How Many U.S. States Begin With the Letter “I”?

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According to, there are four states in the United States that begin with the letter “I.” Idaho, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa all start with this vowel. The letters that start the most states, both with eight each, are “M” and “N.”

The letters that rank second in starting the most states, all with four states each, are “A,” “I” and “W.” Seven letters do not begin the name of any states: “B,” “E,” “J,” “Q,” “X,” “Y” and “Z.” According to State Symbols USA, Idaho was simply a made up word with no real meaning. Illinois is “the French version of an Algonquin Indian word for “warriors.” Indiana means “Land of the Indians” and Iowa was named after a tribe of Sioux Indians called the Ioway.