The 50 US states have a combined population of 323.1 million people. California is America’s most populated state, with a population of about 39.2 million, while Texas ranks second with 27.5 million. Wyoming remains the least populated, with a population of about 574,000, and Vermont ranks second with 624,000 people. New York City is America’s most populous city, with a population of 8.5 million, and Los Angeles ranks second with 4 million. However, both cities are not the capital of their respective states. The least populous US state capitals are highlighted below.
The 10 Smallest State Capitals by Population
1. Montpelier, Vermont
Montpelier, Vermont's capital, is the country's least populous state capital. The city is located in Washington County and houses the state government, as well as various federal offices. Although Montpelier is the capital, it is not the state's most populous city. The 2010 census determined the population of Montpelier to be 7,855, although this total is expected to decline to 7,413 by 2018. Burlington is the most populous city in Vermont, with a population of 42,000.
2. Pierre, South Dakota
Pierre, the state capital of South Dakota, ranks as the second least populous state capital. The city's current population is estimated at 14,070, which is a slight increased over its 2010 population (13,646). However, the city is not the most populous in the state but ranks behind seven other cities including Sioux Falls, which is the most populous.
3. Augusta, Maine
Maine’s capital, Augusta, ranks third, with a population of 18,500. Augusta is located in Kennebec County and is the ninth most populous city in the state. Portland is Maine’s most populous city, with a population of 67,000.
4. Frankfort, Kentucky
Frankfort, the state capital of Kentucky, is the fourth least populous US state capital, with a population of 28,105, up from 25,527 in 2010. The capital is located in Franklin County. Louisville is the state’s most populous city with nearly 600,000 residents, followed by Lexington and Bowling Green.
5. Juneau, Alaska
Alaska’s capital, Juneau, has a population of 32,200, which increased from 31,300 in 2010. Juneau is located in the Borough of Juneau and has been the state capital since 1906. Juneau is the second most populous city after Anchorage, which has a population of 300,000 people.
6. Helena, Montana
Helena, the state capital of Montana, has a population of 32,285 people in 2018, compared to 28,190 in 2010. It is also the seat of Lewis and Clark County. Billings is the most populous city in the state, while Helena ranks sixth.
7. Dover, Delaware
Dover, the state capital of Delaware, has a population of 38,400, compared to 36,047 in 2010. It is located in Kent County, and is the second most populous city in the state, after Wilmington.
8. Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis, the state capital of Maryland, has a population of 39,340, slightly up from its total of 38,394 in 2010. The capital is located in Anne Arundel County and is the seventh most populous city in the state. Baltimore is Maryland's most populous city, with a population of 601,000.
9. Jefferson City, Missouri
Missouri's capital, Jefferson City, is the country's ninth least populous capital. The city has a population of 42,600, compared to 43,079 in 2010, and is the fifteenth most populous city in the state.
10. Concord, New Hampshire
Concord, New Hampshire, is the tenth populous capital in the country, with a population of 43,400. The city is located in Merrimack County and is the third populous city in the state after Manchester and Nashua.
Smallest Capitals in the US by Area
Annapolis, Maryland, the 8th smallest state capital by population is also the smallest state capital in size with an area of 6.73 square miles. Other small capitals include Trenton, New Jersey (7.66 sq mi); Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (8.11 sq mi); and Montpelier, Vermont (10.2 sq mi).