Which Are the Smallest States in the U.S.?

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The United States is made up of 50 individual states that vary greatly in size. When talking about land area, Rhode Island ranks as the smallest. Yet, when we discuss population, Wyoming—the 10th largest state by area—comes in with the smallest population. All information used in this article is from World Atlas.

The 5 Smallest States by Land Area

If you're familiar with U.S. geography, you might be able to guess which are the smallest states in the country. Notice that four of the five smallest states are along the eastern coast where the states seem to be crammed into a very small area. 

1) Rhode Island—1,045 square miles (2,707 square kilometers)

  • Rhode Island is only 41 miles in length and 20 miles wide (66 x 22 kilometers).
  • Rhode Island has over 384 miles (618 kilometers) of shoreline.
  • The highest point is Jerimoth Hill in Foster at 812 feet (247.5 meters).

2) Delaware—1,954 square miles (5,061 square kilometers)

  • Delaware is 96 miles (154 kilometers) in length. At its thinnest point, it is only 9 miles (14 kilometers) wide.
  • Delaware has 381 miles of coastline.
  • The highest point is Ebright Azimuth at 447 feet (136 meters).

3) Connecticut—4,845 square miles (12,548 square kilometers)

  1. Connecticut is only 85 miles long and 35 miles wide (137 x 57 kilometers).
  2. Connecticut has 618 miles (994.5 kilometers) of coastline.
  3. The highest point is the southern slope of Mt. Frissell at 2,380 feet (725 meters).

4) Hawaii—6,423 square miles (16,635 square kilometers)

  • Hawaii is a chain of 136 islands, eight of which are considered principal islands. These include Hawaii (4,028 square miles), Maui (727 square miles), Oahu (597 square miles), Kauai (562 square miles), Molokai (260 square miles), Lanai (140 square miles), Niihau (69 square miles), and Kahoolawe (45 square miles).
  • Hawaii has 1,052 miles of coastline.
  • The highest point is Mauna Kea at 13,796 feet (4,205 meters).

5) New Jersey—7,417 square miles (19,210 square kilometers)

  • New Jersey is only 165 miles long and 40 miles wide (266 x 80 kilometers).
  • New Jersey has 1,792 miles (2884 kilometers) of shoreline.
  • The highest point is High Point at 1,803 feet (549.5 meters).

The 5 Smallest States by Population

When we turn to look at the population, we get an entirely different perspective of the country. With the exception of Vermont, the states with the lowest population are among the largest by land area and they're all in the western half of the country.

A low population with a large amount of land means a very low population density (or people per square mile).

1) Wyoming—585,501 people

  • Ranks as the ninth largest in land area - 97,093 square miles (251,470 square kilometers)
  • Population density: 6.0 people per square mile

2) Vermont—624,594

  • Ranks as the 43rd largest in land area - 9,217 square miles (23,872 square kilometers)
  • Population density: 67.8 people per square mile

3) North Dakota—755,393 

  • Ranks as the 17th largest in land area—69,000 square miles (178,709 square kilometers)
  • Population density: 11.0 people per square mile

4) Alaska—741,894 

  • Ranks as the largest state in land area—570,641 square miles (1,477,953 square kilometers)
  • Population density: 1.3 people per square mile

5) South Dakota—865,454

  • Ranks as the 16th largest in land area—75,811 square miles (196,349 square kilometers)
  • Population density: 11.3 people per square mile

Additional Reference

  • US Census Bureau. “Census.gov.” Census Bureau QuickFacts,
View Article Sources
  1. Explore The World.” World Atlas - Maps, Geography, Travel. worldatlas.com.