State Names

(Read about the origin of State names at “God Bless Bjarnia”)

The table below can be sorted by the different items by clicking on the column heading.  The image of any state and its flag will appear by placing the cursor over the state name.  The source and meaning of the state names represent the prevailing consensus.  Click on any underlined item in the lists for the Wikipedia page for that item.  Put mouse cursor on a governor name to show his/her party.  Put cursor on area or elevation to see the meteric equivalent.  NOTE:  GSP is Gross State Product.  Population is according to the 2012 estimate.  The column "If They Could Rename the States" jokingly gives a name based upon contemporary naming practices (See the map.)

States of America

Sorted by State Name In Ascending Order


Row tinted according to the Governor’s party:   Democrat   Independent   Republican 

 # 

  State Name

Abbreviation 

  Nickname

If Renamed 

  Admission Date

Resident Label 

  Population

Governor (Party) 

Area in Sq. Miles

  Total Area

Land Area 

  Water Area

% Water 

Pop./Sq.Mi.

  Total Area

Land Area 

  Water Area

  Highest Elev.

Highest Loc. 

  Lowest Elev.

Lowest Loc. 

  State Bird

State Flower 

  State Tree

State Fish 

  Largest City

Capital 

  GSP

GSP/person 

  Name Origin

Name Meaning 

  Notes

01

  Alabama

AL   

  Yellowhammer State

Dixie World 

  Dec. 14, 1819

Alabamans 

  4,855,023

Robert Bentley   

  52,419 sq.mi.

50,744 sq.mi. 

  1,675 sq.mi.

3.2% water 

  93 pop./total

96 pop./land 

  2,899 pop./water

 

  2,413 feet

Cheaha Mountain 

  0 feet

Gulf of Mexico 

  Yellowhammer

Camellia 

  Longleaf pine

Largemouth bass 

  Birmingham

Montgomery 

  $155,839 million

$32,099 

  Choctaw

“plant-cutters” 

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

02

  Alaska

AK   

  Last Frontier

SnoRite 

  Jan. 03, 1959

Alaskans 

  731,449

Sean Parnell   

  663,267 sq.mi.

571,951 sq.mi. 

  91,316 sq.mi.

13.8% water 

  1 pop./total

1 pop./land 

  8 pop./water

 

  20,320 feet

Mount McKinley 

  0 feet

Pacific Ocean 

  Willow ptarmigan

Forget-me-not 

  Sitka spruce

King salmon 

  Anchorage

Juneau 

  $29,757 million

$40,682 

  Aleut

“mainland” 

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

03

  Arizona

AZ   

  Grand Canyon State

SunGlo 

  Feb. 14, 1912

Arizonans 

  6,553,255

Jan Brewer   

  113,998 sq.mi.

113,634 sq.mi. 

  364 sq.mi.

0.3% water 

  57 pop./total

58 pop./land 

  18,003 pop./water

 

  12,637 feet

Humphreys Peak 

  70 feet

Colorado River 

  Cactus wren

Saguaro cactus blossom 

  Blue palo verde

Arizona trout 

  Phoenix

Phoenix 

  $217,232 million

$33,149 

  Aztec, or Pima

“silver-bearing,” or “small spring” 

Origin of the name is uncertain.

04

  Arkansas

AR   

  Natural State

Ozark Park 

  June 15, 1836

Arkansans 

  2,949,131

Mike Beebe   

  53,179 sq.mi.

52,068 sq.mi. 

  1,111 sq.mi.

2.1% water 

  55 pop./total

57 pop./land 

  2,654 pop./water

 

  2,653 feet

Magazine Mountain 

  55 feet

Ouachita River 

  Mockingbird

Apple blossom 

  Pine

none 

  Little Rock

Little Rock 

  $92,306 million

$31,299 

  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.

05

  California

CA   

  Golden State

Like 

  Sep. 09, 1850

Californians 

  38,041,430

Jerry Brown   

  163,696 sq.mi.

155,960 sq.mi. 

  7,736 sq.mi.

4.7% water 

  232 pop./total

244 pop./land 

  4,917 pop./water

 

  14,505 feet

Mount Whitney 

  -282 feet

Badwater Basin 

  California quail

California poppy 

  Coast Redwood, Giant Sequoia

Golden trout 

  Los Angeles

Sacramento 

  $1,564,402 million

$41,124 

  Spanish

where Queen Califia ruled 

From “Califia” queen of a mythical Spanish island in a Spanish romance Las Sergas de Esplandian by Garcia Ordo?ez de Montalvo, 1510.

06

  Colorado

CO   

  Centennial State

Healthy Heights 

  Aug. 01, 1876

Coloradans 

  5,187,582

John Hickenlooper   

  104,094 sq.mi.

103,718 sq.mi. 

  376 sq.mi.

0.4% water 

  50 pop./total

50 pop./land 

  13,797 pop./water

 

  14,440 feet

Mount Elbert 

  3,317 feet

Arikaree River 

  Lark bunting

Rocky mountain columbine 

  Colorado blue spruce

Greenback cutthroat trout 

  Denver

Denver 

  $207,743 million

$40,046 

  Spanish

“red color” 

Originally referring to the Colorado River.

07

  Connecticut

CT   

  Constitution State

Insure 

  Jan. 09, 1788

Nutmeggers or Connecticuters 

  3,590,347

Dan Malloy   

  5,543 sq.mi.

4,845 sq.mi. 

  698 sq.mi.

12.6% water 

  648 pop./total

741 pop./land 

  5,144 pop./water

 

  2,380 feet

Mount Frissell 

  0 feet

Long Island Sound 

  American robin

Mountain laurel 

  White oak

American shad 

  Bridgeport

Hartford 

  $191,384 million

$53,305 

  Mohican/Algonquin

“at the long tidal river” 

From the Indian name for the Connecticut River.

08

  Delaware

DE   

  First State

First National State 

  Dec. 07, 1787

Delawareans 

  917,092

Jack Markell   

  2,489 sq.mi.

1,953 sq.mi. 

  536 sq.mi.

21.5% water 

  368 pop./total

470 pop./land 

  1,711 pop./water

 

  451 feet

Ebright Azimuth 

  0 feet

Atlantic Ocean 

  Blue hen chicken

Peach blossom 

  American holly

Weakfish 

  Wilmington

Dover 

  $35,243 million

$38,429 

  French via English

“of the war” 

After the Delaware River, which was named for Lord de la Warr.

09

  Florida

FL   

  Sunshine State

AmeriBeach 

  Mar. 03, 1845

Floridians 

  19,317,568

Rick Scott   

  65,755 sq.mi.

53,927 sq.mi. 

  11,828 sq.mi.

18.0% water 

  294 pop./total

358 pop./land 

  1,633 pop./water

 

  345 feet

Britton Hill 

  0 feet

Atlantic Ocean 

  Northern mockingbird

Orange blossom 

  Sabal palm

Florida largemouth bass 

  Jacksonville

Tallahassee 

  $700,364 million

$36,255 

  Spanish

“flowers” 

Explorer Ponce de Leon named the land after “Pascua de Florida” “Feast of Flowers” on Palm Sunday of 1513.

10

  Georgia

GA   

  Peach State

Peaches N' More 

  Jan. 02, 1788

Georgians 

  9,919,945

Nathan Deal   

  59,425 sq.mi.

57,906 sq.mi. 

  1,519 sq.mi.

2.6% water 

  167 pop./total

171 pop./land 

  6,531 pop./water

 

  4,784 feet

Brasstown Bald 

  0 feet

Atlantic Ocean 

  Brown thrasher

Cherokee rose 

  Southern live oak

Largemouth bass 

  Atlanta

Atlanta 

  $332,090 million

$33,477 

  Latin

“George” 

The feminine Latin form of “George,” named after King George II of England

11

  Hawaii

HI   

  Aloha State

Isle Be Seaing U 

  Aug. 21, 1959

Hawaiians=natives, Islanders=non-natives 

  1,392,313

Neil Abercrombie   

  10,931 sq.mi.

6,423 sq.mi. 

  4,508 sq.mi.

41.2% water 

  127 pop./total

217 pop./land 

  309 pop./water

 

  13,803 feet

Mauna Kea 

  0 feet

Pacific Ocean 

  Nēnē or Hawaiian Goo

Hawaiian hibiscus 

  Candlenut tree

Reef triggerfish 

  Honolulu

Honolulu 

  $54,409 million

$39,078 

  Hawaiian

“small or new homeland” 

May have been named for the traditional home of the Polynesians, called “Owhyhee.”

12

  Idaho

ID   

  Gem State

Perpetua 

  July 03, 1890

Idahoans 

  1,595,728

Butch Otter   

  83,570 sq.mi.

82,747 sq.mi. 

  823 sq.mi.

1.0% water 

  19 pop./total

19 pop./land 

  1,939 pop./water

 

  12,668 feet

Borah Peak 

  710 feet

Snake River 

  Mountain bluebird

Syringa, mock orange 

  Western white pine

Cutthroat trout 

  Boise

Boise 

  $48,897 million

$30,642 

  English

invented word 

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

13

  Illinois

IL   

  Prairie State

Chi+ 

  Dec. 03, 1818

Illinoisan or Illinoians 

  12,875,255

Pat Quinn   

  57,914 sq.mi.

55,583 sq.mi. 

  2,331 sq.mi.

4.0% water 

  222 pop./total

232 pop./land 

  5,523 pop./water

 

  1,235 feet

Charles Mound 

  279 feet

Mississippi River 

  Northern cardinal

Violet 

  White oak

Bluegill 

  Chicago

Springfield 

  $534,633 million

$41,524 

  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.

14

  Indiana

IN   

  Hoosier State

Town and Country 

  Dec. 11, 1816

Hoosiers or Indianians or Indianans 

  6,537,334

Mike Pence   

  36,418 sq.mi.

35,867 sq.mi. 

  551 sq.mi.

1.5% water 

  180 pop./total

182 pop./land 

  11,864 pop./water

 

  1,257 feet

Hoosier Hill 

  320 feet

Ohio River 

  Northern cardinal

Peony 

  Tulip-tree

none 

  Indianapolis

Indianapolis 

  $216,619 million

$33,136 

  English

“Land of the Indians.” 

The natives were called Indians because of Columbus’ error thinking he had reached the Asian India.

15

  Iowa

IA   

  Hawkeye State

Sunny Farms 

  Dec. 28, 1846

Iowans or Hawkeyes 

  3,074,186

Terry Branstad   

  56,272 sq.mi.

55,870 sq.mi. 

  402 sq.mi.

0.7% water 

  55 pop./total

55 pop./land 

  7,647 pop./water

 

  1,670 feet

Hawkeye Point 

  480 feet

Mississippi River 

  Eastern goldfinch

Wild Prairie Rose 

  Bur oak

Channel catfish 

  Des Moines

Des Moines 

  $110,542 million

$35,958 

  Dakota

“sleepy ones” 

From the natives tribal name “Ayuxwa” which was spelled by the French as “Ayoua” and by the English as “Ioway.”

16

  Kansas

KS   

  Sunflower State

Midstate 

  Jan. 29, 1861

Kansans or Jayhawkers 

  2,885,905

Sam Brownback   

  82,277 sq.mi.

81,815 sq.mi. 

  462 sq.mi.

0.6% water 

  35 pop./total

35 pop./land 

  6,247 pop./water

 

  4,039 feet

Mount Sunflower 

  679 feet

Verdigris River 

  Western Meadowlark

Sunflower 

  Eastern cottonwood

none 

  Wichita

Topeka 

  $106,876 million

$37,034 

  Kaw

“south wind” 

From the Kansas River which was named by the French after the Kanze natives who lived there.

17

  Kentucky

KY   

  Bluegrass State

Equus 

  June 01, 1792

Kentuckians 

  4,380,415

Steve Beshear   

  40,409 sq.mi.

39,728 sq.mi. 

  681 sq.mi.

1.7% water 

  108 pop./total

110 pop./land 

  6,432 pop./water

 

  4,145 feet

Black Mountain 

  257 feet

Mississippi River 

  Northern cardinal

Goldenrod 

  Tulip-tree

Kentucky spotted bass 

  Louisville

Frankfort 

  $137,547 million

$31,400 

  Iroquoian

“prairie” or “field” 

From the Iroquois Indian name referring to the landscape. Possibly a Wyandot or Iroquois name meaning “land of tomorrow.”

18

  Louisiana

LA   

  Pelican State

Hot N' Humid 

  Apr. 30, 1812

Louisianians or Louisianans 

  4,601,893

Bobby Jindal   

  51,840 sq.mi.

43,562 sq.mi. 

  8,278 sq.mi.

16.0% water 

  89 pop./total

106 pop./land 

  556 pop./water

 

  535 feet

Driskill Mountain 

  -8 feet

New Orleans 

  Brown pelican

Magnolia 

  Bald cypress

White crappie 

  New Orleans

Baton Rouge 

  $159,500 million

$34,660 

  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.

19

  Maine

ME   

  Pine Tree State

@lantia 

  Mar. 15, 1820

Mainers or Main Staters 

  1,329,192

Paul LePage   

  35,385 sq.mi.

30,862 sq.mi. 

  4,523 sq.mi.

12.8% water 

  38 pop./total

43 pop./land 

  294 pop./water

 

  5,368 feet

Mount Katahdin 

  0 feet

Atlantic Ocean 

  Black-capped chickadee

White pine cone and tassel 

  Eastern white pine

Landlocked Atlantic salmon 

  Portland

Augusta 

  $48,441 million

$36,444 

  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.

20

  Maryland

MD   

  Old Line State

Heritage Home 

  Apr. 28, 1788

Marylanders 

  5,884,563

Martin O'Malley   

  12,407 sq.mi.

9,774 sq.mi. 

  2,633 sq.mi.

21.2% water 

  474 pop./total

602 pop./land 

  2,235 pop./water

 

  3,360 feet

Hoye-Crest 

  0 feet

Atlantic Ocean 

  Baltimore oriole

Black-eyed susan 

  White oak

Rockfish 

  Baltimore

Annapolis 

  $275,199 million

$46,766 

  English

in honor of Queen “Mary” 

After Queen Henrietta Maria of England, wife of King Charles I.

21

  Massachusetts

MA   

  Bay State

Bay Way 

  Feb. 06, 1788

Bay Staters or Massachusettsans 

  6,646,144

Deval Patrick   

  10,555 sq.mi.

7,840 sq.mi. 

  2,715 sq.mi.

25.7% water 

  630 pop./total

848 pop./land 

  2,448 pop./water

 

  3,492 feet

Mount Greylock 

  0 feet

Atlantic Ocean 

  Black-capped chickadee

Mayflower 

  American elm

Cod 

  Boston

Boston 

  $328,855 million

$49,481 

  Algonquian

“great hill place” or “by the little mount 

Named after the natives that lived in the region.

22

  Michigan

MI   

  Great Lakes State

Aqua-rama 

  Jan. 26, 1837

Michiganians or Michiganders 

  9,883,360

Rick Snyder   

  96,716 sq.mi.

56,804 sq.mi. 

  39,912 sq.mi.

41.3% water 

  102 pop./total

174 pop./land 

  248 pop./water

 

  1,979 feet

Mount Arvon 

  571 feet

Lake Erie 

  American robin

Apple blossom 

  Eastern white pine

Brook trout 

  Detroit

Lansing 

  $339,220 million

$34,322 

  Ottawa or Chippewa

“large body of water” 

Also possibly from the Chippewa Indian word “majigan” which means “clearing of land.”

23

  Minnesota

MN   

  North Star State

Lakes-a-plenty 

  May 11, 1858

Minnesotans 

  5,379,139

Mark Dayton   

  86,939 sq.mi.

79,610 sq.mi. 

  7,329 sq.mi.

8.4% water 

  62 pop./total

68 pop./land 

  734 pop./water

 

  2,301 feet

Eagle Mountain 

  601 feet

Lake Superior 

  Common loon

Pink and white lady's slipper 

  Red Pine

Walleye 

  Minneapolis

St. Paul 

  $218,822 million

$40,680 

  Dakota

“cloudy water” 

From the Minnesota River named by the Dakota Sioux.

24

  Mississippi

MS   

  Magnolia State

Magnolia Meadows 

  Dec. 10, 1817

Mississippians 

  2,984,926

Phil Bryant   

  48,430 sq.mi.

46,907 sq.mi. 

  1,523 sq.mi.

3.1% water 

  62 pop./total

64 pop./land 

  1,960 pop./water

 

  807 feet

Woodall Mountain 

  0 feet

Gulf of Mexico 

  Northern mockingbird

Magnolia 

  Southern magnolia

Largemouth bass 

  Jackson

Jackson 

  $88,864 million

$29,771 

  Ojibwe

“great river” 

The Indian name for the river that was used on Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle’s map.

25

  Missouri

MO   

  Show Me State

Riverview 

  Aug. 10, 1821

Missourians 

  6,021,988

Jay Nixon   

  69,704 sq.mi.

68,886 sq.mi. 

  818 sq.mi.

1.2% water 

  86 pop./total

87 pop./land 

  7,362 pop./water

 

  1,772 feet

Taum Sauk Mountain 

  230 feet

Saint Francis River 

  Eastern bluebird

Hawthorn 

  Flowering dogwood

Channel catfish 

  Kansas City

Jefferson City 

  $213,613 million

$35,472 

  Algonquian

“dugout canoe” 

From the Missouri River, after the Missouri tribe known for their dugout canoes.

26

  Montana

MT   

  Treasure State

Skyview 

  Nov. 08, 1889

Montanan 

  1,005,141

Steve Bullock   

  147,042 sq.mi.

145,552 sq.mi. 

  1,490 sq.mi.

1.0% water 

  7 pop./total

7 pop./land 

  675 pop./water

 

  12,807 feet

Granite Peak 

  1,800 feet

Kootenai River 

  Western meadowlark

Hawthorn 

  Ponderosa pine

Cutthroat trout 

  Billings

Helena 

  $33,154 million

$32,984 

  Spanish

“mountainous” 

A derivation of the Latin word “montaanus.”

27

  Nebraska

NE   

  Cornhusker State

Korn-O-copia 

  Mar. 01, 1867

Nebraskans; sometimes Cornhuskers 

  1,855,525

Dave Heineman   

  77,354 sq.mi.

76,873 sq.mi. 

  481 sq.mi.

0.6% water 

  24 pop./total

24 pop./land 

  3,858 pop./water

 

  5,424 feet

Panorama Point 

  849 feet

Missouri River 

  Western meadowlark

Goldenrod 

  Eastern cottonwood

Channel catfish 

  Omaha

Lincoln 

  $68,417 million

$36,872 

  Soiux

“flat waters” 

Referring to the Platte River, which means “flat river” in French.

28

  Nevada

NV   

  Silver State

Win-A-Lot 

  Oct. 31, 1864

Nevadans 

  2,758,931

Brian Sandoval   

  110,561 sq.mi.

109,826 sq.mi. 

  735 sq.mi.

0.7% water 

  25 pop./total

25 pop./land 

  3,754 pop./water

 

  13,147 feet

Boundary Peak 

  479 feet

Colorado River 

  Mountain bluebird

Sagebrush 

  Single-leaf Pinyon, Bristlecon

Lahontan cutthroat trout 

  Las Vegas

Carson City 

  $101,965 million

$36,958 

  Spanish

“snow covered” 

After the Sierra Nevada, or “snowy range.”

29

  New Hampshire

NH   

  Granite State

Hard Rock State 

  June 21, 1788

New Hampshirites; Granite Staters 

  1,320,718

Maggie Hassan   

  9,350 sq.mi.

8,968 sq.mi. 

  382 sq.mi.

4.1% water 

  141 pop./total

147 pop./land 

  3,457 pop./water

 

  6,288 feet

Mount Washington 

  0 feet

Atlantic Ocean 

  Purple finch

Purple lilac 

  American white birch

Brook trout 

  Manchester

Concord 

  $56,733 million

$42,956 

  English

New + name of an English county 

Named for county of Hampshire, England, by Captain John Mason.

30

  New Jersey

NJ   

  Garden State

Consolidated Peoples 

  Dec. 18, 1787

New Jerseyites; New Jerseyans 

  8,864,590

Chris Christie   

  8,721 sq.mi.

7,417 sq.mi. 

  1,304 sq.mi.

15.0% water 

  1,016 pop./total

1,195 pop./land 

  6,798 pop./water

 

  1,803 feet

High Point 

  0 feet

Atlantic Ocean 

  Eastern goldfinch

Violet 

  Northern red oak

Brook trout 

  Newark

Trenton 

  $438,112 million

$49,423 

  English

New + name of an island 

Name after the island of Jersey in the English Channel by Sir John Berkley and Sir George Carteret.

31

  New Mexico

NM   

  Land of Enchantment

I Can't Believe It's Not Mexico 

  Jan. 06, 1912

New Mexicans 

  2,085,538

Susana Martinez   

  121,589 sq.mi.

121,355 sq.mi. 

  234 sq.mi.

0.2% water 

  17 pop./total

17 pop./land 

  8,913 pop./water

 

  13,167 feet

Wheeler Peak 

  2,842 feet

Red Bluff Reservoir 

  Roadrunner

Yucca flower 

  Piņon Pine

Rio Grande cutthroat trout 

  Albuquerque

Santa Fe 

  $66,303 million

$31,792 

  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.”

32

  New York

NY   

  Empire State

DollarDaze 

  July 26, 1788

New Yorkers 

  19,570,261

Andrew Cuomo   

  54,556 sq.mi.

47,214 sq.mi. 

  7,342 sq.mi.

13.5% water 

  359 pop./total

415 pop./land 

  2,666 pop./water

 

  5,334 feet

Mount Marcy 

  0 feet

Atlantic Ocean 

  Eastern bluebird

Rose 

  Sugar maple

Brook trout 

  New York City

Albany 

  $917,608 million

$46,888 

  English

New + name of an English duke 

After York, England, to honor the then Duke of York later King James II of England.

33

  North Carolina

NC   

  Old North State

Phatlantic 

  Nov. 21, 1789

North Carolinians 

  9,752,073

Pat McCrory   

  53,819 sq.mi.

48,711 sq.mi. 

  5,108 sq.mi.

9.5% water 

  181 pop./total

200 pop./land 

  1,909 pop./water

 

  6,684 feet

Mount Mitchell 

  0 feet

Atlantic Ocean 

  Northern cardinal

Flowering dogwood 

  Pine

Channel Bass 

  Charlotte

Raleigh 

  $323,200 million

$33,142 

  Latin

North + “Charles” 

From the name Carolus, in honor of King Charles I of England.

34

  North Dakota

ND   

  Peace Garden State

Northland 

  Nov. 02, 1889

North Dakotans 

  699,628

Jack Dalrymple   

  70,700 sq.mi.

68,976 sq.mi. 

  1,724 sq.mi.

2.4% water 

  10 pop./total

10 pop./land 

  406 pop./water

 

  3,506 feet

White Butte 

  750 feet

Red River 

  Western meadowlark

Wild prairie rose 

  American elm

Northern pike 

  Fargo

Bismarck 

  $25,570 million

$36,548 

  Sioux

North + “ally” 

After the Dakota tribe.

35

  Ohio

OH   

  Buckeye State

South Lake Shores 

  Mar. 01, 1803

Ohioans; or Buckeyes 

  11,544,225

John Kasich   

  44,825 sq.mi.

40,948 sq.mi. 

  3,877 sq.mi.

8.6% water 

  258 pop./total

282 pop./land 

  2,978 pop./water

 

  1,550 feet

Campbell Hill 

  455 feet

Ohio River 

  Northern cardinal

Scarlet carnation 

  Ohio buckeye

Walleye 

  Columbus

Columbus 

  $408,390 million

$35,376 

  Iroquois

“large creek” 

After the name of both the Ohio River and Allegheny River. Often incorrectly given as “beautiful river”

36

  Oklahoma

OK   

  Sooner State

Indiana 

  Nov. 16, 1907

Oklahomans 

  3,814,820

Mary Fallin   

  69,898 sq.mi.

68,667 sq.mi. 

  1,231 sq.mi.

1.8% water 

  55 pop./total

56 pop./land 

  3,099 pop./water

 

  4,973 feet

Black Mesa 

  289 feet

Little River 

  Scissor-tailed flycatcher

Oklahoma rose 

  Eastern redbud

White bass 

  Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City 

  $130,035 million

$34,087 

  Choctaw

“red people” 

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

37

  Oregon

OR   

  Beaver State

Ocean View 

  Feb. 14, 1859

Oregonians 

  3,899,353

John Kitzhaber   

  98,381 sq.mi.

95,997 sq.mi. 

  2,384 sq.mi.

2.4% water 

  40 pop./total

41 pop./land 

  1,636 pop./water

 

  11,249 feet

Mount Hood 

  0 feet

Pacific Ocean 

  Western meadowlark

Oregon grape 

  Douglas fir

Chinook salmon 

  Portland

Salem 

  $136,450 million

$34,993 

  Uncertain

“beautiful” 

First named by Major Robert Rogers in a petition to King George III.

38

  Pennsylvania

PA   

  Keystone State

Gettysburg Estates 

  Dec. 12, 1787

Pennsylvanians 

  12,763,536

Tom Corbett   

  46,055 sq.mi.

44,816 sq.mi. 

  1,239 sq.mi.

2.7% water 

  277 pop./total

285 pop./land 

  10,301 pop./water

 

  3,213 feet

Mount Davis 

  0 feet

Delaware River 

  Ruffed grouse

Mountain laurel 

  Eastern hemlock

Brook trout 

  Philadelphia

Harrisburg 

  $498,871 million

$39,086 

  Latin

“Penn’s woods” 

After Admiral William Penn.

39

  Rhode Island

RI   

  Ocean State

MicroState 

  May 29, 1790

Rhode Islanders 

  1,050,292

Lincoln Chafee   

  1,545 sq.mi.

1,045 sq.mi. 

  500 sq.mi.

32.4% water 

  680 pop./total

1,005 pop./land 

  2,101 pop./water

 

  812 feet

Jerimoth Hill 

  0 feet

Atlantic Ocean 

  Rhode Island red chicken

Violet 

  Red maple

Striped bass 

  Providence

Providence 

  $43,185 million

$41,117 

  Dutch

“red island” 

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

40

  South Carolina

SC   

  Palmetto State

Charlie 

  May 23, 1788

South Carolinians 

  4,723,723

Nikki Haley   

  32,020 sq.mi.

30,109 sq.mi. 

  1,911 sq.mi.

6.0% water 

  148 pop./total

157 pop./land 

  2,472 pop./water

 

  3,560 feet

Sassafras Mountain 

  0 feet

Atlantic Ocean 

  Carolina wren

Yellow jessamine 

  Sabal palm

Striped bass 

  Columbia

Columbia 

  $145,043 million

$30,705 

  Latin

South + “Charles” 

from the name Carolus, in honor of King Charles I of England.

41

  South Dakota

SD   

  Mount Rushmore State

South Northland 

  Nov. 02, 1889

South Dakotans 

  833,354

Dennis Daugaard   

  77,116 sq.mi.

75,884 sq.mi. 

  1,232 sq.mi.

1.6% water 

  11 pop./total

11 pop./land 

  676 pop./water

 

  7,244 feet

Harney Peak 

  966 feet

Big Stone Lake 

  Common pheasant

Pasque flower 

  Black Hills spruce

Walleye 

  Sioux Falls

Pierre 

  $30,005 million

$36,005 

  Sioux

South + “ally” 

After the Dakota tribe.

42

  Tennessee

TN   

  Volunteer State

Opry-Tune-Itee 

  June 01, 1796

Tennesseans 

  6,456,243

Bill Haslam   

  42,143 sq.mi.

41,217 sq.mi. 

  926 sq.mi.

2.2% water 

  153 pop./total

157 pop./land 

  6,972 pop./water

 

  6,643 feet

Clingmans Dome 

  178 feet

Mississippi River 

  Northern mockingbird

Iris 

  Tulip-tree

Largemouth bass 

  Memphis

Nashville 

  $214,633 million

$33,244 

  Cherokee

possibly “river with a big bend” 

After the river and from a Cherokee village in the region that was called “Tanasie.”

43

  Texas

TX   

  Lone Star State

Superultramax 

  Dec. 29, 1845

Texans 

  25,059,203

Rick Perry   

  268,581 sq.mi.

261,797 sq.mi. 

  6,784 sq.mi.

2.5% water 

  93 pop./total

96 pop./land 

  3,694 pop./water

 

  8,751 feet

Guadalupe Peak 

  0 feet

Gulf of Mexico 

  Northern mockingbird

Texas bluebonnet 

  Pecan

Guadalupe bass 

  Houston

Austin 

  $904,158 million

$36,081 

  Caddo

“friend” 

“Tejas” referred to the Caddo tribes. The Spanish made it texas.

44

  Utah

UT   

  Beehive State

Salterra 

  Jan. 04, 1896

Utahns or Utahans 

  2,855,287

Gary Herbert   

  84,899 sq.mi.

82,144 sq.mi. 

  2,755 sq.mi.

3.2% water 

  34 pop./total

35 pop./land 

  1,036 pop./water

 

  13,528 feet

Kings Peak 

  2,000 feet

Beaver Dam Wash 

  California gull

Sego lily 

  Blue spruce

Bonneville cutthroat trout 

  Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City 

  $85,974 million

$30,110 

  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.

45

  Vermont

VT   

  Green Mountain State

Ethan Allendale 

  Mar. 04, 1791

Vermonters 

  626,011

Peter Shumlin   

  9,614 sq.mi.

9,249 sq.mi. 

  365 sq.mi.

3.8% water 

  65 pop./total

68 pop./land 

  1,715 pop./water

 

  4,395 feet

Mount Mansfield 

  95 feet

Lake Champlain 

  Hermit thrush

Red clover 

  Sugar maple

Brook trout, walleye 

  Burlington

Montpelier 

  $23,940 million

$38,242 

  French

“green mountain” 

The English form of the name “Verd Mont" given by French explorer Samuel de Champlain

46

  Virginia

VA   

  Old Dominion State

Washington 

  June 25, 1788

Virginians 

  8,185,867

Terry McAuliffe   

  42,774 sq.mi.

39,594 sq.mi. 

  3,180 sq.mi.

7.4% water 

  191 pop./total

207 pop./land 

  2,574 pop./water

 

  5,729 feet

Mount Rogers 

  0 feet

Atlantic Ocean 

  Northern cardinal

American dogwood 

  Flowering dogwood

Brook trout 

  Virginia Beach

Richmond 

  $345,841 million

$42,249 

  Latin

“country of the Virgin” 

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

47

  Washington

WA   

  Evergreen State

Kountry Korner 

  Nov. 11, 1889

Washingtonians 

  6,897,012

Jay Inslee   

  71,300 sq.mi.

66,544 sq.mi. 

  4,756 sq.mi.

6.7% water 

  97 pop./total

104 pop./land 

  1,450 pop./water

 

  14,410 feet

Mount Rainier 

  0 feet

Pacific Ocean 

  Willow goldfinch

Coast rhododendron 

  Western hemlock

Steelhead trout 

  Seattle

Olympia 

  $278,237 million

$40,342 

  English

English surname 

After the first U.S. president, George Washington.

48

  West Virginia

WV   

  Mountain State

Friendly Folks 

  June 20, 1863

West Virginians 

  1,855,413

Earl Ray Tomblin   

  24,230 sq.mi.

24,078 sq.mi. 

  152 sq.mi.

0.6% water 

  77 pop./total

77 pop./land 

  12,207 pop./water

 

  4,863 feet

Spruce Knob 

  0 feet

Potomac River 

  Northern cardinal

Rhododendron 

  Sugar maple

Brook trout 

  Charleston

Charleston 

  $58,631 million

$31,600 

  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.

49

  Wisconsin

WI   

  Badger State

Dairy Kween 

  May 29, 1848

Wisconsinites 

  5,726,398

Scott Walker   

  65,498 sq.mi.

54,310 sq.mi. 

  11,188 sq.mi.

17.1% water 

  87 pop./total

105 pop./land 

  512 pop./water

 

  1,951 feet

Timms Hill 

  579 feet

Lake Michigan 

  American robin

Wood violet 

  Sugar maple

Muskellunge 

  Milwaukee

Madison 

  $208,220 million

$36,361 

  Chippewa

possibly “grassy place” 

After the Wisconsin River. Origin is uncertain.

50

  Wyoming

WY   

  Equality State

Fin and Fur 

  July 10, 1890

Wyomingites 

  576,412

Matt Mead   

  97,814 sq.mi.

97,101 sq.mi. 

  713 sq.mi.

0.7% water 

  6 pop./total

6 pop./land 

  808 pop./water

 

  13,809 feet

Gannett Peak 

  3,099 feet

Belle Fourche River 

  Western meadowlark

Indian paintbrush 

  Plains cottonwood

Cutthroat trout 

  Cheyenne

Cheyenne 

  $24,876 million

$43,157 

  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.