How Many Miles Wide Is the United States?

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If you measure the continental U.S. from its easternmost point, West Quoddy Head in Maine, to its westernmost point, Point Arena in California, it's approximately 2,800 miles. The measurement excludes the state of Hawaii, which is located in the Pacific Ocean, about 2,300 miles from the West Coast of the continental U.S. Compared to other nations, only Russia, Canada, and China are wider.

Northernmost and Southernmost Points 

The northernmost point of the continental U.S. is Angle, Minnesota, along the Canadian border. The southernmost point is East Cape, Florida, which is located in Everglades National Park. 

Largest and Smallest States 

The U.S. is divided into 50 states, as well as its capital, the District of Columbia, or Washington, D.C. The smallest state is Rhode Island, which is located along the East Coast in the New England region. It measures 1,545 square miles. The largest state in the U.S. is Alaska, which measures 663,268 square miles. Alaska is not connected to the continental U.S., however. In the contiguous U.S., Texas is the largest state at 268,597 miles.

Largest and Smallest Cities 

The U.S. is home to thousands of cities scattered throughout the 50 states. Based on land area, the four largest are in Alaska: Sitka (2,870 square miles) Juneau (2,702 square miles), Wrangell (2,541 square miles), and Anchorage (1,704 square miles). Jacksonville, Florida, is the fifth-largest at 747 square miles. The city of Lost Springs, Wyoming, is believed to be the smallest city in the country, based on land area, at 0.09 square miles.  

Highest and Lowest Points  

When it comes to elevation, the highest point in the U.S. is located in Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. The summit of Denali Mountain is  20,308 feet. The lowest point in the U.S. is in eastern California. It's a place called Badwater Basin within Death Valley National Park. The elevation is -282 feet.  

Total Area of the U.S. 

The U.S. has a total area of 3,794,083 square miles and is more than twice the size of the European Union. That includes 3,537,436 square miles of land and 181,274  square miles of lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water. It's the third-largest country in the world behind Russia and Canada. 

Size of the U.S. Coastline 

Another way to understand the size of the U.S. is to look at its coastline. Including Alaska and Hawaii, the country has 95,471 of coastline, including shoreline. Alaska has the largest coastline at 33,904 miles, and Florida comes in second with 8,436 miles. Louisiana, Maine, and California round out the list of states with the top five largest coastlines.  

U.S. Borders  

To the north, the continental U.S. borders Canada, a line that is about 5,525 miles long. To the south, the U.S. shares a 1,954-mile border with Mexico. The country's east and west coasts do not share a border with any other country. The Atlantic Ocean sits to the east, and the Pacific Ocean sits to the west.