Special Report

This Is the Smallest State in America

The United States is the fourth largest country in the world, based on square mileage of 3,618,783. That puts it behind Russia, Canada, and China. The 50 states that make up the country vary considerably in size. Alaska takes up 17% of the area of the United States. Thirteen states each cover less than 1% of the country.

The smallest state in America is Rhode Island at about 1,545 square miles. That is only 0.04% of the U.S. total. Since the smallest states by this measure are usually the most densely populated, Rhode Island ranks second in people per square mile at 1,051. It trails only New Jersey, where the figure is 1,252. Because of its bays, about 16% of New Jersey is covered by water. (Find out what percentage of water area Alaska has here: This is the largest state in America.)

Rhode Island was the last state of the first 13 admitted to the Union. It was admitted on May 29, 1790. It was a holdout. It did not send delegates to the Constitutional Convention, and it was given the nickname “the perverse sister.” It did not ratify the Constitution until a year after it went into effect, according to the National Archives. (Find how large of an economy the state has: America’s largest and smallest state economies.)

The following 10 cities make up most of the population. Of these, the largest is Providence, which has about 180,600 residents, more than double the next city.

Providence – 180,609

Cranston – 81,698

Warwick – 81,080

Pawtucket – 72,405

East Providence – 47,760

Woonsocket – 41,899

Newport – 23,844

Central Falls – 19,844

Westerly – 17,553

Newport East – 11,925


24/7 Wall St. used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s State Area Measurements and Internal Point Coordinates to list state areas and calculate the percentage of the U.S. each state covers.

Click here to see the smallest state in America

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