Let me admit that I’m a nerd who wonders about some weird things sometimes.
Just for fun… What if the United States redrew its borders so that each state had the same population?
In 2016, the United States had an estimated population of over 323 million people. That number divided equally among 50 states equals about 6.5 million people per state. However, Alaska and Hawaii present a little bit of a problem because they don’t connect to the mainland. Combined, they have about 2.2 million people. So let’s make this easier and ignore those two states.
Without Alaska and Hawaii, the United States has about 321 million people in 48 states. That comes out to about 6.7 million people per state.
Some U.S. metropolitan areas have more than 6.7 million inhabitants. These present a problem because they would each have to become city-states. So right off the bat, New York will become a city-state centered in New York City. California will shrink down to a city-state centered around Los Angeles. Illinois will shrink down to a city-state centered around Chicago.
Other states will shrink dramatically, though not to the level of a city-state. These states include Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Georgia.
With all the shrunken states, other states will have to balloon in size to increase their populations to 6.7 million. Some states like Wyoming, Vermont, and the Dakotas would swell dramatically in size.
Maybe my map is not the most correct, but you get the idea. Look at how huge I made Montana! And New York becomes the smallest state because of the dense population in New York City.
It’s also fun to note that California, Texas, and New York have large enough populations to support dividing those states into 4-6 pieces. In fact, the population of California is higher than the populations of Iowa, Utah, Arkansas, Nevada, Mississippi, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia, Idaho, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming combined! That’s 21 states!