US Flag wave, cut
Home Earth Continents The Americas United States country profile U.S. states and territories by area

Size of US States by Area

Mount Rainier or Tahoma. Hero image for the Size of US States by Area article.Mount Rainier, also known as Tahoma, is a 4,394 m (14,417 ft) tall active stratovolcano in the Cascade Range. Mount Rainier is regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of a high probability of an eruption in the near future.
Image: Troy Mason

From the largest to the smallest US states.

Map of the Contiguous United States
Map of the Contiguous United States.

The United States is the third largest country in the world and occupies about 40% of the North American continent, which it shares with Canada and Mexico.

The US territory is divided into 50 states; 48 states are in the central part of the North American continent, known as the "contiguous United States," one state, Alaska, occupies the peninsula-like northwestern part of North America, and there is Hawaii, a tropical archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.

The U.S. states as constituent political units.
The states are constituent political units that together make up the United States.
The area of the 13 original states was largely defined by colonial charters and changed several times throughout their history. The size of many other state territories was determined by Congress. Relatively arbitrary straight lines following the lines of longitude and latitude defined the size of the states west of the Mississippi.

The formation of the U.S. states.
The formation of the U.S. states was a complex process that involved a combination of historical, political, and geographic factors, as well as negotiations and compromises between different groups with competing interests.

The size of U.S. states compared to the size of nation-states.

Measured by size, US states are as large or small as nation-states in the Old World. For example, California, the third-largest US state, is larger than Germany but smaller than France; Texas is three times the size of the United Kingdom, and Massachusetts is two-thirds the size of Switzerland.

So, what is the largest state by area in the United States of America? Which is the smallest state in the United States? How big are U.S. states compared to nation-states?

Below is a list of the 50 U.S. States by area size, from the largest to the smallest state of the United States. U.S. States compared by area size with nation-states.

List of states and territories in total area in square kilometers (km²) and square miles (sq mi).

US State Flags:
Click on a state flag symbol to show a larger version of the flag and a flag description.

No. State km² sq mi Census Region Notes
30 Alabama State Flag Alabama 135,767 52,420 East South Central The "Heart of Dixie" is the largest state in the East South Central region. Alabama is the 30th largest state in the United States and offers a diverse topography that ranges from the Appalachian Mountains to the beaches of the Gulf Coast.
1 Alaska State Flag Alaska 1,723,336 665,384 Pacific Alaska is the largest state in the US; it is not bordered by any other US state. "The Last Frontier" is about 3 times as big as France and about 2.5 times the size of Texas; it is also the least densely populated US state.
6 Arizona State Flag Arizona 295,233 113,990 Mountain Home to the Grand Canyon. Arizona is about three times the size of South Korea.
29 Arkansas State Flag Arkansas 137,730 53,178 West South Central By comparison, Arkansas is slightly larger than Greece.
3 California State Flag California 423,968 163,695 Pacific Largest state in the Pacific region on the US mainland and one of three states on the US mainland with a coastline on the Pacific Ocean. California is five times the size of Austria.
8 Colorado State Flag Colorado 269,602 104,094 Mountain One of the two states that have straight borders that appear to form a rectangle. Colorado is about the size of New Zealand.
48 Connecticut State Flag Connecticut 14,356 5,543 New England One of the six New England states, but nine times smaller than England.
49 Delaware State Flag Delaware 6,446 2,489 South Atlantic One of the original thirteen states.
22 Florida State Flag Florida 170,312 65,758 South Atlantic Largest state in the South Atlantic region of the USA. Florida is about one-third the size of Spain.
24 Georgia State Flag Georgia 153,910 59,425 South Atlantic One of the original thirteen states.
43 Hawai'i State Flag Hawaii 28,313 10,932 Pacific The only US state located on an archipelago.
14 Idaho State Flag Idaho 216,443 83,569 Mountain By comparison, Idaho is slightly smaller than Great Britain (island).
25 Illinois State Flag Illinois 149,994 57,913 East North Central By comparison, Illinois is about half the size of Italy.
38 Indiana State Flag Indiana 94,327 36,420 East North Central Indiana is about the size of Hungary.
26 Iowa State Flag Iowa 145,744 56,272 West North Central By comparison, Iowa is about twice the size of Ireland.
15 Kansas State Flag Kansas 213,099 82,278 West North Central The size of Kansas is defined by longitude and latitude, with only the northeast corner cut off by the Missouri River.
37 Kentucky State Flag Kentucky 104,656 40,408 East South Central The Bluegrass State is about one-third the size of Poland and would fit almost seven times into Texas.
31 Louisiana State Flag Louisiana 135,658 52,378 West South Central The Pelican State is somewhat larger than Greece, or about half the size of Colorado.
39 Maine State Flag Maine 91,634 35,380 New England Largest state in New England. About twice the size of Estonia.
42 Maryland State Flag Maryland 32,131 12,406 South Atlantic Maryland is located in the north of the South-Atlantic region of the United States; it is known for its diverse geography, including the Chesapeake Bay, the Appalachian Mountains and its coastal plains. Maryland is slightly larger than Belgium; about 26% of its area is covered by water.
44 Massachusetts State Flag Massachusetts 27,335 10,554 New England The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is somewhat smaller than Belgium and the most populous state in the New England region.
11 Michigan State Flag Michigan 250,485 96,713 East North Central Michigan is split into two distinct landmasses, the Upper Peninsula (UP) and the Lower Peninsula (LP), connected by the Mackinac Bridge. It is the largest state in East North Central; however, 40,175 sq mi (104,052 sq km), about 41.5% of Michigan's total area, is covered by water.
12 Minnesota State Flag Minnesota 225,163 86,936 West North Central The 'Land of 10,000 Lakes' is the largest state in the West North Central region of the United States, and it shares a border with Canada to the north.
32 Mississippi State Flag Mississippi 125,438 48,432 East South Central The US state of Mississippi was named after the Mississippi River, the second-longest river in the US.
21 Missouri State Flag Missouri 180,540 69,707 West North Central Missouri was named for the Missouri River, the longest river in the United States.
4 Montana State Flag Montana 380,831 147,040 Mountain Montana is the largest state in the Mountain Region. Montana is slightly larger than Germany.
16 Nebraska State Flag Nebraska 200,330 77,348 West North Central Nebraska is located in the middle of the United States, west of the Missouri River, and is about the size of Kyrgyzstan.
7 Nevada State Flag Nevada 286,380 110,572 Mountain Nevada, the Battle Born State, is about the size of Ecuador and would fit almost 2.5 times within Texas.
46 New Hampshire State Flag New Hampshire 24,214 9,349 New England The Granite State is slightly smaller than North Macedonia and would fit inside Texas 29 times.
47 New Jersey State Flag New Jersey 22,590 8,722 Middle Atlantic New Jersey is the most densely populated US state. Compared, it is about the size of Israel and has about the same number of inhabitants.
5 New Mexico State Flag New Mexico 314,917 121,590 Mountain New Mexico is the 5th largest US state, about the size of Poland. Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, is the highest capital city in the United States at 2,194 m (7,198 ft)) above sea level.
27 New York State Flag New York 141,297 54,555 Middle Atlantic The largest state in the Mid-Atlantic region. The "Empire State" is slightly larger than Greece and would fit almost five times inside Texas.
28 North Carolina State Flag North Carolina 139,390 53,819 South Atlantic North Carolina is about twice the size of Ireland and would fit five times inside Texas.
19 North Dakota State Flag North Dakota 183,107 70,698 West North Central North Dakota is somewhat smaller than half the size of Germany but eight times as big as New Jersey.

34 Ohio State Flag Ohio 116,096 44,825 East North Central The Buckeye State is slightly larger than Cuba and would fit six times inside Texas.

20 Oklahoma State Flag Oklahoma 181,038 69,899 West South Central Oklahoma is the size of Cambodia and would fit almost four times in Texas.
9 Oregon State Flag Oregon 254,800 98,379 Pacific One of the three states in the continental United States with a coastline on the Pacific Ocean. Oregon is slightly larger than the UK but has only about 6% of the UK's population.
33 Pennsylvania State Flag Pennsylvania 119,279 46,054 Middle Atlantic The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, also known as "The Keystone State," is about half the size of the United Kingdom.
50 Rhode Island State Flag Rhode Island 3,999 1,544 New England Rhode Island is the smallest U.S. state. It would fit more than 40 times in England.
40 South Carolina State Flag South Carolina 82,931 32,020 South Atlantic South Carolina is about as big as the United Arab Emirates.
17 South Dakota State Flag South Dakota 199,730 77,116 West North Central South Dakota is two-thirds the size of Italy.
36 Tennessee State Flag Tennessee 109,152 42,144 East South Central Tennessee is about the size of Cuba.
2 Texas State Flag Texas 695,660 268,596 West South Central The largest state on the U.S. mainland and the second largest in the United States.
13 Utah State Flag Utah 219,882 84,897 Mountain The Beehive State is about twice as big as Bulgaria.
45 Vermont State Flag Vermont 24,905 9,616 New England The state in the northeastern US is about half the size of Slovakia.
35 Virginia State Flag Virginia 110,787 42,775 South Atlantic Virginia is about the size of Bulgaria.
18 Washington State Flag Washington 184,661 71,298 Pacific Washington is one of three states on the US mainland with a coastline on the Pacific Ocean and one of thirteen states with a border with Canada.
41 West Virginia State Flag West Virginia 62,755 24,230 South Atlantic The Mountain State is the only state that lies entirely in the Appalachian Mountains. West Virginia is slightly smaller than Scotland.
23 Wisconsin State Flag Wisconsin 169,634 65,496 East North Central The Badger State is about twice the size of Austria.
10 Wyoming State Flag Wyoming 253,334 97,813 Mountain Wyoming is half the size of Spain; its area is defined by the 104 and 111 degrees west longitude lines and the 41 and 45 degrees north latitude lines. It is the second-least densely populated US state.

(sq mi)
Territory Notes
Flag of the United States United States

Contiguous United States


North America The United States is the third-largest country in the world. Its area is about half the size of Russia or more than twice the size of the European Union. The federal republic consists of 50 states and one capital district (District of Columbia).
Flag of the District of Columbia District of Columbia 177 68.34 South Atlantic Capital district of the United States, generally known as Washington D.C.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau - Area Measurements; and U.S. Geological Survey
Territories of the United States
American Samoa Flag American Samoa 1,505 581 Polynesia American Samoa has a land area of 198 km² (76 sq mi)
Guam Flag Guam 1,476 570 Micronesia Guam has a land area of 543 km² (209 sq mi)
Northern Mariana Islands Flag Northern Mariana Islands 5,115 1,975 Micronesia Northern Mariana Islands have a land area of 472 km² (182 sq mi)
Puerto Rico Flag Puerto Rico 13,792 5,325 Caribbean Puerto Rico has a land area of 8,867 km² (3,424 sq mi)
US Virgin Islands Flag US Virgin Islands 1,898 733 Caribbean US Virgin Islands have a land area of 348 km² (134 sq mi)

Map of Divisions of the United States (Census Regions)
Map of the main divisions of the United States (Census Regions). The four geographic regions and nine divisions of the United States

Regions and Divisions
The most commonly used area classification system in the U.S. is the Census Bureau-designated regions and divisions.

There are four main regions:

Region 1: Northeast with New England and the Middle Atlantic region.

Region 2: Midwest with the East North Central and the West North Central region.

Region 3: South with three subdivisions: South Atlantic, East South Central, and West South Central.

Region 4: West
Region West includes the Mountain and the Pacific region.

Keywords: largest US state by area, smallest US state by area, US state area in square kilometers, square miles, size of the US states

History of the US states

The United States of America was founded after thirteen British colonies in North America declared their independence from the British Empire on 4 July 1776.

Various historical, political, and geographic factors have determined the shape and size of the states in the United States. Here are some key factors that have influenced the shape of the states:

1. Colonial Settlement Patterns
During the European colonization of the Americas, several empires, primarily Spain, Portugal, Britain, France, Russia, the Netherlands and Sweden, began to explore and claim the land.
The French established colonies in much of eastern North America (New France). The original thirteen US colonies, which gave rise to the United States, were ruled by the British monarchy during the colonial period from the late 16th century to the American Revolution in the late 18th century.

2. Geographic features
Geographic features such as rivers, mountains, and coastlines also played a role in shaping the boundaries of the states. For example, the Mississippi River served as a natural boundary between many of the western states, and the Appalachian Mountains played a role in separating the eastern states from the western frontier.

3. Political negotiations
The process of determining state boundaries was often influenced by political negotiations and compromises between different groups with competing interests. For example, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 declared the boundaries of the thirteen colonies as the Appalachian Mountains and the Missouri Compromise of 1820 established the boundary between slave and free states in the western territories, and the Compromise of 1850 resolved a dispute over the boundaries of Texas.

4. Federal government
The federal government also played a role in shaping the states' boundaries by admitting new states to the Union. The process of admitting new states often involved negotiating borders and defining territorial boundaries before the state was established.

The purchase of land by the United States government played also a significant role in the shaping of the states and the expansion of the country's territory. Two major land purchases that contributed to the shape and size of the states were the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the Alaska Purchase in 1867.

Overall, the shaping of the states was a complex process that involved a combination of historical, political, and geographic factors, as well as negotiations and compromises between different groups with competing interests.

Weather Conditions Washington D.C.