The US has 50 state capital cities representing each of the 50 states in the nation. Washington, DC serves as the national capital. The state capitals play a crucial administrative role in their respective states and are a crucial influence on the local politics. Their size varies both in the area and population from one state to the other. The ten states below are some of the least populated state cities in the US.
Montpelier (Vermont) - 7,705
Montpelier is the state capital of Vermont and the county seat of Washington County. Montpelier covers an area of 10.3 square miles and holds a population of 7,705 making it the smallest state capital in the US by population. After its incorporation as a city in 1895, the city became established as a government, market, and industrial center. Currently, most of Montpelier’s economy relies on government, education, insurance, and tourism. Montpelier has a local government composed of the mayor, a six-member county council, and a city manager. The mayor is elected for a two-year term.
Pierre (South Dakota) - 14,072
With a population of 14,072, Pierre is the second least populated state capital in the US. Pierre covers an area of 13.07 square miles. Founded in 1880, Pierre is the state capital of South Dakota and the seat of Hughes County. Pierre lacks an interstate highway and has only one commercial airport. Pierre was selected as the capital for South Dakota due to its central geographic location in the state.
Augusta (Maine) - 18,444
Augusta is the third smallest state capital in the US by population. Augusta has a population of 18,444. Augusta serves as the county seat of Kennebec County and as the state capital of Maine. The mayor heads the local government in the city and presides over meetings of the city council. Augusta has a council manager and the county council plays a key legislative and executive role. The city manager is the chief executive officer.
Frankfort (Kentucky) - 27,382
Frankfort is the state capital of Kentucky and the county seat of Franklin County. Located in central Kentucky, the city extends to cover an area of about 14.6 square miles and its population stand at 27,382. The city lacks a commercial airport and depends on the facilities in Cincinnati and Louisville.
Helena (Montana) - 29,939
Helena is the state capital of Montana and serves as the county seat of Lewis and Clark County. The city was founded during the Montana gold rush in the 19th century. Extraction of gold in the city made it one of the wealthiest cities in the US. Helena covers an area of 16.39 square miles, and has a population of 29,939, making it the 5th smallest state capital in the US by population. Most people in Helena are employed in the private sector and others in the government. From its foundation as a mining town, Helena has enjoyed relative economic stability.
Juneau (Alaska) - 30,796
Juneau serves as Alaska’s capital, a position it has held since 1906. The city is located at the base of Mt. Juneau. The rugged terrain surrounding the city inhibits the development of a road network connecting the city to other parts of the state and nation. The absence of a road network connecting the city and the external areas necessitates the use of planes and boats to access the areas outside Juneau. Juneau has a population of 30,796, most of which are employed by the local government and tourism sector.
Dover (Delaware) - 36,560
Dover serves as the county seat of Kent County and as the state capital of Delaware. Dover has an area of 23.48 square miles and a population of 36,047. The local government in the city is composed of a mayor and a city council of nine members. Out of these, eight are elected from the wards while one is elected at large. On the other hand, the mayor is elected directly to serve for a two-year term. Dover is the second largest city in Delaware after Wilmington. The state government is the city’s major employer. Dover has a relatively low cost of living and one of the fastest growing areas in the state.
Annapolis (Maryland) - 36,879
Annapolis is the state capital of Maryland. Throughout its history, Annapolis has held various political position such as the congressional seat and as the temporary US capital. Annapolis has an area of 8.10 square miles and is the closest state capital to Washington, DC, separated only by a distance of 30 miles. Most of the city’s population is employed in the service sector.
Jefferson City (Missour) - 41,297
Jefferson City serves as the state capital of Missouri and the county seat for Cole County. The city has a population of 41,297 making it the state’s 15th most populous city. Jefferson City occupies an area of 37.58 square miles making it one of the smallest state capitals in the nation. Named after the third US president, Jefferson City is also one of America’s most beautiful small towns. Its location at the center of Missouri led to its selection as the state’s capital over the former capitals of St. Louis and St. Charles. A 10-member city council headed by the mayor runs the city.
Concord (New Hampshire) - 42,463
Concord is the state capital of New Hampshire with a population of 42,463 and covers an area of 67.5 square miles. The city also serves as the county seat to Merrimack County. Concord is located at the central part of New Hampshire, which made it the most logical choice for state capital. The city became the state capital in 1808 and has the oldest state house in the US. The city is run through a managerial system. Its government consists of a 14-member county council. Ten of these are elected from the wards, and four are generally elected. The people elect the mayor for a two-year term.
The Smallest Capital Cities In The United States
|Rank||Capital City||Population||State||Largest City (Population)|
|2||Pierre||14,072||South Dakota||Sioux Falls (157,935)|
|9||Jefferson City||41,297||Missouri||Kansas City (482,299)|
|10||Concord||42,463||New Hampshire||Manchester (109,395)|