnesota is Eagle Mountain. It is 701 meters high. Minnesota is home to Lake Itasca, which is the source of the Mississippi River. Minnesota is located on the Great Lake and its shore is characterized in some places by a steep rocky coast.
The state of Mississippi takes its name from the Mississippi River and is located in the southeastern United States. It belongs to the South region and shares the coast with the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi River marks the western border of the state. The capital of Mississippi is Jackson. With a population of about 169,000, Jackson is also the state’s largest city. Overall, Mississippi is relatively flat, with the highest elevation being the 246-meter Woodall Mountain in the far northeast of the state. Climatically, Mississippi belongs to the subtropics. As a result of the protests over the killing of George Floyd (current information here at the taz), Mississippi decided in 2020 to change the flag of the state. Because as the last flag of a state of the USA it still contained the war flag of the Confederates, who stood for slavery. In the state of Mississippi, people have the lowest average income in the entire US. There is also an absurd law that says that anyone who wants to hold public office must believe in God. Racism is a massive problem in Mississippi.
The state of Missouri is located in the Midwest in the center of the US. Together with the state of Tennessee, it has the most neighboring states, namely 8. Missouri takes its name from the river of the same name, whose designation goes back to an Indian people. The capital of Missouri is Jefferson City, which has about 43,000 inhabitants. The largest city in Missouri is Kansas City, which has 481,000 inhabitants. The highest mountain in Missouri is Taum Sauk Mountain, which is 540 meters high. Racism is also a serious problem in Missouri. So much so that in 2017, a civil rights organization even issued a travel warning for this US state. Missouri was an important starting point during the opening up of the American West. To commemorate this, the Gateway Arch stands in St. Louis, the state’s second largest city. At 192 meters high, it is the largest arch in the world.
The state of Montana is part of the region West US and is located in the far north of the United States. It has an external border with the three Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. The capital of Montana is Helena, which has about 28,000 inhabitants. The state’s largest city, on the other hand, is Billings, with a population of about 110,000. Montana is rather flat in the east and mountainous in the west. The state belongs to the Mountain States of the US. The highest mountain in Montana is Granite Peak. It is 3,904 meters high. Since the summit is quite difficult to climb, Granite Peak was the last highest mountain of one of the states of the USA to be climbed. Montana is home to Glacier National Park, which not only consists of impressive mountain scenery, but also plays an important role in documenting climate change. The Rocky Mountains in Montana separate the maritime climate of the Pacific Coast from the continental climate of the Great Plains. On the east side, there can sometimes be extreme differences between summer and winter. Running through Glacier National Park is the Going-to-the-Sun Road, which is a masterpiece of road construction and provides special views of the Montana state landscape.
The state of Nebraska is located in the center of the US and is assigned to the Midwest region. The capital of Nebraska is Lincoln. Lincoln has about 280,000 inhabitants. The largest city in Nebrasksa is Omaha, which has 447,000 inhabitants. Omaha is located right on the border with the neighboring state of Iowa on the banks of the Missouri River. The stretch of Omaha Beach was named after Omaha, which was one of the bloodiest scenes in the liberation of Germany from the Nazis on the Normandy coast in 1944. The highest point in Nebraska is Panorama Point, which is 1,653 feet high. Panorama Point is located on a plain and is only imperceptibly higher than its surroundings. That is why it is marked with a stone. Politically, the state of Nebraska is strongly conservative. The population fought against the abolition of the death penalty by the parliament by petition.
The state Nevada is located in the west of the US and consists largely of desert. The capital of Nevada is Carson City, which has about 55,000 inhabitants. The largest city in Nevada, with 633,000 inhabitants, is Las Vegas, which is known for its casino landscape. The highest mountain in the state is Boundary Peak, which is 4,007 meters high, but it is only a secondary peak to Montgomery Peak, located in the banchbar state of California. Sometimes, therefore, Wheeler Peak, at 3,982 meters, is listed as the highest mountain in Nevada. Nevada provides plenty of material for horror and science fiction stories. For nuclear weapons tests have been repeatedly conducted in the state’s desert, and the legendary military base Area 51 is located in Nevada. The largest crater still reminiscent of the nuclear weapons tests is Sedan Crater, which is still nearly 100 meters deep today. In Nevada, not far from California’s Death Valley, is one of the most famous ghost towns in the US, Rhyolite, abandoned in 1909. Nevada is home to the Great Basin National Park and has rich gold and silver deposits. On the border with the neighboring state of California and not far from Carson City is the popular Lake Tahoe.
The state of New Hampshire is located in the northeastern United States and is part of the greater US state region of the same name. As one of the Thirteen Colonies, it is one of the oldest states in the USA. New Hampshire has an external border with the Canadian province of Quebec in the north. The state capital is Concord, which has about 43,000 inhabitants. New Hampshire’s largest city, on the other hand, is Manchaster, with a population of 111,000. The highest mountain in New Hampshire is the 1,917-meter Mount Washington, which is one of the coldest regions in the US outside the state of Alaska. The mountain is located in the White Mountains, which are part of the Appalachian Mountains. In the southeast, New Hampshire has a relatively short stretch of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, Lake Winnipesaukee is located in New Hampshire, in which there are about 250 islands.
The state of New Jersey is located on the east coast of the US on the Atlantic Ocean. As a member of the Thirteen Colonies, New Jersey is one of the first states of the USA. The capital of New Jersey is Trenton, which has 84,000 inhabitants. The largest city in the state is Newark, which has 282,000 inhabitants and is located on the Hudson River directly across from Manhattan. New Jersey is the state in the US that has the highest population density. The highest mountain in New Jersey is High Point, which is 550 meters high and has a war monument that is almost 70 meters high. On the Atlantic coast of New Jersey is the city of Atlantic City, which is a popular seaside resort and, thanks to the multitude of its casinos, a little Las Vegas of the state of New Jersey, so to speak. In addition, the well-known Princeton University belongs to New Jersey.
The state of New Mexico is located in the southern United States and is part of the Mountain States and the census region West. In addition, New Mexico has an external border with the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua. The capital of New Mexico is Santa Fe, with a population of about 84,000. The state’s largest city is Albuquerque, with 559,000 residents. Albuquerque is the filming location and center of action in the TV series Breaking Bad. New Mexico is crossed by the Rio Grande river. It is the third longest river in the USA. The highest mountain in the state of New Mexico is Wheeler Peak, which is 4,011 meters high. New Mexico is home to the White Sands Missile Range test site, where the first nuclear weapons test was conducted. Also in New Mexico is Los Alamos, home to the laboratory where the atomic bomb was invented, so to speak, as part of the Manhattan Project. The mysterious Roswell is also located in the state of New Mexico. A UFO is said to have crashed there in 1947.
The state of New York is located in the northeast of the US on the coast to the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, the state of New York has an external border with the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. As a member of the Thirteen Colonies, New York is one of the oldest states in the United States. It is assigned to the Northeast metropolitan region. The capital of New York is Albany with 98,000 inhabitants. The largest city of the state and at the same time of the whole US is New York City with more than 8 million inhabitants. The metropolitan region of New York City even has almost 20 million inhabitants. New York also includes Long Island, which is almost 200 kilometers long and is known for being home to moneybags. But not only that. Because numerous artists have also lived on Long Island. For example, the painter Jackson Pollock, whose house can still be visited today. The outermost tip of Long Island, namely Montauk, became famous through the story of the same name by Max Frisch. The highest mountain in New York is Mount Marcy, which is 1,629 meters high. The state also has shores on two of the Great Lakes. Namely, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The area of New York State that is not part of New York City and Long Island is also known as Upstate New York.
The state of North Carolina is located in the west of the US on the Atlantic coast. It belongs to the South region and was one of the Thirteen Colonies. Thus, North Carolina is one of the oldest states in the US. The capital of North Carolina is Raleigh with about 459,000 inhabitants. The largest city of North Carolina is Charlotte with 842,000 inhabitants. The highest mountain on the territory of North Carolina is Mount Mitchell, which is 2,037 meters high. Mount Mitchell is the highest mountain in any state in the US east of the Mississippi River. North Carolina is home to the Great Smoky Mountains, where the national park of the same name is located. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park of all states in the USA. Off the coast of North Carolina are the Outer Banks. They are a chain of islands almost 300 kilometers long with endless sandy beaches.
The state of North Dakota is located in the north of the US and is part of the Midwest region. North Dakota has an external border with the two Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The capital of North Dakota is Bismarck, with a population of approximately 72,000. The largest city in the state of North Dakota, on the other hand, is Fargo, with a population of about 121,000. The city received greater notoriety through the 1996 film of the same name. The climate of North Dakota is continental. The highest mountain in North Dakota is the 1,069 meter high White Butte. In western North Dakota is the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The landscape there is characterized by hilly terrain that shows clear signs of erosion. This type of landscape is called badlands.
The state of Ohio is located in the northeastern United States and is part of the Midwest region. To the north, it has a shore on Lake Erie. The capital of Ohio is Columbus. With a population of about 890,000, Ohio is also the largest city in the state. The highest elevation of Ohio is Campbell Hill, which is 472 meters high. The state of Ohio takes its name from the river of the same name. The Ohio River is the largest left tributary of the Mississippi River and marks Ohio’s southern border along its entire length. Off the Ohio coast, on a peninsula in Lake Erie near the town of Sandusky, is Cedar Point, one of the largest amusement parks in the world. It is especially known for its spectacular roller coasters.
The state of Oklahoma is centrally located in the US and is part of the South region. Large parts of its landscape belong to the Great Plains, the large plains east of the Rocky Mountains. The capital of Oklahoma is Oklahoma City, which has about 638,000 inhabitants. In Oaklahoma City, 168 people lost their lives in a bombing in 1995, which was the worst terrorist attack in the US other than the September 11, 2001 attacks. Until 1956, the tallest building in the world, 481 meters high, stood in Oklahoma City. And that was the Griffin Television Tower. It was demolished in 2015. The highest mountain in the state of Oklahoma is Black Mesa, at 1,737 meters. It is a nearly 90-kilometer-long mesa in the very east of Oklahoma on the border with the neighboring state of New Mexico. The state of Oklahoma is located in Tornado Alley in the USA. Tornadoes wreak havoc there time and again.
The state of Oregon is located on the west coast of the US on the Pacific Ocean. It belongs to the West region. Two mountain ranges cross Oregon in a north-south direction. Namely, the Cascade Range and the Oregon Coast Range. They include the Willamette Valley. This is a valley considered one of the most fertile agricultural areas in the world. The capital of the state of Oregon is Salem, which has a population of 167,000. The largest city in the state is Portland, with a population of 640,000. The highest mountain in the Cascade Range and also in the entire state is Mount Hood, which is 3,425 meters high. Mount Hood, like the other mountains in the Cascade Range, is a volcano. The Cascade Range is about 1,100 kilometers long and stretches from the state of California to Canada. The volcanoes of the Cascade Range are among the most potentially dangerous volcanoes in the world because they are large, active, and located in comparatively heavily populated areas of the states of Oregon and Washington and the Canadian province of British Columbia. One of the volcanoes in neighboring Washington state, Mount St. Helens, erupted in 1980. The volcanic eruption is among the most powerful of the 20th century and considered one of the best studied because it is located in a relatively accessible area of the state and the US has sufficient research funding compared to other nations.
The state of Pennsylvania is located in the northeastern United States and is part of the Northeast region. It has a share of shore on Lake Erie, the second smallest of the Great Lakes. The state capital is Harrisburg. Harrisburg has a population of approximately 49,000. The largest city in the state of Pennsylvania is Philadelphia. Philadelphia has a population of 1.6 million, making it the second largest city on the East Coast of the United States after New York City in New York State. As a member of the Thirteen Colonies, Pennsylvania is one of the oldest states in the USA. Pennsylvania is known for Groundhog Day, the so-called Groundhog Day. Groundhog Day is used to make a prediction about the weather for the rest of the winter on February 2 each year. Groundhog Day was made famous by the 1993 film Groundhog Day. The highest mountain in the state of Pennsylvania is Mount Davis, 979 meters high, in the Allegheny Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains.
The state of Rhode Island is located in the northeastern United States and is part of the Northeast region. It is the smallest of the states in the US in terms of area. It is about the size of the Saarland in Germany. The capital of Rhode Island is Providence, which has about 179,000 residents, making it the only city over 100,000 in the state. Providence is located on Narragansett Bay, the largest estuary in the New England region. The highest elevation in the state of Rhode Island is Jerimoth Hill at 247 meters. The state of Rhode Island is also part of the Thirteen Colonies, making it one of the first states in the United States.
The state of South Carolina is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the southwestern United States and is assigned to the South region. As a member of the Thirteen Colonies, South Carolina is one of the oldest states in the USA. The capital and largest city of South Carolina is Columbia, with a population of about 134,000. On the Atlantic coast of South Carolina there are numerous so-called Carolina Bays. These are oval depressions in the landscape, the origin of which is not clearly understood. South Carolina is also home to Congaree National Park, which features tall trees in a swampy area. The highest mountain in the state of South Carolina is the 1,085 meter high Sassafras Mountain.
The state of South Dakota is located in the Midwest region of the United States. The state capital is Pierre, with a population of 14,00. South Dakota’s largest city, on the other hand, is Sioux Falls, which has a population of about 174,000 and is named after the eponymous falls of the Big Sioux River on which it sits. The Big Sioux River is a tributary of the Missouri River that runs through the entire state. The highest mountain in South Dakota is the 2,208-meters high Black Elk Peak. The mountain is located in the Black Hills in the western part of the state. The Black Hills are known because the famous Mount Rushmore National Memorial is located there. The monument was blasted and carved into the 1,745-meter Mount Rushmore by sculptor Borglum and his helpers over a 14-year period. It is 18 meters high and depicts four important presidents of the USA. In the rock face of a ravine near the monument is the Hall of Records. In it, marble plaques with important information about the USA are kept, which should enlighten people or whatever in a distant future, what the monument is about and what significance the US has.
The state of Tennessee is located in the southeast of the US and belongs to the South region. Tennessee is known not only as the center of country music, but also for Tennessee whiskey. The most famous brand is Jack Daniels. It is the world’s best-selling whiskey brand in the USA. The capital of the state is Nashville, which has about 660,000 inhabitants. Almost the same size as Nashville is Memphis, located in the extreme southwest of the state on the banks of the Mississippi River. Tennessee, along with Missouri, is the state in the U.S. with the most neighboring states, 8. The highest mountain in Tennessee is Clingman’s Dome. It is 2,025 meters high. This makes it the third highest mountain in the USA east of the Mississippi River, after Mount Mitchell and Mount Craig in North Carolina. The climate in the state of Tennessee is subtropical.
The state of Texas is located in the very south of the US and belongs to the South region. After California, it is the state in the US with the second largest population. Almost 30 million people live in Texas. Three of the ten largest cities in the USA are located in Texas, namely Houston with 2.3 million inhabitants, San Antonio with 1.5 million inhabitants and Dallas with 1.3 million inhabitants. The capital of Texas is Austin with 948,000 inhabitants. In the south, Texas borders on Mexico. It borders four Mexican states: Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas. The Texas city of El Paso is located on the border with Mexico, where Ciudad Juárez is directly on the other side. This is the city that is notorious for several hundred murders annually and a center of drug crime. In some states in the US, corporal punishment of students by teachers is still legal today. Texas is one of them. The highest mountain in the state of Texas is Guadalupe Peak, which is 2,667 meters high. The climate in Texas is quite varied, ranging from extremely dry desert regions to wetter areas along the Gulf of Mexico, to which Texas has a coastline. Hurricanes and tornadoes also occur there. Texas is the state in the USA where the most oil is produced. Two of the national parks of the USA are located in Texas. Namely Gaudalupe Mountains National Park and Big Bend National Park.
The state of Utah belongs to the Mountain States of the US. It is located in the West region. The capital of the state is Salt Lake City. The city has 194,000 inhabitants, which also makes it the largest city in the state. Salt Lake City is located on the Great Salt Lake, which gave the city its name. The climate in this area is very hot in summer and there is snow in winter. The whole of Utah has a steppe climate. The highest mountain in the state of Utah is Kings Peak, which is 4,123 meters high. It is located in the Uinta Mountains, which are a mountain range of the Rocky Mountains. In the west of Utah lies the Great Salt Desert. The state of Utah includes some of the most important national parks in the USA. Among them are Bryce Canyon National Park and Arches National Park. Bryce Canyon National Park is known for its breathtaking stone pyramids, the so-called hoodoos. Arches National Park has the highest density of natural rock arches in the world. Monument Valley – a plateau with bizarre rock towers – is also partly located in the state of Utah. Surely everyone has encountered them in one or another movie from the USA.
The state of Vermont is located in the northeast of the US and belongs to the Northeast region. It is one of the oldest states in the US, since it belonged – at that time still as part of the province of New York – to the Thirteen Colonies. The capital of Vermont is Montpelier. Montepelier has only a little more than 7,000 inhabitants and is thus the smallest capital of one of the states of the US. The largest city in Vermont is Burlington, which has about 42,000 inhabitants. So there is no big city in the whole state of Vermont. The highest mountain in the state of Vermont is Mount Mansfield. It is 1,339 meters high and is located in the Green Mountains. In the north, the state has an external border with the Canadian province of Quebec. On the internal border with neighboring New York State is Lake Champlain, which is one of the largest lakes in the United States after the Great Lakes. In 2009, Vermont was the first state in the USA to introduce same-sex marriage.
Virginia is located in the east of the US on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The state belongs to the southern states. Part of Virginia is located on the Delmarva Peninsula, which also contains parts of the states of Delaware and Maryland. The two parts of Virginia are not contiguous and are only accessible via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, a structure of tunnels and bridges that is 37 kilometers long, making it one of the largest of its kind in the entire world. Virginia was one of the Thirteen Colonies and is therefore one of the oldest states in the USA. The capital of Virginia is Richmond, which has 223,000 inhabitants. The largest city in the state of Virginia is Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach has about 453,000 inhabitants and is located directly on the east coast of the USA. The highest mountain in the state of Virginia is Mount Rogers, which is 1,746 meters high.
The state of Washington is located in the very northwest of the US, if you don’t count Alaska. It belongs to the West region and is located on the west coast of the US on the Pacific Ocean. Washington has an external border with the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north. Vancouver, Canada, is about 50 kilometers from the US border. The capital of Washington is Olympia, with a population of 51,000. The largest city in the state is Seattle, with a population of 704,000. Seattle is known as the origin of grunge music, whose most popular representatives were Nirvana. The imposing Cascade Range with its large volcanoes runs through Washington. Particularly spectacular in the landscape is Mount Rainier, which at 4,392 meters is not only the highest mountain in the Cascade Range, but also the highest mountain in Washington State. In northern Washington lies the North Cascades National Park, which is one of the most undeveloped national parks in the United States. That is, especially at high elevations, nature is almost untouched. On a peninsula in front of the bay where Seattle is located – the Puget Sound – there is another mountain range. These are the Olympic Mountains, whose highest peak is Mount Olympus at 2,432 meters. There is a national park there, too, and also the rainiest point in the USA outside the states of Alaska and Hawaii.
The state of West Virginia is located in the east of the US and belongs to the South region. Originally, West Virginia belonged to Virginia and is thus also one of the oldest states in the USA. West Virginia is also called the Mountain State because it is entirely located in the Appalachian Mountains. The highest mountain of West Virginia is 1,482 meters high Spruce Knob. A famous reference to the state of West Virginia is the song Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver. The capital of West Virginia is Charleston. The city is also the largest city in the state with a population of about 49,000. West Virginia is one of the poorer states in the USA, and in no other state is the proportion of university graduates so low. Mining is a major environmental problem, especially in southwestern West Virginia. Until 2001, the New River Gorge Bridge, the largest arch bridge in the world with a length of 924 meters, was located in southern West Virginia.
The state of Wisconsin is located in the northern United States and is part of the Midwest region. Wisconsin has shares in the shores of two of the Great Lakes. Namely, the Great Lake and Lake Michigan. The capital of Wisconsin is Madison, which has 253,000 inhabitants and is located between two lakes, Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. The largest city in the state is Milwaukee with 595,000 inhabitants. Wisconsin has a continental climate and plenty of lakes, about 15,000. The highest mountain in the state of Wisconsin is Timms Hill, 595 meters high. A large part of Wisconsin’s western border with its neighboring states of Iowa and Minnesota is marked by the Mississippi River. The largest lake in Wisconsin that is not part of the Great Lakes and is entirely within state territory is Lake Winnebago. Lake Winnebago is slightly larger than Lake Constance in Germany.
The state of Wyoming is located in the central west of the US. It belongs to the Mountain States and the West region. Wyoming is the state that has the fewest inhabitants of all the states in the US. The capital of Wyoming is Cheyenne, which has 64,000 residents, making it the largest city in the state. So there is no major city in Wyoming. The highest mountain in Wyoming is Gannett Peak, which is 4,207 meters high. It is located in the Wind River Range, a mountain range of the Rocky Mountains. Wyoming is home to one of the most famous national parks in the United States, Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone National Park is considered the oldest national park in the world. It was founded in 1872. South of Yellowstone National Park is another national park: Grand Teton National Park. It includes the mountain range of the Teton Range. The mountains of the Teton Range reach over 4,000 meters in height and have a distinctive shape, similar to a pointed pyramid.
Important data about the states of the USA
In the following table you will find all the important data about the population and area of the individual states of the USA.
|State||Population in million||Area in 1.000 km²||Superlatives|
|Alaska||0.7||1,723||Largest state in the US by area|
Highest mountain of all states in the US
|Arizona||6.4||295||The US state with the largest capital|
|California||37.2||424||The US state with the most inhabitants|
|Delaware||0.9||6||Oldest state of the US|
|Hawaii||1.4||28||Youngest state of the US|
|New York||19.4||141||In the state lies the largest city of the USA|
|Rhode Island||1.0||4||The smallest state in the US by area|
|Vermont||0.6||25||The state of the US with the smallest capital|
|Wyoming||0.6||253||The state in the US with the fewest inhabitants|
|USA gesamt||ca. 330||ca. 10,000|
US territories without state
Some areas in the world belong to the USA without belonging to any of the US states. They are called Outlying Territories under the Jurisdiction of the United States of America. The best known of these territories is the District of Columbia, which contains the capital of the USA, Washington. That is why you often read Washington, D.C. All other outlying territories of the USA are not located on the mainland of the USA.
The following list shows the areas of the US that do not belong to any of its states:
- Washington, D.C.
- American Samoa
- United States Virgin Islands
- Baker Island
- Howland Isalnd
- Jarvis Island
- Johnston Atoll
- Kingman Reef
- Midway Atoll
- Navassa Island
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Palmyra Atoll
- Puerto Rico
- Wake Island
Census regions and divisions of states in the US
The United States is divided into four census regions and nine divisions. In the following table you can see how this division works.
|Northeast||New England Division||Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont|
|Middle Atlantic Division||New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania|
|Midwest||West North Central Division||Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota|
|East North Central Division||Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin|
|West||Mountain Division||Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming|
|Pacific Division||Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington|
|South||South Atlantic Division||Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia|
|West South Central Division||Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas|
|East South Central Division||Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee|
The southern states of the US are typically more rural than the north, which was industrialized earlier. In the southern states, slavery and the plantation economy were widespread. Politically, the southern states tend to side with the conservative Republicans.
Except for the metropolitan regions, the states of the US Midwest are rural and tend to be conservative. Nevertheless, there are also areas that tend to be more left-wing and liberal, especially in the cities of the Midwest. Politically, the inhabitants of the Midwest tend to belong to the Republican party.
The Northeast of the US includes the wealthier states and the largest metropolitan areas in the US are located there. Politically, the states of the Northeast tend to be on the Democratic side.
The US West Coast is home to some of the states that are leaders in the technology and creative industries. Politically, the region is less homogeneous. The states directly on the coast tend to belong more to the Democrats, Alaska and the inland states more to the Republicans.
The Confederate States of the USA
The Confederate States of America (CSA) was a nation-state that existed from 1861 to 1865, but was not recognized by any other country on earth. Some of the states of the USA had separated from the USA due to political differences and formed their own confederation. The main point of contention was the issue of slavery.
While the majority of the states in the north of the US wanted to abolish slavery, the majority of the states in the south were in favor of keeping it. The Confederate States of America included the following states and territories of today’s USA:
- Predecessors of Arizona
- Predecessors of Kentucky
- Predecessors of Missouri
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
The events escalated into a civil war between the states of the United States, called the War of Secession (or American Civil War).
Civil war between the states of the US
In the Civil War, the Confederate States and the United States fought each other. The two warring parties are also called the Confederates and the Union for short. At that time, the Union did not include all of the states that are now part of the USA.
The following table shows the states of the United States with their affiliation with the two belligerents in the Civil War.
The War of Secession ended with a victory for the states of the Union. Subsequently, the Confederate states were gradually reincorporated into the United States.
The Mountain States
The Mountain States are those states in the US where the Rocky Mountains are located. From north to south, these are the following states:
- New Mexico
The state of West Virginia is not one of the Mountain States, even though its nickname is Mountain State.
The Great Plains States
The Great Plains are the large plains east of the Rocky Mountains. They are almost 3,000 kilometers long in a north-south direction and almost 800 kilometers wide in an east-west direction. The following US states are part of the Great Plains:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- New Mexico
The Great Plains also extend into the provinces of Canada and the states of Mexico.
States of the Thirteen Colonies of the USA
The Thirteen Colonies are the British colonies that separated from Great Britain in 1776 as part of the Declaration of Independence. Thus, they can be considered the forerunners of the states of the United States. The following table shows the states of the US and the corresponding colonies of the Thirteen Colonies.
|Colony||Subsequent state of the US|
|New Hampshire||New Hampshire|
|Massachusetts Bay||Maine, Massachusetts|
|Rhode Island and Providence Plantations||Rhode Island|
|Connecticut and New Haven||Connecticut|
|New York||New York, Vermont|
|New Jersey||New Jersey|
|Virginia||Virginia, West Virginia|
|North Carolina||North Carolina|
|South Carolina||South Carolina|
Trivia about the borders between the US states
There are very few four-country corners in the whole world. One of them is located in the US. The following states of the US form the four-country corner:
- New Mexico
At the point where the four states of the US meet, there is a monument to it. The Four Corners Monument.