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How Big Are the States in America?

Virginia ranks 35th in size among U.S. states.
Texas is the second largest state in the U.S.
Utah covers about 85,000 square miles.
Michigan is slightly larger than the United Kingdom.
Alaska is the largest state in the union at more than 656,000 square miles.
Florida is about one-tenth the size of Alaska.
West Virginia ranks 41st among the 50 states in area.
Missouri contains nearly 70,000 square miles.
The first state, Delaware, is the second-smallest in the country.
Oregon encompasses more than 98,000 square miles.
Wisconsin lies roughly in the middle of states, size-wise.
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  • Written By: L. S. Wynn
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2014
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The 50 US states have drastically different sizes. Alaska — the largest state by physical size — is about 425 times bigger than the smallest, Rhode Island. The three largest states — Alaska, Texas, and California — make up about 30% of the entire country.

Due to sea erosion, the states along the coasts are slowly shrinking in size with the exception of Hawaii. Due to volcanic activity, Hawaii is actually increasing in size. Kilauea Volcano has been erupting since 1983, and had added almost one square mile (about 640 acres, 2.6 sq/km, or 260 hectares) of new land to the state by 2002.

The chart below shows the relative sizes of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. To help put some of the sizes in perspective, the sizes of some countries, such as France, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Greece, are also included. Please note that figures are in square miles and include the area of bodies of water.

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rank state (country) size in square miles
1 Alaska 656,425 size of Alaska compared to other states
2 Texas 268,601 size of Texas compared to other states
- (France) 211,207 size of France compared to American states
3 California 163,707 size of California compared to other states
4 Montana 147,046 size of Montana compared to other states
5 New Mexico 121,593 size of New Mexico compared to other states
- (Poland) 120,725 size of Poland compared to American states
6 Arizona 114,006 comparative size of the state of Arizona
7 Nevada 110,567 comparative size of the state of Nevada
8 Colorado 104,100 comparative size of the state of Colorado
9 Oregon 98,386 comparative size of the state of Oregon
10 Wyoming 97,818 comparative size of the state of Wyoming
11 Michigan 96,810 United States: size of Michigan
- (United Kingdom) 93,026 size of Poland compared to American states
12 Minnesota 86,943 United States: size of Minnesota
13 Utah 84,904 United States: size of Utah
14 Idaho 83,574 United States: size of Idaho
15 Kansas 82,282 United States: size of Kansas
16 Nebraska 77,358 Ranking of State Size in America: Nebraska
17 South Dakota 77,121 Ranking of State Size in America: South Dakota
18 Washington 71,303 Ranking of State Size in America: Washington
19 North Dakota 70,704 Ranking of State Size in America: North Dakota
20 Oklahoma 69,903 Ranking of State Size in America: Oklahoma
21 Missouri 69,709 Rank of State Size in America: Missouri
22 Florida 65,758 Rank of State Size in America: Florida
23 Wisconsin 65,503 Rank of State Size in America: Wisconsin
24 Georgia 59,441 Rank of State Size in America: Georgia
25 Illinois 57,918 Rank of State Size in America: Illinois
26 Iowa 56,276 How large are the states in the United States: Iowa
27 New York 54,475 How large are the states in the United States: New York
28 North Carolina 53,821 How large are the states in the United States: North Carolina
29 Arkansas 53,182 How large are the states in the United States: Arkansas
30 Alabama 52,423 How large are the states in the United States: Alabama
31 Louisiana 51,843 What are the biggest states in America: Louisiana
- (Greece) 50,944 size of Greece compared to American states
32 Mississippi 48,434 What are the biggest states in America: Mississippi
33 Pennsylvania 46,058 What are the biggest states in America: Pennsylvania
34 Ohio 44,828 What are the biggest states in America: Ohio
- (Bulgaria) 42,823 size of Bulgaria compared to American states
35 Virginia 42,769 What are the biggest states in America: Virginia
36 Tennessee 42,146 What are the largest states in America: Tennessee
37 Kentucky 40,411 What are the largest states in America: Kentucky
- (Iceland) 39,768 size of Iceland compared to American states
38 Indiana 36,420 What are the largest states in America: Indiana
39 Maine 35,387 What are the largest states in America: Maine
- (Austria) 32,374 size of Austria compared to American states
40 South Carolina 32,007 What are the largest states in America: South Carolina
41 West Virginia 24,231 What is the land area of the states in America: West Virginia
- (Denmark) 16,629 size of Denmark compared to American states
42 Maryland 12,407 What is the land area of the states in America: Maryland
43 Hawaii 10,932 What is the land area of the states in America: Hawaii
44 Massachusetts 10,555 What is the land area of the states in America: Massachusetts
45 Vermont 9,615 What is the land area of the states in America: Vermont
46 New Hampshire 9,351 What are the smallest states in America: New Hampshire
47 New Jersey 8,722 What are the smallest states in America: New Jersey
48 Connecticut 5,544 What are the smallest states in America: Connecticut
49 Delaware 2,489 What are the smallest states in America: Delaware
50 Rhode Island 1,545 What are the smallest states in America: Rhode Island
51 District of Columbia 68 yup, this tiny dot represents the relative size of Washington D.C.
rank state (country) size in square miles
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Discuss this Article

anon334567
Post 48

It is interesting to compare land area, total population and GDP. As of 2010, California was no. 1 in GDP, followed by Texas and New York. Alaska is near the bottom at no. 46. In some cases, small areas produce a bigger GDP than larger, as in the case of New Jersey: no. 7 by GDP, but no. 47 by population. However, to keep it in perspective, GDP is not just the individual but companies situated within the geographic area.

anon169745
Post 43

It's a little curious to me that the King Ranch in south Texas has holdings of approximately 1.15 million acres or about 1,800 square miles - larger than the state of Rhode Island.

anon139805
Post 38

Wow. California? Wow.

anon122132
Post 37

I thought California was the biggest state.

anon79754
Post 25

Alaska's not only the biggest, it's the best state too.

anon77557
Post 21

It is funny that NJ is very small but still has a large population.

anon60986
Post 16

Texas has much larger population than Alaska and it is currently the fastest growing state by population.

anon57910
Post 15

if you add Texas, California and Montana together, Alaska is bigger than all three combined. Cool.

anon41230
Post 13

which two states have a difference of 910 square miles?

anon29697
Post 10

Of course it is a good job for Texan pride that you didn't include Canada in your comparisons. Even Alaska is dwarfed by Nunavut Territory at 808,199 sq. miles, then after Alaska there are Quebec, the North West Territories, Ontario and British Columbia which are all bigger than Texas.

anon23764
Post 9

It is also interesting to note that if each person on Earth (est. 9 billion) is allowed 16 Sq. Ft. of space (e.g. 4 Ft. by 4 Ft.) they will all fit inside Connecticut with room to spare!

anon21373
Post 8

The joke goes that Alaskans had been considering dividing their state into two halves, but Texas protested too much. If that were to happen, Texas would then become the THIRD largest state!

anon16516
Post 7

well, Texas is the biggest of the contiguous 48 states.

anon13702
Post 5

I find it absolutely hilarious that we have 2 states in the U.S. that are larger than all of France.

anon13154
Post 4

If you're interested in the rankings just by land mass alone, you can Google "quickfacts census" and you should find a site provided by the census bureau with this information. The data in this article was provided by the CIA World Factbook (see the link in the bottom lefthand corner of this page) which includes bodies of water in its area calculations.

anon6633
Post 3

What is the state ranking after subtracting the area of bodies of water within each state?

malena
Post 2

Wow! I didn't know that Alaska was the biggest, although now that I think about it, it makes sense. It seems like you always hear Texas when talking about the biggest (size) US state.

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