US State Capitals by Population 2019

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.

Rank State 2019 Pop. 2019 Growth 2018 Pop. 2010 Census Growth Since 2010 % of US Capital
1California39,747,2670.48%39,557,04537,320,9036.50%11.96%Sacramento
2Texas29,087,0701.34%28,701,84525,242,67915.23%8.75%Austin
3Florida21,646,1551.63%21,299,32518,845,78514.86%6.51%Tallahassee
4New York19,491,339-0.26%19,542,20919,400,0800.47%5.86%Albany
5Pennsylvania12,813,9690.05%12,807,06012,711,1580.81%3.86%Harrisburg
6Illinois12,700,381-0.32%12,741,08012,840,762-1.09%3.82%Springfield
7Ohio11,718,5680.25%11,689,44211,539,3271.55%3.53%Columbus
8Georgia10,627,7671.03%10,519,4759,711,8109.43%3.20%Atlanta
9North Carolina10,497,7411.10%10,383,6209,574,2939.65%3.16%Raleigh
10Michigan10,020,4720.25%9,995,9159,877,5351.45%3.01%Lansing
11New Jersey8,922,5470.16%8,908,5208,799,6241.40%2.68%Trenton
12Virginia8,571,9460.64%8,517,6858,023,6806.83%2.58%Richmond
13Washington7,666,3431.74%7,535,5916,742,90213.70%2.31%Olympia
14Arizona7,275,0701.44%7,171,6466,407,77413.54%2.19%Phoenix
15Massachusetts6,939,3730.54%6,902,1496,566,4315.68%2.09%Boston
16Tennessee6,833,7930.94%6,770,0106,355,3017.53%2.06%Nashville-Davidson
17Indiana6,718,6160.40%6,691,8786,490,4363.52%2.02%Indianapolis
18Missouri6,147,8610.35%6,126,4525,995,9762.53%1.85%Jefferson City
19Maryland6,062,9170.33%6,042,7185,788,6424.74%1.82%Annapolis
20Wisconsin5,832,6610.33%5,813,5685,690,4792.50%1.75%Madison
21Colorado5,770,5451.32%5,695,5645,048,28114.31%1.74%Denver
22Minnesota5,655,9250.80%5,611,1795,310,8436.50%1.70%St. Paul
23South Carolina5,147,1111.24%5,084,1274,635,65611.03%1.55%Columbia
24Alabama4,898,2460.21%4,887,8714,785,4482.36%1.47%Montgomery
25Louisiana4,652,581-0.16%4,659,9784,544,5322.38%1.40%Baton Rouge
26Kentucky4,484,0470.35%4,468,4024,348,2003.12%1.35%Frankfort
27Oregon4,245,9011.32%4,190,7133,837,53210.64%1.28%Salem
28Oklahoma3,948,9500.15%3,943,0793,759,6325.04%1.19%Oklahoma City
29Connecticut3,567,871-0.13%3,572,6653,579,125-0.31%1.07%Hartford
30Utah3,221,6101.91%3,161,1052,775,33416.08%0.97%Salt Lake City
31Iowa3,167,9970.38%3,156,1453,050,7673.84%0.95%Des Moines
32Puerto Rico3,113,659-2.55%3,195,1533,721,525-16.33%0.94%-
33Nevada3,087,0251.73%3,034,3922,702,46414.23%0.93%Carson City
34Arkansas3,026,4120.42%3,013,8252,921,9783.57%0.91%Little Rock
35Mississippi2,987,8950.05%2,986,5302,970,5360.58%0.90%Jackson
36Kansas2,910,931-0.02%2,911,5052,858,2131.84%0.88%Topeka
37New Mexico2,096,0340.03%2,095,4282,064,5881.52%0.63%Santa Fe
38Nebraska1,940,9190.60%1,929,2681,829,5366.09%0.58%Lincoln
39West Virginia1,791,951-0.77%1,805,8321,854,214-3.36%0.54%Charleston
40Idaho1,790,1822.05%1,754,2081,570,77313.97%0.54%Boise City
41Hawaii1,416,589-0.27%1,420,4911,363,9633.86%0.43%Honolulu
42New Hampshire1,363,8520.55%1,356,4581,316,7773.58%0.41%Concord
43Maine1,342,0970.28%1,338,4041,327,6321.09%0.40%Augusta
44Montana1,074,5321.15%1,062,305990,7228.46%0.32%Helena
45Rhode Island1,056,738-0.05%1,057,3151,053,9380.27%0.32%Providence
46Delaware975,0330.81%967,171899,5958.39%0.29%Dover
47South Dakota892,6311.18%882,235816,1659.37%0.27%Pierre
48North Dakota760,9000.11%760,077674,71012.77%0.23%Bismarck
49Alaska735,720-0.23%737,438713,9063.06%0.22%Juneau
50District of Columbia711,5711.30%702,455605,08517.60%0.21%-
51Vermont627,1800.14%626,299625,8800.21%0.19%Montpelier
52Wyoming572,381-0.93%577,737564,4831.40%0.17%Cheyenne