The Five Most Populous US States

October 15th, 2018

New York
New York is the fourth most populous US state.

Over 325 million people live in the United States. If you measure from the geographic center of the contiguous United States, near Lebanon, Kansas, you’ll find that only one state lies entirely in the western half of the country. California is the outlier, but the west-coast rebel tops the list as the country’s most populous state. This article will take a quick look at California, the runner-up, Texas, and the rest of the top 5 most populous states.

5. Illinois

Located in the midwestern United States, Illinois is home to the city of Chicago, the 38th most populous city in the world. The multitudes that reside in the Windy City make a large contribution to the state’s total population, a staggering 12,801,539. That’s almost 4 percent of the US population, and grants Illinois status as the 5th most populous state in the U.S.

4. New York

In the 1820s, construction of the Erie Canal in New York State opened the Midwest to development and proved to be the first step in making New York City the worldwide trading center it is today. Ranking 4th among the states in population, New York is home to 19,745,289 people. Over 8.5 million over those people live in New York City.

3. Florida

Saint Augustine, Florida is the oldest European settlement in North America. Since the day in 1565 when Pedro Menéndez's ships first sighted land, the area continues to attract people, and now, Florida has a population of 20,612,439. It’s the 3rd most populous state, but it ranks at the very top in terms of heat, with Key West, Florida posting the highest average temperature in the United States.

2. Texas

With a total area of almost 270 million square miles, Texas is the second largest state, after Alaska. It also has the second largest population, at 27,862,596. That’s almost 9 percent of the country’s population! It doesn’t hurt that Texas contains the cities of Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, three of the ten most populous cities in the United States. Texas is also home to nearly 16 million cattle!

1. California

The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

California, the country’s most populous state, is home to over 12 percent of the U.S. population. That’s 39,250,017 people. It’s also the 3rd largest state, so there’s plenty of room for Californians to spread out. While the city of Los Angeles has a massive population of 12,309,530, it is the only California city with a population over 5 million.