State Name Origins and Other Facts

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

The States can be sorted by any column item.  Cursor on any State Name shows image of the state and flag.  The Origin and Meaning of state names represent the prevailing consensus.  Click on any underlined name or place for more information.  GDP is 2013 est. Gross Domestic ProductPopulation is according to the 2013 estimate.  The column If Renamed jokingly gives a name based upon contemporary naming practices (See the map.)

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States of America

Sorted by State Name
(Listed in Alphabetical Order)


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

(Put cursor over number for metric equivalent of square miles and feet data)


#

State Name

Abbrev.

Nickname

If Renamed

Admit Date

Demonym

Population

Governor

Area in Sq. Miles

Total

Land

Water

% Water

Pop./Sq.Mi.


Total

Land

Water

Highest Pt. & Highest Loc.

Lowest Pt. & Lowest Loc.

Difference

State Bird

State Flower

State Tree

State Fish

Largest City

Capital

GDP

GDP/capita

 Name Origin

 Meaning

 Notes

01

 Alabama

AL   

 Yellowhammer State

Dixie World 

Dec. 14, 1819

Alabamans

4,833,722

Robert Bentley

52,419sq.mi. total

50,744sq.mi. land

1,675sq.mi. water

3.2% water


92.2/sq.mi. total

95.3/sq.mi. land

2,885.8/sq.mi. water

2,413 feet

at Cheaha Mountain

0 feet

at Gulf of Mexico

diff.=2,413 feet

Yellowhammer

Camellia

Longleaf pine

Largemouth bass

Birmingham

Montgomery 

 $193,566 million

$40,045/capita

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

735,132

Sean Parnell

663,267sq.mi. total

571,951sq.mi. land

91,316sq.mi. water

13.8% water


1.1/sq.mi. total

1.3/sq.mi. land

8.1/sq.mi. water

20,320 feet

at Mount McKinley

0 feet

at Pacific Ocean

diff.=20,320 feet

Willow ptarmigan

Forget-me-not

Sitka spruce

King salmon

Anchorage

Juneau 

 $59,355 million

$80,741/capita

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

6,626,624

Jan Brewer

113,998sq.mi. total

113,634sq.mi. land

364sq.mi. water

0.3% water


58.1/sq.mi. total

58.3/sq.mi. land

18,205.0/sq.mi. water

12,637 feet

at Humphreys Peak

70 feet

at Colorado River

diff.=12,567 feet

Cactus wren

Saguaro cactus blossom

Blue palo verde

Arizona trout

Phoenix

Phoenix 

 $279,024 million

$42,107/capita

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

2,959,373

Mike Beebe

53,179sq.mi. total

52,068sq.mi. land

1,111sq.mi. water

2.1% water


55.6/sq.mi. total

56.8/sq.mi. land

2,663.7/sq.mi. water

2,653 feet

at Magazine Mountain

55 feet

at Ouachita River

diff.=2,598 feet

Mockingbird

Apple blossom

Pine

none 

Little Rock

Little Rock 

 $124,218 million

$41,974/capita

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

38,332,521

Jerry Brown

163,696sq.mi. total

155,960sq.mi. land

7,736sq.mi. water

4.7% water


234.2/sq.mi. total

245.8/sq.mi. land

4,955.1/sq.mi. water

14,505 feet

at Mount Whitney

-282 feet

at Badwater Basin

diff.=14,787 feet

California quail

California poppy

Coast Redwood, Giant Sequoia

Golden trout

Los Angeles

Sacramento 

 $2,202,678 million

$57,462/capita

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

5,268,367

John Hickenlooper

104,094sq.mi. total

103,718sq.mi. land

376sq.mi. water

0.4% water


50.6/sq.mi. total

50.8/sq.mi. land

14,011.6/sq.mi. water

14,440 feet

at Mount Elbert

3317 feet

at Arikaree River

diff.=11,123 feet

Lark bunting

Rocky mountain columbine

Colorado blue spruce

Greenback cutthroat trout

Denver

Denver 

 $294,443 million

$55,889/capita

Spanish 

 “red color” 

 

Originally referring to the Colorado River.

07

 Connecticut

CT   

 Constitution State

Insure 

Jan. 09, 1788

Nutmeggers or Connecticuters

3,596,080

Dan Malloy

5,543sq.mi. total

4,845sq.mi. land

698sq.mi. water

12.6% water


648.8/sq.mi. total

742.2/sq.mi. land

5,152.0/sq.mi. water

2,380 feet

at Mount Frissell

0 feet

at Long Island Sound

diff.=2,380 feet

American robin

Mountain laurel

White oak

American shad

Bridgeport

Hartford 

 $249,251 million

$69,312/capita

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

925,749

Jack Markell

2,489sq.mi. total

1,953sq.mi. land

536sq.mi. water

21.5% water


371.9/sq.mi. total

474.0/sq.mi. land

1,727.1/sq.mi. water

451 feet

at Ebright Azimuth

0 feet

at Atlantic Ocean

diff.=451 feet

Blue hen chicken

Peach blossom

American holly

Weakfish

Wilmington

Dover 

 $62,703 million

$67,732/capita

French via English 

 “of the war” 

 

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

09

 District of Columbia

DC   

 Capital

AlphaCity 

Nov. 17, 1800

Washingtonians

646,449

Gray, Vincent C.

68sq.mi. total

61sq.mi. land

7sq.mi. water

10.1% water


9,506.6/sq.mi. total

10,597.5/sq.mi. land

92,349.9/sq.mi. water

409 feet

at Fort Reno Park

0 feet

at Potomac River

diff.=409 feet

Wood Thrush

American Beauty Rose

Scarlet Oak

none

District of Columbia

- 

 $113,362 million

$159,796/capita

English 

 Named after the first US President 

 

Named after the first US President

10

 Florida

FL   

 Sunshine State

AmeriBeach 

Mar. 03, 1845

Floridians

19,552,860

Rick Scott

65,755sq.mi. total

53,927sq.mi. land

11,828sq.mi. water

18.0% water


297.4/sq.mi. total

362.6/sq.mi. land

1,653.1/sq.mi. water

345 feet

at Britton Hill

0 feet

at Atlantic Ocean

diff.=345 feet

Northern mockingbird

Orange blossom

Sabal palm

Florida largemouth bass

Jacksonville

Tallahassee 

 $800,492 million

$40,940/capita

Spanish 

 “flowers” 

 

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

11

 Georgia

GA   

 Peach State

Peaches N' More 

Jan. 02, 1788

Georgians

9,992,167

Nathan Deal

59,425sq.mi. total

57,906sq.mi. land

1,519sq.mi. water

2.6% water


168.1/sq.mi. total

172.6/sq.mi. land

6,578.1/sq.mi. water

4,784 feet

at Brasstown Bald

0 feet

at Atlantic Ocean

diff.=4,784 feet

Brown thrasher

Cherokee rose

Southern live oak

Largemouth bass

Atlanta

Atlanta 

 $454,532 million

$45,489/capita

Latin 

 “George” 

 

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

12

 Hawaii

HI   

 Aloha State

Isle Be Seaing U 

Aug. 21, 1959

Hawaiians (natives) Islanders (non-natives)

1,404,045

Neil Abercrombie

10,931sq.mi. total

6,423sq.mi. land

4,508sq.mi. water

41.2% water


128.4/sq.mi. total

218.6/sq.mi. land

311.5/sq.mi. water

13,803 feet

at Mauna Kea

0 feet

at Pacific Ocean

diff.=13,803 feet

Nēnē or Hawaiian Goo

Hawaiian hibiscus

Candlenut tree

Reef triggerfish

Honolulu

Honolulu 

 $75,235 million

$53,584/capita

Hawaiian 

 “small or new homeland” 

 

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

13

 Idaho

ID   

 Gem State

Perpetua 

July 03, 1890

Idahoans

1,612,136

Butch Otter

83,570sq.mi. total

82,747sq.mi. land

823sq.mi. water

1.0% water


19.3/sq.mi. total

19.5/sq.mi. land

1,958.9/sq.mi. water

12,668 feet

at Borah Peak

710 feet

at Snake River

diff.=11,958 feet

Mountain bluebird

Syringa, mock orange

Western white pine

Cutthroat trout

Boise

Boise 

 $62,247 million

$38,612/capita

English 

 invented word 

 

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

14

 Illinois

IL   

 Prairie State

Chi+ 

Dec. 03, 1818

Illinoisan or Illinoians

12,882,135

Pat Quinn

57,914sq.mi. total

55,583sq.mi. land

2,331sq.mi. water

4.0% water


222.4/sq.mi. total

231.8/sq.mi. land

5,526.4/sq.mi. water

1,235 feet

at Charles Mound

279 feet

at Mississippi River

diff.=956 feet

Northern cardinal

Violet

White oak

Bluegill

Chicago

Springfield 

 $720,692 million

$55,945/capita

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.

15

 Indiana

IN   

 Hoosier State

Town and Country 

Dec. 11, 1816

Hoosiers or Indianians or Indianans

6,570,902

Mike Pence

36,418sq.mi. total

35,867sq.mi. land

551sq.mi. water

1.5% water


180.4/sq.mi. total

183.2/sq.mi. land

11,925.4/sq.mi. water

1,257 feet

at Hoosier Hill

320 feet

at Ohio River

diff.=937 feet

Northern cardinal

Peony

Tulip-tree

none 

Indianapolis

Indianapolis 

 $317,102 million

$48,259/capita

English 

 “Land of the Indians.” 

 

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

16

 Iowa

IA   

 Hawkeye State

Sunny Farms 

Dec. 28, 1846

Iowans or Hawkeyes

3,090,416

Terry Branstad

56,272sq.mi. total

55,870sq.mi. land

402sq.mi. water

0.7% water


54.9/sq.mi. total

55.3/sq.mi. land

7,687.6/sq.mi. water

1,670 feet

at Hawkeye Point

480 feet

at Mississippi River

diff.=1,190 feet

Eastern goldfinch

Wild Prairie Rose

Bur oak

Channel catfish

Des Moines

Des Moines 

 $165,767 million

$53,639/capita

Dakota 

 “sleepy ones” 

 

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

17

 Kansas

KS   

 Sunflower State

Midstate 

Jan. 29, 1861

Kansans or Jayhawkers

2,893,957

Sam Brownback

82,277sq.mi. total

81,815sq.mi. land

462sq.mi. water

0.6% water


35.2/sq.mi. total

35.4/sq.mi. land

6,264.0/sq.mi. water

4,039 feet

at Mount Sunflower

679 feet

at Verdigris River

diff.=3,360 feet

Western Meadowlark

Sunflower

Eastern cottonwood

none 

Wichita

Topeka 

 $144,062 million

$49,780/capita

Kaw 

 “south wind” 

 

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

18

 Kentucky

KY   

 Bluegrass State

Equus 

June 01, 1792

Kentuckians

4,395,295

Steve Beshear

40,409sq.mi. total

39,728sq.mi. land

681sq.mi. water

1.7% water


108.8/sq.mi. total

110.6/sq.mi. land

6,454.2/sq.mi. water

4,145 feet

at Black Mountain

257 feet

at Mississippi River

diff.=3,888 feet

Northern cardinal

Goldenrod

Tulip-tree

Kentucky spotted bass

Louisville

Frankfort 

 $183,373 million

$41,720/capita

Iroquoian 

 “prairie” or “field” 

 

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

19

 Louisiana

LA   

 Pelican State

Hot N' Humid 

Apr. 30, 1812

Louisianians or Louisianans

4,625,470

Bobby Jindal

51,840sq.mi. total

43,562sq.mi. land

8,278sq.mi. water

16.0% water


89.2/sq.mi. total

106.2/sq.mi. land

558.8/sq.mi. water

535 feet

at Driskill Mountain

-8 feet

at New Orleans

diff.=543 feet

Brown pelican

Magnolia

Bald cypress

White crappie

New Orleans

Baton Rouge 

 $253,576 million

$54,822/capita

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.

20

 Maine

ME   

 Pine Tree State

@lantia 

Mar. 15, 1820

Mainers or Main Staters

1,328,302

Paul LePage

35,385sq.mi. total

30,862sq.mi. land

4,523sq.mi. water

12.8% water


37.5/sq.mi. total

43.0/sq.mi. land

293.7/sq.mi. water

5,368 feet

at Mount Katahdin

0 feet

at Atlantic Ocean

diff.=5,368 feet

Black-capped chickadee

White pine cone and tassel

Eastern white pine

Landlocked Atlantic salmon

Portland

Augusta 

 $54,755 million

$41,222/capita

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.

21

 Maryland

MD   

 Old Line State

Heritage Home 

Apr. 28, 1788

Marylanders

5,928,814

Martin O'Malley

12,407sq.mi. total

9,774sq.mi. land

2,633sq.mi. water

21.2% water


477.9/sq.mi. total

606.6/sq.mi. land

2,251.7/sq.mi. water

3,360 feet

at Hoye-Crest

0 feet

at Atlantic Ocean

diff.=3,360 feet

Baltimore oriole

Black-eyed susan

White oak

Rockfish

Baltimore

Annapolis 

 $324,382 million

$54,713/capita

English 

 in honor of Queen “Mary” 

 

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

22

 Massachusetts

MA   

 Bay State

Bay Way 

Feb. 06, 1788

Bay Staters or Massachusettsans

6,692,824

Deval Patrick

10,555sq.mi. total

7,840sq.mi. land

2,715sq.mi. water

25.7% water


634.1/sq.mi. total

853.7/sq.mi. land

2,465.1/sq.mi. water

3,492 feet

at Mount Greylock

0 feet

at Atlantic Ocean

diff.=3,492 feet

Black-capped chickadee

Mayflower

American elm

Cod

Boston

Boston 

 $446,323 million

$66,687/capita

Algonquian 

 “great hill place” or “by the little mount 

 

Named after the natives that lived in the region.

23

 Michigan

MI   

 Great Lakes State

Aqua-rama 

Jan. 26, 1837

Michiganians or Michiganders

9,895,622

Rick Snyder

96,716sq.mi. total

56,804sq.mi. land

39,912sq.mi. water

41.3% water


102.3/sq.mi. total

174.2/sq.mi. land

247.9/sq.mi. water

1,979 feet

at Mount Arvon

571 feet

at Lake Erie

diff.=1,408 feet

American robin

Apple blossom

Eastern white pine

Brook trout

Detroit

Lansing 

 $432,573 million

$43,714/capita

Ottawa or Chippewa 

 “large body of water” 

 

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

24

 Minnesota

MN   

 North Star State

Lakes-a-plenty 

May 11, 1858

Minnesotans

5,420,380

Mark Dayton

86,939sq.mi. total

79,610sq.mi. land

7,329sq.mi. water

8.4% water


62.3/sq.mi. total

68.1/sq.mi. land

739.6/sq.mi. water

2,301 feet

at Eagle Mountain

601 feet

at Lake Superior

diff.=1,700 feet

Common loon

Pink and white lady's slipper

Red Pine

Walleye

Minneapolis

St. Paul 

 $312,081 million

$57,575/capita

Dakota 

 “cloudy water” 

 

From the Minnesota River named by the Dakota Sioux.

25

 Mississippi

MS   

 Magnolia State

Magnolia Meadows 

Dec. 10, 1817

Mississippians

2,991,207

Phil Bryant

48,430sq.mi. total

46,907sq.mi. land

1,523sq.mi. water

3.1% water


61.8/sq.mi. total

63.8/sq.mi. land

1,964.0/sq.mi. water

807 feet

at Woodall Mountain

0 feet

at Gulf of Mexico

diff.=807 feet

Northern mockingbird

Magnolia

Southern magnolia

Largemouth bass

Jackson

Jackson 

 $105,163 million

$35,157/capita

Ojibwe 

 “great river” 

 

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

26

 Missouri

MO   

 Show Me State

Riverview 

Aug. 10, 1821

Missourians

6,044,171

Jay Nixon

69,704sq.mi. total

68,886sq.mi. land

818sq.mi. water

1.2% water


86.7/sq.mi. total

87.7/sq.mi. land

7,389.0/sq.mi. water

1,772 feet

at Taum Sauk Mountain

230 feet

at Saint Francis River

diff.=1,542 feet

Eastern bluebird

Hawthorn

Flowering dogwood

Channel catfish

Kansas City

Jefferson City 

 $276,345 million

$45,721/capita

Algonquian 

 “dugout canoe” 

 

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

27

 Montana

MT   

 Treasure State

Skyview 

Nov. 08, 1889

Montanan

1,015,165

Steve Bullock

147,042sq.mi. total

145,552sq.mi. land

1,490sq.mi. water

1.0% water


6.9/sq.mi. total

7.0/sq.mi. land

681.3/sq.mi. water

12,807 feet

at Granite Peak

1800 feet

at Kootenai River

diff.=11,007 feet

Western meadowlark

Hawthorn

Ponderosa pine

Cutthroat trout

Billings

Helena 

 $44,040 million

$43,382/capita

Spanish 

 “mountainous” 

 

A derivation of the Latin word “montaanus.”

28

 Nebraska

NE   

 Cornhusker State

Korn-O-copia 

Mar. 01, 1867

Nebraskans; sometimes Cornhuskers

1,868,516

Dave Heineman

77,354sq.mi. total

76,873sq.mi. land

481sq.mi. water

0.6% water


24.2/sq.mi. total

24.3/sq.mi. land

3,884.6/sq.mi. water

5,424 feet

at Panorama Point

849 feet

at Missouri River

diff.=4,575 feet

Western meadowlark

Goldenrod

Eastern cottonwood

Channel catfish

Omaha

Lincoln 

 $109,614 million

$58,664/capita

Soiux 

 “flat waters” 

 

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

29

 Nevada

NV   

 Silver State

Win-A-Lot 

Oct. 31, 1864

Nevadans

2,790,136

Brian Sandoval

110,561sq.mi. total

109,826sq.mi. land

735sq.mi. water

0.7% water


25.2/sq.mi. total

25.4/sq.mi. land

3,796.1/sq.mi. water

13,147 feet

at Boundary Peak

479 feet

at Colorado River

diff.=12,668 feet

Mountain bluebird

Sagebrush

Single-leaf Pinyon, Bristlecon

Lahontan cutthroat trout

Las Vegas

Carson City 

 $132,024 million

$47,318/capita

Spanish 

 “snow covered” 

 

After the Sierra Nevada, or “snowy range.”

30

 New Hampshire

NH   

 Granite State

Hard Rock State 

June 21, 1788

New Hampshirites; Granite Staters

1,323,459

Maggie Hassan

9,350sq.mi. total

8,968sq.mi. land

382sq.mi. water

4.1% water


141.5/sq.mi. total

147.6/sq.mi. land

3,464.6/sq.mi. water

6,288 feet

at Mount Washington

0 feet

at Atlantic Ocean

diff.=6,288 feet

Purple finch

Purple lilac

American white birch

Brook trout

Manchester

Concord 

 $67,848 million

$51,266/capita

English 

 New + name of an English county 

 

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

31

 New Jersey

NJ   

 Garden State

Consolidated Peoples 

Dec. 18, 1787

New Jerseyites; New Jerseyans

8,899,339

Chris Christie

8,721sq.mi. total

7,417sq.mi. land

1,304sq.mi. water

15.0% water


1,020.4/sq.mi. total

1,199.9/sq.mi. land

6,824.6/sq.mi. water

1,803 feet

at High Point

0 feet

at Atlantic Ocean

diff.=1,803 feet

Eastern goldfinch

Violet

Northern red oak

Brook trout

Newark

Trenton 

 $543,071 million

$61,024/capita

English 

 New + name of an island 

 

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

32

 New Mexico

NM   

 Land of Enchantment

I Can't Believe It's Not Mexico 

Jan. 06, 1912

New Mexicans

2,085,287

Susana Martinez

121,589sq.mi. total

121,355sq.mi. land

234sq.mi. water

0.2% water


17.2/sq.mi. total

17.2/sq.mi. land

8,911.5/sq.mi. water

13,167 feet

at Wheeler Peak

2842 feet

at Red Bluff Reservoir

diff.=10,325 feet

Roadrunner

Yucca flower

Piņon Pine

Rio Grande cutthroat trout

Albuquerque

Santa Fe 

 $92,245 million

$44,236/capita

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.”

33

 New York

NY   

 Empire State

DollarDaze 

July 26, 1788

New Yorkers

19,651,127

Andrew Cuomo

54,556sq.mi. total

47,214sq.mi. land

7,342sq.mi. water

13.5% water


360.2/sq.mi. total

416.2/sq.mi. land

2,676.5/sq.mi. water

5,334 feet

at Mount Marcy

0 feet

at Atlantic Ocean

diff.=5,334 feet

Eastern bluebird

Rose

Sugar maple

Brook trout

New York City

Albany 

 $1,310,712 million

$66,699/capita

English 

 New + name of an English duke 

 

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

34

 North Carolina

NC   

 Old North State

Phatlantic 

Nov. 21, 1789

North Carolinians

9,848,060

Pat McCrory

53,819sq.mi. total

48,711sq.mi. land

5,108sq.mi. water

9.5% water


183.0/sq.mi. total

202.2/sq.mi. land

1,928.0/sq.mi. water

6,684 feet

at Mount Mitchell

0 feet

at Atlantic Ocean

diff.=6,684 feet

Northern cardinal

Flowering dogwood

Pine

Channel Bass

Charlotte

Raleigh 

 $471,365 million

$47,864/capita

Latin 

 North + “Charles” 

 

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

35

 North Dakota

ND   

 Peace Garden State

Northland 

Nov. 02, 1889

North Dakotans

723,393

Jack Dalrymple

70,700sq.mi. total

68,976sq.mi. land

1,724sq.mi. water

2.4% water


10.2/sq.mi. total

10.5/sq.mi. land

419.6/sq.mi. water

3,506 feet

at White Butte

750 feet

at Red River

diff.=2,756 feet

Western meadowlark

Wild prairie rose

American elm

Northern pike

Fargo

Bismarck 

 $56,329 million

$77,868/capita

Sioux 

 North + “ally” 

 

After the Dakota tribe.

36

 Ohio

OH   

 Buckeye State

South Lake Shores 

Mar. 01, 1803

Ohioans; or Buckeyes

11,570,808

John Kasich

44,825sq.mi. total

40,948sq.mi. land

3,877sq.mi. water

8.6% water


258.1/sq.mi. total

282.6/sq.mi. land

2,984.5/sq.mi. water

1,550 feet

at Campbell Hill

455 feet

at Ohio River

diff.=1,095 feet

Northern cardinal

Scarlet carnation

Ohio buckeye

Walleye

Columbus

Columbus 

 $565,272 million

$48,853/capita

Iroquois 

 “large creek” 

 

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

37

 Oklahoma

OK   

 Sooner State

Indiana 

Nov. 16, 1907

Oklahomans

3,850,568

Mary Fallin

69,898sq.mi. total

68,667sq.mi. land

1,231sq.mi. water

1.8% water


55.1/sq.mi. total

56.1/sq.mi. land

3,128.0/sq.mi. water

4,973 feet

at Black Mesa

289 feet

at Little River

diff.=4,684 feet

Scissor-tailed flycatcher

Oklahoma rose

Eastern redbud

White bass

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City 

 $182,086 million

$47,288/capita

Choctaw 

 “red people” 

 

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

38

 Oregon

OR   

 Beaver State

Ocean View 

Feb. 14, 1859

Oregonians

3,930,065

John Kitzhaber

98,381sq.mi. total

95,997sq.mi. land

2,384sq.mi. water

2.4% water


39.9/sq.mi. total

40.9/sq.mi. land

1,648.5/sq.mi. water

11,249 feet

at Mount Hood

0 feet

at Pacific Ocean

diff.=11,249 feet

Western meadowlark

Oregon grape

Douglas fir

Chinook salmon

Portland

Salem 

 $219,590 million

$55,874/capita

Uncertain 

 “beautiful” 

 

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

39

 Pennsylvania

PA   

 Keystone State

Gettysburg Estates 

Dec. 12, 1787

Pennsylvanians

12,773,801

Tom Corbett

46,055sq.mi. total

44,816sq.mi. land

1,239sq.mi. water

2.7% water


277.4/sq.mi. total

285.0/sq.mi. land

10,309.8/sq.mi. water

3,213 feet

at Mount Davis

0 feet

at Delaware River

diff.=3,213 feet

Ruffed grouse

Mountain laurel

Eastern hemlock

Brook trout

Philadelphia

Harrisburg 

 $644,915 million

$50,487/capita

Latin 

 “Penn’s woods” 

 

After Admiral William Penn.

40

 Rhode Island

RI   

 Ocean State

MicroState 

May 29, 1790

Rhode Islanders

1,051,511

Lincoln Chafee

1,545sq.mi. total

1,045sq.mi. land

500sq.mi. water

32.4% water


680.6/sq.mi. total

1,006.2/sq.mi. land

2,103.0/sq.mi. water

812 feet

at Jerimoth Hill

0 feet

at Atlantic Ocean

diff.=812 feet

Rhode Island red chicken

Violet

Red maple

Striped bass

Providence

Providence 

 $53,184 million

$50,579/capita

Dutch 

 “red island” 

 

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

41

 South Carolina

SC   

 Palmetto State

Charlie 

May 23, 1788

South Carolinians

4,774,839

Nikki Haley

32,020sq.mi. total

30,109sq.mi. land

1,911sq.mi. water

6.0% water


149.1/sq.mi. total

158.6/sq.mi. land

2,498.6/sq.mi. water

3,560 feet

at Sassafras Mountain

0 feet

at Atlantic Ocean

diff.=3,560 feet

Carolina wren

Yellow jessamine

Sabal palm

Striped bass

Columbia

Columbia 

 $183,561 million

$38,443/capita

Latin 

 South + “Charles” 

 

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

42

 South Dakota

SD   

 Mount Rushmore State

South Northland 

Nov. 02, 1889

South Dakotans

844,877

Dennis Daugaard

77,116sq.mi. total

75,884sq.mi. land

1,232sq.mi. water

1.6% water


11.0/sq.mi. total

11.1/sq.mi. land

685.8/sq.mi. water

7,244 feet

at Harney Peak

966 feet

at Big Stone Lake

diff.=6,278 feet

Common pheasant

Pasque flower

Black Hills spruce

Walleye

Sioux Falls

Pierre 

 $46,732 million

$55,312/capita

Sioux 

 South + “ally” 

 

After the Dakota tribe.

43

 Tennessee

TN   

 Volunteer State

Opry-Tune-Itee 

June 01, 1796

Tennesseans

6,495,978

Bill Haslam

42,143sq.mi. total

41,217sq.mi. land

926sq.mi. water

2.2% water


154.1/sq.mi. total

157.6/sq.mi. land

7,015.1/sq.mi. water

6,643 feet

at Clingmans Dome

178 feet

at Mississippi River

diff.=6,465 feet

Northern mockingbird

Iris

Tulip-tree

Largemouth bass

Memphis

Nashville 

 $287,633 million

$44,279/capita

Cherokee 

 possibly “river with a big bend” 

 

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

44

 Texas

TX   

 Lone Star State

Superultramax 

Dec. 29, 1845

Texans

26,448,193

Rick Perry

268,581sq.mi. total

261,797sq.mi. land

6,784sq.mi. water

2.5% water


98.5/sq.mi. total

101.0/sq.mi. land

3,898.6/sq.mi. water

8,751 feet

at Guadalupe Peak

0 feet

at Gulf of Mexico

diff.=8,751 feet

Northern mockingbird

Texas bluebonnet

Pecan

Guadalupe bass

Houston

Austin 

 $1,532,623 million

$57,948/capita

Caddo 

 “friend” 

 

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

45

 Utah

UT   

 Beehive State

Salterra 

Jan. 04, 1896

Utahns or Utahans

2,900,872

Gary Herbert

84,899sq.mi. total

82,144sq.mi. land

2,755sq.mi. water

3.2% water


34.2/sq.mi. total

35.3/sq.mi. land

1,052.9/sq.mi. water

13,528 feet

at Kings Peak

2000 feet

at Beaver Dam Wash

diff.=11,528 feet

California gull

Sego lily

Blue spruce

Bonneville cutthroat trout

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City 

 $141,240 million

$48,689/capita

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.

46

 Vermont

VT   

 Green Mountain State

Ethan Allendale 

Mar. 04, 1791

Vermonters

626,630

Peter Shumlin

9,614sq.mi. total

9,249sq.mi. land

365sq.mi. water

3.8% water


65.2/sq.mi. total

67.8/sq.mi. land

1,716.8/sq.mi. water

4,395 feet

at Mount Mansfield

95 feet

at Lake Champlain

diff.=4,300 feet

Hermit thrush

Red clover

Sugar maple

Brook trout, walleye

Burlington

Montpelier 

 $29,509 million

$47,092/capita

French 

 “green mountain” 

 

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

47

 Virginia

VA   

 Old Dominion State

Washington 

June 25, 1788

Virginians

8,260,405

Terry McAuliffe

42,774sq.mi. total

39,594sq.mi. land

3,180sq.mi. water

7.4% water


193.1/sq.mi. total

208.6/sq.mi. land

2,597.6/sq.mi. water

5,729 feet

at Mount Rogers

0 feet

at Atlantic Ocean

diff.=5,729 feet

Northern cardinal

American dogwood

Flowering dogwood

Brook trout

Virginia Beach

Richmond 

 $452,585 million

$54,790/capita

Latin 

 “country of the Virgin” 

 

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

48

 Washington

WA   

 Evergreen State

Kountry Korner 

Nov. 11, 1889

Washingtonians

6,971,406

Jay Inslee

71,300sq.mi. total

66,544sq.mi. land

4,756sq.mi. water

6.7% water


97.8/sq.mi. total

104.8/sq.mi. land

1,465.8/sq.mi. water

14,410 feet

at Mount Rainier

0 feet

at Pacific Ocean

diff.=14,410 feet

Willow goldfinch

Coast rhododendron

Western hemlock

Steelhead trout

Seattle

Olympia 

 $408,049 million

$58,532/capita

English 

 English surname 

 

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

49

 West Virginia

WV   

 Mountain State

Friendly Folks 

June 20, 1863

West Virginians

1,854,304

Earl Ray Tomblin

24,230sq.mi. total

24,078sq.mi. land

152sq.mi. water

0.6% water


76.5/sq.mi. total

77.0/sq.mi. land

12,199.4/sq.mi. water

4,863 feet

at Spruce Knob

0 feet

at Potomac River

diff.=4,863 feet

Northern cardinal

Rhododendron

Sugar maple

Brook trout

Charleston

Charleston 

 $73,970 million

$39,891/capita

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.

50

 Wisconsin

WI   

 Badger State

Dairy Kween 

May 29, 1848

Wisconsinites

5,742,713

Scott Walker

65,498sq.mi. total

54,310sq.mi. land

11,188sq.mi. water

17.1% water


87.7/sq.mi. total

105.7/sq.mi. land

513.3/sq.mi. water

1,951 feet

at Timms Hill

579 feet

at Lake Michigan

diff.=1,372 feet

American robin

Wood violet

Sugar maple

Muskellunge

Milwaukee

Madison 

 $282,486 million

$49,190/capita

Chippewa 

 possibly “grassy place” 

 

After the Wisconsin River. Origin is uncertain.

51

 Wyoming

WY   

 Equality State

Fin and Fur 

July 10, 1890

Wyomingites

582,658

Matt Mead

97,814sq.mi. total

97,101sq.mi. land

713sq.mi. water

0.7% water


6.0/sq.mi. total

6.0/sq.mi. land

817.2/sq.mi. water

13,809 feet

at Gannett Peak

3099 feet

at Belle Fourche River

diff.=10,710 feet

Western meadowlark

Indian paintbrush

Plains cottonwood

Cutthroat trout

Cheyenne

Cheyenne 

 $45,432 million

$77,974/capita

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.


 
 

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