The United States is the fourth largest country in the world and only slightly smaller than the entire European continent at 3.8 million sq. miles. It is made up of 50 states, each with a different land mass and culture. Here are the 10 largest states in the US.
Also see: Most Visited Countries in the World
Largest States in the United States
List of largest states in the United States.
At 665,384.0 sq. miles Alaska is the largest state of the US. It makes up 17.53% of the US territory but is cut off from the rest of the mainland and lies connected to the northwestern tip of Canada. It is known for its snowy landscape and being towards the extreme north means that the sun doesn’t set for 60 days at once in some place and some place else they have 30 days of night. Apart from that Alaska also consists of more than 300 volcanic islands called the Aleutian Islands. Alaska is the largest US state but it is the 3rd least populous, mainly because of extreme weather and geography.
At 268,596.5 sq. miles or 695,662 sq. km, the Lone Star State of Texas is half the size of Alaska and covers 7.07% of the US land. Home to NASA’s Space Center at Houston, 54 of the Fortune 500 companies and a ton of important industries including oil, if Texas was an independent nation it would be the 10th largest economy of the world. Hot temperatures and cowboy stories too are the cultural representation of this Southern State.
The Golden State is the center of Hollywood and the tech industry, making it the most populous state in the country and the 3rd largest in terms of area. It has an area of 163,694.7 sq. miles and covers 4.31% of the US land. Just as Alaska is known for the cold, California is known for its bright sunny weather and long days at the beaches of its many coastal cities. It garners most of the tourist attraction of the country and with the income from the tourists, film industry and being the center of the Internet, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world as a sovereign nation, ahead of UK, France, and India.
A lesser-known US State also known as the Treasure State and the Land of Shiny Mountains, Montana is also one of the least populous states of the country. It covers 3.87% of the country with 147,039.7 sq. miles in area, mostly made of badlands and dry grasslands. The terrain gave rise to ranching and farming activities along with oil and mining. But the most famous part is the Yellowstone National Park and the Glacier National Park with around 13 million tourists visiting every year.
5. New Mexico
At 121,590.3 sq. miles, the Southern State of New Mexico known as the Land of Enchantment is the 5th largest state of the US by area. It is a site for oil drilling, mining, film shooting and large bases of the US Military. It is one of the Mountain States and shares its borders with Mexico and Texas along with three other states. A lot of the population is Hispanic and Native American, contributing to the state’s culture and cuisine significantly.
The Grand Canyon state is 113,990.3 sq. miles in terms of area and covers 3% of US territory. As the nickname suggests, Arizona is home to one of the largest and the most visited canyons on Earth, the Grand Canyon. It experiences a variety of weathers, different in different parts of the state, from scorching summers to heavy snowfall and winds. It was made part of the US on 14th February 1912, thus naming it the Valentine State.
Home to Fabulous Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam, Nevada is mostly made up of desert in its 110,571.8 sq. miles of area. 75% of the people of the state live in Clark County which contains Vegas. By legalizing gambling, Nevada boosted its economy in Vegas and it became one of the hottest tourist destinations of the modern world. Because of remote deserts and flatlands, 86% of the land is managed and occupied by the US Army and the Federal Government.
At 104,093.7 sq. miles, the Centennial State boasts most of the gorgeous southern Rocky Mountains. The Colorado River cuts through the Grand Canyon, forming the colorful gorge over many centuries. Where the land is not covered with the snowy mountains and pine forests, it is flat and provides good farmland. There are plenty of windy landscapes, canyons and naturally shaped rocky hills for travelers to explore on an adventure across this state. But the infamous extreme weathers (from 49°C to 8°C) are something to be taken into account before planning a long trip here.
At 98,000 sq. miles, Oregon (aka the Beaver State) is one of the three mainlands US states that touch the Pacific Ocean. It lies above California in the West and boasts one of the most diverse states in terms of geography. There are dense evergreen forests, volcanoes, water bodies, along with arid deserts and semi-arid shrublands all in one state. Another fascinating thing found in Oregon is the single largest organism in the world that runs for 2200 acres underground in the Malheur National Forest; a fungus called Armillaria ostoyae which is pretty commonly occurring in the US.
The 10th largest state is Wyoming, covering 97,813.0 sq. miles, almost the same size as Oregon in terms of percentage of US area it covers: 2.58%. it is also the least populous state of the US and is almost perfectly rectangular in shape. Lying in the Midwestern US, the Cowboy State is 2/3rds covered in the Rocky Mountains with half the land owned by the Federal Government. The Federal land consists of two famous national parks: Yellowstone and Grand Teton. It is also home to the Wind River Indian Reservation and some famous political figures too.
This list considers the mass of the state in terms of the surface area and not the population. If the population is considered, many of these states will be towards the bottom of the list since the terrains in most of the areas are too rocky, snowy or arid to live.