The State Map Outline Quiz


By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: filo / DigitalVision Vectors / Getty Images

About This Quiz

What would become the United States of America all started in 1776 when thirteen colonies declared their independence from England, due to issues that arose with taxation and westward expansion. Of course, the country at that time was much different than it is today, but slowly that changed as states formed through the acquisition of new territory, sometimes purchased and other times acquired through military action. In the end, 50 states were shaped out of this territory as the United States became one of the largest and most diverse countries in the world.

From the first addition to the Union after the creation of the U.S. Constitution to the most recent entry that's not even connected to the U.S. mainland, do you know how all 50 states have formed over the past 2 1/2 centuries? These states come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with some states being so small that they would only match a county in another state. Whether a natural border divides them or a line drawn in the sand, you'll have to know how the states are outlined to get all of these questions right. 

If you think your geography skills are on par with the experts, start this quiz and see how your score shapes up.

Do you recognize this state that launched the United States into a war with Mexico?

The name "Texas" comes from the word "teysha," used by Native American tribes like the Hasinais and Caddo, located in east Texas. The word translates into English as "friends" and was often used as a form of greeting by the tribes.


Are you familiar with this state where you're sure to find plenty of sunshine?

Florida is known for its resorts and beautiful beaches, but the state is also one of the most damaged during hurricane season. The state's hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Oddly, Florida is damaged by hurricanes more often in even years.


Can you pick out this state that gets its name from a Native American word meaning "large lake"?

Michigan is not one single landmass; it is actually divided into two peninsulas, separated by Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Michigan is the only U.S. state that features such geography. Detroit, Michigan, is known as the car capital of the world.


Can you identify this state where former U.S. President Bill Clinton got his start in politics?

Arkansas is home to the only active diamond mine in the United States, located at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Pike County, Arkansas. The mine currently lets tourists dig for diamonds during their visit, and those tourists can keep any diamonds they find.


People who travel to the largest city in this state typically keep their late-night adventures to themselves. Do you know the state?

It was the discovery of silver, not gambling, that caused a significant population increase in Nevada, beginning in 1859. The silver deposit was found at Comstock Lode, marking the first time such a deposit of silver was found in the United States.


Are you familiar with this state, known for its beautiful landscapes along the Appalachian Mountains?

Virginia was split during the start of the Civil War on whether to secede from the Union or not, with those in the west favoring the North. When their counterparts in the east united with the South, West Virginia split off to form a new state.


Country music thrives in which state, shown here in an outline?

To find the inventors of Mountain Dew, a soda connoisseur has to look no further than Tennessee, where the Hartman brothers concocted the mixture to make the taste of moonshine more bearable. Pepsi later bought the recipe from the brothers and started making Mountain Dew.


Are you familiar with this state that has the highest population in the United States, partly because of its beautiful weather?

Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, two of Hollywood's biggest stars, went on to become governors of California. Both actors served two terms, and Reagan's time as governor would help him prepare for his successful presidential run in 1980.


Unless you're looking to cross an alligator, don't swim in the bayous that run through which state, outlined here?

Louisiana was acquired from France during the 1803 purchase of the Louisiana Territory for $15 million. The purchase doubled the size of the United States and set the stage for expansion to the West Coast.


This state isn't connected directly to the U.S. mainland. What is it?

Moose are among the most beloved animals in Alaska, which is why they are protected by the law in certain situations. One strange law to protect moose states that it's illegal to give them alcohol in Fairbanks. Apparently, that was a problem they were facing in the Alaskan wilderness.


There's not a better example of the American "melting pot" than the largest city in this state. Identify the state?

New York City is often mistaken as the capital of New York, but the state's actual capital is Albany. The city has been the capital of New York since 1797, mainly because of its location on the Hudson River, which made it a significant trading post for most of its history.


A visitor should never refuse a lei if someone from which state offers one up?

Eight main islands plus many smaller ones make up the state of Hawaii. The capital of Hawaii, Honolulu, is located on the third largest of these islands, Oahu. In fact, the majority of the population of Hawaii lives on this island, and its environment makes it a huge tourist destination each year.


Lynyrd Skynyrd sang a song about how sweet this state is. What's it called?

While Montgomery is the capital and Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama, Huntsville might be the most famous city in the state. That's because Huntsville is home to the Marshall Space Flight Center, where the Saturn V rocket was built to send astronauts to the moon.


Can you identify this state where the Pilgrims settled after they crossed the Atlantic aboard the Mayflower?

Massachusetts is filled with history, particularly in Boston, the capital of the state. Boston is home to the Red Sox, an MLB team that plays in the oldest stadium in the majors, Fenway Park.


Do you recognize this state where you'll find green forests year 'round?

Before it was admitted as a state in 1889, Washington was part of a territory acquired from the British in 1846. The state received its name from the first president of the United States, George Washington, making it the only state to be named after a president.


Is this state where you'll find the Mile High City familiar to you?

Colorado is the highest state in the nation, with the entire elevation of the state being at least 3,315 feet above sea level. The lowest point in the state is where the Arikaree River runs through Yuma County, Colorado.


For anyone who wants to be president, this is the best state to grow up in. What's it called?

Virginia lays claim to Jamestown, the first permanent settlement established by the English in North America. The settlement was formed in 1607 by John Smith, although early problems resulted in a significant population decrease until tobacco made the colony profitable.


Recognized as the first addition to the Union, which state is outlined here?

Delaware did not receive a National Monument until 2013, which made it the last state to be honored with a monument, despite being the first state added to the Union. The monument, known as the First State Monument, was dedicated by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.


What's the name of this state where the Quakers have a long history, dating back to colonial times?

Pennsylvania is home to the Hershey Company, located in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1894, Hershey is one of the top chocolate producing companies in the world and makes a variety of products aside from its signature candy bar.


How familiar are you with this state, known for its unique outdoor environment?

One of the most unique and beautiful parts of Oregon's outdoor environment is Crater Lake, which was formed nearly 7,000 years ago after a volcano collapsed. The lake is around 2,000 feet deep, making it the deepest lake in the United States.


Select the name of this state where you can sail two of the Great Lakes if you visit?

Milwaukee, the largest city in Wisconsin, is known for its many brewers, earning the nickname Brew City and a baseball team called the Brewers. Brewing companies that were founded in Wisconsin include Miller Brewing Company and Pabst Brewing Company, two of the most popular brewers in America.


Pick out this state that calls Lincoln its capital?

Lincoln, Nebraska, was once called Lancaster until the capital of the state was moved from Omaha to Lincoln. The proposal referred to Lincoln as "Capital City" because officials thought some voters who were loyal to the South wouldn't want to move the capital to a place named after Abraham Lincoln.


What's the name of this state where you'll find vast amounts of delicious maple syrup?

Before Vermont became the first state admitted to the Union after the 13 colonies, it was its own country known as the Vermont Republic. The country started in 1777 and went as far as to establish its own currency before it became part of the United States.


How well do you know this state that has one of the saltiest lakes in the United States?

With 60% of its population identifying as Mormon, Utah is one of the most homogenous states when it comes to religion. In comparison, only about 2% of the overall U.S. population is Mormon.


Can you name this U.S. state that has a sparse population, making it a great fit for farmers?

Wyoming can lay claim to setting many firsts, particularly for women in the United States. For example, the state granted women the right to vote in 1869, well before the passage of the 19th Amendment. It also had the country's first female governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross, who served in the position from 1925 until 1927.


Which state shown here was controversially named The Garden State?

Atlantic City is easily identified as the center of gambling in New Jersey, but it's also the location of the first Miss America pageant. The pageant was held in 1921 on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. The first winner was Margaret Gorman, a 16-year-old from Washington, D.C.


Residents jam to bluegrass music in which state outlined in this image?

Daniel Boone, the legendary frontiersman, was an important figure in Kentucky history. In 1775, he made his way through the Appalachian Mountains to establish Boonesborough, Kentucky, an early settlement west of the Appalachians. His actions led thousands of Americans to settle Kentucky at the end of the 18th century.


How well do you know this state that has a deep history, tied to the Wild West?

Prior to becoming a state in 1907, Oklahoma was divided into the Indian Territory and the Oklahoma Territory. The Indian Territory is the area where thousands of Native Americans from the east were relocated under the Indian Removal Act.


You'll be hard pressed to find a more beautiful view of the sky than the vista in this state. What's it called?

With a name derived from a Spanish word meaning "mountain," Montana certainly has plenty of mountain ranges to enjoy. The highest peak in Montana is Granite Peak, located in the Beartooth Mountains, with an elevation of over 12,000 feet.


Can you identify this state where the Wright brothers had their first successful plane flight?

First known as "Brad's Drink," Pepsi was created in New Bern, North Carolina. The drink was introduced by Caleb Bradham in 1893 at his drugstore. Because he believed it aided digestion, he renamed it Pepsi, after an enzyme called pepsin, derived from a Greek word that means "digestion."


Do you recognize this state that is the smallest in the United States?

Concentrations of water, like lakes, bays and inlets, make up about one-third of Rhode Island, making the state even smaller in terms of livable land. For people who enjoy the shoreline, there's plenty of it in Rhode Island — 384 miles of shoreline, in fact.


Can you identify this state where you can explore the Grand Canyon?

Meteor Crater, located in Arizona, is the site where astronauts trained in preparation for their landing on the moon during the Apollo missions. The crater was created an estimated 50,000 years ago by an iron meteorite.


Name this state where you'll find plenty of national forests to explore?

Known as the Gem State, Idaho is home to dozens of gemstones, including the extremely rare star garnet. There are only two places in the world where the star garnet can be found: Idaho and India.


Identify this state where sunflowers line the prairies that stretch across it?

Kansas was key to the slave state versus free state debate before the Civil War. During this time, residents debated whether Kansas would allow slavery or not, and the turmoil leading up to the vote led to several violent clashes that became known as Bleeding Kansas.


This state got its name from an English king. Do you know it?

South Carolina played a pivotal role in the Civil War, beginning on December 20, 1860, when it became the first state to secede from the Union. Then, in April of 1861, the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter, off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina.


Are you familiar with this state that can boast having the first ambulance service in the United States?

Designed by John Eisenmann, the Ohio flag is the only state flag that's not shaped like a rectangle. Instead, the flag has a swallowtail silhouette. Seventeen stars symbolize Ohio's position as the 17th state admitted to the U.S.


Can you name this state, known for its rich history?

The famous American writer Edgar Allan Poe was a resident of Baltimore, the largest city in Maryland, where he died in 1849. To honor his legacy in the city, the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL were named after his poem, "The Raven."


In the great American novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," Huck Finn started his adventures in which state, outlined here?

Missouri and Tennessee are tied with one another for having the most state borders with other states. Aside from bordering Tennessee, Missouri borders Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas.


How well do you know this occupant of the New England region?

Calling itself the Constitution State, Connecticut lays claim to being the first place in history to have a written constitution, known as the Fundamental Orders. These orders established rules for the government in the Connecticut Colony in 1639.


Head down South to find which state outlined here?

Looking to help prisoners who couldn't pay their debts, James Oglethorpe founded Georgia in 1732 as a felon colony. This new colony was viewed as an opportunity for these prisoners to start a new life, as they had no support back in England.


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