Cultural Legacy of the Roman Empire

Mediterranean Europe

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Have you ever heard the saying, “All roads lead to Rome”? The Mediterranean region was home to the two great civilizations of ancient Europe—ancient Greece and ancient Rome. The city of Rome was founded in about 753 B.C., and Rome conquered a huge empire by about A.D. 100. To aid communication and […]

Making a Polder

Europe: Human–Environment Interaction

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE “1800 DIE IN WIND-WHIPPED FLOOD WATERS!” February 1, 1953, witnessed a disaster in the Netherlands. Winds estimated at 110 to 115 miles per hour piled up gigantic waves that ripped through dikes—earthen banks—holding back the North Sea. When the storm was over, 4.5 percent of the Netherlands was flooded, and thousands of […]

Climographs: Fargo and Paris

Europe: Climate and Vegetation

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Because of Greece's mild climate, the ancient Greeks spent much time outdoors. Greek men liked to talk with their friends in the marketplace. They also enjoyed sports. Large crowds gathered for athletic contests that were held during religious festivals. The most important of these was a footrace held every four years in […]

Major European Peninsulas

Europe: Landforms and Resources

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Elephants in Europe? In 218 B.C., Hannibal, a general from Carthage in North Africa, attacked the Roman Empire, which was at war with Carthage. He moved 38 war elephants and an estimated 60,000 troops across the Mediterranean Sea to Spain. To reach Italy, his armies had to cross the Pyrenees Mountains, the […]

Latin America: The Income Gap

A long the oceanfront in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, gleaming office buildings and hotels share the boulevards with trendy restaurants and exclusive shops. Behind all this glitter and glamour, however, is another world, hidden from sight—the favelas, or slums, of Rio. Here, the poor live among swamps and garbage dumps, and on barren hillsides. These […]

Latin America: Giving Citizens a Voice

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE From the late 1970s through the early 1980s, the Argentine military waged a campaign of terror against those who supported political reform. As many as 30,000 people mysteriously disappeared. People accused of being terrorists and revolutionaries were kidnapped and questioned. Some were tortured, and then killed or “disappeared”— their bodies were never […]

Major Rain Forests of Latin America

Latin America: Rain Forest Resources

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE In 1997, biologist Marc van Roosmalen made an incredible discovery. An Amazonian Indian had brought the biologist a tiny monkey huddled inside a tin can. Van Roosmalen realized that the monkey was a kind of pygmy marmoset never before seen by scientists. Over the next three years, Van Roosmalen and his colleagues […]

Treaty of Tordesillas

Latin America: Brazil

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE In 1807, Napoleon's armies invaded Portugal. As the French army approached the capital of Lisbon, the Portuguese royal family boarded ships to escape capture. They sailed to Brazil, Portugal's largest colony, taking their court and royal treasury with them. For the next 14 years, Brazil was the heart of the Portuguese empire. […]

The Mercosur Trade Group

Spanish-Speaking South America

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE In the early 1500s, the Inca empire was at the height of its glory. Then Spanish soldiers under the command of Francisco Pizarro invaded the South American empire. The Spanish attacked the Inca army, killed many of its warriors, and took the emperor prisoner. The Spaniards held him for ransom. Although the […]

Native Peoples, 1492

Latin America: Central America and the Caribbean

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Central America forms an isthmus, a land bridge between North and South America. It also divides two oceans. This geographic fact has made the region attractive to the United States and other major world powers and has helped to keep the area fragmented and politically unstable. For example, in the early 20th […]

Population Distribution in Mexican States

Latin America: Mexico

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Quetzalcoatl was a god worshiped by the Toltec and Aztec peoples of Mexico and Central America. According to Native American legend, Quetzalcoatl traveled east across the sea. It was said that he would return some day, bringing peace. One day, messengers brought Montezuma, the Aztec emperor, news that strangers had arrived from […]

Latin America: Human–Environment Interaction

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE High in the Andes Mountains, in what is present-day Peru, the ancient Inca needed fields in which to grow crops. By the 1200s, in the highlands around their capital of Cuzco and elsewhere, the Inca carved terraces out of the steep sides of the Andes Mountains. They built irrigation channels to bring […]

Vegetation of Latin America

Latin America: Climate and Vegetation

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE In the 17th century, missionaries and Indians in the area of present-day Paraguay were at times attacked by jaguars, the great cats of Latin America. In 1637, packs of jaguars roamed the countryside, attacking humans. The Indians built barricades for protection from the savage cats. But the jaguars remained a source of […]

Landforms and Rivers of Latin America

Latin America: Landforms and Resources

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Simon Bolivar was a general who led the South American wars of independence against Spain. In August 1819, Bolivar led approximately 2,500 soldiers on a daring march from Venezuela over the mountains into present-day Colombia. Coming from this direction, over the massive barrier of the Andes Mountains, Bolivar and his troops were […]

U.S. Population by Race and Ethnicity

CASE STUDY. Diverse Societies Face Change

As you read earlier in this unit, the first immigrants to North America are believed to have come from Asia. They are thought to have crossed a land bridge that existed in what is now the Bering Strait thousands of years ago. Since that time, millions of people from countries all over the world have […]

Growth of U.S. Metropolitan Areas

Urban Sprawl

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Richard Baron is a real estate developer who tried to address the related problems of urban sprawl and inadequate low-income housing. In 1996, he began building Murphy Park, an affordable and attractive housing complex in mid-town St. Louis, Missouri. The development has more than 400 units and contains both apartments and townhouses. […]

Major Terrorist Attacks Against Americans, 1979-2001

The Fight Against Terrorism

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE For Karl Co, a 15-year-old sophomore at Stuyvesant High School in New York City, September 11, 2001, began as “such a normal day.” From his classroom, Karl had a clear view of the World Trade Center, just four blocks away. On a normal day, about 50,000 people worked in and 70,000 visited […]

Comparing the Subregions of Canada

Subregions of Canada

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE The Grand Banks, a shallow section of the North Atlantic off the coast of Newfoundland, make up one of the earth's richest fishing grounds. In fact, it was the abundance of fish—including cod, haddock, herring, and mackerel—that first attracted Europeans to the region centuries ago. Today, thousands of hardy Canadians make their […]

Agriculture and Industry of Canada

Economy and Culture of Canada

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE The fur trade was a major economic activity in early Canada. It began in the 16th century, when Canada's Native American peoples, now known as the First Nations, started trading with European fishermen along the northern Atlantic coast. A brisk trade soon developed, and trappers and traders poured into Canada. They came […]

Territorial Growth of Canada

History and Government of Canada

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Around A.D. 980, a Viking named Erik the Red sailed to Greenland. Soon after, about 3,000 Vikings colonized the region. About A.D. 1000, Erik's son Leif led an expedition that landed off the Atlantic coast of North America on what is now Newfoundland. Leif called the area Vinland, after the wild grapes […]

Population Increase by State, 1990–2000

Subregions of the United States

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE America's back roads were the beat of reporter and author Charles Kuralt for more than 20 years. Beginning in the 1960s, he traveled by van through every region of the country. In his “On the Road” series for television, he reported on the uniqueness of the lives of ordinary Americans. He said […]

Agriculture and Industry of the United States

Economy and Culture of the United States

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE The average American worker in 1790 was a self-employed farmer. The farmer spent each work day, sunrise to sunset, in backbreaking labor in the field. Most of the crops and livestock raised were consumed by the farm family. In the 1890s, the average American worker labored in a manufacturing or service industry, […]

History and Government of the United States

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Women were North America's first farmers. In all early cultures except the hunter-gatherer culture of the Southwest, women cultivated the land. They discovered which wild plants could be used as food for the family. They planted the seeds, tended the garden, harvested the crops, and prepared food for meals. Corn, beans, and […]

The St. Lawrence Seaway

The United States and Canada: Human–Environment Interaction

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE The sun-baked American Southwest was a harsh environment for its early inhabitants, the ancestors of today's Pueblo peoples. But these early settlers made good use of available resources. From the land, they took clay and stone building materials. They built multi-room, apartment-like dwellings in cliffs. This gave protection against daytime heat, nighttime […]

Vegetation

The United States and Canada: Climate and Vegetation

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE A little gold and bitter cold—that is what thousands of prospectors found in Alaska and the Yukon Territory during the Klondike gold rushes of the 1890s. Most of these fortune hunters were unprepared for the harsh climate and inhospitable land of the far north. Winters were long and cold, the ground frozen. […]

Natural Resources of the U.S. and Canada

The United States and Canada: Landforms and Resources

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE The beauty and abundance of the land was a source of wonder to early explorers of North America. One who traveled the Atlantic coast referred to the “amazing extent of uncultivated land, covered with forests, and intermixed with vast lakes and marshes.” A 17th–century French expedition described “a beautiful river, large, broad, […]

Economic Geography

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE One of the most valuable of natural resources—petroleum—wasn't always used as a source of energy. Until the world began to run on gasoline-powered machinery, oil was used for a variety of purposes. Native Americans, for instance, used “rock oil” for medicinal purposes. Egyptians used oil as a dressing for wounds. Ancient Persians […]

Urban Area Models

Urban Geography

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Around 4500 B.C. in Sumer, an ancient country in what today is Iraq, the city of Ur was settled. Eventually it grew to be home to as many as 34,000 people. Archaeologists believe that it was one of the first cities in the world. Within the city walls, a broad avenue led […]

Political Geography of the Korean Peninsula

Political Geography

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Abdoulaye Sowe, a Senegalese farmer, chose a spot to build his new house near the Senegalese border guard's shack. He believed the guard shack was in Senegal. But long-time residents of the area told him that, before the shack was built, a guard used to sit near a tree that was considered […]

World Population Growth

Population Geography

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE In 1999, the world's population reached 6 billion people. To get an idea of how many people that is, consider this: If you had a million dollars in thousand dollar bills, the stack would be 6.3 inches high. If you had a billion dollars in thousand dollar bills, the stack would be […]

Society and the Individual

The Elements of Culture

BASICSA HUMAN PERSPECTIVE In an article titled “ The 100% American,” anthropologist Ralph Linton described how a typical American, in eating breakfast, had borrowed from other cultures. He has coffee, an Abyssinian plant, with cream and sugar. Both the domestication of cows and the idea of milking them originated in the Near East, while sugar […]

Soils and Vegetation

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE In the 1870s, a settler described prairie land in Tazewell County, Illinois, as having western meadow lilies “as high as a boy's head,” rippling waves of wildflowers, and grass so dense that a man on horseback 30 yards away could not be seen. At that time, the land produced crops of grains, […]

Climate Regions

World Climate Regions

Types of Climates World climates are generally divided into five large regions: tropical, dry, mid-latitude, high latitude, and highland. The regions are divided into smaller subregions that are described below. TROPICAL WET This subregion has little variation in temperature over the year—it is always hot, with an average temperature of 80°F. The days begin sunny […]

Global Wind Currents

Climate

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Nineteenth-century fishermen along the Peruvian coast called the event El Nino—the Spanish name for the infant Jesus—because the event occurred near Christmastime. Every two to seven years, the waters off the Peruvian coast became warmer than usual, resulting in poor fishing. Eventually, 20th-century scientists studying worldwide climate changes confirmed the truth of […]

Seasons: Northern Hemisphere

Seasons and Weather

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE The smell of thousands of decaying corpses hung in the air in what was once the thriving seaport of Galveston, Texas. The day before, winds estimated at 130 miles per hour roared through the city. A storm surge of seawater more than 15 feet high pushed a wall of debris across the […]

What has happened to the sediment created by weathering in the canyon?

External Forces Shaping the Earth

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE In Egypt, a seasonal dry wind is called khamsin (“fifty”) for the number of days the season occurs. During khamsin, wind-driven sandstorms kill and injure people, close businesses and airports, and strip topsoil and seed from the ground. Sandstorms are not limited to the desert areas of Africa and Southwest Asia. For […]

Tectonic Plates

Internal Forces Shaping the Earth

BASICSA HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Sally Ride, America's first female astronaut, wrote the following after one of her trips into space: I also became an instant believer in plate tectonics; India really is crashing into Asia, and Saudi Arabia and Egypt really are pulling apart, making the Red Sea even wider. Even though their respective motion is […]

The Hydrologic Cycle

Bodies of Water and Landforms

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE In July 1971, astronaut James Irwin was lifted into space on the Apollo 15 mission. As he circled the earth, he was deeply moved by the beauty of our planet. Later he wrote this: Anyone passing through our solar system would be attracted to the blue planet. They would know that the […]

The Solar System

The Earth Inside and Out

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE A quick look at a world map will convince you that the continents, landmasses above water on earth, fit together like a huge jigsaw puzzle. South America and Africa are good examples. With imagination, you can see how other continents might fit together as well. The first person to suggest that the […]

Cultural Legacy of the Roman Empire

Thematic Maps

Geographers also rely on thematic maps, which focus on specific types of information. For example, in this textbook you will see thematic maps that show climate, vegetation, natural resources, population density, and economic activities. Some thematic maps illustrate historical trends, and others may focus on the movement of people or ideas. These maps may be […]

South Asia: Physical map

Using Different Types of Maps

PHYSICAL MAPS Physical maps help you see the types of landforms and bodies of water found in a specific area. By studying the map, you can begin to understand the relative location and characteristics of a place or region. On a physical map, color, shading, or contour lines are used to indicate elevation or altitude, […]

Geographic Information Systems

The Geographer’s Tools

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE At noon on a sunny midsummer day, sometime around 255 B.C., Eratosthenes drove a stake into the ground at the mouth of the Nile River in Alexandria, Egypt. He then noted the angle of the shadow cast by the stake. Meanwhile at Syene (modern-day Aswan, Egypt), another person drove a stake into […]

The Five Themes of Geography

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Between 1838 and 1842, Captain Charles Wilkes led an American expedition to the South Pacific and Antarctica. At one stop at a South Sea island, a friendly islander drew a map on the wooden deck planks of the ship. To Wilkes's amazement, the map accurately showed the location of the Tuamotu Archipelago—a […]

U.S. Possessions

NAVASSA ISLAND Uninhabited island owned by the United States Area: 2 sq. mi. (5.2 sq km) BAKER & HOWLAND ISLANDS Unincorporated territories administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the National Wildlife Refuge Official Name: British Indian Ocean Territory Area: 0.5-0.6 sq. mi. (1.40-1.60 sq km), each JARVIS ISLAND Uninhabited territory […]

U.S. Virgin Islands map

U.S. Virgin Islands

AT A GLANCE Government: Unincorporated; purchased by the United States in 1917 Size: 136 sq. mi. (352 sq km) Population: 102,951 (2016) Electoral votes: 0 U.S. Representatives: 1 (nonvoting) THE PLACE The Virgin Islands are two groups of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, 40 miles (64 km) east of Puerto Rico. They are part of […]

Puerto Rico map

Puerto Rico (USA)

AT A GLANCE Name: Puerto Rico means “rich port” in Spanish. Capital: San Juan Size: 3,515 sq. mi. (9,103 sq km) Population: 3,474,182(2015) Statehood: Unincorporated Electoral votes: 0 U.S. Representatives: 1 (nonvoting) THE PLACE Puerto Rico is an island about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southeast of Florida, between the United States and South America. Puerto […]

Northern Mariana Islands map

Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

AT A GLANCE Nickname: America's Best Kept Secret Capital: Saipan (38,896) Size: 184 sq. mi. (477 sq km) Population: 53,467 (2016) Statehood: Unincorporated Electoral votes: 0 U.S. Representatives: 1 (nonvoting) THE PLACE The Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands is a chain of 16 islands in the Pacific Ocean, south of Japan and east of the […]

Guam map

Guam (USA)

AT A GLANCE Capital: Hagatna (Agana) Size: 209 sq. mi. (541 sq km) Population: 162,742(2016) Government: Unincorporated territory of United States Electoral votes: 0 U.S. Representatives: 1 (nonvoting) THE PLACE Guam is located in the Pacific Ocean at the southern end of the Mariana Islands. It lies about 1,300 miles (2,100 km) east of the […]

American Samoa map

American Samoa (USA)

AT A GLANCE Name: Samoa is a native Polynesian word. Capital: Pago Pago Size: 77 sq. mi. (199 sq km) Population: 54,194 (2016) Statehood: Unincorporated Electoral Votes: 0 U.S. Representatives: 1 (nonvoting) THE PLACE American Samoa is a group of seven islands located about 2,600 miles (4,184 km) southwest of Hawaii. The U.S. federal government […]

District of Columbia

District of Columbia

AT A GLANCE Government: The District of Columbia has been the seat of the U.S. government since 1800, and a municipal corporation since February 21, 1871. Area: 68.25 sq. mi. (177 sq km) Population: 672,228 (2015) Electoral votes: 3 U.S. Representatives: 1 (nonvoting) THE PLACE The city of Washington covers the entire District of Columbia, […]

Wyoming map

The State of Wyoming

AT A GLANCE Name: Wyoming comes from an Algonquian phrase meaning “large prairie place” or “at the big plain.” Nicknames: Equality State, Cowboy State Capital: Cheyenne Size: 97,818 sq. mi. (253,349 sq km) Population: 586,107 (2015 estimate) Statehood: Wyoming became the 44th state on July 10, 1890. Electoral votes: 3 (2016) U.S. representatives: 1 (until […]

Wisconsin map

The State of Wisconsin

AT A GLANCE Name: Wisconsin is believed to be taken from one of three possible Indian words—Ouisconsin, Mesconsing, or Wishknosing. The words' meanings are unclear. Nickname: Badger State Capital: Madison Size: 56,145 sq. mi. (145,414 sq km) Population: 5,771,337 (2015 est) Statehood: Wisconsin became the 30th state on May 29, 1848. Electoral votes: 10 (2016) […]

West Virginia map

The State of West Virginia

AT A GLANCE Name: West Virginia was once part of Virginia, which was named for England's Queen Elizabeth I. She was known as the Virgin Queen because she never married. Nickname: Mountain State Capital: Charleston Size: 24,231 sq. mi. (62,759 sq km) Population: 1,844,128 (2015 est) Statehood: West Virginia became the 35th state on June […]

Washington map

The State of Washington

AT A GLANCE Name: Washington is named after President George Washington Nickname: Evergreen State Capital: Olympia Size: 68,126 sq. mi. (176,446 sq km) Population: 7,170,351 (2015 est) Statehood: Washington became the 42nd state on November 11, 1889. Electoral votes: 11 (2016) U.S. representatives: 9 (until 2016) State tree: western hemlock State flower: western rhododendron State […]

Virginia map

The State of Virginia

AT A GLANCE Name: Virginia was named for Queen Elizabeth I of England, who was known as the Virgin Queen because she never married. Nicknames: Old Dominion, Mother of Presidents Capital: Richmond Size: 40,598 sq. mi. (105,149 sq km) Population: 8,382,993 (2015 est) Statehood: Virginia became the 10th state on June 25, 1788. Electoral votes: […]

Vermont map

The State of Vermont

AT A GLANCE Name: Vermont is a combination of the French words vert and mont, which mean “green” and “mountain.” Nickname: Green Mountain State Capital: Montpelier Size: 9,615 sq. mi. (24,903 sq km) Population: 626,042 (2015 est) Statehood: Vermont became the 14th state on March 4, 1791. Electoral votes: 3 (2016) U.S. representatives: 1 (until […]

Utah map

The State of Utah

AT A GLANCE Name: Utah was named for the Ute tribe. Ute means “higher up.” Nickname: Beehive State Capital: Salt Lake City Size: 84,904 sq. mi. (219,902 sq km) Population: 2,995,919 (2015 est) Statehood: Utah became the 45th state on January 4, 1896. Electoral votes: 5 (2016) U.S. representatives: 3 (until 2016) State tree: blue […]

Texas map

The State of Texas

AT A GLANCE Name: Texas is a Spanish version of a Native American word meaning “friends” or “allies.” Nickname: Lone Star State Capital: Austin Size: 266,874 sq. mi. (691,201 sq km) Population: 27,469,114 (2015 est) Statehood: Texas became the 28th state on December 29, 1845. Electoral votes: 34 (2016) U.S. representatives: 30 (until 2016) State […]

Tennessee map

The State of Tennessee

AT A GLANCE Name: The region may have been named after Tanasie, a group of Cherokee villages on the Little Tennessee River. Nickname: Volunteer State Capital: Nashville Size: 42,146 sq. mi. (109,158 sq km) Population: 6,600,299 (2015 est) Statehood: Tennessee became the 16th state on June 1, 1796. Electoral votes: 11 (2016) U.S. representatives: 9 […]

South Dakota map

The State of South Dakota

AT A GLANCE Name: Dakota is a Sioux word meaning “friends” or “allies.” Nicknames: Coyote State, Mount Rushmore State Capital: Pierre Size: 77,121 sq. mi. (199744 sq km) Population: 858,469 (2015 est) Statehood: South Dakota became the 40th state on November 2, 1889. Electoral votes: 3 (2016) U.S. representatives: 1 (until 2016) State tree: Black […]

South Carolina map

The State of South Carolina

AT A GLANCE Name: South Carolina was named after King Charles I of England. Nickname: Palmetto State Capital: Columbia Size: 31,117 sq. mi. (80,593 sq km) Population: 4,896,146 (2015 est) Statehood: South Carolina became the eighth state on May 23, 1788. Electoral votes: 8 (2016) U.S. representatives: 6 (until 2016) State tree: palmetto State flower: […]

Rhode Island map

The State of Rhode Island

AT A GLANCE Name: Some historians believe that Rhode Island was named by a Dutch navigator who called it Roode Eylandt (“red island”) because of its red clay. Rhode Island may also have been named for the Greek Isle of Rhodes. Nicknames: Ocean State, Little Rhody Capital: Providence Size: 1,212 sq. mi. (3,142 sq km) […]

Pennsylvania map

The State of Pennsylvania

AT A GLANCE Name: Pennsylvania was named by King Charles II of England in honor of Admiral Sir William Penn, the father of William Penn, who governed the area. The name means “Penn's woods.” Nickname: Keystone State Capital: Harrisburg Size: 45,310 sq. mi. (117,351 sq km) Population: 12,802,503 (2015 est) Statehood: Pennsylvania became the second […]

Oregon

The State of Oregon

AT A GLANCE Name: The exact origin of Oregon's name is unknown, but it may have come from the Native American name for one of the area's rivers—the Ouragon. Nickname: Beaver State Capital: Salem Size: 97,052 sq. mi. (251,365 sq km) Population: 4,028,977 (2015 est.) Statehood: Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859. […]

Oklahoma map

The State of Oklahoma

AT A GLANCE Name: Oklahoma comes from the Choctaw words okla humma, which mean “red people.” Nickname: Sooner State Capital: Oklahoma City Size: 69,903 sq. mi. (181,048 sq km) Population: 3,911,338 (2015 est) Statehood: Oklahoma became the 46th state on November 16, 1907. Electoral votes: 7 (2016) U.S. representatives: 6 (until 2016) State tree: redbud […]

11,613,423 (2015 est)

The State of Ohio

AT A GLANCE Name: Ohio is an Iroquois word for “fine or great river.” Nickname: Buckeye State Capital: Columbus Size: 41,330 sq. mi. (107,040 sq km) Population: 11,613,423 (2015 est) Statehood: Ohio became the 17th state on March 1, 1803. Electoral votes: 20 (2016) U.S. representatives: 19 (until 2016) State tree: buckeye State flower: scarlet […]

North Dakota map

The State of North Dakota

AT A GLANCE Name: Dakota is a Sioux word that means “friends” or “allies.” Nicknames: Sioux State, Flickertail State, Peace Garden State, Rough Rider State Capital: Bismarck Size: 70,704 sq. mi. (13,123 sq km) Population: 756,927 (2015 est) Statehood: North Dakota became the 39th state on November 2, 1889. Electoral votes: 3 (2016) U.S. representatives: […]

North Carolina map

The State of North Carolina

AT A GLANCE Name: North Carolina was named after King Charles I of England. (The Latin word for the name Charles is Carolana.) Nicknames: Tar Heel State, Old North State Capital: Raleigh Size: 52,672 sq. mi. (136,421 sq km) Population: 10,042,802 (2015 est) Statehood: North Carolina became the 12th state on November 21, 1789. Electoral […]

New York map

The State of New York

AT A GLANCE Name: New York was named in honor of England's Duke of York. Nickname: Empire State Capital: Albany Size: 49,112 sq. mi. (127,200 sq km) Population: 19,795,791 (2015 est) Statehood: New York became the 11th state on July 26, 1788. Electoral votes: 31 (2016) U.S. representatives: 31 (beginning in 2016) State tree: sugar […]

New Mexico map

The State of New Mexico

AT A GLANCE Name: New Mexico was named after Mexico by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. Nickname: Land of Enchantment Capital: Santa Fe Size: 121,598 sq. mi. (314,939 sq km) Population: 2,085,109 (2015 est) Statehood: New Mexico became the 47th state on January 6, 1912. Electoral votes: 5 (2016) U.S. representatives: 3 (until 2016) […]

New Jersey map

The State of New Jersey

AT A GLANCE Name: New Jersey was named after Jersey, an island in the English Channel. Nickname: Garden State Capital: Trenton Size: 7,790 sq. mi. (20, 175 sq km) Population: 8,958,013 (2015 est) Statehood: New Jersey became the third state on December 18, 1787. Electoral votes: 15 (2016) U.S. representatives: 13 (until 2016) State tree: […]

New Hampshire map

The State of New Hampshire

AT A GLANCE Name: New Hampshire was named for the English county of Hampshire. Nickname: Granite State Capital: Concord Size: 9,283 sq. mi. (24,044 sq km) Population: 1,330,608 (2015 est) Statehood: New Hampshire became the ninth state on June 21, 1788. Electoral votes: 4 (2016) U.S. representatives: 2 (until 2016) State tree: white birch State […]

The State of Nevada

AT A GLANCE Name: Nevada means “snowcapped” in Spanish. Nicknames: Sagebrush State, Silver State Capital: Carson City Size: 110,567 sq. mi. (286,367 sq km) Population: 2,890,845 (2015 est) Statehood: Nevada became the 36th state on October 31, 1864. Electoral votes: 5 (2016) U.S. representatives: 3 State trees: single-leaf pinon and bristlecone pine State flower: sagebrush […]

Nebraska map

The State of Nebraska

AT A GLANCE Name: Nebraska is from the Oto Indian word nebrathka, meaning “flat water.” Nickname: Cornhusker State Capital: Lincoln Size: 77,358 sq. mi. (200,358 sq km) Population: 1,896,190 (2015 est) Statehood: Nebraska became the 37th state on March 1, 1867. Electoral votes: 5 (2016) U.S. representatives: 3 (until 2016) State tree: cottonwood State flower: […]

Montana map

The State of Montana

AT A GLANCE Name: Montana comes from the Spanish word montana, which means “mountainous.” Nicknames: Treasure State, Big Sky Country Capital: Helena Size: 147,046 sq. mi. (380,849 sq km) Population: 1,032,949 (2015 est) Statehood: Montana became the 41st state on November 8, 1889. Electoral votes: 3 (2016) U.S. representatives: 1 (until 2016) State tree: ponderosa […]

Missouri map

The State of Missouri

AT A GLANCE Name: Missouri is the name of a Native American tribe and means “town with the big canoes.” Nickname: Show Me State Capital: Jefferson City Size: 69,709 sq. mi. (180,546 sq km) Population: 6,083,672 (2015 est.) Statehood: Missouri became the 24th state on August 10, 1821. Electoral votes: 11 (2016) U.S. representatives: 9 […]

Mississippi map

The State of Mississippi

AT A GLANCE Name: Mississippi comes from a Native American word that means “father of waters.” Nickname: Magnolia State Capital: Jackson Size: 47.695 sq. mi. (123,530 sq km) Population: 2,992,333 (2015 est) Statehood: Mississippi became the 20th state on December 10, 1817. Electoral votes: 6 (2016) State representatives: 5 (until 2016) State tree: magnolia State […]

Minnesota map

The State of Minnesota

AT A GLANCE Name: Minnesota is from Sioux words that mean “sky-tinted water.” Nicknames: North Star State, Gopher State Capital: St. Paul Size: 84,397 sq. mi. (218,587 sq km) Population: 5,489,594 (2015 est) Statehood: Minnesota became the 32nd state on May 11, 1858. Electoral votes: 10 (2016) U.S. representatives: 8 (until 2016) State tree: red […]

Michigan map

The State of Michigan

AT A GLANCE Name: Michigan comes from a Native American word that means “great or large lake.” Nicknames: Wolverine State, Great Lakes State Capital: Lansing Size: 58,513 sq. mi. (151,548 sq km) Population: 9,922,576 (2015 est) Statehood: Michigan became the 26th state on January 26, 1837. Electoral votes: 17 (2016) U.S. representatives: 16 (until 2016) […]

Massachusetts map

The State of Massachusetts

AT A GLANCE Name: Massachusetts was named for the Massachusett, a Native American tribe whose name means “at or about the great hill.” Nicknames: Bay State, Old Colony State Capital: Boston Size: 8,262 sq. mi. (21,398 sq km) Population: 6,794,422 (2015 est) Statehood: Massachusetts became the sixth state on February 6, 1788. Electoral votes: 12 […]

Maryland map

The State of Maryland

AT A GLANCE Name: Maryland was named in honor of Henrietta Maria, queen consort of King Charles I of England. Nicknames: Free State, Old Line State Capital: Annapolis Size: 12,297 sq. mi. (31,972 sq km) Population: 6,006,401 (2015 est) Statehood: Maryland became the seventh state on April 28, 1788. Electoral votes: 10 (2016) U.S. representatives: […]

Maine map

The State of Maine

AT A GLANCE Name: Maine probably comes from the word mainland. Early English explorers used the phrase “the main” to distinguish Maine from its offshore islands. Nickname: Pine Tree State Capital: Augusta Size: 33,265 sq. mi. (87,727 sq km) Population: 1,329,328 (2015 est) Statehood: Maine became the 23rd state on March 15, 1820. Electoral votes: […]

Louisiana map

The State of Louisiana

AT A GLANCE Name: Louisiana was named for King Louis XIV of France. Nickname: Pelican State Capital: Baton Rouge Size: 47,751 sq. mi. (124,153 sq km) Population: 4,670,724 (2015) Statehood: Louisiana became the 18th state on April 30, 1812. Electoral votes: 9 (2016) U.S. Representatives: 7 (until 2016) State tree: cypress State flower: magnolia State […]

Kentucky map

The State of Kentucky

AT A GLANCE Name: Kentucky is from the Iroquois word Ken-tah-ten, which means “land of tomorrow.” Nickname: Bluegrass State Capital: Frankfort Size: 40,411 sq. mi. (104,665 sq km) Population: 4,425,092 (2015 est) Statehood: Kentucky became the 15th state on June 1, 1792. Electoral votes: 8 (2016) U.S. Representatives: 6 (until 2016) State tree: tulip poplar […]

Kansas map

The State of Kansas

AT A GLANCE Name: Kansas is from a Sioux word meaning “people of the south wind.” Nickname: Sunflower State, Jayhawker State Capital: Topeka Size: 82,282 sq. mi. (213,110 sq km) Population: 2,911,641 (2015 est) Statehood: Kansas became the 34th state on January 29, 1861. Electoral votes: 6 (2016) U.S. Representatives: 4 (until 2016) State tree: […]

Iowa map

The State of Iowa

AT A GLANCE Name: Iowa is believed to have come from a Native American word meaning “this is the place” or “the beautiful land.” Nickname: Hawkeye State Capital: Des Moines Size: 56,276 sq. mi. (145,755 sq km) Population: 3,123,899 (2015 est) Statehood: Iowa became the 29th state on December 28, 1846. Electoral votes: 7 (2016) […]

Indiana map

The State of Indiana

AT A GLANCE Name: Indiana means “land of Indians.” Nickname: Hoosier State Capital: Indianapolis Size: 36,420 sq. mi. (94,328 sq km) Population: 6,619,680 (2015 est) Statehood: Indiana became the 19th state on December 11, 1816. Electoral votes: 11 (2016) U.S. Representatives: 10 (until 2016) State tree: tulip poplar State flower: peony State bird: cardinal Highest […]

Illinois map

The State of Illinois

AT A GLANCE Name: Illinois is an Algonquian word meaning “tribe of superior men.” Nickname: Prairie State Capital: Springfield Size: 57,918 sq. mi. (150,007 sq km) Population: 12,859,995 (2015 est) Statehood: Illinois became the 21st state on December 3, 1818. Electoral votes: 21 (2016) U.S. Representatives: 20 (until 2016) State tree: white oak State flower: […]

Idaho map

The State of Idaho

AT A GLANCE Name: The meaning of the name Idaho is unknown, although it is believed to be of Native American origin. Nickname: Gem State Capital: Boise Size: 83,574 sq. mi. (217,292 sq km) Population: 1,654,930 (2015 est) Statehood: Idaho became the 43rd state on July 3, 1890. Electoral votes: 4 (2016) U.S. Representatives: 2 […]

Hawaii map

The State of Hawaii

AT A GLANCE Name: The origin of the name Hawaii is uncertain. The islands may have been named after Hawaii Loa, the chief who has traditionally been believed to have discovered them, or they may have been named after Hawaii or Hawaiki, the traditional home of the Polynesians. Nickname: Aloha State Capital: Honolulu Size: 6,459 […]

The State of Georgia map

The State of Georgia

AT A GLANCE Name: Georgia was named for King George II of England. Nicknames: Peach State, Empire State of the South Capital: Atlanta Size: 58,977 sq. mi. Population: 10,214,860 (2015 est) Statehood: Georgia became the fourth state on January 2, 1788. Electoral votes: 15 (2016) U.S. Representatives: 11 (until 2016) State tree: live oak State […]

Florida map

The State of Florida

AT A GLANCE Name: Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon named Florida when he landed there on Easter Sunday in 1513. He called the place Pascua Florida, which means “flowery Easter” in Spanish. Nickname: Sunshine State Capital: Tallahassee Size: 59,928 sq. mi. Population: 20,271,272 (2015 est) Statehood: Florida became the 27th state on March 3, 1845. […]

Delaware

The State of Delaware

AT A GLANCE Name: The name Delaware comes from the Delaware River and Bay, which were named for Sir Thomas West, Baron De La Warr, the first governor of Virginia. Nicknames: First State, Diamond State Capital: Dover Size: 2,396 sq. mi. Population: 935 614 (2014) Statehood: Delaware became the first state on December 7, 1787. Electoral […]

The State of Connecticut

The State of Connecticut

AT A GLANCE Name: Connecticut comes from an Algonquian word meaning “place beside the long tidal river.” Nicknames: Constitution State, Nutmeg State Capital: Hartford Size: 5,544 sq. mi. Population: 3,597,000 (2014) Statehood: Connecticut became the fifth state on January 9, 1788. Electoral votes: 7 (2016) U.S. Representatives: 6 (until 2016) State tree: white oak State […]

The State of Colorado

The State of Colorado

AT A GLANCE Name: Colorado is a Spanish word that means “colored red.” The name was first given to the Colorado River by Spanish explorers because it flows through red stone canyons. Nickname: Centennial State Capital: Denver Size: 104,100 sq. mi. Population: 5,356,000 (2014) Statehood: Colorado became the 38th state on August 1, 1876. Electoral […]

The State of California

AT A GLANCE Name: California is named after Califia, a mythical island paradise described by Garci Ordonez de Montalvo in his 16th-century novel Las Sergas de Esplandian. Nickname: Golden State Capital: Sacramento Size: 158,869 sq. mi. Population: 39,144,818 (2015 est) Statehood: California became the 31st state on September 9, 1850. Electoral votes: 55 (2016) U.S. […]

Arkansas map

The State of Arkansas

AT A GLANCE Name: The word Arkansas is from the French name for the Quapaw tribe, the Arkansa, and the region the tribe inhabited. Nicknames: Natural State, Razorback State, Land of Opportunity Capital: Little Rock Size: 53,182 sq. mi. Population: 2,966,000 (2014) Statehood: Arkansas became the 25th state on June 15, 1836. Electoral votes: 6 […]

Arizona map

The State of Arizona

AT A GLANCE Name: Arizona comes from the Native American word Arizonac, which means “little spring” or “young spring.” Nickname: Grand Canyon State Capital: Phoenix Size: 114,006 sq. mi. Population: 6,731,000 (2014) Statehood: Arizona became the 48th state on February 14, 1912. Electoral votes: 11 (2016) U.S. Representatives: 9 (until 2003) State tree: paloverde State flower: saguaro […]

Alaska map

The State of Alaska

AT A GLANCE Name: Alaska comes from an Aleut word meaning “great land.” Nicknames: Last Frontier, Land of the Midnight Sun Capital: Juneau Size: 615,230 sq. mi. Population: 736 732 (2014) Statehood: Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959. Electoral votes: 3 (2016) U.S. Representatives: 1 (until 2016) State tree: Sitka spruce State flower: forget-me-not State […]

map Alabama

The State of Alabama

AT A GLANCE Name: Alabama comes from the word Alibamu, the name of a Native American tribe that lived in the area. The name may mean “to clear the vegetation.” Nicknames: Heart of Dixie, Camellia State, Yellowhammer State Capital: Montgomery Size: 52,237 sq. mi. Population: 4,849,000 (2014) Statehood: Alabama became the 22nd state on December 14, 1819. Electoral […]