Do you remember the names of all 50 state capitals?

By: Abi Luftig
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Consider yourself a geography whiz? Are you a frequent traveler who can find your way around the country without breaking a sweat? Prove your knowledge of the USA and its 50 states with our state capitals quiz!

Every kid ends up being asked to memorize a list of state capitals back in elementary school, but being able to spout off the capital of a certain state years later can be quite a challenge. Also, the largest and most popular cities in a state aren't actually the governmental capital.

Adding to the capital confusion is the fact that state capitals can change over time. Take Philadelphia for example; through the end of the 18th century, the city was not only the capital of Pennsylvania, but also the capital of the entire U.S. Once the 1800s hit, however, the state capital was moved to Lancaster, and then to its current location (we can't tell you), while the nation's administrative hub moved to Washington D.C. (District of Columbia.)

The same is true for California and San Jose. In the mid-19th century, the city served as the state capital. San Jose may be the heart of Silicon Valley, but it lost its state capital crown more than 150 years ago.

Think you know which cities serve as the capital of each state today? Take our quiz to prove your state capital IQ!

Boise became the capital in 1865. Idaho officially became the 43rd state in 1890. Boise, unlike some capitals, is also the most populated city in Idaho.

Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, became the official capital of Hawaii in 1845. However, Hawaii did not become the 50th state until 1959. It also is the largest city in the state.

Indiana became the 19th state in 1816. Residents chose its namesake, Indianapolis, to be the capital in 1825. The city is 368 square miles.

Rhode Island officially became the 13th state in 1790. It took them until 1900 to declare Providence as the capital city. The city was founded in 1636, making it one of the oldest cities in the country.

Arkansas became the 25th state in 1836, but Little Rock was chosen as the capital in 1821. It's named after a rock formation near the Arkansas River.

California became the 31st state in 1850. Four years later, in 1854, Sacramento became the capital. It's the 9th largest capital (by population) in the country.

New York became the 11th state in 1788. Albany became the official capital in 1797. Albany was first settled in 1614 by Dutch colonists.

SLC, as it is also called, was declared the capital city in 1858. Utah became the 45th state in 1896. It is also home to the international headquarters of the the LDS Church.

Mississippi became the 20th state in 1817. Jackson was named the capital city in 1821. Civil rights activist, Medgar Evers, was assassinated in Jackson in 1963.

Austin was chosen as the capital city in 1839. In 1845, Texas became the 28th state. Humans have been living in the area that is now Austin since at least 9,200 B.C.E.

One of the few capitals to become official after its state, Hartford became the capital in 1875. This was almost a century after Connecticut became the 5th state in 1788. At one point after the Civil War, it was the richest city in the United States.

Denver became the capital in 1867, with Colorado becoming the 38th state in 1876. It is located exactly one mile above sea level.

Richmond was chosen as the capital in 1780. In 1788, Virginia became the 10th state. The capital was originally Williamsburg, where you can now visit a colonial living-history museum in Colonial Williamsburg that includes many buildings from when it was the capital.

Ohio became the 17th state in 1803. Columbus was chosen as the capital in 1816. It was, indeed, named after Christopher Columbus.

Iowa became the 29th state in 1846. Des Moines became the official capital in 1857. Many insurance companies have headquarters in the city.

Bismarck was named the official capital in 1883. North Dakota became the 39th state in 1889. It was named after the German chancellor, Otto von Bismarck.

Tallahassee was named as the capital in 1824. It took over 20 years for Florida to become the 27th state, in 1845. The name comes from the Creek indigenous people's word for "old fields/town."

Phoenix became the capital of Arizona in 1889. Arizona did not become the 48th state until 1912. It is the largest state capital (by population) in the United States.

Helena was made the capital in 1875. Montana became the 41st state in 1889. It was founded as a gold-mining town during the Montana gold rush.

Vermont became the 14th state in 1791. The state chose Montpelier as the capital city in 1805. It is the smallest (by population) state capital in the United States.

North Carolina became the 12th state in 1789. Raleigh was chosen as its capital in 1792. It is named after Sir Walter Raleigh, the explorer who sponsored the establishment of the lost Roanoke Colony.

Oklahoma became the 46th state in 1907. Its namesake city was chosen as the capital in 1910. It is prone to extreme weather events like tornadoes, hail and derechos.

Trenton became the official capital in 1787. New Jersey became the 3rd state in 1787. In 1784, it temporarily served as the capital for the United States.

West Virginia became the 35th state in 1863. Charleston was chosen as its capital in 1885. It's the largest city in West Virginia, by population.

Another instance of rare synchronicity is shown in Lincoln, Nebraska. Both the capital city and the state became official in 1867. Nebraska came into the country as the 37th state.

Carson City was the official capital city of Nevada as of 1861. Nevada became the 36th state in 1864.

New Hampshire became the 9th state in 1788. Concord was chosen as its capital in 1808. Former U.S. president, Franklin Pierce, is buried there.

Illinois became the 21st state in 1818. Springfield was officially chosen as the capital in 1837. There's no official word on whether the Simpsons actually live here.

Madison was declared as the capital city in 1838. Ten years later, Wisconsin became the 30th state, in 1848. The city was named after the fourth president of the United States, James Madison.

Juneau became the state capital of Alaska in 1906. Interestingly, Alaska didn't officially become the 49th state until 1959. The city is named after a gold prospector from Quebec.

Boston was officially chosen as the capital in 1630. Massachusetts became the 6th state in 1788. Many of the most important events of the American Revolution took place in Boston.

Pierre and South Dakota both became official in 1889. South Dakota logged in as the 40th state. It was named after a fur trader.

Michigan became the 26th state in 1837. Ten years later, in 1847, Lansing was chosen as the capital. Despite being the capital city, the government center is actually in the city of Mason.

Louisiana became the 18th state in 1812. Baton Rouge was chosen as the capital in 1880. It is named after a red pole that originally separated indigenous hunting grounds.

Maine became the 23rd state in 1820. It took twelve years for Augusta to become the capital, in 1832. English settlers first lived there in 1628. They had come from the Plymouth Colony.

Georgia became the 4th state in 1788. It took 80 years for Atlanta to be named as the capital, in 1868. During the Civil War, Atlanta was almost completely destroyed by fire.

Pennsylvania became the 2nd state in 1787. Harrisburg was chosen as its capital city in 1812. The Three Mile Island nuclear accident happened within 10 miles of Harrisburg.

Dover was named the capital city of Delaware in 1777. Ten years later, in 1787, Delaware became the first official state. The capital was originally New Castle.

Montgomery became the capital in 1846. Alabama became the 22nd state in 1819. It was also the first capital of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.

Topeka became the capital in 1857. Kansas became the 34th state in 1861. Topeka is most famous for its part in Supreme Court history. The famous anti-segregation case, Brown vs. The Board of Education, was about the Topeka Board of Education.

Santa Fe was chosen as the capital in 1610, which makes it the oldest state capital in the country. New Mexico became the 47th state in 1912. It's full name is "La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis."

Annapolis became the official capital in 1694. It took nearly a century for Maryland to become the 5th state, in 1788. It was named after Queen Anne of Great Britain.

Columbia was named the capital city in 1786. Two years later in 1788, South Carolina became the 8th state. The original inhabitants of the area were the Congaree, an indigenous tribe.

Missouri became the 24th state in 1821. It took five years for Jefferson City to be confirmed as the capital city in 1826. Daniel Boone's son helped plan the city.

In a rare stroke of symmetry, both Frankfort and Kentucky became official in 1792. Kentucky became the 15th state. The city is home to many Kentucky Bourbon distilleries.

Saint Paul was chosen as the capital in 1849. Minnesota followed the official path and became the 32nd state in 1858. Minneapolis-Saint Paul is known as the "Twin Cities."

Salem officially became the capital city in 1855. Oregon became the 33rd state in 1859. Cherry-growing is an important industry in Salem.

In 1796, Tennessee became the 16th state. Three decades later, Nashville became the capital city, in 1826. It was named for General Francis Nash.

Olympia was named as the capital city in 1853. Washington became the 42nd state, in 1889. In 1846, the area was claimed by Europeans, despite being the tribal home to local indigenous groups.

Cheyenne was chosen as the capital city in 1869. Wyoming became the 44th state in 1890. The Cheyenne tribe, which the city is named after, is one of the most prominent Great Plains tribes.

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