Only 2 States Start with T… Do You Know them?

Gatlinburg Great Smoky Mountains National Park Winter Overlook Snow Landscape
Dave Allen Photography/iStock via Getty Images

Written by Sofia Fantauzzo

Published: February 26, 2024

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Though the letter T is one of the most common letters, there is a surprising lack of states that start with this letter. In fact, only two states in the U.S. start with the letter T: Texas and Tennessee. It seems like there should be more! Interestingly enough, it is far more common for a city to start with T than a state.

1. Texas

A closeup shot of the Texas Star, the largest ferris wheel in North America.

The largest Ferris wheel belongs to Texas.

Texas is a large state at over 268,500 square miles. This land mass holds over 30 million people as of 2023 and is a hub for all types of people. There are multiple well-known universities, such as the University of Texas and Texas A&M.

Topography

There are a lot of topographical features in Texas, as one can expect from a state that is the second largest in the country. Texas has a coastline at the Gulf of Mexico, prairie land, the Rocky Mountains to the west, and five major rivers.

Wildlife and Plants

If you’re a wildlife lover, then Texas has plenty of animals for you to look out for. For bird species alone, Texas hosts over 600 of them. You can find tons of different fish in the rivers and lakes in the state. In fact, Texas houses 191 native species of fish in their rivers and lakes. There are also bobcats, wolves, coyotes, snakes, and wild boars to name just a few.

Texas also has a lot of diversity in its flora. There are over 4,600 native species of plants in the state, making it number two in the country with plant diversity. These plants help maintain the population of animals and insects that keep Texas wild and beautiful.

Climate

Most of the state of Texas experiences dry heat during the summer, though areas near the coast have a subtropical climate. Summers can be pretty hot with temperatures sometimes exceeding 100°F. Winters are relatively mild throughout the state with northern areas being more prone to freezing or below-freezing temperatures. However, it’s rare to see snow.

Culture

“Everything is bigger in Texas” is basically the state’s unofficial motto, and there’s a lot to back that sentiment up. The culture of Texas has a few basics: cowboys, barbeque, and their giant ranches. However, there are more things than meets the eye. For example, Austin is a place where people are encouraged to “keep it weird” with a unique music scene. With a state as large as Texas, one would have some major difficulty not finding something to enjoy.

2. Tennessee

Tennessee welcomes you sign

Tennessee is home to the Dollywood theme park and the Ryman Auditorium, both landmarks of the state.

The other state that starts with the letter T is Tennessee, smack dab in the middle of the eastern half of the US. While this state is significantly smaller than Texas, at over 42,000 square miles and with a population of roughly seven million people, there’s a lot that’s packed in.

Topography

Tennessee butts up against the Mississippi River on its western side and has The Great Smoky Mountains running through the eastern part of the state. The land is flatter as you go westward and hillier towards the mountains. The state has three major rivers including the Mississippi. Tennessee also has a lot of caves, drawing in explorers from all over the country.

Wildlife and Plants

Black bears, cougars, elk, deer, and plenty of foxes and raccoons roam Tennessee. There are also 60 native species of reptiles in the state and over 400 species of birds! Tennessee has a lot of fish in its rivers, with over 300 species found between native and non-native species. Tennessee has its fair share of plant diversity, ranking 13th in the country.

Climate

Tennessee has a subtropical and somewhat humid climate that is well-known in southern states. The summers can be hot and sticky, with average highs around 90°F. Winters are mild, though closer to the mountains you might see snow or ice and freezing temperatures. Generally, does not tend to stay below freezing for long in this state during the colder months. Tennessee is surprisingly a wet state, receiving over 50 inches of rain per year on average.

Culture

Nashville, Tennessee is a major attractor for music lovers, particularly those fond of country music (and Dolly Parton). The Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry are located here, but Tennessee is more than just Nashville! The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, culinary delights, and Graceland are just a few of the draws to Tennessee for people visiting or settling down.

What Letter Do Most States Start With?

The most common starting letters for states are both M and N, with eight states each beginning with those letters. For some of the “N” states, three start with the word “new”. Alternatively, not one state in the US has the letter “Q” in it. A close second are the states of New Jersey and Arizona: “J” and “Z” only make their appearance in those state names.


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About the Author

Sofia is a lover of all things nature, and has completed a B.S. in Botany at the University of Florida (Go Gators!). Professionally, interests include everything plant and animal related, with a penchant for writing and bringing science topics to a wider audience. On the off-occasion she is not writing or playing with her cats or crested gecko, she can be found outside pointing out native and invasive plants while playing Pokemon Go.

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