Top 10 Smallest States In The United States
Top 10 Smallest States In The United States

The United States is one of the largest countries in the world, with a total of 50 sovereign states and a district of Columbia covering a total of 3,796,742.23 sq. mi. from which Alaska is the biggest state in the USA in terms of total area (including land and water) at over 665,384.04 sq. mi. (18% of the US land) whereas Rhode Island is the smallest state in the USA by total area and land area.

There are smaller states, where the population was less impressive than the bigger ones, and most of them lie in the Eastern region of the country. After looking through several sources, historical and geographical sites for accurate information, KnowInsiders has compiled a list of the 10 smallest states in the United States, according to the total area.

List of top 10 smallest states in the United States

10. Maine. Total area: 35,379.74 sq. miles

9. South Carolina. Total area: 32,020.49 sq. miles

8. West Virginia. Total area: 24,230.04 sq. miles

7. Hawaii. Total area: 10,931.72 sq. miles

6. Massachusetts. Total area: 10,554.39 sq. miles

5. Vermont. Total area: 9,616.36 sq. miles

4. New Jersey. Total area: 8,722.58 sq. miles

3. Connecticut. Total area: 5,543.41 sq. miles

2. Delaware. Total area: 2,488.72 sq. miles

1. Rhode Island. Total area: 1,544.89 sq. miles


What are the smallest states in the United States?

10. Maine

Photo: The Atlantic
Photo: The Atlantic

Maine is a state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast; and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and northwest, respectively. Maine is the 12th-smallest by area, the 9th-least populous, the 13th-least densely populated, and the most rural of the 50 U.S. states. It is also the northeasternmost among the contiguous United States, the northernmost state east of the Great Lakes, the only state whose name consists of a single syllable, and the only state to border only one other US state. The most populous city in Maine is Portland, while its capital is Augusta.

Maine's unmatched landscape, enviable seafood scene and laid-back atmosphere have made the state a must-visit destination among New Englanders. But with one of the country's most-visited national parks and inarguably the best lobster in the United States, Maine has all the makings to serve every kind of traveler. To help you find the state's most satisfying destinations, U.S. News evaluated Maine's top sights, adventurous pursuits and value, among other factors. From outdoor hot spots to cool coastal towns and culture-packed cities, these are the best places to visit in Maine.

9. South Carolina

South Carolina is a state in the coastal Southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered to the north by North Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the southwest by Georgia across the Savannah River. South Carolina is the 40th most extensive and 23rd most populous U.S. state with a recorded population of 5,124,712 according to the 2020 census. In 2019, its GDP was $213.45 billion. South Carolina is composed of 46 counties. The capital is Columbia with a population of 133,273 in 2019; while its largest city is Charleston with a 2020 population of 150,277. The Greenville–Anderson–Mauldin metropolitan area is the largest in the state, with a 2018 population estimate of 906,626.

Moss-draped oaks. Stately mansions. Wide beaches. Rolling mountains. And an ornery streak as old as the state itself. Ah yes, South Carolina, where the accents are thicker and the traditions more dear. From its Revolutionary War patriots to its 1860s secessionist government to its outspoken legislators, the Palmetto State has never shied away from a fight, according to Lonely Planet.

8. West Virginia

Photo:  The Atlantic
Photo: The Atlantic

West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the northeast, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, and Ohio to the northwest. West Virginia is the 41st-largest state by area and ranks 40th in population, with a population of 1,793,716 residents. The capital and largest city is Charleston.

A state for all seasons, West Virginia never fails to inspire, whether you’re biking and swimming under summer sunshine or driving scenic roads to soak in the honey-toned hues of fall. The winters welcome skiing and snow play, while springtime beckons you to the mountains for wildflowers and waterfalls. Culture seekers will discover centuries-old Appalachian traditions very much alive in small towns and historic sites, while foodies can order regional specialties fresh from the farms. Do it all in this perfectly located state, just a stone’s throw from the USA’s Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions, according to Visit The USA.

7. Hawaii

Hawaii comprises nearly the entire Hawaiian archipelago, 137 volcanic islands spanning 1,500 miles (2,400 km) that are physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania. The state's ocean coastline is consequently the fourth longest in the U.S., at about 750 miles (1,210 km). The eight main islands, from northwest to southeast, are Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaiʻi, after which the state is named; it is often called the "Big Island" or "Hawaii Island" to avoid confusion with the state or archipelago. The uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands make up most of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the nation's largest protected area and the third largest in the world.

From snowcapped volcanoes to rainforests to lava-rock deserts, Hawaii is much more than the parade of high-rise hotels that hug glorious Waikiki Beach. The push and pull between highly developed tourist apex, ancient Polynesian culture, and natural paradise is palpable in the complex 50th state. Add to that the vestiges of “old” (pre–1959 statehood) Hawaii—the one where mai tais are poured in a salty seaside shack to the tune of hapa haole (Hawaiian music with English lyrics), and you have a destination with a rich, complex identity. But everywhere the generous spirit of “aloha” is infectious, making lifetime repeat visitors of many who set foot on these exotic, yet very American, islands, according to Travel + Leisure.

6. Massachusetts

Photo: History
Photo: History

Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Connecticut to the southwest and Rhode Island to the southeast, New Hampshire to the northeast, Vermont to the northwest, and New York to the west. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. It is home to the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.

Massachusetts has all the geographical features of the other states, from skiing and fall foliage drives in the western Berkshire Mountains to the beaches of Cape Cod and vacation islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Boston (and its neighbor, Cambridge) is a world-class city of top-notch cultural offerings and American Revolutionary history.

5. Vermont

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Vermont is a state in the New England region of the United States. It borders the states of Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, and New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. Vermont is the only state in New England that does not border the Atlantic Ocean. Vermont is the second-least-populated U.S. state after Wyoming and the sixth-smallest by area of the 50 U.S. states with a recorded population of 643,503 according to the 2020 U.S. census. The state capital is Montpelier, the least-populous state capital in the United States. The most-populous city, Burlington, is the least-populous city to be the most-populous city in a state.

Vermont is a place, but also a state of mind that revels in outdoor beauty, good food, and the preservation of unique small towns and cities. Visitors love Vermont for its colorful fall foliage; ski mountains like Killington, Manchester, Stowe, and Mount Snow; mountain vistas; and attractions for families and kids. Although Vermont is an inland state, it has beaches and water sports at the Lake Champlain, along with many lakes, streams, and swimming holes, according to Visit Vermont.

4. New Jersey

Photo:  Unsplash
Photo: Unsplash

New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; on the southwest by Delaware Bay and the state of Delaware. At 7,354 square miles (19,050 km2), New Jersey is the fifth-smallest state based on land area, but with close to 9.3 million residents, is the 11th-most populous and the most densely populated. New Jersey's state capital is Trenton, while the state's most populous city is Newark. With the sole exception of Warren County, all counties in the state lie within the combined statistical areas of New York City or Philadelphia; consequently, the state's largest metropolitan area falls within Greater New York.

New Jersey experiences four distinct seasons. Summers can be scorching, but the heat is dry and refreshing. The best time to travel to New Jersey is in the late spring or early summer. Autumn is another ideal time—the Garden State earns its name when the leaves change. One more thing travelers should be aware of: city traffic in New Jersey can be heavy, so if possible, save the city touristing for the weekend and the shore excursions for the weekdays, according to Travel + Leisure.

3. Connecticut

Photo:  Cappex
Photo: Cappex

Connecticut is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, second-highest level of human development behind Massachusetts, and highest median household income in the United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York to the west, and the Long Island Sound to the south. Its capital is Hartford and its most populous city is Bridgeport. Historically the state is part of New England as well as the tri-state area with New York and New Jersey, which together make up metropolitan New York City. The state is named for the Connecticut River which approximately bisects the state. The word "Connecticut" is derived from various anglicized spellings of "Quononoquett" (Conanicut), a Mohegan-Pequot word for "long tidal river".

Connecticut offers the perfect blend of experiences in one perfectly located place. Between New York City and Boston, Massachusetts there is a place where nature and culture live side by side, where relaxation can be found just around the corner from exhilaration, and where legendary history is never far from contemporary style. In Connecticut, you’ll find so many experiences so close to each other, according to Visit The USA.

2. Delaware

Delaware is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Maryland to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. The state takes its name from the nearby Delaware River named after Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, an English nobleman and Virginia's first colonial governor.

From opulent mansions to crystal-clean beaches to tax-free shopping, Delaware is the state that delivers so much adventure in so little time and for such little expense. Whether you start at the regal Du Pont family estates in the north or the family-friendly ocean resorts in the south, Delaware gives time-pressed and budget-conscious travelers the kinds of options they simply couldn’t find anywhere else on the US East Coast. It’s all right in the middle of the action-packed Mid-Atlantic with easy access from nearby international airports, Interstate 95 and AMTRAK rail lines. Select your flavor of fun, and savor the land of endless discoveries.

1. Rhode Island

Photo:  Travel + Leisure
Photo: Travel + Leisure

Rhode Island, officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area and the seventh-least populous, with slightly fewer than 1.1 million residents as of 2020, but it is the second-most densely populated behind New Jersey. The state takes its name from the eponymous island, though most of its land area is on the mainland. Rhode Island borders Connecticut to the west, Massachusetts to the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south via Rhode Island Sound and Block Island Sound; it also shares a small maritime border with New York. Providence is the state capital and most populous city.

Native Americans lived around Narragansett Bay for thousands of years before English settlers began arrived in the early 17th century. Rhode Island unique among the Thirteen British Colonies for being founded by a refugee, Roger Williams, who had fled religious persecution from the Massachusetts Bay Colony to establish a haven for religious liberty; he founded Providence in 1636 on land purchased from local tribes, creating the first settlement in North America with an explicitly secular government. The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations would subsequently become a destination for religious and political dissenters and social outcasts, earning it the moniker of "Rogue's Island".

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There are few better beach destinations than Rhode Island. With 400 miles of gorgeous Atlantic shoreline, Rhode Island is a dream for any traveler looking for a classic New England experience — especially if they want that experience to almost always be within walking distance of a beach. If you've never been to Rhode Island, you might think that the main point of interest is Providence — and while this city is wonderful and well worth your time, you'd be missing out on some of the most wonderful parts of the state if you only stayed there. From beaches and museums to the Newport Mansions and award-winning Roger Williams Park Zoo, Rhode Island is full of hidden and not-so-hidden gems that are worth visiting, cited by Travel + Leisure.

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