Can you name the capitals of all 50 states?

Abi Luftig

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

State capitals can be confusing. Why? Because many of us associate a state's capital with its largest city or best-known city. So, when you think of Florida, you might think that Miami or Orlando is the capital, when the actual capital of Florida is Tallahassee. 

To make things more confusing, sometimes state capitals move. Although you might think that this doesn't happen often, half of all 50 states have moved their state capital from their originally selected city at least once. 

This usually happens for political reasons, but sometimes the move just makes sense; the location is more central to commerce hubs or population centers. Despite the fact that the state capitals have remained constant since 1910, some states continue to discuss moving their capitals. For instance, some of the great citizens of Nevada have proposed moving the state capital from Carson City to Las Vegas. And, although the majority of Nevada voters are opposed to the move, there isn't anything in writing that prohibits a state from changing its capital.

Assuming these capitals haven't moved since we published this quiz, test your knowledge to find out just how many of them you know!

The capital of Hawaii is:

Possibly the most well-known city in Hawaii, Honolulu became the official capital in 1845. However, Hawaii did not become the 50th state until 1959.

The capital of New York is:

New York became the 11th state in 1788. Albany became the official capital in 1797. The state was named after the Duke of York who would eventually become a King of England; King James II to be exact.

The capital of Idaho is:

Boise became the capital in 1865. Lewiston was the first capital of the Idaho Territory, but it was moved after a one-vote majority win in the territorial supreme court. Idaho officially became the 43rd state in 1890.

The capital of Arkansas is:

Arkansas became the 25th state in 1836, but Little Rock was chosen as the capital in 1821. It was named after a rock formation on the Arkansas River. The city is a cultural hub of the area, and is even home to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

The capital of Utah is:

Salt Lake City was declared the capital city in 1858. Utah became the 45th state in 1896. The LDS Church calls Salt Lake the home of its international headquarters. The city has also hosted the Winter Olympics.

The capital of California is:

California became the 31st state in 1850. Four years later, in 1854, Sacramento became the capital. In the early 2000s, the city was named "America's Most Diverse City" by Time magazine.

The capital of Colorado is:

Denver became the capital in 1867, with Colorado becoming the 38th state in 1876. It's called the "Mile High City" because it's amazingly exactly one mile above sea level.

The capital of Connecticut is:

One of the few capitals to become official after its statehood, Hartford became the capital in 1875. This was almost a century after Connecticut became the 5th state in 1788.

The capital of Florida is:

Tallahassee was named as the capital in 1824. It took over 20 years for Florida to become the 27th state, in 1845. Tallahassee is known as a college town, as it's home to three colleges: Florida State University, Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College.

The capital of Georgia is:

Georgia became the 4th state in 1788. It took 80 years for Atlanta to be named as the capital, in 1868. The city, which had to be rebuilt after the Civil War, is now the most populous in Georgia.

The capital of Alabama is:

Montgomery became the capital in 1846. Alabama became the 22nd state in 1819. During the Civil Rights Movement, it was an important center for protests against racial discrimination.

The capital of Illinois is:

Illinois became the 21st state in 1818. Springfield was officially chosen as the capital in 1837. There's no official word on whether the Simpsons live here, or in any of the other Springfields across the United States.

The capital of Indiana is:

Indiana became the 19th state in 1816. Residents chose its namesake, Indianapolis, to be the capital in 1825. The city is most well-known for hosting one of the oldest auto races in the world: The Indianapolis 500.

The capital of Iowa is:

Iowa became the 29th state in 1846. Des Moines became the official capital in 1857. The first caucuses of the presidential primary race are always held in Des Moines, making it a very politically important city.

The capital of Kansas is:

Topeka became the capital in 1857. Kansas became the 34th state in 1861. The name means "place where we dug potatoes" in the indigenous Kansa-Osage language.

The capital of Kentucky is:

In a rare stroke of symmetry, both Frankfort and Kentucky became official in 1792. Kentucky became the 15th state. Frankfort was originally known as "Frank's Ford" but eventually was shortened to its current state.

The capital of Louisiana is:

Louisiana became the 18th state in 1812. Baton Rouge was chosen as the capital in 1880. Because the city is located on a natural bluff, it's somewhat protected from the seasonal flooding of the Mississippi River.

The capital of Maine is:

Maine became the 23rd state in 1820. It took twelve years for Augusta to become the capital, in 1832. Augusta is one of the three least-populated state capitals in the country.

The capital of Alaska is:

Juneau became the capital of Alaska in 1906. Interestingly, Alaska didn't officially become the 49th state until 1959, the same year that Hawaii became the 50th state.

The capital of Maryland is:

Annapolis became the official capital in 1694. It took nearly a century for Maryland to become the 5th state, in 1788. Annapolis was actually the capital of the United States from 1783-1784.

The capital of Massachusetts is:

Boston was officially chosen as the capital in 1630. Massachusetts became the 6th state in 1788. Boston is home of the first public park in the U.S., as well as the first subway system.

The capital of Michigan is:

Michigan became the 26th state in 1837. Ten years later, in 1847, Lansing was chosen as the capital. It is the only state capital that's located in a county that's not also the county seat.

The capital of Delaware is:

Dover was named the capital city of Delaware in 1777. Ten years later, in 1787, Delaware became the first official state in the country. Dover was founded by William Penn.

The capital of Arizona is:

Phoenix became the capital of Arizona in 1889. Arizona did not become the 48th state until 1912. Phoenix is the fifth most-populated city in the United States.

The capital of Minnesota is :

Saint Paul was chosen as the capital in 1849. Minnesota followed the official path and became the 32nd state in 1858. Saint Paul is one of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis being the other "twin."

The capital of Mississippi is:

Mississippi became the 20th state in 1817. Jackson was named the capital city in 1821. Jackson is technically called, "The City of Jackson," but no one uses its full name. It was named to honor General Andrew Jackson.

The capital of Missouri is:

Missouri became the 24th state in 1821. It took five years for Jefferson City to be confirmed as the capital city in 1826. This area was home to the "Mound Builders" of the pre-Columbian era.

The capital of Montana is:

Helena was made the capital in 1875. Montana became the 41st state in 1889. The city was founded during the Montana gold rush of the 1860s. Most people visit Helena for outdoor recreation purposes.

The capital of Nebraska is:

Another instance of rare synchronicity is shown in Lincoln, Nebraska. Both the capital city and the state became official in 1867. Nebraska came in as the 37th state. The city was originally called the village of Lancaster.

The capital of Nevada is:

Carson City was the official capital city of Nevada as of 1861. Nevada became the 36th state in 1864. The city technically extends to the middle of Lake Tahoe, where it hits the California border.

The capital of New Hampshire is:

New Hampshire became the 9th state in 1788. Concord was chosen as its capital in 1808. Former president of the United States, Franklin Pierce, is buried in Concord.

The capital of New Jersey is:

Trenton became the official capital in 1787. New Jersey became the 3rd state in 1787. The city, which was founded by Quakers in 1679, was originally called "Trent-towne" after one of the major landholders. It was eventually shortened to Trenton.

The capitol of New Mexico is:

Santa Fe was chosen as the capital way back in 1610, when it was founded by Spanish colonists (although it technically was already settled by indigenous peoples.) New Mexico became the 47th state in 1912.

The capital of North Carolina is:

North Carolina became the 12th state in 1789. Raleigh was chosen as its capital in 1792. It was one of the first planned cities in the United States!

The capital of North Dakota is:

Bismarck was named the official capital in 1883. North Dakota became the 39th state in 1889. In one of the original indigenous languages, Hidatsa, the name of the location of modern-day Bismarck meant, "Place of the tall willows."

The capital of Ohio is:

Ohio became the 17th state in 1803. Columbus was chosen as the capital in 1816. The world's largest research and development foundation is located in Columbus. And yes, it was named after the explorer.

The capital of Oklahoma is:

Oklahoma became the 46th state in 1907. Its namesake city was chosen as the capital in 1910. The city was targeted in the 1995 Federal Building bombing where 168 people died. To this day, it's the deadliest domestic terror attack ever in the United States.

The capital of Oregon is:

Salem officially became the capital city in 1855. Oregon became the 33rd state in 1859. It's actually unknown exactly where the name "Salem" came from. Before it was Salem, it was called Chemeketa, the Mill and the Institute (at different types, of course.)

The capital of Pennsylvania is:

Pennsylvania became the 2nd state in 1787. Harrisburg was chosen as its capital city in 1812. The city is home to the largest free-to-enter agricultural expo in the country, the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

The capital of Rhode Island is:

Rhode Island officially became the 13th state in 1790, though Providence was founded in 1636. It took them until 1900 to declare Providence as the capital city. It was one of the first cities in the United States to turn to industrialization.

The capital of South Carolina is:

Columbia was named the capital city in 1786. Two years later in 1788, South Carolina became the 8th state. The South Carolina Secession Convention took place in Columbia, which led to the state being the first to secede from the Union prior to the American Civil War.

The capital of South Dakota is:

Pierre and South Dakota both became official in 1889. South Dakota was the 40th state. Famous TV journalist, Tom Brokaw, is from Pierre, South Dakota.

The capital of Tennessee is:

In 1796, Tennessee became the 16th state. Three decades later, Nashville became the capital city, in 1826. Nashville is home to one of the most famous country stage shows (and radio shows) of all time, the Grand Ole Opry. It's the longest-running radio show in U.S. history.

The capital of Texas is:

Austin was chosen as the capital city in 1839. In 1845, Texas became the 28th state. Austin is home to the SXSW music festival, and the city's unofficial slogan is "Keep Austin Weird."

The capital of Vermont is:

Vermont became the 14th state in 1791. The state chose Montpelier as the capital city in 1805. Montpelier is the least populated capital city in the country, with fewer than 10,000 residents. It's also cold: The average high temperature for the year is 53.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

The capital of Virginia is:

Richmond was chosen as the capital in 1780. In 1788, Virginia became the 10th state. Before Richmond was settled by colonists, it was the location of the Powhatan Confederacy; indigenous peoples from Virginia.

The capital of Washington is:

Olympia was named as the capital city in 1853. Washington became the 42nd state, in 1889. The city used to have to rely on artesian wells for drinking water. Some of the wells are still active and now protected in parks.

The capital of West Virginia is:

West Virginia became the 35th state in 1863. Charleston was chosen as its capital in 1885. The first natural gas well in the state was found by salt miners in 1806 when the area was still referred to as western Virginia.

The capital of Wisconsin is:

Madison was declared as the capital city in 1838. Ten years later, Wisconsin became the 30th state, in 1848. The headquarters of the American Girl empire are actually located in Madison, as well as the Lands' End headquarters.

The capital of Wyoming is:

Cheyenne was chosen as the capital city in 1869. Wyoming became the 44th state in 1890. The Cheyenne (people) are comprised of two different tribes that merged in the 19th century and two different federally recognized Nations.

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