Northwestern state of U.S.A., bounded on N by Canadian provs. of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, on E by North Dakota and South Dakota, on S by Wyoming and Idaho, and on W by Idaho; 4th state in area, 147,138 sq. mi. (381,087 sq. km.); 44th state in population, (2000c) 902,195; ✽ Helena; 41st state admitted to Union (1889).
- Nebraska: Topic Page
State in central USA, bordered to the west by Wyoming, to the north by South Dakota, to the east by Iowa and Missouri, to the south by Kansas, and to the southwest by Colorado; area 199,098 sq km/76,872 sq mi; population (2006) 1,768,300; capital Lincoln. Part of the Midwest, Nebraska's landscape rises gradually from the east to the High Plains of the west. The state is a leading crop producer, including corn and wheat, and has an important cattle and hog industry. Food processing is also significant economically. Major cities include Omaha, Bellevue, Grand Island, Kearney, Fremont, North Platte, Hastings, Norfolk, and Columbus. Originally home to Plains Indians, including the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Omaha, Sioux, Oto, and Pawnee people, Nebraska was acquired by the USA as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Nebraska was organized as a territory in 1854 and was admitted to the Union in 1867 as the 37th US state...
- Nevada: Topic Page
State in southwestern USA, one of the Rocky Mountain states, bordered to the east by Utah and Arizona, to the south and west by California, and to the north by Oregon and Idaho; area 284,448 sq km/109,826 sq mi; population (2006) 2,495,500; capital Carson City. Physically stark, mountainous, and arid, its nicknames derive from the abundance of sagebrush shrubs and silver mines. Most of Nevada lies in the Great Basin between the Wasatch Mountains to the east and the Sierra Nevada mountains, for which the state is named, to the west. The Mojave Desert lies to the south. Nevada is a famous gambling and entertainment centre, and is also known historically as the state where marriages and divorces can be quickly obtained. The discovery of gold and silver in the 19th century created Nevada's first boom period, and mining and cattle ranching dominated the state's economy until 1931 when gambling was legalized; tourism and related industries now generate more than half of the state's income. O
- New Hampshire: Topic Page
State in the USA, one of the New England states, one of the original Thirteen Colonies, and one of the smallest US states; bordered to the north by the Canadian province of Québec, to the east by Maine and the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Massachusetts, and to the west by Vermont; area 23,227 sq km/8,968 sq mi; population (2006) 1,314,900; capital Concord. New Hampshire is known as the Granite State owing to its high concentration of granite deposits. Other nicknames include Mother of Rivers, after the many New England rivers that originate in New Hampshire's mountains; the White Mountain State, after the White Mountain range; and the Switzerland of America, after the state's mountain scenery. The state is named after the county of Hampshire in England. The White Mountains in the north of the state are rugged and heavily forested, with picturesque gorges and ravines. The central rolling uplands are characterized by a large number of lakes and streams, and there is a short, rocky le
- New Jersey: Topic Page
State in the Middle Atlantic region of the USA, bordered to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Hudson River forming a natural boundary to the northeast and north, beyond which lies New York State; the Delaware River borders to the south, and Delaware Bay and the state of Delaware lie beyond it; bordered to the west by Pennsylvania; area 19,210 sq km/7,417 sq mi; population (2006) 8,724,600; capital Trenton. It is named after an early landowner's birthplace, the English Channel Island of Jersey. Its nickname derives from its historical role as an important agricultural region serving New York. The fifth smallest US state, New Jersey lies largely in the Atlantic Coastal Plain, a region of rich soil. The Atlantic coastline is sandy and the Jersey shore extends for about 200 km/125 mi. Formerly a manufacturing and agricultural state, the New Jersey economy is dominated by tourism, finance, insurance, and construction. It is the leading US producer of chemicals; other important manufa
- New Mexico: Topic Page
State in southwestern USA, bordered in the north by Colorado, to the east by Oklahoma, to the east and south by Texas, to the south by Mexico, and to the west by Arizona; its northwest corner borders Arizona, Utah, and Colorado at the ‘Four Corners’; area 314,311 sq km/121,356 sq mi; population (2006) 1,954,600; capital Santa Fe, the oldest capital city in the USA. New Mexico is known for its rich heritage and stunningly diverse landscapes – all the major biomes of the world, with the exception of the tropical rainforest, are found in the state. The state's most important river is the Rio Grande. The service industry and tourism are important elements in the economy of New Mexico, as are agriculture, mining, and the manufacture of electronic equipment. Major towns and cities include Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Roswell, and Farmington. The upper region of the Rio Grande was called Nuevo Mexico as early as 1561, becoming New Mexico after it was ceded to the USA following t
- New York: Topic Page
or New York City. A middle Atlantic state of U.S.A., bounded on N by Lake Ontario and the Canadian provs. of Ontario and Quebec, on E by Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, on S by Atlantic Ocean, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and on W by Pennsylvania, Lake Erie, and the Canadian prov. of Ontario; 30th state in area, 49,576 sq. mi. (128,402 sq. km.), in addition to this area New York has also 4376 sq. mi. (11,334 sq. km.) of water of the Great Lakes; 3d state in population, (2000c) 18,976,457; ✽ Albany; an original state of the Union, the 11th to ratify the U.S. Constitution (July 26, 1788).
- North Carolina: Topic Page
State in southeastern USA, bordered to the north by Virginia, to the west and northwest by Tennessee, to the south by Georgia and South Carolina, and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean; area 126,161 sq km/48,711 52,650 sq mi; population (2006) 8,856,500; capital Raleigh. Named after Charles I of England, its nickname the Old North State refers to the division of Carolina into north and south in 1712; the Tar Heel State comes from a remark made by troops during the Civil War that tar – one of North Carolina's first products – should be put on the heels of deserters to make them ‘stick better in the next fight’. North Carolina varies from flat-lying coastal plain with marshes, bogs, and barrier islands, to the rugged Great Smoky Mountains in the west, and the state is heavily forested. The natural setting, along with growing technology industries and thriving financial centres such as Charlotte, have made the state one of the USA's most desirable places to live. It also supports a
- North Dakota: Topic Page
State in west north-central USA, one of the Great Plains states, bordered to the south by South Dakota, to the west by Montana, to the north by the Canadian states of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and to the east by Minnesota; area 178,647 sq km/68,976 sq mi; population (2006) 635,900; capital Bismarck. Located at the geographical centre of the North American continent, North Dakota is a sparsely populated rural state, characterized by plains and black-soiled prairies. It ranks among the top states in the USA for its number of national wildlife refuges, most of which are managed for waterfowl production. Crops and livestock are the most important industries in the state, as well as energy and tourism. Products include barley, sunflower seeds, and flaxseed. Oil has been important to the economy since it was discovered in the state in the 1950s. The largest city is Fargo and other major towns and cities are Grand Forks and Minot. One of the last US frontier states to be settled, it is known
State in E central USA, bounded by Lake Erie in the N; the capital is Columbus. Other cities include Toledo and Cleveland. Britain acquired the land in 1763, at the end of the Seven Years' War. It was ceded to the USA after the American Revolution, and in 1787 it became part of the Northwest Territory. Ohio was accepted into the Union in 1803. Mostly low-lying, the state is drained chiefly by the Ohio, Scioto, Miami, and Muskingum rivers. Ohio's large farms produce hay, maize, wheat, soya beans and dairy foods, and cattle and pigs are raised. The state is highly industrialized. Ohio produces sandstone, oil, natural gas, clay, salt, lime and gravel. Its lake ports handle large amounts of iron and copper ore, coal and oil. Industries: vehicle and aircraft manufacture, transport equipment, primary and fabricated metals. Area: 106,764sq km (41,222sq mi). Pop. (2000) 11,353,140.
- Oklahoma: Topic Page:
State in southern central USA, bordered to the south by Texas, to the west, at the extreme of the Oklahoma panhandle, by New Mexico, to the north by Colorado and Kansas, and to the east by Missouri and Arkansas; area 177,847 sq km/68,667 sq mi; population (2006) 3,579,200; capital Oklahoma City. It is nicknamed the Sooner State because during the Oklahoma Land Run in 1889, when the land was opened up to white settlers, many took land before it was officially allowed. The state has a number of land regions, including the Ozark Plateau, the Prairie Plains, and the Ouachita Mountains. Oklahoma ranks among the leading states in petroleum and natural gas production, and it is the only US state that produces iodine. Beef cattle are the major source of agricultural income and cowhands still ride the range, although ranching has been thoroughly modernized. Other towns and cities are Tulsa, Norman, Lawton, Broken Arrow, Edmond, Midwest City, and Enid. Oklahoma is the US state most associated wi
- Oregon: Topic Page
State in northwestern USA, bordered to the east by Idaho, to the north by Washington, to the south by California and Nevada, and to the west by the Pacific Ocean; area 248,631 sq km/95,997 sq mi; population (2006) 3,700,800; capital Salem. Oregon's nickname was coined because of the large beaver population that roamed the region in the early 19th century, when fur traders flocked there to seek their fortunes. The state features mountains, including the Cascade Range, including the state's highest point, Mount Hood, and the Klamath Mountains. More than half of the state is forested. After the fashion for fur faded, Oregon developed a timber industry, which sustained the area's economic growth until the early 1990s. The state's economy was then bolstered by a thriving high-tech industry, particularly in the Willamette Valley, home to Oregon's three largest cities, Portland, Eugene, and Salem. Other major cities include Gresham, Hillsboro, and Beaverton. Originally home to the Chinook and
- Pennsylvania: Topic Page
State in northeastern USA bordered to the north by New York, with a coastal strip on Lake Erie, to the west by Ohio and the West Virginia panhandle, to the south, on the Mason–Dixon Line, by West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, and to the east by New Jersey, across the Delaware River; area 116,075 sq km/44,817 sq mi; population (2006) 12,440,600; capital Harrisburg. It is nicknamed the Keystone State due to its geographical position between the northeast and south of the USA. The Appalachian Plateau dominates over half of Pennsylvania, defined on its eastern border by the Allegheny Front, a spine of mountains running diagonally southwest–northeast across the centre of the state. The Susquehanna and the Juniata rivers cut east–southeast across the front. One of the original Thirteen Colonies, Pennsylvania is a leader in both agriculture and industry, producing hay, cereals, dairy products, coal, steel, petroleum products, and textiles. Philadelphia is the state's most populous c
- Puerto Rico: Topic Page
(pwārʹtō rēʹkō), island (2005 est. pop. 3,917,000), 3,508 sq mi (9,086 sq km), West Indies, c.1,000 mi (1,610 km) SE of Miami, Fla. Officially known as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (a self-governing entity in association with the United States), it includes the offshore islands of Mona, Vieques, and Culebra. The capital and largest city is San Juan.
- Rhode Island: Topic Page
Smallest state of the USA, located in New England, bordered to the north and east by Massachusetts, to the west by Connecticut, and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean; area 2,707 sq km/1,045 sq mi; population (2006) 1,067,600; capital Providence. Eastern Rhode Island lies on Narragansett Bay, a sound in the Atlantic, and consists of coastal lowlands, estuaries, and islands. The state has 640 km/400 mi of coastline. The northwestern portion of the state, behind the coast, is part of the Eastern New England Upland. The state economy is reliant on the service sector, and tourism is significant. The most important industry is the manufacture of jewellery and silverware; other products include textiles, metals, greenhouse plants, shrubs, and potatoes. Rhode Island Red hens were first bred here in the 19th century. Other major towns and cities in Rhode Island include Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket, Newport, and Woonsocket. Rhode Island was originally home to the Narragansett, Niantic, Nipmuck,
- South Carolina: Topic Page
State in eastern USA, bordered to the north and northeast by North Carolina, to the south and west by Georgia, and to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean; area 77,982 sq km/30,109 sq mi; population (2006) 4,321,200; capital and largest city Columbia. South Carolina is the smallest state of the Deep South region, and is roughly triangular in shape, with the Savannah River forming much of the state boundary with Georgia. The Blue Ridge Mountains rise in the northwest, and there are numerous sea islands along the subtropical coastline. Service industries, particularly tourism, form the basis of South Carolina's economy, but farming, fishing, wood processing, and the manufacture of chemicals and textiles are also important. The state is a leading producer of tobacco in the USA. Columbia is situated in the central industrial heartland. Other major cities include the seaport of Charleston, and the former textile centres of Greenville and Spartanburg in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Set
- South Dakota: Topic Page
State in north-central USA, a Great Plains state, bordered to the north by North Dakota, to the west by Montana and Wyoming, to the south by Nebraska, and to the east by Minnesota and Iowa; area 196,541 sq km/75,885 sq mi; population (2006) 781,900; capital Pierre. South Dakota was formerly known as the Coyote State due to the abundance of coyotes that roam the prairies, but its official nickname is now the Mount Rushmore State because of the famous mountain sculpture, Mount Rushmore, which is the state's biggest tourist attraction. South Dakota is primarily a rural state, bisected by the Missouri River, with rolling hills and flat plains to the east and rocky uplifts to the west. Thousands of buffalo once roamed the prairies and grassland of the state. Tourism is key to the state economy, second only to livestock and grain production in terms of economic importance. Other cities include Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Aberdeen. The influence of the Sioux tribe, both historically and cult
- Tennessee: Topic Page
State in east-central USA, bordered to the east by North Carolina, to the south by Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, to the west by Arkansas and Missouri, across the Mississippi River, and to the north by Kentucky and Virginia; area 106,752 sq km/41,217 sq mi; population (2006) 6,038,800; capital Nashville. The Tennessee River flows through the state twice, giving rise to its nickname the Big Bend State; its more common nickname, the Volunteer State, refers to Tennessee's military traditions. The terrain drops from east to west, with wooded mountains, including part of the Great Smoky Mountains, giving way to a central area of hills, and then plains and swamps. Tennessee is one of the states that link the North and South of the USA; the lifestyle of west and central Tennessee resembles that of the Deep South, while eastern Tennessee is closer to the North. Service industries and manufacturing make the greatest contribution to the state economy; products include chemicals, pr
- Texas: Topic Page
(tĕkʹsəs), largest state in the coterminous United States. It is located in the S Central part of the country and is bounded by Oklahoma, across the Red R. except in the Texas panhandle (N); Arkansas (NE); Louisiana, across the Sabine R. (E); the Gulf of Mexico (SE); Mexico, across the Rio Grande R. (SW); and New Mexico (W).
- Utah: Topic Page
State in western USA, one of the Mountain States, bordered to the east by Colorado, to the south by Arizona, to the west by Nevada, and to the north by Wyoming; at the Four Corners in the southeast, it also touches New Mexico; area 212,752 sq km/82,144 sq mi; population (2006) 2,550,100; capital and largest city Salt Lake City. The name Utah derives from the American Indian Ute, meaning ‘high land’; its nickname symbolizes thrift and industry. Utah has a spectacular landscape of canyons, Rocky Mountain peaks, and vast deserts. It is an important transport hub for the western USA, and service industries and tourism are the state's largest employers. Products include transport equipment, processed foods, and scientific materials. Beef, milk, and hay are the main agricultural products. Salt Lake City is the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, or Mormons; 60% of Utah's population is Mormon (2006). Other important towns and cities include West Valley Cit
- Vermont: Topic Page
State in northeastern USA, one of the New England states, bordered to the north by Québec, Canada, to the east by New Hampshire along the Connecticut River, to the south by Massachusetts, and to the west by New York, two-thirds of this border running down the centre of Lake Champlain; area 23,957 sq km/9,250 sq mi; population (2006) 623,900; capital Montpelier. Physically, the state varies between mountainous, in particular the Green Mountains running north–south through the centre of the state, and fertile lowland river valleys, such as the Champlain Valley in the northwest and the Connecticut Valley in the east. The Green Mountain National Forest, with its brilliant autumn foliage, is one of many attractions for Vermont's tourist industry, along with skiing and hiking. The river valleys support a thriving dairy industry. Other agricultural products include apples and maple syrup. Mining of granite, marble, slate, and talc has been economically important throughout the state's hist
- Virgin Islands: Topic Page
group of about 100 small islands, West Indies, E of Puerto Rico. The islands are divided politically between the United States and Great Britain. Although constituting the westernmost part of the Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands form a geological unit with Puerto Rico and the Greater Antilles; they are of volcanic origin overlaid with limestone. The islands are subject to sometimes severe hurricanes between August and October and suffer from light earthquakes. The water supply is almost completely dependent on rainfall and is preserved in cisterns; some water also comes from desalinization plants. The tropical climate, with its cooling northeast trade winds, and the picturesque quality of the islands, enhanced by their Old World architecture, have encouraged a large tourist trade. The population is predominantly of African descent and the main religion is Protestantism. English and some Spanish and Creole are spoken. The islands were first visited by Europeans when Columbus landed o
- Virginia: Topic Page
State in eastern USA, bordered to the north by Maryland and the District of Columbia, to the west by Kentucky and West Virginia, to the south by North Carolina and Tennessee; area 102,548 sq km/39,594 sq mi; population (2006) 7,642,900; capital Richmond. It was named after Queen Elizabeth I of England, the virgin queen. In the east it occupies the southern tip of the Delamarva Peninsula and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. The state includes Chesapeake Bay and the Shenandoah Valley. The most important industries are the service and tourist industries. Virginia's industrial output includes textiles, chemicals, cars, and electrical equipment; agricultural products include tobacco, soybeans, peanuts, and apples. Coal is the most important mineral. Major towns and cities include Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Newport News, Arlington, Hampton, Alexandria, Portsmouth, and Roanoke. One of the Thirteen Colonies, the first permanent English settlement was made at Jamestown in 1607, and
- Washington (D.C.): Topic Page
Capital of the USA, on the Potomac River; the world's first planned national capital. It was named Washington, DC, to distinguish it from Washington state, and because it is coextensive with the District of Columbia, hence DC; population (2000 est) 572,100; metropolitan area extending outside the District of Columbia (2000 est) 7,608,100. The District of Columbia, the federal district of the USA, is an area of 158 sq km/61 sq mi. Its site was chosen by President George Washington, and the first structures date from 1793. It became the seat of government in 1800, taking over from Philadelphia, and houses the national executive, legislative, and judicial government of the USA; it is also a centre for international diplomacy and finance. Federal and district government are key employers. Public, trade, business, and social organizations maintain a presence, as well as law and other service agencies. Tourism is a major industry...
- Washington (State): Topic Page
pop (2000e) 5 894 100; area 176 473 km²/68 139 sq mi. State in NW USA, divided into 39 counties; the ‘Evergreen State’; first settled in the late 18th Century , part of Oregon Territory, a prosperous fur-trading area; Britain and the USA quarrelled over the region until the international boundary was fixed by treaty to lie along the 49th parallel, 1846; became a territory, 1853; joined the Union as the 42nd state, 1889; after arrival of the railway (1887), developed through lumbering and fishing; Seattle an important outfitting point during the Alaskan gold rush, 1897–9; capital, Olympia; other chief cities, Seattle, Tacoma, Edmonds, Bellingham; bounded N by Canada (British Columbia), NW by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, W by the Pacific Ocean; rivers include the Columbia, Snake, Okanogan, Sanpoil, Yakima; Olympic Peninsula with the Olympic Mts in the NW (Mt Olympus 2428 m/7966 ft); Puget Sound to the E, extending c.160 km/100 mi inland, with numerous bays and islands; Cascade Rang
- West Virginia: Topic Page
State in eastern central USA, bordered to the south and east by Virginia, to the north by Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, and to the west by Ohio and Kentucky; area 62,359 sq km/24,078 sq mi; population (2006) 1,818,500; capital Charleston. West Virginia is hilly and rugged, hence its nickname, and has a mean altitude of 460 m/1,500 ft, the highest average altitude east of the Mississippi River. The service industry is the most significant contributor to the economy, and the state's industrial base is mining. Industrial products include coal, chemicals, and glass. Agricultural output includes dairy and meat products. Other major towns and cities include Huntington, Wheeling, Parkersburg, Morgantown, Weirton, Fairmont, Beckley, Clarksburg, and Martinsburg. West Virginia was composed from those Virginia counties that, unsympathetic to the plantation South, refused to join Virginia in its 1861 secession from the Union at the start of the American Civil War. West Virginia was admitted to
- Wisconsin: Topic Page
State in north-central USA, one of the Great Lakes states, bordered to the south by Illinois, to the west by Iowa and Minnesota, to the north by Lake Superior and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and to the east by Lake Michigan; area 140,662 sq km/54,310 sq mi; population (2006) 5,556,500; capital Madison. Wisconsin's nickname is derived from the underground living habits of early miners, who dug their homes out of hillsides or lived inside the mines. The state contains many lakes. Features include the Apostle Islands, Door Peninsula, and the Wisconsin Dells, a scenic gorge. Wisconsin's most important industries are manufacturing and food processing, and the state is the nation's leader in the production of paper and dairy products. The brewing of beer is one of the state's oldest industries. Other cities include Milwaukee, Green Bay, Kenosha, and Racine. The earliest inhabitants of Wisconsin were the Sioux and Chippewa American Indians. Prior to the influx of pioneers, the Chippewa h
- Wyoming: Topic Page
State in western USA, one of the Mountain States, bordered to the east by Nebraska and South Dakota, to the north by Montana, to the west by Montana, Idaho, and Utah, and to the south by Utah and Colorado; area 251,488 sq km/97,100 sq mi; population (2006) 515,000; capital Cheyenne. Wyoming's nickname stems from its reputation for firsts in granting rights to women, including voting, jury service, and the holding of public office. The state is famous for the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains which dominate the landscape and are the setting of Yellowstone National Park. It is the most sparsely populated state in the USA. The state's most important products are petroleum, coal, and natural gas. Cattle ranching is the most significant agricultural activity, and products include wool, sugar beet, and dairy produce. Other major cities are Casper, Laramie, Rock Springs, Gillette, and Sheridan. Wyoming was home to indigenous people, including the Crow, Cheyenne, Sioux, Arapaho, and Shosho