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Top Smallest Towns in USA Based on Population, Land, House
Top Smallest Towns in USA: Carbonate Town in Colorado

Determining the smallest city or town in America is based on population, land area, number of houses, etc. Here are the top 25 tiniest towns in the United States today (updated 2023).

There are places that are remote, remote, uninhabited or have only a few residents but have not been removed from the list of towns and cities in the US, so we still include them. Although they are the smallest cities, most are famous throughout the US and around the world through newspapers, social networks and movies.

1.Carbonate, Colorado

• Population: 0

This ghost town is the smallest town in America—with a population of zero. The historic mining site features only a handful of old cabins on a beautiful stretch of countryside in the mountains near Glenwood Springs and the White River National Forest.

At the 2020 United States Census, the town had a total area of 644 acres (2.605 km2) including 8.9 acres (0.036 km2) of water.

Carbonate was founded as a silver camp in 1879. The Town of Carbonate incorporated on April 13, 1883. The Carbonate post office opened and Carbonate became the original Garfield county seat later that year.

On November 4, 2014, Carbonate property owners voted 9 to 0 to reactivate the town's government in hopes of future development. The town has summer visitors but no permanent residents, making it the only active incorporated municipality in Colorado with no permanent population.

2.Hibberts Gore, Maine

Population: 1

Hibberts Gore (also called Hibberts) is a gore in Lincoln County, Maine, United States. As of the Census of 2020, there was 1 person, 1 household, and 0 families in Hibberts Gore.

Hibberts Gore covers an area of just 752 sq mi, and was ignored by the surveyors who mapped Maine. The water is primarily wetlands, part of Sheepscot Pond, which is the headwaters of Sheepscot River.

The only stats we have on Hibberts Gore, is from the U.S. Census in 2010 saying there is just one resident: Karen Keller. She moved to Hibberts Gore after her divorce. Karen was getting way more attention than she wanted. She even tried to get the Census to count her as part of nearby Lincoln County.

According to the US Census Bureau:

Because Hibberts Gore is a legally defined geographic entity, even though it has no governmental functions, the Census Bureau must recognize this existence as a political unit and does not have the authority to incorporate it into the neighboring towns for the purpose of data. If collection tabulation and presentation of the boundary was to change for the 2020 census legal action would have to be taken on the local level.

3.Monowi, Nebraska

Top 25 Smallest Towns in USA by Population Today
Monowi, Nebraska – The Town with a Population of 1

Population: 1

Monowi is in Northern Nebraska and is known for having a population of one.

The town, post office, pub, library, etc are all run by the lovely Elsie, who is now in her 80s. She’s made national news, done the morning shows, and even a few commercials.

While that rose to two on the 2020 census, Elsie Eiler is still the sole resident of Monowi, following the death of her husband in 2004.

Eiler is the town's librarian and mayor - granting herself a liquor license to run the town's bar, Monowi Tavern.

Elsie used to say, “Like Monowi, I’m too tough to die,” but her recent health issues have made locals wonder how much longer the town will be around. Now 88, Elsie has mentioned retirement, but never with any real conviction. She wonders what she’d do to stay busy and whom she’d talk to if the tavern were to close.

4.Lotsee, Oklahoma

Top 25 Smallest Towns in USA by Population Today
The tiniest town in all of Oklahoma is Lotsee

Population: 2

The tiny town of Lotsee has a total population of a whopping two people. George Campbell incorporated the town in 1963, and the daughter of the town's founder, Lotsee Spradling, still lives in the town to this day.

Lotsee is located in Tulsa County and only spans 2,000 acres. The town is a family-owned cattle and pecan ranch. It had a population peak back in 1970, with 16 residents. The population then declined to seven people in 1980.

The 2010 census recorded just two residents, Lotsee and her husband Mike.

5.Warm River, Idaho

Top 25 Smallest Towns in USA by Population Today
Warm River, Idaho

Population: 3

Located in southeastern Idaho, close to the Wyoming border, Warm River is home to just three residents.

But many people visit this tiny town to go camping in the gorgeous Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Visitors can hike or ride a horse to nearby waterfalls and scope out old railroad lines. It’s also a popular spot for water sports like tubing and fishing.

Warm River Campground is located nine miles northeast of Ashton, Idaho, along the slow-moving Warm River at an elevation of 5,200 feet. Willows line the riverbanks and pine trees offer partial shade. Tubing and fishing for brook trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and whitefish are popular activities on the river. Numerous hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails are in the immediate area, leading to natural springs, waterfalls, old railroad lines and tunnels, all with beautiful scenery. It has 13 single units, 2 double units, 1 group site with pavilion and 13 tent sites.

6.Hillsview, South Dakota

Population: 3

The least populated municipality in South Dakota, Hillsview is home to just three people, made up of one family - a married couple and their son.

Hillsview’s three residents were all of the Imberi family—unfortunately, the next Census may reflect that one of them, Jim Imberi, passed away in 2016. Born in 1929, he lived his whole life in the tiny town.

Tied with White Rock with only three residents listed on the Census estimate, Hillsview is smaller by area, with just 410 acres.

7.Luckenbach, Texas

Top 25 Smallest Towns in USA by Population Today
When asked why he bought the town, Hondo would respond, “Dallas wasn’t for sale. Besides, the American way is to start small and work your way up.”

Population: 3

Unlike anywhere else on earth, Luckenbach is a tiny town with a big personality and an almost unbelievable history.

Actually, “town” is a term used loosely. It’s just over 9 acres of unincorporated community, whose post office and zip code were retired nearly 50 years ago. It currently consists of a souvenir shop/saloon combo, and the legendary dance hall, where many an outlaw country music singer have performed -- and where one, Jerry Jeff Walker, even got married, with the owner of the town, Hondo Crouch, as his best man.

In 1970, actor Guich Koock and rancher Hondo Crouch bought Luckenbach for $30,000, and used it as a dance hall.

While only three people officially live there, it is a popular site for country and Western music festivals, and was the site of a Guinness World Record for both guitar players gathered in the same place and playing for five minutes.

Now a great place to visit, sit back under the old 500-year-old oak trees, relax and listen to live music. Luckenbach Texas is home to a historic dance hall still in use every weekend, live music daily, a General Store and a bar.

8.Ruso, North Dakota

Top 25 Smallest Towns in USA by Population Today
Ruso, North Dakota has long held the title of the least populated place in the state. It was founded in 1906.

Population: 4

Ruso may be the smallest place in North Dakota, but it is one of the most internationally known. Fargo isn't the only city in the state with a movie. A Turkish film called The Cut was heavily centered around Ruso, making the teeny place known internationally!

The smallest town in North Dakota had a rocky time of it recently. The death of Ruso’s longtime mayor Bruce Lorenz, who died at age 86 in 2018, seemed to signal the end for the tiny town: Because North Dakota requires a minimum of three residents for an incorporated town, his death brought the total to only two.

But the town’s remaining residents received a pleasant surprise when they discovered that property owner Greg Schmaltz qualified as a resident because he had a Ruso mailbox and checked up on his horses and chickens daily. Set to be the town’s next mayor, he and his wife vowed to move permanently to the town and keep it going. So, Ruso doubled in size—to four residents.

The current residents of Ruso hope to keep the town alive for many years to come, so it will remain one of the smallest cities in America for a long time.

9.Thurmond, West Virginia

Top 25 Smallest Towns in USA by Population Today
During the first two decades of the 1900s, Thurmond was a classic boomtown

Population: 4

Thurmond was founded in 1900 and named after Captain Thurmond, who received the land as payment in the 1870s. The town quickly rose to prominence as the social hub of the mining communities in the Gorge.

Around the turn of the 20th century, Thurmond was an active town that saw many successful businesses, thanks to its position on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway.

Captain Thurmond died in 1910, but the town continued its growth. Until 1921, the town was only accessible by train and was the largest revenue-generating stop for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. 15 trains per day rolled down the tracks into Thurmond. And, that’s just passenger trains! Coal rolled out of the Gorge daily on freight trains, bringing the power of New River Smokeless Coal from the mountains of West Virginia to the places where it was needed.

Thurmond welcomed visitors back in the 1960s when the first commercial rafting company, Wildwater Unlimited, opened its outfit on the banks of the New River in Thurmond. Take a journey to the ghost town of Thurmond, where you can reminisce on the history of this once prosperous town on a walking tour. The entire town is listed on the national registry of historic places, and it offers visitors a chance to see a place that has remained largely untouched by the 21st century.

Now, the population has dwindled to four. The National Parks Service owns most of the town because it sits on the New River Gorge National River, and the organization is actively involved in preserving the site’s historic buildings, including the restored Thurmond train depot.

10.Lost Springs, Wyoming

Top 25 Smallest Towns in USA by Population Today
Lost Springs

Population: 1 (now 4)

Lost Springs’ previous claim to fame was that its sign said “Population 1,” although it’s since been updated to reflect the current population of 4.

Still, the smallest incorporated town in Wyoming has a bit more going for it that some of the others we’ve visited on our virtual cross-country road trip. On its lone road, there’s a bar, a wagon with pots and pans hanging off it (for…decoration?), a store/post office, and even outhouses, should a weary traveler passing through need to stop.

Just beyond the bustling business district, the town is surrounded by sunny farm country. The main road begins to wind and turns to gravel. Even so, the speed limit remains an impressive 40 mph.

By 1950, the population was down to 9. Amazingly, the official tally of residents has remained in the single digits for the past 70 years now. Yet Lost Springs hasn’t turned into a ghost town, so at least it has that going for it!

Lost Springs is in Converse County, Wyoming. The nearest city with at least 50,000 people is Cheyenne, Wyoming, which sits 112 miles away.

While driving along Hwy 20 West in Wyoming, we came across a VERY small town called Lost Springs. The population sign says 1 (now 4), but the town contains a handful of buildings.

11.Magnet Cove, Arkansas

Top 19 Smallest Towns in USA Based on Population Today
Magnet Cove in Arkansas -Smallest Town in the US

Population: 5

Magnet Cove is a census-designated place which, at the last census, was found to have five residents.

The area is known for being rich in odd minerals, including magnetite.

12.Cave, Missouri

Top 25 Smallest Towns in USA by Population Today
Cave, Missouri

Population: 5

This rural, generically named town about an hour northwest of St. Louis has just five residents. Located on the Cuivre River, it’s only a few minutes from Cuivre River State Park, which offers swimming, hiking, camping, fishing, and many other outdoor activities.

Although much of the surrounding area is agricultural, the park has an Ozark-like feel with bluffs, caves, and interesting topography for those who live nearby to explore.

The website, caveland.us, is currently run by the Sleeper family and they still live in the home. It is located at 1101 North 11th Street in Festus.

It began as a mine underneath a forest in the 1930s. In the 1950s, the 17,000 square foot space became ‘Caveland’ – a roller skate rink and concert venue that played host to major pop acts, including Tina Turner.

Caveland closed its doors in 1985, and it was transformed again, this time into a glass recycling center until it shut in 1990.

After that, it stood unused, seemingly for good. Then, finally, in 2003, it was discovered for sale online by Curt and Deborah Sleeper. The couple fell in love with the cave, bought it, and set about the arduous task of turning it into a home.

It nearly didn’t happen at all. Struggles in financing the cave’s purchase meant the Sleepers were on the verge of moving to Belize before the owner finally agreed to a down payment of half the value in return for funding the rest.

With finances stretched to the limit, he Sleepers enlisted acquaintances’ help to build the property from glass doors and other material from a nearby store. In the meantime, they lived in a giant tent inside the cave.

Four years later, the cave had been converted into an incredible three-bedroom house and office space. Inside, the space is vast (the cave itself is three acres in size), with dining and living rooms on the ground floor and the bedrooms on a mezzanine above the kitchen. The property also benefits from a natural spring.

13.Tavistock, New Jersey

Population: 5

The founders of Tavistock, which now has a population of five, must have really wanted to work on their backswings.

A group of golfers in the 1920s who lived in neighboring Haddonfield wanted to play on Sundays, but a local law prohibiting sporting activities on Sundays prevented them from doing so at the Haddon Country Club. Their solution:

Buy land next to and around the country club, start a new town, and allow golf on Sundays.

14.South Park View, Kentucky

Population: 7

This tiny town, which now consists of unkempt roads off a major street filled with large business and manufacturing buildings, used to have many more than its current seven residents—until an expansion of the runways at Louisville International Airport (now Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport) caused the relocation of nearly 5,000 residents from South View Park and nearby communities.

South Park View is named for its location near South Park Hill, the highest point of elevation in Jefferson County, at 902 ft.

The town is also close to Jefferson Memorial Forest, a favorite hiking and adventure destination in the Louisville area.

There is actually a reason this small town is so incredibly tiny. In 2000, the population was 196 — not a lot of people, but definitely 7 now.

So if you're looking for a town to enjoy, where you may just be the only resident, and you don't mind the airplane noise, check out South Park View, the tiniest town in Kentucky.

15.Fontana Dam, North Carolina

Top 25 Smallest Towns in USA by Population Today
Town of Fontana Dam

Population: 7

This town in the Great Smoky Mountains has been around unofficially since the 1940s.

The tallest dam east of the Rockies at 480 feet, Fontana Dam was was built by the Tennessee Valley Authority in response to an urgent need for electric power during World War II; construction began in 1942 and was finished in just 36 months.

Surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Nantahala National Forest, and deep river gorges, Fontana ranks among the most beautiful dams in the world. In addition to providing hydroelectric power and flood control for the region, the lake created behind the dam on the Little Tennessee River is a popular site for many kinds of outdoor recreation.

With a history reaching back more than 100 years into the logging and mining industries that flourished in the area at the turn of the 19th century, Fontana Village today is a year-round vacation destination resort, with a lodge, cabins, campgrounds, marina, and programming that includes traditional music, car club and motorcycle gatherings, outdoor activities and special holiday events.

Visitor Center

The Fontana Dam Visitor Center is located off N.C. Highway 28 near the Tennessee/North Carolina state line. It is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from May through October except major holidays. Newly refurbished and staffed by TVA retirees, the visitor center has updated maps, videos, and displays about TVA and the construction of the dam.

16.Funkley, Minnesota

Population: 8

Welcome to Funkley town! In this municipality where only eight people reside, a locally famous establishment called Funkley Bar used to be the one and only joint up and running.

The bar owner and mayor, Emil Erickson, would hand out Funkley Bucks (dollar bills with his face on them) to first-time guests. The bar was a favorite watering hole for hunters and bikers, but it has sadly gone bottoms up recently.

17.Waldron, Kansas

Population: 10

The state’s former smallest city, Freeport, population 4, sadly voted to un-incorporate in 2017. So, the title now belongs to Waldron, with 10 residents. Unlike fictional Kansas resident Dorothy, visitors would surely realize they are in Kansas here. With gravel and dirt roads, flat ground, and lots of farmland, this rural town epitomizes what we think of the state.

Some old photos from Wichita State Library and the Kansas Historical Society, though, show a more bustling frontier life in Waldron days of yore.

18.Marineland, Florida

Population: 11

Florida has several small towns with double digits of residents, but the current smallest is Marineland, with 11 people living there. But this coastal town south of St. Augustine likely has many more residents—of the aquatic kind, that is, because the town’s boundaries extend three miles into the Atlantic Ocean.

Many of the townspeople (including the mayor who served from 2013 to 2020) are marine biologists or researchers; the University of Florida’s Whitney Lab is located here, as are Marineland Dolphin Adventure, kayak and eco-tours, and several marine reserves.

19.Dering Harbor, New York

Top 25 Smallest Towns in USA by Population Today
Dering Harbor, New York

Population: 11

The municipality of Dering Harbor is technically a village, part of Shelter Island. The state’s smallest “town” is Red House in upstate New York, but because all villages are incorporated in New York State, we’re going with Dering Harbor, which has the smaller population of just 11 permanent residents.

Dering Harbor sits on Shelter Island in between Long Island’s two forks, and remains an exclusive summer community, with historic mansions, upscale restaurants, and gorgeous beaches.

20.Centralia, Pennsylvania

Population: 11

This has to be the strangest small town in America. A coal fire has been raging under the city for more than 50 years, after a failed plan to burn landfill waste somehow sparked a fire in the coal mines in 1962. Today, the fire has led to the town’s notoriety, with its unsafe highway covered in graffiti and urban legends of a “gateway to hell” beneath the streets.

But the tourists who come to gawk don’t realize that 11 brave residents still call the town home. Despite the dangers, they were allowed to stay, but they can’t sell or pass down their houses—when they move or die, their property will belong to the state.

21.Kaskaskia, Illinois

Population: 13

You don’t have to “ask” us twice about why we chose this small town on the Mississippi River and the border of Missouri as the smallest town in Illinois. It’s tied with Valley City as the smallest by population—both with 13 residents as of 2019—but we’re giving the edge to the smaller by size, which is Kaskaskia at just 67 acres.

The village, made an island as the course of the great river cut it off from the rest of the state, also has an interesting history: Occasionally destroyed by flooding over the past 200 years, Kaskaskia has been rebuilt each time, and it was even briefly the capital of Illinois in the early 19th century. Today, it’s still plagued by flooding, but its few and proud residents will not abandon their small town.

22.Le Roy, Iowa

Population: 13

We have another fight for smallest town in a state in Iowa, with the dueling villages of Le Roy and Beaconsfield battling it out over the years. As of the 2019 estimate, they are tied at 13 residents each, but we’ll give the title to Le Roy because it’s about half the size of Beaconsfield, at 210 acres.

Located in Decatur County in southern Iowa, the town is just a few gravel streets, with a tiny City Hall that’s basically a little cabin with a hand-painted sign. In the town’s favor, though, green space and chirping birds abound.

23.Frye Island, Maine

Population: 5 or 13

Frye Island is part of Cumberland County and only has five year-round residents. It's located in Sebago Lake and became Maine's newest town in 1998.

As is the case for much of New England, all incorporated places in the state of Maine are cities, and towns fall under “minor civil divisions.” The smallest organized town is Frye Island, a summer vacation spot with just 13 year-round residents.

About an hour north of Portland, Frye Island lies in Sebago Lake. The ferry to the island doesn’t run in the winter, leaving it isolated, so most of the people who own vacation homes here are only seasonal residents. It’s a lovely place to visit in the summer, though.

24.Port Tobacco, Maryland

Top 25 Smallest Towns in USA by Population Today
Port Tobacco, Maryland

Population: 15

Once the Charles County seat and an important port on the Potomac River for exporting its namesake crop centuries ago, the tiny village of Port Tobacco has just 15 residents today.

Port Tobacco isn’t what you might think of when you hear about a town with 15 or 16 people. It isn’t isolated in the hinterlands—La Plata, a town of 9,000 with plenty of shops and restaurants, is just up the road.

Surprisingly, Port Tobacco was once the second-largest port in Maryland. It shipped the crop for which it’s named across the globe during its 1700s heyday and boasted three hotels, two newspapers, and abundant taverns, shops, and amenities.

Historic buildings in the town, though, have been preserved as important links to Maryland’s colonial history. Particularly impressive is the reconstruction of the Port Tobacco Courthouse, which was destroyed by fire in the late 19th century.

25.Ismay, Montana

Population: 19

This town of 19 residents had its 15 minutes of fame in 1993, when a Kansas City radio station called, looking for a small town in Montana to change its name to “Joe” after then–Kansas City Chiefs football quarterback Joe Montana.

The town obliged, and in a brilliant PR move, sold T-shirts and other memorabilia to fund repairs to its fire truck. When national media including Sports Illustrated got hold of the story, the town became a sensation, with nearly the entire population flown to KC to meet their town’s namesake. The residents made enough money for not only their fire truck but a community center and fire hall as well.

Since then, the town’s name has reverted to Ismay.

Los Ybanez, Texas

Population: 19

Everything’s bigger in Texas—except this tiny town. With just 19 residents, it’s the smallest incorporated town in the state. According to Texas Monthly, a man named Israel Ibanez bought some old houses in the west Texas community for migrant workers in 1980. He and his wife, Mary, incorporated in 1983 in order to avoid the “dry” laws of the county and instead allow liquor sales through town laws so they could set up a beer store. Today, though, many of the houses are boarded up.

Summary

You have just joined us in visiting 25 of the smallest towns or cities in America that still exist today. Although small, in a remote, remote and very few inhabited place, they all have a rich history with interesting stories.

It is missing, if you have not once visited or learned about the smallest cities in a large United States with the largest population in the world.