Eighty percent of the 326 million Americans live in the urban environment, a figure far higher than the global average. Youths have lead the rural-urban migration index as they move to seek better opportunities while shunning the quiet life of rural settings. More towns are facing urbanization as the high cost of property drive investors out of major cities into smaller developing towns. A majority of the fifty states have the capitals that are not their largest cities either due to the historical significance or with the aim of promoting urbanization and better service delivery. The following are the least populated state capitals:
US State Capitals with the Smallest Populations
Montpelier is the least populated capital in the US with a population of 7,855. The Vermont capital replicates the small population of the state. The states of Vermont has a population of about 627,000, the second least of the 50 states and DC. Vermont is the second least urbanized state in the US with only 39% of the population living in an urban setting. The small population of the state continues to hinder urbanization as investors and the youths prefer to flock to growing cities.
Pierre, South Dakota
Pierre in South Dakota is the second least populous capital in the country with a population of 13,650. The largest city, Sioux Falls, has a population of about 175,000 while the state has a population of 860,000. South Dakota has an urbanization rate of 56.7%, a figure far below the national rate. Just like Vermont, the low population in South Dakota hinders urbanization as the population in towns barely fluctuates.
Augusta has a population of 19,136, making it the third least populous capital in the US. The state’s largest city, Portland, is home to 67,000 people, a figure that is significantly lower than other major cities across the country. The state has a population of 1.33 million but a significantly lower urbanization rate of 38.7%, making it the least urbanized state in the US. The lower population in the cities is attributed to vast rural environments of the state, which tend to attract people seeking a quiet environment.
Kentucky’s capital, Frankfort has a population of 25,527, making it the fourth least populous capital in the US. Of the state’s 4.425 million people, 58.4% live in urban environments. The largest city, Louisville, is home to a third of the state population while faster growing cities such as Lexington and Bowling Green are a preference for a majority of those migrating to cities.
Urbanization in the US
The urbanization rate of the U.S at 80% is much higher than the global average of 54%. New Jersey is the most urbanized state at 94% while the West is the most urbanized region with an average rate of 85%. Maine is the least urbanized state at 37.8%. Washington DC is the most urbanized jurisdiction at 100% followed by the state of California at 95.2%.
The 10 Least Populated State Capitals