Is it New York or California?



By: John Miller

5 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

One anchors the East Coast, the other is a major West Coast state. They are both trendsetting trailblazers, but do you really know the differences between New York and California?

Which one first became a state?

In 1788, New York became the 11th state of the Union. California didn't become a state until 1850, making it the 31st state.


The Empire State Building is an iconic skyscraper in which state?

For four decades New York City's Empire State Building was the tallest building on Earth. It's now the fifth-tallest building in the United States.


A big bear appears on the official flag of which state?

It's often simply called "the bear flag," and it's the state flag of California. Early versions looked more like a black bear, but the current incarnation is definitely a big grizzly bear.


Which state is bordered by the Pacific Ocean?

California is a West Coast state that nestles up to the Pacific. New York, on the East Coast, is neighbors with the Atlantic.


From north to south, which state is nearly 800 miles long?

California is totally hogging the West Coast. It eats up 770 miles from north to south ... but it is just 250 miles wide.


The redwood is the official tree of which state?

The redwood is the state tree of California. These are the tallest trees on Earth, and some live 1,800 years or even longer.


Actress Jessica Alba was born in which state?

Jessica Alba was born in Pomona, California, in 1981. Her grandparents were the children of Mexican immigrants.


Which state is nicknamed the Empire State?

New York is known as the Empire State. California is known as the Golden State.


Highway 101 is a famed and scenic road in which state?

Highway 101 runs along the Pacific Coast of California. It has attracted tourists, photographers and adventure-seekers for decades.


Long Island is a big island off the coast of which state?

Long Island extends from the edge of New York out into the Atlantic Ocean. It is home to more than seven million people.


Times Square is a major attraction in which state?

Located in the middle of New York City, Times Square is a neon-saturated icon of America. It draws people from all across the planet.


Which state has a larger population?

With roughly 40 million residents, California is easily the most populous state. New York is fourth in the country, with about 20 million people.


Jerry Brown is the governor of which state?

Brown has been serving as governor of California since 2011. Andrew Cuomo is his counterpart in New York. Both are Democrats.


In which state would you find the renowned Columbia University?

New York is home to numerous celebrated universities, such as Columbia, Cornell and New York University.


From a geographical standpoint, which state is home to a lower point?

California is home to the Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park. The basin is about 280 feet below sea level. New York's lowest point is sea level.


Which state is home to America's most populous city?

California has a huge state population, but New York City is the biggest city in the country. More than 8.5 million people live there.


The Adirondack Mountains are found in which state?

The Adirondack Mountains, or just the Adirondacks, are found in the northeast part of New York. Many of their features were formed by ancient glacier activity.


Which state is home the Sierra Nevada mountain range?

The Sierra Nevadas are a 400-mile long mountain range in California. The harsh, steep terrain thwarted most explorers until the early 20th century.


In the mid-1800s, a major gold rush occurred in which state?

In the late 1840s, the California Gold Rush transformed American society. Countless people uprooted their lives in the East and headed West, hoping to make their fortunes panning and mining for gold.


From a land area perspective, which state is bigger?

California is the third-largest state in the Union. It covers more than 150,000 square miles. New York is 30th in the country and covers just 47,000 square miles.


Which state is shaped (sort of) like a triangle?

California is a long, long state and shaped like a crooked rectangle. New York, on the other hand, is shaped a lot like a right triangle.


More than one-quarter of the population speaks Spanish in which state?

Calfornia, with its proximity to Mexico, has million of Spanish-speaking residents. More than a quarter of the population speaks Spanish. In New York? About 15 percent.


"Eureka" is the motto for which state?

"Eureka" is an exclamation of happiness and surprise ... as in, the discovery of gold. That's one reason it's the motto of California.


Where would you find the Catskill Mountains?

The famed Catskill Mountains are in southeastern New York. They aren't particularly tall, but their sprawling, forested peaks offer solitude to people looking to get away from the city.


Interstate 90 is a major highway in which state?

Interstate 90 is the longest interstate in New York. It crosses nearly 400 miles of the state.


Albany is the capital of which state?

Albany is the capital of New York. It has a population of around 1 million people. California's capital is Sacramento.


Tom Cruise is a famous native of which state?

Hollywood helped make Cruise famous. But he was actually born in Syracuse, New York, in 1962.


Which state has the tallest mountain peak?

This one's no contest. Mount Whitney in California is more than 14,500 feet tall. New York's Mount Marcy is around 5,300 feet tall.


Which state is bordered by Oregon?

California is bordered by three Western states, including Arizona, Nevada and Oregon.


Which state has a higher median household income?

California has a median household income of around $63,000 per year; New York is $58,000. But California also has a higher cost of living. Hey, enjoy living in your van, Californians.


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