US State Capitals by Population 2018

Although Arizona is not one of the most populous states in the US, it has by far the highest state capital population in the country with close to 1.7 million people living in Phoenix, up from just under 1.5 million in 2010. Austin, Texas is a distant second with around 900,000 residents as of 2018, and Columbus, Ohio comes in third with approximately 860,000 residents.

The vast majority of state capitals have fewer than 500,000 residents. This includes the capitals of some of the largest and most populous states. For example, Florida is one of the most highly populated states, but its capital, Tallahassee, has a population of just 193,000. New York City is the largest city in the US, but New York state capital Albany has fewer than 100,000 residents.

Some of the largest states also have some of the smallest state capitals, including Cheyenne, Wyoming (65,249), Helena, Montana (32,285), and Juneau, Alaska (32,198). These numbers reflect the fact that, although these states are geographically large, they are much more remote and sparsely populated than many other areas of the United States.

Interestingly, most of the state capital population numbers have stayed relatively stable when the 2010 and 2018 census data is compared. Outside of the top ten, which all show fairly substantial population increases, quite a few state capitals show increases of only a few thousand. Little Rock, Arkansas went from 193,524 in 2010 to 199,233 in 2018, Lansing, Michigan rose from 109,563 to 113,348, and Olympia, Washington increased its population from 46,478 to 53,144.

Some state capitals, including Charleston (West Virginia), Jefferson City (Missouri), and Montpelier (Vermont) – also the smallest state capital with around 7,500 residents – saw population decreases, possibly reflecting changing demographics and opportunities within these areas in the economically challenging years of the first half of the decade.

State Name 2010 Census 2018 Population
AlabamaMontgomery205,764198,232
AlaskaJuneau31,27532,198
ArizonaPhoenix1,445,6321,679,243
ArkansasLittle Rock193,524199,233
CaliforniaSacramento466,488507,298
ColoradoDenver600,158719,116
ConnecticutHartford124,775121,991
DelawareDover36,04738,414
FloridaTallahassee181,376193,078
GeorgiaAtlanta 420,003491,626
HawaiiHonolulu337,256351,280
IdahoBoise City205,671228,900
IllinoisSpringfield116,250114,219
IndianaIndianapolis820,445860,902
IowaDes Moines 203,433216,788
KansasTopeka127,473125,838
KentuckyFrankfort25,52728,105
LouisianaBaton Rouge229,493226,505
MaineAugusta19,13618,534
MarylandAnnapolis38,39439,342
MassachusettsBoston617,594687,584
MichiganLansing 114,297118,242
MinnesotaSt. Paul285,068308,138
MississippiJackson 173,514165,608
MissouriJefferson City 43,07942,623
MontanaHelena28,19032,285
NebraskaLincoln258,379287,870
NevadaCarson City55,27455,416
New HampshireConcord42,69543,428
New JerseyTrenton84,91383,798
New MexicoSanta Fe67,94785,053
New YorkAlbany97,85697,797
North CarolinaRaleigh 403,892476,746
North DakotaBismarck61,27274,711
OhioColumbus 787,033880,182
OklahomaOklahoma City 579,999653,865
OregonSalem 154,637173,819
PennsylvaniaHarrisburg49,52848,572
Rhode IslandProvidence178,042179,653
South CarolinaColumbia 129,272134,969
South DakotaPierre13,64614,070
TennesseeNashville-Davidson601,222673,008
TexasAustin 790,390983,366
UtahSalt Lake City186,440198,356
VermontMontpelier7,8557,413
VirginiaRichmond204,214230,254
WashingtonOlympia46,47853,144
West VirginiaCharleston51,40047,908
WisconsinMadison233,209260,427
WyomingCheyenne59,46665,249