What Are The Largest and Smallest U.S State by Land Area & Population

What Are The Largest and Smallest U.S State by Land Area & Population

Alaska is the largest US state by landmass, followed by Texas and then California.

While California is the most populated state, it is 60% the size of Texas and only 25% the size of Alaska.

Rhode Island can fit in Alaska over 420 times.

Alaska is still occasionally portrayed as a desolate, frozen land with sporadic igloos in the north and few wooden houses in the south, particularly in European countries where textbooks have not kept up with modern developments. Even though Alaska is less populated than other states, it has undergone industrialization and modernization over the past century, and if one were to drop them off in one of its big cities without arousal, they would appear to be in a different state with amazing views.

Although they are uncommon, scientists and researchers in the state’s northern regions still use modernized versions of igloos for research purposes. The primary economic factors that give city dwellers job opportunities in general services and trade—more especially, in tourism, transportation, telecommunications, and oil and gas, the richest resource in the region—come from the state’s natural features and geographic location.

READ MORE: Top 5 Must-See Attractions in Alaska

Texas, the second most populous and largest state in the United States, is just 40% larger than Alaska and spans 268,596 square miles. With 2.3 million residents, Houston may be the state capital and largest city in Texas, but Austin boasts a thriving culinary, artistic, and musical scene, while San Antonio is best known for being the location of Six Flags amusement park.

The lone star state still identifies with its cowboy past despite being primarily known for its oil and natural gas production, finance, and industry, as well as its massive metropolitan centers. The vast expanses of high prairie and ranges, which support the state’s agricultural wealth in the form of cattle and cotton, are its economic lifeblood.

Tornadoes are another common occurrence in the state; on average, residents of Texas witness one somewhere every third day.

California is the third-largest state in the union, spanning 163,696 square miles and home to more than 12% of the country’s population. It is 60% larger than Texas and only 25% smaller than Alaska.

The term “golden” has two meanings. It is well-known for its endless beaches, innumerable resorts, mansions, and Hollywood with celebrities. California is seeing a three-fold increase in its senior population, with many of the state’s retired middle class choosing to live out their golden years in beachside condos to take advantage of the state’s moderate climate.

Montana is the fourth-largest state with a total area of about 380,800 km2, about 4% of the US total area. Its land area accounts for 99% of the total area, about 376,962 km2. Its waters cover about 3,862 km2, making it the 26th largest state by water area.

New Mexico, the fifth-largest state, covers about 314,917 km2, of which 99.8% is land. Therefore, it is the second-smallest state by water area, at only 757 km2.

Arizona is the sixth-largest state by total area, covering 295,234 km2. Its land area of 294,207 km2 accounts for 99.7% of the total area.

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 3 subdivisions: South Atlantic, East South Central, and West South Central.

Region 4: West with the Mountain and the Pacific regions.

1.Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States. Rhode Island has a total area of 3,144 km2, including 438 km2 of water.

2.Delaware is the second smallest state in the country covering 5,130 km2, of which 5,047 km2 is land.

3.Connecticut covers about 14,357 km2 which makes it the third smallest state, of which 12,559 km2 is land and the rest is water.

4.New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by total area and fifth smallest by land area. It covers 22,591 km2, of which 19,047 km2 is land. Its water area is the country’s 27th largest by area at 3,544 km2.

5.New Hampshire is the fifth smallest state with a total area of 24,214 km2. However, its land area of 23,186 km2 makes it the seventh smallest state by land area.

6.Vermont is the sixth smallest state by total area (24,923 km2) but the eighth smallest by land area, covering 23,957 km2 of land. Its water area is about 989 km2, the 46th largest state by water area.

7.Massachusetts covers a surface area of 27,337 km2, of which 20,306 km2 is landmass, and 7,032 km2 is water. It has the sixth-smallest land area and 16th largest water area.

8.Hawaii, one of the two non-contiguous states, is the 8th smallest state by total area, spanning 28,311 km2. It is the fourth-smallest state by land area, covering 16,638 km2 of land. Its water area of 11,672 km2 (41.2%) is the country’s 13th largest water area.

9.Maryland covers about 32,133 km2, making it the ninth-smallest state. Its land area of about 25,314 km2 is also the country’s ninth smallest. However, the state’s water area of 6,819 km2 (21%) is the US’ 18th-largest water area.

10.West Virginia is the tenth-smallest state by both total and land area. It spans about 62,755 km2, of which 62,361 km2 is land. At 394 km2, West Virginia has the smallest water area in the country.

Rank by Water Area



Water Area

(square miles)

All United States




















The United States’ states are highly distinct from one another. It is therefore not surprising that their population estimates differ greatly. Additionally, state populations are constantly changing due to the United States’ ongoing population growth. There are just over 330 million people living in the United States as of February 2021.

The fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the five US territories—including Puerto Rico—are all included in the population statistics provided by the US Census Bureau. The entire population of the US, including citizens, long-term visitors, and permanent residents, is counted in the official Census. Both civilian and military federal employees serving overseas, along with their dependents, are counted in the state in which they are employed.

The population of the United States is dispersed unevenly throughout its territories and states. States near the border, such as the East Coast, West Coast, and South, tend to have higher populations than states farther inward, like the Midwest and the Great Plains. This is not always the case, though; Illinois, for instance, is a Midwest state with a dense population, primarily concentrated in the Chicago region.

The table below lists all US states ranked by population.

Rank by Populations




All United States









New York













Population Density

All United States



Washington, D. C.



New Jersey



Rhode Island











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