US States - Ranked by Population 2022

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What are the most populated states in the United States? Here is a list of the top ten most populated states in the country:

  1. California (Population: 39,613,493)
  2. Texas (Population: 29,730,311)
  3. Florida (Population: 21,944,577)
  4. New York (Population: 19,299,981)
  5. Pennsylvania (Population: 12,804,123)
  6. Illinois (Population: 12,569,321)
  7. Ohio (Population: 11,714,618)
  8. Georgia (Population: 10,830,007)
  9. North Carolina (Population: 10,701,022)
  10. Michigan (Population: 9,992,427)

And what about least populated? What are the least populated states in the United States? Here is a list of the top ten least populated states in the country:

  1. Wyoming (Population: 581,075)
  2. Vermont (Population: 623,251)
  3. District of Columbia (Population: 714,153)
  4. Alaska (Population: 724,357)
  5. North Dakota (Population: 770,026)
  6. South Dakota (Population: 896,581)
  7. Delaware (Population: 990,334)
  8. Rhode Island (Population: 1,061,509)
  9. Montana (Population: 1,085,004)
  10. Maine (Population: 1,354,522)

As of spring 2021, the population of the United States is approximately 331,449,281. This population is distributed unevenly across 50 states. Generally, states that are around the country’s border – West Coast, East Coast, and southern states – are the most populous. States that are more interior, such as those in the Great Plains and Midwest, tend to be less populous. However, there are some exceptions, such as Illinois, which is in the Midwest but has a high population, mainly centered in the Chicago area.

By far, the most populous state in the United States is California. It has nearly 40 million residents, comprising a whopping 12% of the country’s population. If California were a country, it would have the eighth largest economy in the world and the 36th highest population.

Next in line is Texas, which has about 29.7 million residents; however, Texas has a growth rate of 3.85% per year, while California’s growth rate is a fraction of that at 0.38%. Since 2010, the population of Texas has increased by over 15%! After California and Texas comes Florida, with a population of about 21.9 million. It is also growing rapidly, with a growth rate of 3.30% per year.

New York is the fourth most populous in the country. Out of a population of 20 million, about half of its residents live in New York City. States in New England, along the Northeast seaboard, tend to be quite small geographically but with higher populations. Rhode Island is the smallest state by land mass, but it has a higher population than many larger states, including Alaska (the largest state by land mass), Montana, and Wyoming. Montana, though it has a vastly larger land mass than Rhode Island, has 10,000 fewer residents.

The smallest state by population is Wyoming, with fewer than 600,000 residents and a negative growth rate of 0.60% per year. Other states with negative population growths include Louisiana, Connecticut, Kansas, West Virginia, Hawaii, and Alaska. Surprisingly, despite the presence of the massive cities of New York City and Chicago, both New York and Illinois are experiencing negative population growths. Puerto Rico is not a state, but it is also experiencing negative population growth.

Most states are currently experiencing population growth, the greatest of which can be seen in Idaho, at 6.26%. Nevada and Arizona also have high population growth this year, at 5.23% and 5.06%, respectively.

Please note that the numbers in this article may be slightly different from the most recent projections in the table below or elsewhere, as they are only updated every so often.

US States - Ranked by Population 2022

District of Columbia and Puerto Rico

US States - Ranked by Population 2022


The 2010 census concluded that the state of Alabama had a population of 4,785,448, which increased in the 2018 assessment by 2.36% to 4,887,871 people. The most recent estimates that Alabama’s 2019 population has grown an additional 0.21% to 4,898,246 people. With this estimate, Alabama comprises approximately 1.47% of the entire US population.

Alabama’s population places it at the 24th most populated state in the United States with an above-average density of 97 people per square mile. Montgomery, the state capital, has shown slow yet consistent growth in population and currently is home to approximately 205,000 people. However, the largest city in Alabama by population is Birmingham.


Alaska is a unique state due to its unusual daylight schedule and extreme cold. Though it is the largest state in area, it is nearly the least populated state at 735,720 people. That means it only makes up 0.22% of the entire US population! To give you more detail, the area of Alaska is 663,267 square miles, and the next largest state is Texas, at 268,581 square miles. The only area in the US less populated than Alaska is the District of Columbia, with the difference being less than 25,000 people! The largest city in Alaska, Anchorage, houses over 40% of the total Alaskan population.

The state of Alaska is one of 11 that have seen a decline in its growth in its 2019 population, though its overall growth since the 2010 census indicates an increase of approximately 3.06% from 713,906 people. The drop is measured to be 0.23%, bringing the population down from 737, 438 in 2018.


The latest census estimates the population of Arizona to be around 7,275,070 people in 2019, indicating a growth rate of about 1.44% from the 2018 population of 7,171,646 people. Arizona has seen significant growth since the 2010 census, with figures demonstrating a 13.54% growth rate. This figure makes Arizona the fourth fastest growing state of 2018.

Between July 2017 and July 2018, Maricopa County added over 81,000 people, equal to more than 200 people per day. Home to cities including Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Tempe, Glendale, and many more, Maricopa County was the fourth most populated county in the US and attracted more net migration than any other county in the US. Despite this growth, Arizona still has a below-average population density of 64 people per square mile.


Arkansas, with a name derived from the Siouan Quapaw Indians, is a landlocked state with diverse geography spanning the mountainous regions of the Ozarks to the forests of the Arkansas Timberlands, to the lowlands of the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.

Based on the 2010 census, Arkansas has grown 3.57% in population from 2.9 million people to 3,013,825 in 2018 and 3,026,412 people in 2019. The population density is below average at 58 people per square mile, making Arkansas the 34th most populated state in the country. Little Rock serves as the state’s capital and is the state’s largest city in terms of population, with almost 200,000 residents.


California is the most populated state in the US, boasting a population of 39,747,267 people and making up almost 12% of the entire nation’s population. Since the 2010 census, California has experienced a 6.5% growth rate. The Golden State has an extremely dense population for its size and is ranked the 13th highest population dense state, with 255 people per square mile. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation’s 2nd and 5th most populated urban areas respectively, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents. Los Angeles is California’s most heavily populated city and the United States’ second most populated city after New York City.

The state of California has an economy larger than that of any other state and is the second-largest sub-national economy in the world after Sao Paulo in Brazil. California is bordered by Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and Baja California and is on the Western coast of the US, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.


Located at the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the Centennial State has seen considerable growth since the 2010 census numbers. Its 2018 population grew by 14.31% to 5,695,564 people from 5,048,281 in 2010. The growth trend continues, as 2019 saw another 1.32% increase in the population to over 5.7 million. This current trend is even threatening to cause housing shortages and increased traffic! Despite this growth, Colorado still has a below average population density even though the state itself is the eighth largest state in the USA. The harsh terrain and climate as well as the vast Rocky Mountain range are most likely the rationale for this figure.


Situated along the Eastern seaboard, Connecticut is one of the six states that comprise the American “New England.” This state is a rare case that has experienced consistent decreases in population since the 2010 census. There are only three other cases like this: Illinois, West Virginia, and the territory of Puerto Rico. Connecticut’s decrease in growth rate has been gradual, though the population has shrunk from 3,579,125 in 2010 to 3,567,871 in 2019. The state does have an extremely high population density for its size, however; its 737 people per square mile are far above the average 87 per square mile. This figure is surprising considering the state is ranked 48th out of 50 for smallest area.


Delaware, the smallest state second only to Rhode Island, is home to less than one million individuals. According to the 2018 census, Delaware’s population increased from 899,595 in 2010 to 967,171 in 2018, then to 975,033 based on the 2019 census. Though Delaware is small, its population density is far above the 87 people per square mile; in this little state, there are 500 people every square mile. There are only 1,982 square miles throughout the entire state. Although Dover is the capital, the largest city is Wilmington. Alaska and Delaware are comparable in their population size: 0.22% and 0.29% of the U.S. respectively, though their population densities and the size of the states are wildly different.

The District of Columbia

The District of Columbia, or informally known as Washington, D.C., is the capital of the United States. The word “District” refers to the area created that is not technically a state but is a federal designation. For statistical purposes, the census bureau treats the District of Columbia as a state-equivalent. This area is unique in that commuters from surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city’s daytime population to more than one million during the workweek, though the actual residential population according to the 2019 census is 711,571. This number shows small growth of 1.3% from the 2018 population of 702,455.

Washington, D.C., has the highest population density in the country of 11,665 people per square mile based on its very small area.


Florida is the third most populous state in the nation, with 21,646,155 people according to the 2019 census. This figure indicates over 15% growth since the 2010 census estimate of 18,845,785 people. Florida’s many beaches and warm climate make it the state a trendy spot for vacations and those who want to live in that matter all year long. The Sunshine State is so loved that the census projections for 2020 place the Floridian population at over 22 million.

Jacksonville alone has a population of over 900,000 people, which is more than the populations of Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, and the District of Columbia. Tallahassee, the state capital, has a population of almost 200,000 people. The population density in the state of Florida, which is 404 people per square mile, is over 4.5 times the national average.


Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River. It is the eighth-most populated state in the US with a current estimate of 10.63 million residents, surpassing Michigan’s rank as number eight and representing approximately 3.2% of the American populace.

Located in the southeastern corner of the North American continent, Georgia is the 21st largest state in total size (by land area). Its population density is above average at around 185 people per square mile, with the average being around 87. The most populated city in Georgia is Atlanta. Its most populated county is Fulton County with over one million residents, making it almost twice the population of Wyoming. The state of Georgia is divided into 159 counties in total; that amount is almost more than any other state except for Texas, which has 254 counties. Georgia’s least populated county is Taliferro County, with only 1608 people living in the entire 195 square miles.


Hawaii’s population is currently estimated at around 1,416,589, making it the 41st most populated state in the US. This estimate actually represents a 0.27% decrease from the 2018 estimate of 1,420,491. There are eight major islands in Hawaii: Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe. All are populated except for the last. Honolulu is the largest city and county in Hawaii, claiming nearly 350,399 people of Oahu on its own.

Hawaii is also home to the smallest county in the US: Kalawao County. Kalawao County has a landmass of a mere 13.21 square miles and is considered the smallest administrative unit in the United States that can be considered a county. It has a population of 88! Though Hawaii is small, it is a beautiful and desirable land, which accounts for its high population density: 221 people per square mile across its 10,931 square miles.


Idaho is one of the largest states in the US, though its population does not match its landmass. With a population density of only 22 people per square mile for all 82,747 square miles of it, Idaho is only home to approximately 1.79 million US residents. Only six other states in the US have a lower population density than this: Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, North and South Dakota, and New Mexico. The current population also reflects growth from 2018 of about 2.05%, from 1.75 million.

Idaho’s sparse population can be attributed to the Rocky Mountains and expansive lakes, as well as Hell’s Canyon, which is deeper than the Grand Canyon at 7,900 feet. The most populated city in Idaho is the capital city, Boise, at around 218,281 people. The least populated city in Idaho, Warm River, has a staggering population of three.


The Illinois population is estimated to be about 12,700,381 people as of 2019, indicating a negative growth rate of 0.32% from 2018’s estimate of 12,741,080. Surprisingly, Illinois is one of the four states that have shown a decrease from the 2010 consensus and the 2018 consensus. This state saw immense growth throughout the 19th century, but despite its current decrease in population, Illinois remains the sixth most populated state in the U.S.

The total area of Illinois is over 57,900 square miles with a population density of 230 people per square mile, though most of the population is heavily concentrated in the northeastern area of the state, in the metropolitan area of Chicago. Chicago’s population is approximately 2.72 million people, which is close to the size of the entire state of Kansas. The smallest county in Illinois, Hardin County, is home to 3,910 people.


Indiana, the Hoosier state, known for its rustic individualism, shares its northern border with Michigan, eastern border with Ohio, the southern and southeastern border with Kentucky, and western border with Illinois. It is estimated to have a population of about 6,718,616, demonstrating a growth rate of around 0.4% from the 2018 estimate and making up just over 2% of the U.S. population as a whole.

The state of Indiana covers 36,418 square miles, making it the 38th largest state by land area; however, its population makes it the 16th most densely populated state in the country, with a population density of 181 people per square mile. The largest city in Indiana is its capital, Indianapolis, with over 863,700 residents, making it more populated than North Dakota on its own. Indiana’s smallest city is Liberty, with a population of only 2,061 residents as of 2019.


Located in the Midwestern United States, Iowa shares its borders with Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota. The state has 99 counties and is the 31st most populated state in the U.S, though it is the 23rd largest state by landmass.

Iowa’s 2010 census estimated a population of 3,050,767, while the most recent estimates indicate a growth rate of about 3.84% with a current population of 3,167,997. Iowa’s population is sparse, with a population density below average: 57 people per square mile as opposed to the average of 87 people per square mile. The low population density can be ascribed to the large farmland areas in the state. Because the state’s economy is mainly agriculture-based, Iowa’s farmlands are in high demand.

The state capital, Des Moines, is the most populated city in the state, with a population over 217,400 people, and was once designated as the Wealthiest City in America. Urbana, Iowa, however, is the smallest city in the state and houses less than 1,500 residents.


Located nearly in the center of the United States, Kansas is estimated to have a population of approximately 2.9 million people. This number shows a slight growth rate of about 1.8% from the 2010 estimated population of 2.85 million, making it the 36th most populated state. In terms of landmass, however, Kansas is the 13th largest state, covering over 81,800 square miles. Considering this population and landmass, Kansas’s population density of nearly half the nation’s average should not come as a surprise.

The state actually has over 6,000 ghost towns due to the migration from the countryside to the cities, also known as rural flight. The metropolitan cities, however, are quickly growing. Wichita, for example, boasts a population of almost 400,000 residents and is home to the states’ largest airport: Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport.


Kentucky, which was previously a part of Virginia, became its own territory and has now grown and developed to become the 26th most populated state in the U.S. with a population of 4,484,047 people. This number represents an approximate growth of 3.12% from the 2010 census estimated population.

Also known as the Bluegrass State, Kentucky is the 36th largest state in area, covering 39,728 square miles. The population density of 114 people per square mile indicates an above-average density that is surprisingly equal across rural and urban areas, though rural areas experience higher levels of poverty throughout the state.

The counties in Kentucky show an interesting mix of growth and decline, though the state shows an overall growth rate in terms of population. The largest county, Jefferson County, shows a growth rate of 3.84%, which is close to the state’s overall growth rate from 2010 of 3.12%. Scott County showed the most substantial growth rate of 18.51% with a population size of 56,000. However, the county with the most significant decline was Martin County with a decrease of 12.31%, though its population is only 11,323 and not likely to profoundly impact the overall state population.


Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, in the Mississippi River Delta, Louisiana is home to approximately 4,652,581 people as of 2019, spread across 64 parishes. It is the 25th largest state in the United States in terms of population. Despite the capital being Baton Rouge, the city of New Orleans is the largest regarding both population and area size.

Though the population rate for the state of Louisiana has increased by 2.38% since the nationwide census in 2010 from a population of approximately 4,544,532 to 4,659,978 in 2018, the growth did decrease slightly in 2019 by 0.159%. These current calculations equate to 108 people per square mile, which is higher than the US average of 87 people per square mile. However, only 11 out of the 52 regions, counting DC and the territory of Puerto Rico, decreased in population from 2018 to 2019, including Louisiana.


Sitting at the most northeastern tip of the U.S., Maine, or the Pine Tree State, is one of the top ten least populated states in the U.S., though it has shown slight growth over the last ten years. The population of Maine is estimated to be 1,342,097 people, up about 1.09% from the 2010 census estimate.

Its natural landscape of mountains and a rocky coastline can easily explain the low population density of almost half the nation’s average: Maine’s 44 people per square mile to the average of 87 people. This figure does make it the least densely populated state in New England, however.

Over half of the state’s population resides in the Portland metropolitan area, accounting for nearly 70,000 residents. The smallest city, Eastport, is actually the easternmost city in the United States. It has just over 1,200 residents and consists almost entirely of islands connected by causeways.


Maryland may be one of the smallest states in the country, but it is certainly no small matter. It may not have the size, but it makes up for it in population size and density. With an estimated 6.06 million people, Maryland is the 19th most populated state in the U.S. over a mere 9,774 square miles. This figure accounts for a population density of 625 people per square mile – over seven times the national average! This state is the 7th densest population distribution in the U.S. The tiny state’s population hasn’t stopped growing, either: population projections show an estimate of 6.3 million by 2020.

The state is divided into 23 counties, 16 of which border tidal water. The most populated county is Montgomery Country, with over a million people residing and a growth rate of 7.81% since 2010. The entire county, for comparison, has the same population as the whole state of Rhode Island. Rhode Island has about one-sixth of the people as Maryland but is only about one-tenth of its size in landmass.


Despite being the 6th smallest state in the country in size, Massachusetts is one of the most populated states in the U.S. Its population is estimated to be around 6.94 million, up from the 6.54 million estimate from the 2010 census.

The tiny state’s population does a great job of covering every available inch of its 7,840 square miles of land, as its population density of 890 people per square mile is over 10 times the national average! Massachusetts alone makes up for about 2.09% of the U.S. population, making it the most populous of the New England states and the fastest growing one as well.

Massachusetts classifies its municipalities as cities or towns, and with this structure, the smallest town in the state is Gosnold in Dukes County with a population of only 75 people. Boston, the capital, is fittingly the most populated city with an estimated population of 694,784.


Surrounded by the Great Lakes, Michigan is a Midwestern state and the only U.S. state to consist of two peninsulas. As of 2019, this state had an estimated population of 10.02 million people and accounted for about 3% of the U.S. population, showing a population growth rate of approximately 1.45% from 2010’s figure of 9,877,535. Michigan’s population is somewhat dense, with an average of 177 people per square mile, making it the 20th most densely populated state.

The largest city in Michigan is Detroit, the Motor City, with a population of around 662,000 people. Unfortunately, due to a failing automobile-based economy, Detroit has been experiencing urban decay at an exponential rate. Many of the residents leaving the city do not actually leave the state; they move to the suburbs, though the figures do undeniably show some residents leaving the state altogether.


Located in the northern Midwest of the United States, Minnesota’s population is estimated to be around 5,655,925 in 2019. The last confirmed population numbers were in 2010’s census, with a population of 5,310,843, indicating a population growth of 6.5%.

The state’s population density is surprisingly below average at 71 people per square mile as opposed to the average of 87, though that may be attributed to the states large surface area: 79,610 square miles. Minnesota’s geography also contributes to a lower population density than average, considering the large bodies of water and mountainous regions across its landscape. About 60% of the population resides within the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, with the remaining 40% dispersed across the rest of the counties and rural areas of the state. The least populated city in Minnesota is Rush City, with a population of only 3,186 residents.


Located in the southeastern region of the United States, Mississippi is the 35th most populated state with 2,987,895 people. That estimate shows an approximate growth of 0.58% since 2010. Mississippi’s population density of 64 people per square mile is below the national average of 87, as the state residents tend to be widely spread and live in mostly rural areas. The state is bordered by Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Jackson, the state capital, is the only city in Mississippi with a population above 100,000, and the most populated county in the state has been decreasing in size since 2010. Areas with populations of up to 300 are classified as villages, and Mississippi has one named Satartia with only 55 inhabitants. The main reason the state is losing population, though there is not a discernible growth rate decrease, is due to the attractiveness of job markets elsewhere.


The landlocked state of Missouri is bordered by eight other states: Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. It covers 68,886 square miles and has an estimated population of 6,147,861 people, providing an approximate population density near the national average of 87 people per square mile. Missouri has experienced a 2.53% growth rate in population since the 2010 census estimate and is projected to reach 6.8 million in 2030.

Missouri’s current population estimate ranks it as the 18th most populated state in the country, though the population is unevenly spread. The large urban areas have a population density that can reach over 5,000 people per square mile! Missouri does also have a higher rural population than average, with approximately a third of its inhabitants living in rural areas. Kansas City, Missouri’s largest city, is the sixth-largest city in the Midwest and has an estimated population of about 501,094. The state has seven counties under 5,000 residents: Worth County, Mercer County, Knox County, and Holt County. They have all seen decreases in population since 2010, with Holt County seeing the most dramatic decline at -10.4%.


Montana, one of the “Big Sky Country” states, is one of the county’s top ten least populated states, with an approximate population of 1,074,532. It has experienced a significant growth rate since the 2010 census of 8.46%, though it remains sparsely populated. Its population density is the third smallest in the country, at a shocking three people per square mile. This low population density can be attributed to its geography, which is largely unsuitable to development.

Montana is the only US state to share borders with three Canadian provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. Counties with 6 or fewer people per square mile are designated as frontier counties, and forty-six of Montana’s fifty-six counties fall into this category.

There are a few large urban areas in the state, and they seem to be growing quickly, while the rural areas are slowly becoming less populated. This trend is a common trend in many states. The largest city in Montana is Billings, home to 110,668 residents. The smallest city, which could be technically classified as a village, is Ismay, with 21 people in residence.


Nebraska is the fifteenth largest state by land area and the 38th most populated state in the country. It covers 76,872 square miles and is home to 1.94 million residents, indicating a growth rate of around 6.09% since the 2010 census. 89% of Nebraska’s cities have less than 3,000 people, which is similar to five other Midwestern states, but many of Nebraska’s towns have fewer than 1,000 residents. Only one city in the state has a population of over 300,000: Omaha. Its population is estimated at 452,061, which is nearly twice that of the state’s capital, Lincoln.

The state’s average population density is estimated to be around 25 people per square mile, which is far below the nation’s average of 87. Nebraska’s counties continue to report declining numbers as the more urban areas experience growth. For example, Cortland, Nebraska’s smallest city in terms of population, only has 466 residents.


The landlocked state of Nevada covers 109,826 square miles of land area, making it the seventh-largest state in the country. This state is very sparsely filled; there are only eight states less densely populated than Nevada: Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, North and South Dakota, New Mexico, Idaho, and Nebraska.

Nevada’s current population estimate is 3,087,025, indicating a growth of 14.23% from 2010’s census numbers. A small number of the population lives in rural areas, and the rural culture of Nevada is incredibly different from that of the metropolitan areas such as Reno and Las Vegas. These metropolitan areas tend to be the most populated in Nevada.

Nevada’s capital, Carson City, with a population of 54,521, is classified as an independent city and does not belong to any of the state’s seventeen counties. The largest city in Nevada is Las Vegas, with a population of 664,304 people. Las Vegas is the 28th most populated city in the United States and is famous for its hotels, casinos, shopping centers, and fine dining.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire is one of the six New England states in the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and the Canadian province, Quebec. It is also the seventh smallest state by landmass and the tenth least populated state. New Hampshire was one of the original 13 states, which has assisted in its historical tourism to a certain extent.

Though there only six states smaller than New Hampshire in size, its population density more than makes up for it with an average of 152 people per square mile. The estimated population of New Hampshire is 1.36 million, with a 3.58% growth rate from the 2010 estimate.

The largest city in the state is Manchester, which is also the largest city in northern New England, with a population of 111,826. The smallest city in New Hampshire is Franklin, with 8,492, though many cities have approximately 10,000 residents in the area.

New Jersey

New Jersey is one of the original thirteen colonies. The only states smaller than New Jersey are Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Hawaii in terms of landmass. New Jersey is bordered to the south by the Atlantic Ocean and is situated on the northeastern edge of the United States. Its estimated population in 2019 is 8,922,547, up 1.4% from 8,799,624 in 2010.

New Jersey’s territory is highly utilized, with an incredibly high population density of 1213 people per square mile, making it the most densely populated state in the United States. The only area more densely populated in the country is the District of Columbia, which is not technically a state. Every county in New Jersey is considered urban by the Census Bureau.

Despite the state’s high population density, there are only four cities with a population above 100,000: Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, and Elizabeth. Most of New Jersey’s population lives in counties near New York City, Philadelphia, and the Jersey Shore.

New Mexico

New Mexico’s growth rate is 0.64% annually, ranking it 30th in the country. The 2010 nationwide census estimated New Mexico’s population to be approximately 2,059,179, which was the first time the people had exceeded two million. The estimate represented an impressive 14.5% increase in the estimated population from a decade earlier.

New Mexico is the fifth-largest state by land area, covering 121,356 square miles. In 2019, the population was estimated to be 2,096,034, which means the population is very sparsely distributed. New Mexico’s average population density is only 17 people per square mile, far below the national average of 87 people per square mile. In fact, New Mexico is the sixth most sparsely populated territory in the country. Its mountain ranges, deserts, and abundant forests make for difficult residential terrain. Most of the state’s residents are located in Bernalillo County. Despite being the second smallest county in the state in terms of area, Bernalillo houses more than a third of the state’s population. The smallest town in New Mexico only has 31 people living there!

New York

Known as the Empire State, New York is among the most populated states in the country, with a population of 19,491,339. It is actually the most populated state on the East Coast and the fourth most populated state in the country. Out of a community of nearly 20 million, almost half of them reside in New York City, making it roughly equal to the entire population of New Jersey. New York City, the nation’s most populated city, is actually over 33 times larger than the second-largest city in New York, Buffalo. Albany, the state capital, has a population of 98,469 people, making it the sixth most populated city in the state.

Despite its massive population, New York has actually experienced a decrease in its growth rate since 2018: its population decreased by 0.26% from 19,542,209 in 2018 to 19,491,339 in 2019. Regardless of the decline in growth, New York still has a shocking average of 414 people per square mile, far above the national population density of 87!

North Carolina

Situated on the east coast of the United States, North Carolina is the ninth most populated state, with an estimated 10,497,741 people. Its growth rate is approximately 1.13%, ranked 14th in the nation.

Though North Carolina’s total landmass places it in the lower middle half of the rankings, its population density is impressive: there is an average of 196 people for every square mile, making North Carolina the 15th most densely populated state in the nation.

Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina with a population of 827,097 residents, making it almost exactly the same population size as South Dakota. North Carolina was one of the original 13 colonies and though the state has historically been considered rural, the past three decades have seen an increase in urbanization, and most areas now are considered urban and suburban.

North Dakota

North Dakota, also known as the Peace Garden State, the Roughrider State, and the 701, is the seventeenth-largest state in area, the fifth smallest by population, and the fourth most sparsely populated state. Though its economic development has led to population growth and reduced unemployment, its population is estimated only to be 760,900 people. North Dakota is currently experiencing one of the highest growth rates in the United States, second only to the District of Columbia, and estimates show that the state’s population will break 800,000 by 2020.

North Dakota’s only city with a population larger than 100,000 is Fargo, where over 15% of the entire state’s population resides. North Dakota does not designate its areas by population or government structure; it deems all areas as cities. As such, even the areas with populations below 100 inhabitants are considered cities in North Dakota.


Despite being the 34th largest state, Ohio is the 7th most populated and 10th most densely populated in the country, with an estimated population of 11.72 million people as of 2019. It has one of the lowest growth rates in the country, increasing at a rate of only 0.67%, placing it at 43rd in the country.

While the population’s growth rate is slow in Ohio, it still is higher than most of the country. Ohio’s population density of 287 people per square mile far exceeds the national average of 87, ranking it 10th in the nation, with a total land area of 44,825 square miles.

Interestingly, Ohio’s cities vary significantly in terms of growth and population. For example, Columbus is growing at a rapid rate of nearly 10% every decade, while Cleveland is losing people at a rate of 23 people every day for almost five decades.


The estimated population of Oklahoma in 2019 is approximately 3,948,950 residents. The state has a relatively low population density in keeping with its size and population rankings. Oklahoma is the 19th largest state in land area, covering 68,667 square miles, and for every square mile in the state, there is an average of 55 people. This figure makes Oklahoma the 35th most densely populated state in the country.

Oklahoma has nearly 600 incorporated areas, but only four cities have a population that exceeds 100,000 residents. 65% of Oklahoma residents live within the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas, with both being among the largest cities in the United States. Oklahoma City, the state capital, is the largest city in the state, with a population of 661,614, while Tulsa is the second-largest, with a population of 403,045. In these two cities, the population density exceeds 5,000 people per square mile, though the rest of the state remains mostly under 55 people per square mile.


Oregon covers 95,997 square miles of land, making it the 9th largest in the United States, though its population is sparsely distributed over its territory. The natural geography of the state plays a significant role in this; the mountain ranges and vast forest areas make the area unsuitable for major settlement. Despite the large land surface area, the state has an estimated 2019 population of 4.25 million.

Parts of Oregon are ruled by geographical elements that make the area unsuitable for residential development and as a result, the average population density is a mere 44 people per square mile. This figure makes Oregon the 39th most densely populated state in the country.

A significant amount of the Oregonian population is located in the Willamette Valley. Portland, Oregon’s largest city, is home to 667,589 people and is the 26th most populated city in the United States. Salem, the state’s capital, is also the next largest city, with a population of 177,019 residents.


The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a state located in the northeastern, Great Lakes, and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. It is bordered by Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Lake Erie, and Ontario.

Pennsylvania’s current growth rate is just 0.24%, ranking 42nd in the nation. The 2019 estimated population in the state is approximately 12.81 million residents, making it the sixth most populated state in the country.

Though Pennsylvania has a small land surface area, its population density is relatively high, as most of the Eastern states. It is currently the ninth most densely populated state in the country, with a density of 286 people per square mile. A majority of the state’s population is located in and around Philadelphia, as the city has a population of 1.56 million residents. That’s a larger population than the entire state of Hawaii!

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico, Spanish for “rich port” and officially the “Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,” is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 1000 miles southeast of Miami, Florida.

If Puerto Rico were a full state in the United States, it would be the 29th largest state, ranked between Oklahoma and Connecticut. The last official census results from 2010 indicated that Puerto Rico’s population was approximately 3.73 million residents. The latest census estimates point to a decrease in the overall population size from the 2010 census, as well as the population size from 2018 to 2019. The reduction from 2018 to 2019 is a significant decline, measured at 2.55%.

The largest city in Puerto Rico is the island’s capital, San Juan. Its population is estimated to be approximately 395,326, making it the 46th largest city in the United States. Puerto Rico is one of the most densely populated areas in the country, with an average of 900 people per square mile.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the country in terms of surface area, but its population and population density are no laughing matter. The estimated population in 2019 was 1.06 million, making it larger than seven other states in the country. The last official census results from 2010 indicated a population of 1.05, which means the community in Rhode Island has been increasing since, although the population did show a decrease of 0.05% from 2018 to 2019.

The state covers just 1,545 square miles, which means the population density is an impressive 1,022 people per square mile. Rhode Island follows New Jersey in terms of population density.

This tiny state only has five counties: Providence, Kent, Washington, Newport, and Bristol County. Providence County’s population is estimated to be 646,084 people, and this county is the only one that has shown growth from 2018 to 2019. The remaining four counties have shown declines in population of 1.31%, 0.73%, 0.76%, and 2.34% respectively.

South Carolina

South Carolina, located on the southeastern tip of the United States, is one of the smallest states in the country. Despite its size, it does have a high population density and is projected to continue its growth. South Carolina’s population was estimated to be approximately 5.15 million in 2019, up from 5.08 million in 2018, ranking it 18th in terms of growth in the nation and the 24th most populated state in the country.

Like most states on the East coast, South Carolina is densely populated in comparison to its size. Though it only covers 30,110 square miles, making it the 40th largest state in the country, there is an average of 171 people per square mile.

The largest city in South Carolina is Charleston, with a population of 140,178, followed closely by the capital, Columbia, with a population of 135,299. The smallest town in the state is Salley, with only 430 inhabitants.

South Dakota

South Dakota’s current estimated population is 892,631, indicating an increase of 1.17% from the 2010 census and ranking it 11th in the country in growth. Its current population ranks it as the 47th most populated state in the country, behind Delaware.

The size of the state places it as the 16th largest in terms of land area, though the population is relatively sparse in comparison. Despite covering 75,885 square miles, there is only an average of 12 people per square mile. Like North Dakota, the geographical elements do not allow for mass urban settlement. That in addition to a lack of employment opportunities has contributed to the exodus to other areas in the country.

This ‘rural flight’ is becoming common in many Great Plains states, though some areas of South Dakota have been experiencing increases in population. Sioux Falls is one of the fastest-growing cities in the entire country and is the fastest-growing metro area in the state, with a population of 182,574.


The 36th largest state in the country is Tennessee, which sits in the southeastern part of the US. It covers 42,143 square miles, with an average of 153.9 people per square mile. Tennessee’s 2019 population is estimated to be 6,833,793, an increase from the 2010 Census which reported 6.34 million. It was confirmed at the nationwide census in 2010, that Tennessee had a population of 6,346,105, showing an increase of 11.5% from the 2000 census. The 2016 estimated population of 6, 600, 2996, suggest that Tennessee’s population is still growing; the current growth rate is 0.86%.

With 655,770 residents, Memphis is Tennessee’s largest city. The next largest is Nashville, with 654,610 residents. Though Memphis is the largest city, Nashville has a metropolitan area population of 1,757,912, compared to the Memphis metropolitan area’s population of 1,341,746. With a population of 936,961, Shelby County is Tennessee’s most populous county; next is Davidson County with 691,243 people followed by Knox County occupying 461,860 residents.


Sitting along the US-Mexico border in the South Central part of the country is the largest of the 48 states, Texas. The 2010 population of Texas was 25.1 million; however, due to the current growth rate of 1.80%, (ranking 3rd in the country), the 2019 estimated population of Texas is 29,087,070. With a population of 25,145,561, according to the census in 2010, Texas was the second most populous state, and with 2019’s estimated numbers, Texas has reached an all-time high of over 27 million.

Texas is 2nd in terms of populous to California, and in terms of surface area, it is 2nd to Alaska. This state is 268,581 square mile, with only 105.2 people per square mile. Dallas, Houston and San Antonio are three of the largest cities in Texas, each with over one million people. El Paso, Fort Worth and Austin -- the state capital, each have populations over 500,000. Harris County has a whopping 4,652,980 people while Dallas County is close behind with 2,618,148 residents. These are the largest counties in Texas; both counties have current growth rates of more than 10%.


Utah’s estimated population for 2019 is 3.22 million, a significant increase from the 2.76 million residents that were counted in 2010. In 2010, the last nationwide census showed that Utah’s population was 2,763,885, a 20% increase from the numbers recorded in the 2000 census. Utah’s current growth rate of 1.6%, makes it the 4th fastest-growing state in the country, however, its 2019 estimated population makes it the 34th most populous state. Most of Utah’s residents live in the Salt Lake City area, (80%), leaving many areas uninhabited. Though in terms of landmass, Utah is the 13th largest state, the many uninhabited areas could contribute to its rank of 34th post populous.

Utah’s surface area is 84,899 square miles, with an average of 33.6 people per square mile, while Salt Lake City has 1,666 people per square mile. With 1.3 million people, Salt Lake City is the largest metropolitan area. Over 2 million of Utah’s residents live in the cities and towns along the Wasatch Front, a metropolitan area running north-south along the Wasatch Mountains.


Vermont is also called the Green Mountain State. By population, it is the 49th largest and the 45th largest by area size. The census of 2015 estimated Vermont’s population to be 626,042; it is on this estimate that the 2019 population of Vermont is estimated to be 627,180, which is only slightly higher than the 625,741 population in 2010. In the last nationwide census of 2010, Vermont’s confirmed population of 625,741, showed a small increase of 2.8% over the numbers recorded on the 2000 census.

Vermont, however, does make good use of its tiny surface area. For every one of its 9,614 square miles, the average people covering each square mile is 67.9, which makes Vermont the 30th most densely populated state in the country. With Vermont’s population being small, there is no surprise in the absence of major urban areas. Only three of Vermont’s nine incorporated cities have more than 10,000, the largest being Burlington with over 42,000 residents, followed by South Burlington with 18,791 people. The 5th is Vermont’s capital, Montpelier with 7,892 residents.


The 35th largest state in the union is Virginia. It is located on the central-eastern tip of the country and, with a current growth rate of 1.15%, is ranked 13th in the country. In 2010, the last nationwide census revealed that, for the first time in the state of Virginia’s history, it had exceeded 8 million in population, Virginia’s 2019 estimated population of 8.57 million, is a 380,000 increase over that number. The final confirming figure of 8,001,024 in 2010 was a 13% increase over the numbers that were recorded at the 2000 census.

Virginia has a surface area of 42,775 square miles, with 202.6 people over a square mile, making it 14th in terms of density and 12th in terms of the population thanks to its 8,571,946 residents. Of its 11 Metropolitan Statistical Areas, the most populous include Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia, and Richmond-Petersburg. The capital of Virginia is Richmond, whose metropolitan area is almost 1.3 million; however, Virginia Beach is Virginia’s most populous city. The largest counties are Fairfax with 1,148,433 people and Prince William at just over 463,023.


Situated in the far northwestern corner of the United States is Washington State, a population of 7,666,343 and 7,299 square miles in terms of surface area, making Washington the 18th largest state in the US. There are approximately 101.2 people for every square mile. In, 2019, Washington had a population increase from 2018’s population of 7,535,591. According to the Census Bureau, Washington’s population estimated at 6.72 million in 2010 increased to an estimated 7,170,351 in 2015. According to the last nationwide census in 2010, Washington State’s population at that time was 6.724,540, showing an increase slightly over 14% from the numbers recorded in the 2000 census. Washington’s largest city is Seattle, while its population is 684.451; it has a density of 7,962 per square mile. Seattle’s Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area has a population of 3.73 million, making up more than half of Washington’s population. King and Pierce, with communities of 2,188,649 and 876,764 people, respectively, are the most populated counties in the state. Washington’s growth rate is 1.27%; rapid growth is expected to continue.

West Virginia

West Virginia is located in the central sector of the United States, with an estimated 1,791,951 residents. This figure shows a decrease from the 1,805,832, and in 2018. West Virginia’s population ranks 38th in the country and it is 41st largest state in the US. Though West Virginia is estimated to have a population of 1.79 million in 2019, it shows a decline from the 2010 census recorded 1.853 million. West Virginia’s population was 1,852,994 in 2010, according to the survey from the last nationwide count in the US in 2010. This calculation meant that there was a small increase of 2.5% since the 2000 census.

West Virginia’s population grows slow. Estimates taken in July of 2015 showed that West Virginia might be losing residents. Moreover, with the 2019 estimated population of only 1.79 million, they estimate the same. Its surface area measures 24,230 square miles, with an average of 77.1 people per square mile. The largest city is Charleston, which is also state capital, with 49,736 residents; following Charleston is Huntington with 48,638 people and Parkersburg at a count of 30,991.


Located in the northern Midwest, Wisconsin is part of the Great Lakes region. Wisconsin’s 2019 population is estimated to be 5,832,661 with a growth rate of 0.33%. It has 65,497.82 square miles of surface space; it is the 23rd largest state in the country and the 20th most populous in the US. The census of 2010 showed a community of 5,686,986, and the population for 2019 is 5.83 million. This figure reveals that Wisconsin had a growth rate of 1.5% in the last census in the US in 2010 and the 2019 census. There is an average of 105 people for every square mile of Wisconsin’s extensive surface area. With a population of more than 600,000, Milwaukee is Wisconsin’s largest city. Madison, with a community of 248,000, Green Bay with a populace of 105,207 and Kenosha with a population of 99,858, are the next largest cities. Milwaukee’s Metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of 1.55 million. Milwaukee and Dane counties have 952,085 and 536,416 people, respectively, which make them Wisconsin’s largest counties.


Wyoming sits in the central, northwestern sector of the U.S., it is the 10th largest state in the U.S. due to its 97,813 square miles of surface space, and however, its population of 572,381 is the lowest of any state in the union. Though Wyoming is at a 1.13% growth rate, its estimated population of 2019 is only up slightly from the census taken in 2010. Records from the 2010 census showed that Wyoming’s population was 563.626, showing an increase of over 14% from the census taken in 2000.

For every square mile of the Unions lowest populated state, there is an average of only 5.85 people. Only other state in the U.S. with a less dense population: Alaska, which only averages 1 person per square mile. Wyoming’s largest city is Cheyenne with a population of 63,335. However, Casper is close behind with 60,285 people while Laramie is the third most populated city in Wyoming with 32,158 people. As far as counties, Laramie is the largest with 98,327 people and Natrona has a population of 79,547. At least one of the state’s 13 largest municipalities was home to nearly 51% of its residents in 2005.

State by State Population Summary

State Capitals

State Capitals for each state in the US, along with each city's current population

States by First Letter

States listed by first letter

States by Race

States by Race

13 Colonies

Populations of the Original 13 Colonies

State Abbreviations

State Abbreviations

State Articles

State Listing Articles