Discover The 5 Smallest States

Written by Nixza Gonzalez
Updated: June 24, 2023
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The United States has 50 states in total. Each state has its own unique geography and culture. The United States is a large country, covering 3,796,742 square miles. Alaska is the largest state in the U.S. with a massive surface area of 665,384.04 square miles. The least populated state in the U.S. is Wyoming, with a little fewer than half a million residents. The smallest state in the United States is barely a fraction of the size of Alaska, can you guess which state it is?

Follow along to discover the 5 smallest states in the U.S. and some fun facts about each.

1. Rhode Island

The smallest state in the U.S. is Rhode Island, with a surface area of 1,214 square miles. Rhode Island is also about 48 miles long and 37 miles wide. The elevation of the state is 200 feet, while the highest elevation is Jerimoth Hill at 812 feet. Although Rhode Island is the smallest state by area, it’s not the smallest state by population. Instead, it’s the 7th least populated state in the country. Rhode Island has a little less than 1.1 million residents. Although the word “island” is in its name, Rhode Island borders Connecticut and Massachusetts. Only a small part of Rhode Island, Aquidneck Island, is an island. About 60,000 people live on the island. Rhode Island is also home to at least 800 wildlife species including rabbits, moles, beavers, and Canadian geese.

The smallest state in the United States is Rhode Island

The smallest state in the United States is Rhode Island with a surface area of 1,214 square miles.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

2. Delaware

The second smallest state in the U.S. is Delaware with a surface area between 1,982 and 2,489 square miles. The state is 96 miles long and anywhere from 9 to 35 miles across. Delaware borders multiple states including Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. It also has more than 25 miles of coastline, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. The elevation of the state is 60 feet, with the highest point near Ebright Azimuth at 447.85 feet. Delaware has the lowest mean elevation in the country. The state is home to about 1 million people. Delaware is filled with unique wildlife, including its state animal, the blue hen. Delaware’s nickname is the “First State” and the “Diamond State”.

Wilmington Delaware

The second smallest state in the U.S. is Delaware with a length of 96 miles and a width of 35 miles at its widest point.

©iStock.com/ChrisBoswell

3. Connecticut

Connecticut is the third smallest state in the country with a surface area of 5,018 square miles. This state is about 70 miles long and 110 miles wide. The state is bordered by New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Long Island Sound. This state is one of the oldest states in the U.S. It has an elevation of 500, with the highest elevation point being the south slope of Mount Frissell at 2,379 feet high. Over 3.5 million people call Connecticut their home. Nearly 60% of the state though, is covered in forest with lots of animals. For example, some common animals in Connecticut are sperm whales, white-tailed deer, rats, seagulls, and sandhill cranes. Connecticut is also called the “Constitution State” or the “Nutmeg State”. Interestingly, the first American dictionary was made in Connecticut. 

Connecticut is the third smallest state in the US

Connecticut is one of the oldest states in the U.S. and the third smallest with a surface area of 5,018 square miles.

©iStock.com/SeanPavonePhoto

4. New Jersey

The fourth smallest state in the U.S. is New Jersey, however, it’s also the most populous American urban agglomeration. The state covers about 8,722.58 square miles, and at least 15.7% of the state’s surface area is water. New Jersey is also 170 miles long and 70 miles wide. It borders the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania. New Jersey’s elevation is 250 feet, however, its highest point is High Point at about 1,803 feet. New Jersey is home to nearly 10 million people and has a diverse culture. There are also multiple national parks in New Jersey, like the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. Here you can see a stunning waterfall and animals. It’s a great spot for birdwatching. New Jersey, nicknamed “The Garden State”, has a lot of personality. The state even has an official state sea shell, the knobbed whelk.

New Jersey is the fourth smallest state in the United States

New Jersey may be the fourth smallest state in the United States, but it is home to nearly 10 million people.

©iStock.com/SeanPavonePhoto

5. New Hampshire

Next on the list of the smallest states in the U.S. is New Hampshire. This state covers 9,349 square miles and is 190 miles long and 68 miles wide. New Hampshire borders Canada, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts. Although New Hampshire is the 5th smallest state in the country, it ranks 41st in population and 21st in density. New Hampshire also has an elevation of 1,000 feet, and its highest point is Mount Washington at 6,288 feet high. The state only has a little over 1.3 million residents. New Hampshire was the 9th state to join the U.S. and is one of the original 13 colonies. It played a big role in the revolutionary war. New Hampshire isn’t just filled with history, but also wildlife and plants. Some common animals in New Hampshire are bobcats, red foxes, moose, black bears, Chinook salmon, Atlantic sturgeon, and harbor seals.

Manchester, New Hampshire

Although New Hampshire is the 5th smallest state in the country, it ranks 41st in population and 21st in density.

©iStock.com/ChrisBoswell

Summary of the 5 Smallest States in the U.S.

RankU.S. StateSize
1Rhode Island1,214 square miles
2DelawareBetween 1,982 and 2,489 square miles
3Connecticut5,018 square miles
4New Jersey8,722.58 square miles
5New Hampshire
9,349 square miles

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Ultima_Gaina


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About the Author

Nixza Gonzalez is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics like travel, geography, plants, and marine animals. She has over six years of experience as a content writer and holds an Associate of Arts Degree. A resident of Florida, Nixza loves spending time outdoors exploring state parks and tending to her container garden.

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