Which States Are on the Atlantic Coast?

Portland Head Lighthouse along the rocky coastline of Maine.
Portland Head Lighthouse along the rocky coastline of Maine.

The Atlantic coast, also known as the East Coast or the Eastern Seaboard, consists of 14 US states with coastlines on the North Atlantic Ocean. These states are Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia. The name “East Coast” is derived from the geographical location of the states in reference to the conterminous United States. The District of Columbia and the state of Pennsylvania are sometimes included in the definition because the tidal of the Atlantic flow through the Potomac and Delaware Rivers to their territories. Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana have Atlantic coastline, but this section of the Atlantic is known as the Gulf of Mexico and therefore not included in the definition of the East Coast. The territories of Navassa Island, US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico also have Atlantic coastline but are not part of the contiguous United States. West Virginia and Vermont are sometimes grouped as part of the Eastern Seaboard because of the proximity to the Atlantic. The population of the region is approximately 118 million.

Longest Coastlines along the Eastern Seabord


Florida has a total coastline of 1,350 mi (2,170 km) along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. The state has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States; the only state with more coastline is Alaska. Florida's coastline is famous for its stunning beaches which are popular with tourists. In fact, Florida received 105 million tourists in 2015 and 112.8 million in 2016.

North Carolina

North Carolina ranks in second place with a coastline totaling 301 mi (484 km). The climate of the state is heavily influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, with some regions experiencing harsher and colder winters. In the summer, the state is well known for its many beaches. 


The state of Maine has an impressive 228 mi (367 km) of coastline. It is well known by tourists for its jagged and rocky coastline dotted with beautiful sandy beaches, lighthouses, and fishing villages. 


The other states along the Atlantic Coast have the following coastlines: Massachusetts 192 mi (309 km); South Carolina 187 mi (301 km), New Jersey 130 mi (210 km), New York 127 mi (204 km), Virginia 112 mi (180 km), Georgia 100 mi (160 km), Connecticut 96 mi (154 km), Rode Island 40 mi (64 km), Maryland 31 mi (50 km), Delaware 28 mi (45 km), and New Hampshire 13 mi (21 km).


The East Coast is divided into three climatic regions. The continental climate covers northern Maine, northern Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The region experiences snowy and cold winters, and warm summers. The region between Southern Rhode Island and Central Florida including New York experiences temperate climate with cold winters in the north and cool winters in the south. Tropical climate covers south-central Florida and the Florida Keys. This region remains frost free and warm throughout the year. The East Coast is susceptible hurricanes from the Atlantic during the hurricane season between early June and late November.

Transport on the East Coast

Interstate 95 is the primary highway along the region. It was completed in the 1970s and replaced the Atlantic Highway (U.S. Route 1) as the primary highway. The Intracoastal Waterway connects the coast from Miami to Boston while Amtrak offers the rail services. The only high-speed train in the US, Amtrak's Acela Express, offers rail service from Boston to New York. The JFK International Airport, Newark Liberty Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, and Logan International Airport are some of the airports in the East Coast.

The East Coast Economy

The mid-Atlantic and the northern region are the economic hubs of the East Coast. Boston, New York, and Washington DC drive the economy while the Federal Government is the largest economic player. In addition, America’s largest banking and finance centers are located here. The NYSE and the NASDAQ are both headquartered in New York.

Which States Are on the Atlantic Coast?

RankEast Coast States
8New Hampshire
9New Jersey
10New York
11North Carolina
12Rode Island
13South Carolina

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