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Statistics of the United States


Capital: Montgomery

State bird: Yellowhammer

State tree: Southern pine (longleaf)

State flower: Camellia

State song: “Alabama”

State animal: None

Nickname: Yellowhammer state (official); Heart of Dixie and Cotton State (unofficial)

State motto: “We dare defend our rights”

Population, rank: 4,447,100 (2000); 23

Pop. density: 87.6 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 50,744 sq. mi. (131,427 sq. km.); 28

Date of statehood, sequence: Dec. 14, 1819; 22nd

Tourist attractions: Space Flight Center at Huntsville; Russell Cave National Monument; first White House of the Confederacy in Montgomery

Thumbnail history: The first European explorers were Spanish who arrived about 1519. Hernando de Soto explored the area in 1540. The French founded the first European settlement at Fort Louis in 1702. Alabama became a territory of the United States after the Revolutionary War. The Confederacy was formed at Montgomery in February 1861, and Montgomery served as the interim capital for a time.


Capital: Juneau

State bird: Willow ptarmigan

State tree: Sitka spruce

State flower: Forget-me-not

State song: “Alaska's Flag”

State animal: None

State fish: King salmon

Nicknames: None, officially. “The Last Frontier” and “Land of the Midnight Sun” (unofficial)

State motto: “North to the future”

Population, rank: 626,932 (2000); 48

Pop. density: 1.1 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 571,951 sq. mi. (1,481,353 sq. km.); 1

Date of statehood, sequence: January 3, 1959; 49th

Tourist attractions: Glacier Bay National Park; Katmai National Park and Preserve; Pribilof Islands fur seal rookeries; totem pole collection in Sitka National Historical Park; St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Sitka

Thumbnail history: In 1741, the Danish explorer Vitus Bering, employed by Russia, became the first European to land in Alaska. The large area, although scarcely settled or explored, came under Russian control until 1867 when it was bought by the United States for $7.2 million. Secretary of State William Seward engineered the purchase. Alaska became known as “Seward's Folly” until the Gold Rush of 1898 attracted the first mass immigration of settlers.


Capital: Phoenix

State bird: Cactus wren

State tree: Paloverde

State flower: Saguaro cactus flower

State song: “Arizona”

State animal: None

Nickname: Grand Canyon State

State motto: “God enriches”

Population, rank: 5,130,632 (2000); 20

Pop. density: 45.2 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 113,635 sq. mi. (294,315 sq. km.); 6

Date of statehood, sequence: February 14, 1912; 48th

Tourist attractions: Grand Canyon; Petrified Forest; Painted Desert; Hoover Dam; Fort Apache; reconstructed London Bridge al Havasu City

Thumbnail history: The first Europeans were Spanish missionaries in the 17th century; Spaniards founded Fort Tucson in 1776. Most of Arizona became a territory of the United States after the Mexican War (1848), with the present area completed with the Gadsen purchase of territory from Mexico in 1853. The territory was the scene of many Indian wars in the late nineteenth century.


Capital: Little Rock

State bird: Mockingbird

State tree: Pine

State flower: Apple blossom

State song: “Arkansas”

State animal: None

Nickname: Land of Opportunity

State motto: “The people rule”

Population, rank: 2,673,400 (2000); 33

Pop. density: 51.3 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 52,068 sq. mi. (134,856 sq. km.); 27

Date of statehood, sequence: June 15, 1836; 25th

Tourist attractions: Hot Springs National Park; Blanchard Caverns; Crater of Diamonds; Restored Territorial Capital in Little Rock

Thumbnail history: Hernando de Soto explored the area in 1541. Henri de Tonty founded first white settlement, the Arkansas Post, in 1686. Arkansas was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Arkansas was one of the last states to join the Confederacy.


Capital: Sacramento

State bird: California valley quail

State tree: California redwood

State flower: Golden poppy

State song: “I Love You, California”

State animal: California grizzly

Nickname: Golden State

State motto: “Eureka” (“I have found it”)

Population, rank: 33,871,648 (2000); 1

Pop. density: 217.2 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 155,959 sq. mi. (403,934 sq. km.); 3

Date of statehood, sequence: September 9, 1850; 31st

Tourist attractions: Sequoia National Park; Mt. Whitney; Disneyland; Yosemite National Park; Golden Gate Bridge

Thumbnail history: A Spanish mission was founded at San Diego in 1769. California became a territory of the United States in 1847 when it was surrendered by Mexico. The Gold Rush of 1848–49 began the first wave of mass immigration to the area.


Capital: Denver

State bird: Lark bunting

State tree: Colorado blue spruce

State flower: Rocky Mountain columbine

State song: “Where the Columbines Grow”

State animal: Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep

Nickname: Centennial State

State motto: “Nothing without providence”

Population, rank: 4,301,261 (2000); 24

Pop. density: 41.5 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 103,718 sq. mi. (268,630 sq. km.); 8

Date of statehood, sequence: August 1, 1876; 38th

Tourist attractions: Rocky Mountain National Park; Dinosaur National Monument; Pike's Peak; Mesa Verde National Park; Great Sand Dunes

Thumbnail history: Colorado was explored by the Spanish in the 16th century and claimed by Spain in 1706. The area became a territory of the United States piecemeal, through both the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Mexican War (1848). Colorado was the scene of various gold and silver strikes throughout the second half of the 19th century.


Capital: Hartford

State bird: American robin

State tree: White oak

State flower: Mountain laurel

State song: “Yankee Doodle”

State animal: Sperm whale

Nickname: Constitution State (official); Nutmeg State (unofficial)

State motto: “He who transplanted still sustains”

Population, rank: 3,405,565 (2000); 29

Pop. density: 702.9 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 4,845 sq. mi. (12,549 sq. km.); 48

Date of statehood, sequence: January 9, 1788; 5th

Tourist attractions: Long Island Sound coast; American Shakespeare Theater in Stratford; nineteenth-century seaport recreations in Mystic; P.T. Barnum Museum in Bridgeport

Thumbnail history: The Dutch were the first explorers and settlers in the early 17th century, but the area soon came under Puritan control. The Fundamental Orders of 1639 is considered the world's first written constitution. The colony played an important role in the American Revolution. Early industrial pioneers included Eli Whitney, Samuel Colt, and Charles Goodyear.


Capital: Dover

State bird: Blue hen chicken

State tree: American holly

State flower: Peach blossom

State song: “Our Delaware”

State animal: None

Nicknames: Diamond State; First State (both official)

State motto: “Liberty and Independence”

Population, rank: 783,600 (2000); 45

Pop. density: 401.0 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 1,954 sq. mi. (5,061 sq. km.); 49

Date of statehood, sequence: December 7, 1787; 1st

Tourist attractions: Fort Christina Monument; Holy Trinity Church, oldest Protestant Church still in use in United States (erected 1698); Winterthur Museum in Wilmington; Delaware Museum of Natural History

Thumbnail history: Henry Hudson, sailing for the Dutch and credited with being the first European explorer, arrived in 1609. Swedes began colonizing in 1638, but the area was taken over successively by the Dutch and the English. Delaware was at first part of Pennsylvania but fought as a separate state during the Revolution. In 1802, the famous duPont industrial complex began as a gunpowder mill near Wilmington.

District of Columbia

Capital: Seat of the federal government of the United States

Flower: American Beauty rose

Tree: Scarlet oak

Motto: “Justice for all”

Bird: Wood thrush

Population: 572,059 (2000)

Pop. density: 9,378.0 per sq. mi.

Area: 61 sq. mi. (158 sq. km.)

Tourist attractions: Washington Monument; Jefferson Memorial; Library of Congress; National Archives

Thumbnail history: The District of Columbia is identical with the city of Washington. The city was planned as the Country's capital in 1788 with a cession of land by Maryland and Virginia for the purpose, although the Virginia portion was returned to that state in 1846. The city was planned by Pierre Charles L'Enfant, a French engineer, but the work was completed by Major Andrew Ellicott. The national seat of government was transferred to the District on December 1, 1800. The city was partly burned by the British in 1814 during the War of 1812. The city achieved home rule in 1974 and has one nonvoting representative in the House of Representatives.


Capital: Tallahassee

State bird: Mockingbird

State tree: Sabal palmetto palm

State flower: Orange blossom

State song: “Suwannee River”

State animal: None

Nickname: Sunshine State

State motto: “In God we trust”

Population, rank: 15,982,378 (2000); 4

Pop. density: 296.4 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 53,927 sq. mi. (139,671 sq. km.); 26

Date of statehood, sequence: March 3, 1845; 27th

Tourist attractions: Miami Beach; Palm Beach; St. Augustine; Disney World; Daytona Beach; Kennedy Space Flight Center at Cape Canaveral

Thumbnail history: Florida was named by the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon in 1513. Florida was variously held by Spain, France, and England until it was sold to the United States by Spain in 1819. Before statehood, Florida was marked by the violent Seminole War that did not end until 1842.


Capital: Atlanta

State bird: Brown thrasher

State tree: Live oak

State flower: Cherokee rose

State song: “Georgia on my Mind”

State animal: None

Nicknames: Peach State; Empire State of the South (both official)

State motto: “Wisdom, justice, and moderation”

Population, rank: 8,186,453 (2000); 10

Pop. density: 141.4 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 57,906 sq. mi. (149,977 sq. km.); 21

Date of statehood, sequence: January 1, 1788; 4th

Tourist attractions: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge; Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park; the Little White House at Warm Springs; Sea Island; Cumberland Island National Seashore

Thumbnail history: The Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto explored the area in 1540. Georgia was founded as a colonial refuge for English debtors by James Oglethorpe in 1733. Georgia was the scene of many Civil War battles.


Capital: Honolulu

State bird: Nene (Hawaiian goose)

State tree: Candlenut

State flower: Hibiscus

State song: “Hawaii Ponoi”

State animal: None

Nickname: Aloha State

State motto: “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness”

Population, rank: 1,211,537 (2000); 42

Pop. density: 188.6 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 6,423 sq. mi. (16,636 sq. km.); 47

Date of statehood, sequence: August 21, 1959; 50th

Tourist attractions: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; Haleakala National Park; Polynesian Cultural Center; U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor; Iolani Palace

Thumbnail history: Hawaii was first settled by Polynesians in the 6th century A.D. The first European visitor was Captain James Cook, a British explorer, in 1778. Hawaii remained a native kingdom until 1893 when Queen Liliuokalani was deposed and a republic declared in 1894. The United States annexed the islands in 1898, and they became a territory in 1900.


Capital: Boise

State bird: Mountain bluebird

State tree: White pine

State flower: Syringa

State song: “Here We Have Idaho”

State animal: Appaloosa (horse)

Nicknames: Gem State; Spud State; Panhandle State

State motto: “May you last forever”

Population, rank: 1,293,953 (2000); 39

Pop. density: 15.6 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 82,747 sq. mi. (214,315 sq. km.); 11

Date of statehood, sequence: July 3, 1890; 43rd

Tourist attractions: Craters of the Moon National Monument; Nez Perce National Historic Park; State Historical Museum in Boise

Thumbnail history: Idaho was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. It was partly explored by Lewis and Clark during their Pacific expedition of 1804–06. Its northern boundary was established by the Oregon Treaty of 1846. Mormons built the first settlement of U.S. citizens in 1860, at Franklin. Increasing settlement and the discovery of gold led to conflicts with the Indians during the 1870s.


Capital: Springfield

State bird: Cardinal

State tree: White oak

State flower: Violet

State song: “Illinois”

State animal: White-tailed deer

Nicknames: The Prairie State (official); “The Inland Empire” (unofficial)

State motto: “State sovereignty, national union”

Population, rank: 12,419,293 (2000); 5

Pop. density: 223.4 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 55,584 sq. mi. (143,963 sq. km.); 24

Date of statehood, sequence: December 3, 1818; 21st

Tourist attractions: The Lincoln Home, Lincoln's Tomb, and restored Old State Capital, all in Springfield; Art Institute of Chicago; Field Museum of Natural History; Museum of Science and Industry; Shedd Aquarium; Adler Planetarium; restored home of Joseph Smith (Mormon leader) in Nauvoo

Thumbnail history: In 1673, the French explorers Marquette and Joliet became the first Europeans of record to explore the area. The first permanent settlement of Europeans was the French post at Cahokia, near present East St. Louis. France ceded the area to Britain in 1763. Without firing a shot, General George Rogers Clark captured Fort Kaskaskia from the British in 1778. The Black Hawk War of 1832 ended with defeat of the Indian forces.


Capital: Indianapolis

State bird: Cardinal

State tree: Tulip poplar

State flower: Peony

State song: “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away”

State animal: None

Nickname: Hoosier State

State motto: “The crossroads of America”

Population, rank: 6,080,485 (2000); 14

Pop. density: 169.5 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 35,867 sq. mi. (92,896 sq. km.); 38

Date of statehood, sequence: December 11, 1816; 19th

Tourist attractions: Wyandotte Cave; French Lick; Dunes National Lakeshore; Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial; George Rogers Clark National Historical Park

Thumbnail history: The first European explorer in the area was Ferdinand LaSalle in 1679–80. The area was taken over by the British in 1763 after the French and Indian War and then won by the Americans during the Revolutionary War. The United States did not win complete control of the area, however, until the defeat of Tecumseh's Indian Confederation in 1811 by William Henry Harrison.


Capital: Des Moines

State bird: Eastern goldfinch

State tree: Oak

State flower: Wild rose

State song: “Song of Iowa”

State animal: None

Nickname: Hawkeye State

State motto: “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain”

Population, rank: 2,926,324 (2000); 30

Pop. density: 52.4 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 55,869 sq. mi. (144,701 sq. km.); 23

Date of statehood, sequence: December 28, 1846; 29th

Tourist attractions: Herbert Hoover Memorial Library in West Branch; Ft. Dodge Historical Museum; Effigy Mounds National Monument; various Amana settlements

Thumbnail history: The French explorers Marquette and Joliet visited the area in 1673. Iowa was part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Some battles of the Black Hawk War of the 1830s were fought in the territory. The state's first capital was Iowa City, with Des Moines becoming the permanent capital in 1857.


Capital: Topeka

State bird: Western meadow lark

State tree: Cottonwood

State flower: Sunflower

State song: “Home on the Range"

State animal: Buffalo

Nicknames: Sunflower State; Jayhawk State

State motto: “To the stars through difficulties”

Population, rank: 2,688,418 (2000); 32

Pop. density: 32.9 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 81,815 sq. mi. (211,901 sq. km.); 13

Date of statehood, sequence: January 29, 1861; 34th

Tourist attractions: Kansas State Historical Society Museum in Topeka; Eisenhower boyhood home and Museum and Library both in Abilene; recreated Front Street in Dodge City; Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Discovery Center both in Hutchinson

Thumbnail history: The first European explorer in the area was probably the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Coronado in 1541. Kansas was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and American explorers of the area included Lewis and Clark, Zebulon Pike, and Stephen H. Long. The first settlements were military posts. Kansas was the scene of a bloody border struggle just before the Civil War.


Capital: Frankfort

State bird: Kentucky cardinal

State tree: Coffeetree

State flower: Goldenrod

State song: “My Old Kentucky Home”

State animal: None

Nickname: Bluegrass State

State motto: “United we stand, divided we fall”

Population, rank: 4,041,769 (2000); 25

Pop. density: 101.7 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 39,728 sq. mi. (102,896 sq. km.); 36

Date of statehood, sequence: June 1, 1792; 15th

Tourist attractions: Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs; Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area; Mammoth Cave; Ft. Knox; Old Ft. Harrod State Park

Thumbnail history: Originally part of Virginia, Kentucky was the first area west of the Appalachians settled by Americans. Daniel Boone was a noted explorer and settler, founding Boonesboro. Although a slave-holding state, Kentucky remained in the Union during the Civil War, but Kentuckians joined both Union and Confederate forces.


Capital: Baton Rouge

State bird: Eastern brown pelican

State tree: Bald cypress

State flower: Magnolia

State song: “Give Me Louisiana” and “You Are My Sunshine”

State animal: None

Nicknames: Pelican State (official); Sportsman's Paradise, Creole State, Sugar State (unofficial)

State motto: “Union, justice and confidence”

Population, rank: 4,468,976 (2000); 22

Pop. density: 102.6 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 43,562 sq. mi. (112,826 sq. km.); 33

Date of statehood, sequence: April 30, 1812; 18th

Tourist attractions: Mardi Gras; the French Quarter and Superdome in New Orleans; Chalmette National Historical Park; recreated antebellum plantations near Natchitoches; Longfellow–Evangeline Memorial Park

Thumbnail history: Louisiana was variously controlled and settled by the French and Spaniards until it was sold to the United States in 1803. New Orleans was the site of a famous battle during the War of 1812 when future president Andrew Jackson defeated the British in 1815. Louisiana joined the Confederacy during the Civil War, but New Orleans was captured by Union forces in 1862.


Capital: Augusta

State bird: Chickadee

State tree: Eastern white pine tree

State flower: White pine cone and tassel

State song: “State of Maine Song”

State animal: None

State fish: Freshwater salmon

Nickname: Pine Tree State

State motto: “I direct”

Population, rank: 1,274,923 (2000); 40

Pop. density: 41.3 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 30,862 sq. mi. (79,933 sq. km.); 39

Date of statehood, sequence: March 15, 1820; 23rd

Tourist attractions: Bar Harbor; Acadia National Park; Bath Marine Museum; Sugarloaf ski area; St. Croix Island National Monument

Thumbnail history: The first permanent English settlements were established in 1643. The first naval action of the Revolutionary War took place off the Maine coast. Throughout the colonial and early republic periods, Maine was a part of Massachusetts. Maine became the 23rd state as part of the Missouri Compromise in 1820.


Capital: Annapolis

State bird: Baltimore oriole

State tree: White oak

State flower: Black-eyed Susan

State song: “Maryland, My Maryland”

State animal: None

State dog: Chesapeake Bay retriever

Nicknames: Old Line State; Free State

State motto: “Manly deeds, womanly words”

Population, rank: 5,296,486 (2000); 19

Pop. density: 541.9 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 9,774 sq. mi. (25,315 sq. km.); 42

Date of statehood, sequence: April 28, 1788; 7th

Tourist attractions: U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis; Fort McHenry National Monument; restored St. Mary's City; Ocean City resort; Antietam battlefield; Edgar Allan Poe House in Baltimore

Thumbnail history: Captain John Smith explored Chesapeake Bay in 1608. Maryland became a proprietary colony under a charter granted to Lord Baltimore in 1632. In 1814, the British tried unsuccessfully to capture Baltimore, and it was during the bombardment of Fort McHenry that Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star Spangled Banner,” which became the country's national anthem.


Capital: Boston

State bird: Chickadee

State tree: American elm

State flower: Mayflower

State song: “All Hail to Massachusetts”

State animal: None

State horse: Morgan horse

Nicknames: Bay State; Old Colony State

State motto: “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty”

Population, rank: 6,349,097 (2000); 13

Pop. density: 809.8 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 7,840 sq. mi. (20,306 sq. km.); 45

Date of statehood, sequence: February 6, 1788; 6th

Tourist attractions: Cape Cod; Martha's Vineyard; Old Sturbridge Village; Old North Church in Boston; Minute Man National Historical Park

Thumbnail history: Pilgrims founded the first settlement in the area at Plymouth in 1620. Massachusetts played a leading role in agitation against Britain leading to the Revolutionary War; the first battles of the war were fought in that colony. Harvard, founded in 1636, is the oldest university in the United States. During the 19th century, Massachusetts was noted for native writers such as Hawthorne, Thoreau, and Emerson.


Capital: Lansing

State bird: Robin

State tree: White pine

State song: “Michigan, My Michigan”

State animal: None

State fish: Brook trout

Nicknames: Wolverine State; Great Lake State

State motto: “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look around you”

Population, rank: 9,938,444 (2000); 8

Pop. density: 175.0 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 56,804 sq. mi. (147,122 sq. km.); 22

Date of statehood, sequence: January 26, 1837; 26th

Tourist attractions: Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village both in Dearborn; Michigan Space Center in Jackson; Tahquamenon (Hiawatha) Falls; DeZwaan windmill and Tulip Festival in Holland; “Soo Locks,” in Sault Ste. Marie

Thumbnail history: The French were the first European explorers and settlers in the region. The explorers included Etienne Brule, Marquette, Joliet, and LaSalle. The first permanent settlement was French at Sault Ste. Marie in 1668. Great Britain took control of the area in 1763, with the United States acquiring the territory after the Revolutionary War. However, armed conflict between Britain and the United States and their respective Indian allies continued through the War of 1812 before final American rule was established.


Capital: St. Paul

State bird: Common loon, also known as the Great Northern Diver

State tree: Red pine, also known as the Norway pine

State flower: Showy lady slipper (pink and white varieties)

State song: “Hail Minnesota”

State animal: None

Nicknames: North Star State; Gopher State; Land of 10,000 Lakes

State motto: “The North Star”

Population, rank: 4,919,479 (2000); 21

Pop. density: 61.8 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 79,610 sq. mi. (206,190 sq. km.); 14

Date of statehood, sequence: May 11, 1858; 32nd

Tourist attractions: Many fishing and skiing areas; St. Paul Winter Carnival; Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis; Minnehaha Falls; Voyageurs National Park

Thumbnail history: The region was opened to settlement in the 16th century by French–Canadian fur traders and missionaries. The United States acquired the eastern portion of the territory after the Revolutionary War. The western portion formed part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. A further northern strip was acquired through a treaty settlement with Great Britain in 1818.


Capital: Jackson

State bird: Mockingbird

State tree: Magnolia

State flower: The blooms of the magnolia and evergreen magnolia

State song: “Go, Mississippi”

State animal: None

Nickname: Magnolia Slate

State motto: “By valor and arms”

Population, rank: 2,844,658 (2000); 31

Pop. density: 60.6 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 46,907 sq. mi. (121,489 sq. km.); 31

Date of statehood, sequence: December 10, 1817; 20th

Tourist attractions: Vicksburg National Military Park; various Indian mounds; Natchez Trace; restored antebellum plantations at Natchez and Oxford, among other sites

Thumbnail history: The first European explorers were Spanish, including Hernando de Soto, but the first permanent European settlement was French, in 1699, near Biloxi. The United States acquired most of the territory after the Revolutionary War. Full control by the United States took place in 1810 as a result of a treaty with Spain permitting annexation of the southern part.


Capital: Jefferson City

State bird: Bluebird

State tree: Dogwood

State flower: Hawthorn

State song: “Missouri Waltz”

State animal: None

Nickname: Show-me State

State motto: “The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law”

Population, rank: 5,595,211 (2000); 17

Pop. density: 81.2 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 68,886 sq. mi. (178,415 sq. km.); 18

Date of statehood, sequence: August 10, 1821; 24th

Tourist attractions: Mark Twain boyhood home and Mark Twain Cave in Hannibal; Lake of the Ozarks; Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence; Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph

Thumbnail history: De Soto explored the area in 1541, but the first settlements were French—at St. Genevieve in 1735 and St. Louis in 1764. Missouri formed part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. As part of the Missouri Compromise, Missouri became the first state admitted to the Union west of the Mississippi. The state was the scene of much armed conflict just prior to the Civil War, and although a slave state, Missouri remained in the union.


Capital: Helena

State bird: Western meadow lark

State tree: Ponderosa pine

State flower: Bitterroot

State song: “Montana”

State animal: None

Nickname: Treasure State

State motto: “Gold and silver”

Population, rank: 902,195 (2000); 44

Pop. density: 6.2 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 145,552 sq. mi. (376,980 sq. km.); 4

Date of statehood, sequence: November 8, 1889; 41st

Tourist attractions: Various hunting, fishing, and skiing areas; Museum of the Plains Indians at Browning; Custer Battlefield National Monument; Lewis and Clark Cavern; Glacier National Park

Thumbnail history: The earliest explorers were French fur traders. The United States acquired the present area through the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Oregon Treaty (1846). Montana was the scene of a number of Indian conflicts from 1867–77, including Custer's defeat in 1876. Throughout the last half of the 19th century Montana had a number of gold, silver, coal, and other mineral strikes that helped shape its future development.


Capital: Lincoln

State bird: Western meadow lark

State tree: Cottonwood

State flower: Goldenrod

State song: “Beautiful Nebraska”

State animal: None

State insect: Honey bee

Nicknames: Cornhusker State; Beef State; Tree Planters State

State motto: “Equality before the law”

Population, rank: 1,711,263 (2000); 38

Pop. density: 22.3 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 76,872 sq. mi. (199,098 sq. km.); 15

Date of statehood, sequence: March 1, 1867; 37th

Tourist attractions: Scotts Bluff National Monument; Wild Bill Cody Home in North Platte; Agate Fossil Beds; Chimney Rock National Historic Site; Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery

Thumbnail history: The first Europeans were French fur traders in the early 18th century. Nebraska formed the starting point for the Oregon Trail in 1812. The Union Pacific RR began its transcontinental route at Omaha in 1865. The first permanent settlement had been established at Bellevue in 1823.


Capital: Carson City

State bird: Mountain bluebird

State tree: Single-leaf pinon

State flower: Sagebrush

State song: “Home means Nevada”

State animal: Desert bighorn sheep

Nicknames: Sagebrush State; Battle Born State; Silver State

State motto: “All for our country”

Population, rank: 1,998,257 (2000); 35

Pop. density: 18.2 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 109,826 sq. mi. (284,449 sq. km.); 7

Date of statehood, sequence: October 31, 1864; 36th

Tourist attractions: Hoover Dam; Lake Mead; Las Vegas; Lake Tahoe; Reno; Virginia City; Death Valley; Valley of Fire State Park

Thumbnail history: From the 1820s through the 1840s, Nevada was explored by American traders, trappers, and soldiers such as Jedediah Smith, John C. Fremont, and Kit Carson. Nevada was acquired after the Mexican War (1848) and the first permanent settlers were Mormons. Nevada became commercially important with the discovery of gold, silver, and copper, starting with the famous Comstock Lode in 1859.

New Hampshire

Capital: Concord

State bird: Purple finch

State tree: White birch

State flower: Purple lilac

State songs: “Old New Hampshire” and “New Hampshire, My New Hampshire”

State animal: None

Nickname: Granite State

State motto: “Live free or die”

Population, rank: 1,235,786 (2000); 41

Pop. density: 137.8 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 8,968 sq. mi. (23,227 sq. km.); 44

Date of statehood, sequence: June 21, 1788; 9th

Tourist attractions: White Mountain National Forest; Lake Winnipesaukee; restored settlement at Portsmouth; “the Old Man of the Mountains” granite head profile at Franconia

Thumbnail history: New Hampshire was at first a part of colonial Massachusetts. The first English settlement was founded in 1623. New Hampshire became a separate colony in 1679. The New Hampshire delegation to the Continental Congress was the first to vote for the Declaration of Independence.

New Jersey

Capital: Trenton

State bird: Eastern goldfinch

State tree: Red oak

State flower: Purple violet

State song: None

State animal: Horse

Nickname: Garden State

State motto: “Liberty and prosperity”

Population, rank: 8,414,350 (2000); 9

Pop. density: 1,134.5 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 7,417 sq. mi. (19,210 sq. km.); 46

Date of statehood, sequence: December 18, 1787; 3rd

Tourist attractions: Atlantic City; Cape May; Princeton University; Grover Cleveland birthplace in Caldwell; Edison National Historic Site

Thumbnail history: New Jersey was at first a Dutch colony attached to New Netherlands (New York). Upon the Dutch surrendering to the English in 1664, it became a separate colony. Shortly after, however, it became part of both Pennsylvania and New York, gaining separate status again in 1738. It was the scene of much fighting during the Revolutionary War.

New Mexico

Capital: Santa Fe

State bird: Roadrunner

State tree: Pinon

State flower: Yucca

State song: “O Fair New Mexico”

Spanish language State song: “Asi Es Nuevo Mejico.”

State animal: Black bear

Nicknames: Land of Enchantment; Sunshine State

State motto: “It grows as it goes”

Population, rank: 1,819,046 (2000); 36

Pop. density: 15.0 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 121,356 sq. mi. (314,312 sq. km.); 5

Date of statehood, sequence: January 6, 1912; 47th

Tourist attractions: Pueblo ruins from 1st century A.D. in Chaco canyon; Taos; Carlsbad Caverns; White Sands National Monument; Inscription Rock at El Morro National Monument

Thumbnail history: Francisco de Coronado explored the region in 1540–42. The first European settlements were Spanish, with Santa Fe being founded in 1610. New Mexico became part of the United States in 1848 after the Mexican War and through the Gadsden Purchase of 1853. There were long and notable Indian conflicts that lasted until 1886.

New York

Capital: Albany

State bird: Bluebird

State tree: Sugar maple

State flower: Rose

State song: “I Love New York”

State animal: Beaver

Nickname: Empire State

State motto: “Ever upward”

Population, rank: 18,976,457 (2000); 3

Pop. density: 401.9 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 47,214 sq. mi. (122,284 sq. km.); 30

Date of statehood, sequence: July 26, 1788; 11th

Tourist attractions: Niagara Falls; New York City; the Franklin Roosevelt home at Hyde Park; the Theodore Roosevelt home at Oyster Bay; Grant's Tomb; restored Ft. Ticonderoga and Ft. Stanwix; Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown; Saratoga Springs

Thumbnail history: European explorers in the area were Verrazano, Hudson, and French traders from Canada. The first permanent settlement was Dutch, founded in 1624 at Fort Orange (now Albany). The English took control in 1664 after a war with the Dutch. Many Revolutionary War battles took place in the colony. New York City was the nation's capital until 1800.

North Carolina

Capital:  Raleigh

State bird: Cardinal

State tree: Pine

State flower: Dogwood

State song: “The Old North State”

State animal: Gray squirrel

Nicknames: Tar Heel State; Old North State

State motto: “To be rather than to seem”

Population, rank: 8,049,313 (2000); 11

Pop. density: 165.2 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 48,711 sq. mi. (126,161 sq. km.); 29

Date of statehood, sequence: November 21, 1789; 12th

Tourist attractions: Great Smoky Mountains; Blue Ridge National Parkway; Cape Hatteras; Guilford Courthouse; Roanoke Island

Thumbnail history: Unsuccessful attempts were made to colonize Roanoke Island in 1585 and 1587. The first permanent English settlements were established by colonists from Virginia in 1653. A number of colonial rebellions in the colony were protests against proprietary rule. General Joseph Johnston surrendered the last Confederate army to Union General William Sherman near Bennett Place.

North Dakota

Capital: Bismarck

State bird: Western meadow lark

State tree: American elm

State flower: Wild prairie rose

State song: “North Dakota Hymn”

State animal: None

Nicknames: Sioux State; Flickertail State; Peace Garden State

State motto: “Liberty and union; now and forever; one and inseparable”

Population, rank: 642,200 (2000); 47

Pop. density: 9.3 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 68,976 sq. mi. (178,648 sq. km.); 17

Date of statehood, sequence: November 2, 1889; 39th

Tourist attractions: Burning lignite beds at Amidon; Writing Rock near Grenora; Fort Abercrombie; Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park in the Badlands; Lake Sakakawea

Thumbnail history: French–Canadians explored the area in 1738–40. Most of the area was part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, with a northeastern strip acquired by treaty with Great Britain in 1818. The first permanent settlement was at Pembina in 1812. The first steamboats reached the area in 1832 and the first railroad in 1873. North Dakota was the first state to hold a presidential primary in 1912.


Capital: Columbus

State bird: Cardinal

State tree: Buckeye

State flower: Scarlet carnation

State song: “Beautiful Ohio”

State animal: None

State insect: Ladybug

Nickname: Buckeye State

State motto: “With God, all things are possible”

Population, rank: 11,353,140 (2000); 7

Pop. density: 277.3 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 40,948 sq. mi. (106,055 sq. km.); 35

Date of statehood, sequence: March 1, 1803; 17th

Tourist attractions: Indian Burial Grounds at Mound City National Monument; the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum; Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton

Thumbnail history: Ohio became a U.S. territory in 1783, and the first permanent settlement was at Marietta in 1788, which also served as the capital of the Northwest Territory. There was much fighting with Indian tribes during the 1790s. During the War of 1812, American naval forces under Oliver Perry defeated the British on Lake Erie.


Capital: Oklahoma City

State bird: Scissor-tailed flycatcher

State tree: Redbud

State flower: Mistletoe

State song: “Oklahoma”

State animal: Bison

Nickname: Sooner State

State motto: “Labor conquers all things”

Population, rank: 3,450,654 (2000); 27

Pop. density: 50.3 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 68,667 sq. mi. (177,848 sq. km.); 19

Date of statehood, sequence: November 16, 1907; 46th

Tourist attractions: National Cowboy Hall of Fame; Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore; Ouachita National Forest; restored Fort Gibson

Thumbnail history: Francisco de Coronado explored the area for Spain in 1541. Most of the territory was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, with the Panhandle section added after the annexation of Texas in 1845. From 1834 to 1889, Oklahoma was set aside as so-called Indian Territory, but it did not have official territorial status. In that year occurred the famous “Land Rush” from which Oklahoma got its Sooner nickname. Such land rushes formed part of the area's history through 1901.


Capital: Salem

State bird: Western meadow lark

State tree: Douglas fir

State flower: Oregon grape

State song: “Oregon, My Oregon”

State animal: Beaver

Nickname: Beaver State

State motto: “The Union”

Population, rank: 3,421,399 (2000); 28

Pop. density: 35.6 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 95,997 sq. mi. (248,632 sq. km.); 10

Date of statehood, sequence: February 14,1859; 33rd

Tourist attractions: Mt. Hood; Crater Lake National Park; John Day Fossil Beds National Monument; Annual Pendleton Round-up; Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Thumbnail history: There were early Spanish and English explorations of the coast in the 16th and 17th centuries. Captain Robert Gray discovered and named the Columbia River in 1792, claiming the area for the United States. However, there was a long-standing dispute between the United States and Great Britain over the area that was not settled until 1846. The first substantial numbers of American settlers arrived in 1834 and 1843.


Capital: Harrisburg

State bird: Ruffed grouse

State tree: Hemlock

State flower: Mountain laurel

State song: None

State animal: Great Dane

Nickname: Keystone State

State motto: “Virtue, liberty and independence”

Population, rank: 12,281,054 (2000); 6

Pop. density: 274.0 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 44,817 sq. mi. (116,076 sq. km.); 32

Date of statehood, sequence: December 12, 1787; 2nd

Tourist attractions: Gettysburg National Military Park; Independence Hall and Liberty Bell, Philadelphia; Valley Forge; Eisenhower farm; Delaware Water Gap National Recreation area

Thumbnail history: The first settlers were Swedes, Dutch, and English; but after England took control in 1664, the colony was given to William Penn by King Charles II in 1681. Philadelphia was the seat of government during the Revolution. Important battles were fought in Pennsylvania during the war. The U.S. Constitution was drawn up in that city in 1787. The crucial battle of Gettysburg took place there during the Civil War.

Rhode Island

Capital: Providence

State bird: Rhode Island red

State tree: Red maple

State flower: Violet

State song: “Rhode Island”

State animal: None

Nicknames: The Ocean State; Little Rhody

State motto: “Hope”

Population, rank: 1,048,319 (2000); 43

Pop. density: 1,003.2 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 1,045 sq. mi. (2,707 sq. km.); 50

Date of statehood, sequence: May 29, 1790; 13th

Tourist attractions: Roger Williams National Memorial; Newport; Gilbert Stuart home, Saunderstown; Narragansett Indian Fall Festival

Thumbnail history: Roger Williams founded Providence in 1636 after being exiled from Massachusetts. Other religious exiles founded Newport and Pocasset (now Portsmouth). The colony was noted early for religious tolerance. As a colony, it declared its independence from Great Britain in May 1776 before the formal Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia.

South Carolina

Capital: Columbia

State bird: Carolina wren

State tree: Palmetto

State flower: Carolina yellow Jessamine

State song: “Carolina”

State animal: None

Nickname: Palmetto State

State mortos: “While I breathe, I hope” and “Prepared in mind and resources”

Population, rank: 4,012,012 (2000); 26

Pop. density: 133.2 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 30,110 sq. mi. (77,985 sq. km.); 40

Date of statehood, sequence: May 23, 1788; 8th

Tourist attractions: Charleston harbor; Ft. Sumter National Monument; Magnolia and Cypress Gardens; Edisto State Park; Hilton Head Island resort

Thumbnail history: Early Spanish and French colonization attempts in the 16th century failed. The first English settlement was founded at Albermarle Point in 1670. But this settlement later transferred to Charles Town (Charleston). South Carolina was officially separated from North Carolina in 1729. The state was the scene of fighting during the Revolutionary War and the Civil War began in Charleston in 1861 when the federal Fort Sumter was fired on.

South Dakota

Capital: Pierre

State bird: Ring-necked pheasant

State tree: Black Hills spruce

State flower: American pasqueflower

State song: “Hail South Dakota”

State animal: Coyote

Nicknames: Sunshine State, Coyote “State

State motto: “Under God the People rule”

Population, rank: 754,844 (2000); 46

Pop. density: 9.9 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 75,885 sq. mi. (196,542 sq. km.); 16

Date of statehood, sequence: November 2, 1889; 40th

Tourist attractions: Needles Highway, leading through the Black Hills; Custer State Park, with bison and burro herds; restored army post of 1864 at Fort Sisseton; Missouri River reservoirs

Thumbnail history: Les Verendryes, in 1742–43, explored the region, then Lewis and Clark passed through in 1804 and 1806. Fort Pierre became the first white American settlement in 1817. With the discovery of gold in 1874, on the Sioux Reservation, miners rushed in by the thousands. The Sioux defeated Custer at Little Big Horn (1876) in the aftermath to the gold rush. The Sioux gave up the land in 1877, and the “Great Dakota Boom” began in 1879. The massacre at Wounded Knee took place in December 1890.


Capital: Nashville

State bird: Mockingbird

State tree: Tulip poplar

State flower: Iris

State song: “Tennessee Waltz”

State animal: Raccoon

Nickname: Volunteer State

State motto: “Tennessee—America at its best”

Population, rank: 5,689,283 (2000); 16

Pop. density: 138.0 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 41,217 sq. mi. (106,752 sq. km.); 34

Date of statehood, sequence: June 1, 1796; 16th

Tourist attractions: Reelfoot Lake, the reservoir basin of the Mississippi River; Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga; Fall Creek Falls; Great Smoky Mountains National Park; The Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson

Thumbnail history: Spaniards arrived in 1541, English traders and French explorers about 1673. Virginians established the first permanent settlement on the Watauga River in 1769. Tennesseeans helped win the American Revolutionary battle of Kings Mountain, North Carolina in 1780. The state seceded with other southern states in 1861 and fought with the South. But some 30,000 Tennessee troops fought with the North.


Capital: Austin

State bird: Mockingbird

State tree: Pecan

State flower: Bluebonnet

State song: “Texas, Our Texas”

State animal: None

Nickname: Lone Star State

State motto: “Friendship”

Population, rank: 20,851,820(2000); 2

Pop. density: 79.6 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 261,797 sq. mi. (678,054 sq. km.); 2

Date of statehood, sequence: December 19, 1845; 28th

Tourist attractions: Padre Island National Seashore; Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks; The Alamo; Six Flags Amusement Park; Lyndon Johnson memorials in Johnson City

Thumbnail history: Spaniards sailed along the Texas coast or visited the interior, 1519–2. The first Spanish settlement was established at Ysleta, near El Paso, in 1682. After the arrival of Americans in the early part of the 19th century, Mexico, of which Texas was a part, won its independence from Spain in 1821. Texans rebelled against the dictatorship of Santa Ana in 1835. Santa Ana attacked and killed the defenders of the Alamo in 1836. At San Jacinto in 1846, Sam Houston led a force that defeated Santa Ana and gained Texas its independence.


Capital: Salt Lake City

State bird: Seagull

State tree: Blue spruce

State flower: Sego lily

State song: “Utah, We Love Thee”

State animal:None

Nickname: Beehive State

State motto: “Industry”

Population, rank: 2,233,169 (2000); 34

Pop. density: 27.2 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 82,144 sq. mi. (212,753 sq. km.); 12

Date of statehood, sequence: January 4, 1896; 45th

Tourist attractions: Temple Square, Mormon Church headquarters, Salt Lake City; Great Salt Lake; natural wonders at Zion, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Arches, and Capitol Reef National Parks; national monuments including Dinosaur, Rainbow Bridge, and Timpanogas Cave

Thumbnail history: Spanish Franciscan friars visited the Utah area in 1776. American fur traders later explored and trapped. The Mormons established the first permanent settlements starting in 1847, organizing the state of Deseret in 1849. Because of controversy over the Mormon practice of polygamy, the state did not enter the Union until 1896. Polygamy was discontinued in 1890.


Capital: Montpelier

State bird: Hermit thrush

State tree: Sugar maple

State flower: Red clover

State song: “Hail, Vermont”

State animal: Morgan horse

Nickname: Green Mountain State

State motto: “Vermont, Freedom and Unity”

Population, rank: 608,827 (2000); 49

Pop. density: 65.8 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 9,250 sq. mi. (23,958 isq. km.); 43

Date of statehood, sequence: March 4, 1791; 14th

Tourist attractions: The state's more than 56 ski areas; Shelburne Museum; Rock of Ages Tourist Center, Graniteville; Bennington Battleground; Maple Grove Maple Museum, St. Johnsbury

Thumbnail history: In 1609, Champlain discovered the lake that is named after him. The first American settlement, Fort Dummer, was established in 1724 near Brattleboro. The Green Mountain Boys under Ethan Allen attacked and captured Fort Ticonderoga in 1775. During the War of 1812, Thomas MacDonough defeated a British fleet on Lake Champlain in 1814.


Capital: Richmond

State bird: Cardinal

State tree: Dogwood

State flower: Dogwood

State song: “Carry Me Back to Old Virginia”

State animal: None

Nicknames: The Old Dominion; Mother of Presidents

State motto: “Sic semper tyrannis” (“Thus always to tyrants”)

Population, rank: 7,078,515 (2000); 12

Pop. density: 178.8 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 39,594 sq. mi. (102,548 sq. km.); 37

Date of statehood, sequence: June 25, 1788; 10th

Tourist attractions: Colonial Williamsburg; Arlington National Cemetery; Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington; Appomattox; Shenandoah National Park; Virginia Beach

Thumbnail history: Jamestown was founded in 1607. After forcing Royal Governor Dunmore from office in 1775, Virginians under George Rogers Clark drove British forces from the Ohio–Indiana–IIlinois area. Benedict Arnold, in British pay, burned Richmond in 1881. In the same year, General George Washington trapped Britain's General Cornwallis at Yorktown, forcing the British surrender.


Capital: Olympia

State bird: Willow goldfinch

State tree: Western hemlock

State flower: Western rhododendron

State song: “Washington, My Home”

State animal: None

Nicknames: Evergreen State; Chinook State

State motto: “Al-Ki” (Indian word meaning “by and by”)

Population, rank: 5,894,121 (2000); 15

Pop. density: 88.6 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 66,544 sq. mi. (172,349 sq. km.); 20

Date of statehood, sequence: November 11, 1889; 42nd

Tourist attractions: Mount Rainier; Olympic and North Cascades National Parks; Mt. St. Helens; Puget Sound

Thumbnail history: A Spaniard, Bruno Hezeta, sailed along the coast in 1775. In 1792, American Captain Robert Gray sailed up the Columbia River. Canadian fur traders established Spokane House in 1810 and American John Jacob Astor set up a post at Fort Okanogan the following year. In 1846, the United States and Canada reached final agreement on the U.S.–Canadian border. New settlers arrived after the discovery of gold in 1855.

West Virginia

Capital: Charleston

State bird: Cardinal

State tree: Sugar maple

State flower: Big rhododendron

State songs: “This is my Virginia” and “The West Virginia Hills”

State animal: Black bear

Nickname: Mountain State

State motto: “Montani semper liberi” (“Mountaineers are always free”)

Population, rank: 1,808,344 (2000); 37

Pop. density: 75.1 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 24,078 sq. mi. (62,362 sq. km.); 41

Date of statehood, sequence: June 20, 1863; 35th

Tourist attractions: Harpers Ferry National Historic Park; Ohio Canal National Historic Park; scenic railroad at Cass; historic homes at Charles Town

Thumbnail history: Among early explorers were George Washington and Daniel Boone. Long included as part of Virginia, West Virginia declared itself a new state, named Kanawha, when Virginia seceded from the union in 1861. The name later became West Virginia.


Capital: Madison

State bird: Robin

State tree: Sugar maple

State flower: Wood violet

State song: “On Wisconsin”

State animal: Badger; wildlife animal, white-tailed deer; domestic animal, dairy cow

Nickname: Badger State

State motto: “Forward”

Population, rank: 5,363,675 (2000); 18

Pop. density: 98.8 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 54,310 sq. mi. (140,663 sq. km.); 25

Date of statehood, sequence: May 29, 1848; 30th

Tourist attractions: Circus World Museum in Baraboo; Wisconsin Dells; Old World Wisconsin in Eagle; Door County peninsula; Chequamegon and Nicolet national forests

Thumbnail history: In 1634 Jean Nicolet became the first European to visit the Wisconsin area. French fur traders and missionaries followed, and the British took title to the area in 1763. The Revolutionary War ended British rule, but Americans did not take control until after the War of 1812. Immigrants included lead miners and farmers. Railroads reached the area in 1851.


Capital: Cheyenne

State bird: Meadowlark

State tree: Cottonwood

State flower: Indian paintbrush

State song: “Wyoming”

State animal: None

Nickname: Equality State

State motto: “Equal rights”

Population, rank: 493,782 (2000); 50

Pop. density: 5.1 per sq. mi.

Area, rank: 97,100 sq. mi. (251,489 sq. km.); 9

Date of statehood, sequence: July 10, 1890; 44th

Tourist attractions: Yellowstone National Park; Grand Teton National Park; National Elk Refuge; Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody

Thumbnail history: The first Europeans reached the area in 1743. American John Colter explored Yellowstone Park in 1807–08. Pioneers stopped at Forts Laramie and Bridger on the way to the west coast. The population grew after the Union Pacific Railroad began, in 1869, to cross the state. The Wyoming Territorial Legislature gave women the right to vote in 1869—for the first time in the United States.

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