Can You Accurately Guess the Population of Every American State?

By: Lauren Lubas

Can You Accurately Guess the Population of Every American State?
Image: John M Lund Photography Inc/ DigitalVision/ Getty Images

About This Quiz

The number of people who live in the world has reached 7.7 billion and climbing. The United States ranks third in total population, with a staggering 329,746,270 people, and our population pales in comparison to the numbers coming from China and India, with both countries reaching nearly 1.5 billion people each. 

America is a relatively large country that covers quite a bit of land, but our population distribution isn't as even as you might think. Although we have diverse populations spread all around this country, you might think that states with large cities dominate in populations per square mile. But it's important to remember that the majority of states with large cities also have expansive rural areas where the population density is much smaller.

If you consider yourself a states expert who knows a thing or two about population, this quiz will help you prove your knowledge of the population distribution in the United States. We've found the population of each state in America (based on the 2019 records), do you think you can guess these populations? Take this quiz to find out.

1. california California has the largest population in America. Do you know what it is?
39,865,590
With several major cities, California holds quite a bit of America's population. It's important to remember also that California has a lot of rural areas, farmland and state and national reserves where there is minimal population.
72,147,547
336,214,574
14,245,745

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2. florida We've all see the headlines that begin with "Florida Man," but do you know how many people actually live there?
17,547,741
9,652,954
21,299,325
Florida is a relatively large state that has shorelines on both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic ocean. This state has a large population due to its sunshine, tropical temperatures and large cities.
22,275,320

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3. penn Do you know the population of Pennsylvania?
12,807,060
Pennsylvania has a surprisingly large population. Though there are rural areas, the state has been built up from the factory and mining industries. Pennsylvania is also home to two large cities and several large universities that drive up the state's population.
14,877,343
17,258,004
8,175,348

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4. indiana Midwest states usually have smaller populations, but Indiana is one of the largest. Can you tell us how many people live there?
6,691,878
There's more than corn in Indiana. As a matter of fact, there is quite a bit of industry. While the majority of the state's population lives north, near Chicago, it is also very close to a much more heavily populated state, Ohio.
4,253,336
1,222,520
4,030,866

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5. illinois Illinois has Chicago, but also a lot of rural areas. Can you guess its population?
18,477,245
12,741,080
As one of the few states to have lost population over the last ten years, Illinois is still a large state by population. It's home to the third-largest city in the country, Chicago, but the taxes and cost of living make it a difficult state to live in.
4,256,674
2,414,754

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6. Massachusetts How many people live in Massachusetts?
14,574,684
3,625,658
6,902,149
Massachusetts might be one of the smaller states by area, but it is also home to Boston and several large ivy league universities. This drives up the population of the state as well as the industry in the area.
4,114,364

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7. GA As of July of 2019, what is the population of Georgia?
9,874,865
547,258
6,474,252
10,519,475
The majority of states in the American south have relatively low populations. However, Georgia has the 8th largest population due to its farming industry, large cities and historical relevance.

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8. NC North Carolina is one of the original 13 colonies. Do you know what it's current population is?
10,383,620
North Carolina is one of the most coveted places in the United States to live. In the last 10 years, the state has seen an 8.9% increase in population. The beauty of the state's natural wonders, as well as its booming industries, have brought droves of people to live there.
9,474,541
14,258,369
1,547,247

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9. michigan Can you tell us the population of Michigan?
7,477,247
9,995,915
Though many of the cities in Michigan have been losing population, the rural and suburban areas have been gaining quite a bit. Since the fall of the automotive industry in the state, the urban areas are becoming less populated.
11,114,101
3,248,679

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10. okalahoma Oklahoma has a pan handle and how many people?
2,001,364
9,856,314
553,716
3,943,079
If Texas had a crazy little brother it would be Oklahoma. Sitting just north and east of Texas, Oklahoma has the same values of the Lone Star State, with just as much ranching and farming.

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11. NJ Although New Jersey seems small, it has large urban and suburban areas. Do you know the population?
6,432,782
7,496,335
8,908,520
You can find New Jersey just south of New York and east of Pennsylvania. This coastal state is a great centralized place to live if you do business across the East coast, as it is mere hours from several large cities.
7,472,555

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12. VA Do you know what the population of Virginia is?
3,471,547
6,294,376
7,269,994
8,517,685
Bordering our nation's capital, Virginia has dense population clusters near several of the larger cities on the East coast. However, it also has a lot of rural areas that specialize in farming.

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13. washington How many people are living in Washington State?
7,535,591
Though the Pacific Northwest region of our country doesn't necessarily have a high population, Washington State is home to Seattle as well as several densely populated areas that drive its numbers up.
6,132,284
5,394,682
7,222,664

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14. arizona Arizona is the Grand Canyon State, but how many people live there?
8,522,877
7,171,646
When you think about heavily populated states, you probably don't immediately think of Arizona. However, the size of Arizona, as well as its variable landscape, drive up the population. Many consider it a good place to retire. Perhaps that's why the population has increased by over 12% over the last 10 years.
3,659,268
4,757,258

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15. TN Do you know the population of Tennessee?
5,224,116
5,646,921
1,474,353
6,770,010
It's important to remember that, though Tennessee is a large state, it is also a very mountainous state. The majority of these mountainous areas have low population densities, especially if there aren't mining towns nearby.

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16. missouri Can you tell us the population of Missouri?
3,555,600
6,126,452
Missouri features some very popular tourist destinations like the St. Louis Arch and Branson. This state has a lot to offer those who wish to work in the hospitality industry.
7,054,003
9,636,444

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17. MD Maryland is a small state on the East Coast. What is its population?
8,550,476
6,589,044
6,042,718
Of all the East Coast states, Maryland seems to be the most forgotten. It is one of the smallest states by area, but it does rank pretty high in population, coming in at number 19 overall in the United States.
7,554,336

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18. wyoming The state with the smallest population is Wyoming. Do you know what that population is?
377,575
641,982
285,663
577,737
Wyoming is a pretty large state by area, but anyone who has driven through it isn't necessarily surprised to learn that the population is just over half a million. It's vast and gorgeous, but not nearly as built up as its neighbors.

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19. Wisconsin You know cheese comes from Wisconsin, but how many people are there?
3,662,014
2,441,333
9,775,070
5,813,568
Although Milwaukee and Madison are larger cities, they aren't necessarily considered major cities in the United States. However, if it weren't for these cities, Wisconsin's population might be considerably lower.

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20. colorado Colorado is a state with a booming population. About how many people live there as of July 2019?
5,695,564
Over the last 10 years, Colorado's population has skyrocketed by 13.2%. It's a relatively small state by population, but residents consider it to be a great place to live, even if the weather coming off the mountains is a little wonky sometimes.
3,447,055
10,493,661
2,479,960

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21. texas Nobody wants to mess with Texas because it has how many people living in it?
24,874,254
29,206,997
While most Texans will tell you that everything is bigger in Texas, they don't necessarily consider the fact that the state comes in second in both population and area. It is, however, still a very notable state for its size.
31,245,111
4,154,578

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22. Minnesota Minnesota has the Twin Cities, a thousand lakes and how many people?
2,774,301
5,611,179
If you include the mosquitos, the population of Minnesota is closer to 25 trillion than 5.6 million. However, the state is perfect for those who like the best of urban and rural areas.
1,416,330
9,570,488

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23. SC There are considerably fewer people in South Carolina than North Carolina. Do you know the number?
3,633,020
7,452,985
5,084,127
With about half the population of its northern brother, South Carolina comes in at just over 5 million people. This could be due to the fact that South Carolina is about 20,000 square miles smaller than North Carolina.
4,256,397

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24. delaware We don't hear about Delaware much on the news, but it's a small state with how many people?
822,647
204,691
967,171
Fitting snug between New Jersey and Maryland, Delaware is a very small state by area. It also has fewer than a million people living in it. However, it has several historical landmarks that make it worth a visit.
563,370

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25. alabama Alabama is known as the Cotton State, but how many people live there?
9,117,230
3,781,645
3,690,422
4,887,871
When you think of Alabama, chances are you think about the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. This is because a lot of the major occurrences and landmark cases happened in that very state.

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26. louisiana What is the population of Louisiana?
4,659,978
For its size, Louisiana has a heavy population density in and around New Orleans. This is because much of the state is swampland with soft ground that is difficult to build on.
3,650,240
6,804,246
506,411

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27. kentucky Can you tell us the population of Kentucky?
3,468,402
4,468,402
The Bluegrass State has strong ties to coal mining and horse racing. Despite having a couple of large cities, Kentucky has a relatively small population thanks to its large rural areas.
5,468,402
6,468,402

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28. new hampshire Do you know how many people live in New Hampshire?
2,225,394
9,330,330
1,356,458
Smaller East Coast states generally have smaller populations but high population density. Not New Hampshire, which ranks 22nd by density and 42nd by population. However, for hikers, this state has some of the best nature destinations around.
426,861

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29. WV How many people call West Virginia home?
857,415
925,361
3,645,745
1,805,832
Home to several historical monuments and national parks, West Virginia might have the biggest square mileage of protected lands, but it definitely doesn't have the largest population.

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30. Kansas Do you know how many people live in Kansas?
2,911,505
For many Americans living in coastal cities, Kansas is the place where Dorothy was swept up by a twister before landing in Oz. However, Kansas does provide a lot of crops and has been building a tech industry for decades.
3,911,201
4,911,365
5,911,702

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31. montana Montana is a gorgeous state with how many people in it?
1,062,305
Mountains, farmland and a whole lot of nature are what you'll find if you travel to Montana. What you won't really find is heavy population densities, as even the larger cities in the state are relatively small.
853,360
45,210
6,555,825

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32. oregon There are a lot of volcanoes in Oregon, but how many people live there?
6,478,240
6,301,475
4,190,713
Oregon is notorious for being a beautiful state, but it's also notorious for being the kind of state that caters only to locals. The state's population has grown by nearly 10% in the last 10 years.
4,335,202

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33. conneticut It might be difficult to spell Connecticut, but can you tell us how many people live there?
3,572,665
Connecticut has one of the most stable populations in the United States, having gained only about 2,000 people in 10 years.
2,146,527
364,750
648,804

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34. ohio Ohio may seem rural, but it is the 7th largest state by population. What is its population?
44,247,517
22,574,585
11,689,442
The surprisingly high population in Ohio has more to do with its location than anything else. There are several different factories and various industries in the state.
1,245,977

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35. utah How many people live in Utah?
4,936,662
3,161,105
Anyone who's ever been to Utah knows two very important things about it: it is covered in beautiful natural wonders and the population is a bit religious. However, the population itself has grown nearly 15% over the last 10 years, making it a coveted place to live.
6,658,246
3,336,378

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36. iowa Iowa has a lot of corn, but it also has quite a few people. Can you tell us the population?
5,258,669
6,334,201
3,156,145
One of the less-populated states in America, Iowa is also one of the most important. It can help determine presidential candidates and it supplies a lot of the crops for the country's food supply.
9,968,504

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37. nevada Do you know how many people live in Nevada?
1,520,742
563,345
7,777,777
3,034,392
While Nevada is home to several larger cities, the rural areas are basically completely uninhabited. The desert landscape can be harsh, and being far from supplies is dangerous, which is why the population of the state is so low.

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38. NY Some people believe that New York state has the largest population, but it doesn't. Do you know it's actual population?
17,834,970
20,478,834
4,276,384
19,542,209
New York city itself boasts a whopping 8,398,748 residents, and that doesn't even include the surrounding areas of the city. Additionally, New York state has a large area with additional cities that are heavily populated, bringing New York to the fourth most populated state in the US.

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39. MS Mississippi has four S's and how many people?
8,157,842
7,842,216
6,364,473
2,986,530
Though Mississippi has a lot of history, it doesn't necessarily have a lot of people. As a prominent state in the American South, it comes in at 34th in population out of the entire United States.

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40. NM Can you tell us the population of New Mexico?
1,929,268
2,095,428
Anyone who has ever driven through New Mexico knows two things about it: it's big and there aren't a lot of people. With a smaller population than the city of Chicago, New Mexico stands at number 36 in population for US states.
5,663,471
3,336,336

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41. nebraska Nebraska might have a lot of rural areas, but do you know the population?
2,919,526
3,292,485
1,929,268
When it comes to Midwestern states, Nebraska is one of the smallest in terms of population. Though there isn't much to see there, the population prides itself on hospitality and welcoming nature.
3,668,774

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42. idaho You might get your potatoes from Idaho, but how many people live there?
1,754,208
While there may be more potatoes than people in Idaho, it is one of the world's largest agricultural centers for those tubers. This state is well known for its native population as well as feeding the world.
3,699,145
6,325,471
952,367

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43. hawaii Hawaii is a small string of islands, with how many people living on them?
8,336,475
1,420,491
There are a few states in America that are destination states, but Hawaii is the smallest by area and by population. This island state might be small, but it does have a lot of rich history and a relatively large population for its size.
364,291
206,369

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44. maine What is the population of our eastern-most state, Maine?
7,164,022
3,333,333
2,695,417
1,338,404
Although Maine is one of the larger states in the Northeast, by area, it has a very small population. With its largest city only hitting around 65,000 people, it's no wonder the state is so small.

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45. RI It's the smallest state by area, but not by population. How many people live in Rhode Island?
9,638,540
1,057,315
Although Rhode Island is the smallest state in size (area), it still has over a million people living in it. This makes the population density of Rhode Island rather large. It's a great centralized area for the Northeast, as it borders several major states.
540,369
228,475

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46. SD South Dakota is home to Mt. Rushmore, but that doesn't count toward the population. What is the population of South Dakota?
760,077
251,147
335,697
882,235
The Dakotas are some of the largest states with some of the smallest populations. For South Dakota, Mt. Rushmore as well as several national parks make it a tourist destination, but only in summertime.

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47. ND About how many people live in North Dakota?
760,077
Brutal winters might be the reason North Dakota has one of the smallest populations in the United States. However, if you drive through the state, you may find kinder people assisting you than most coastal places.
641,258
1,335,694
1,070,421

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48. alaska Alaska is the largest US state by area, but the third smallest by population. Do you know the total population?
1,338,640
737,438
If you live in Alaska, you know that the population and culture differ depending on which city you live in. Because of the terrain and brutal weather changes, Alaska's population has always remained rather small, despite the beauty of the area.
2,475,631
6,114,228

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49. vermont Do you know what the population of Vermont is?
299,626
384,414
626,299
Maple syrup, cheddar cheese, Ben & Jerry's and 626,299 people. That's what Vermont is all about. For such a small state, it is rich in culture and knows the value of artisan foods. Not to mention the natural beauty the state holds.
147,258

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50. AR What is the population of Arkansas?
3,013,825
While Arkansas might have the longest river to flow into the Mississippi River, when it comes to population, it doesn't compare to some of the bigger states in America. Ranking 33rd in the country, Arkansas has just over 3 million residents.
2,336,501
1,936,350
4,036,895

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