The "Lower 60"


Jump ahead to the hypothetical new states.
Jump ahead to the revised state demographic table.

The "Lower 60" is a geography/GIS idea I recently worked on.  It was prompted by a message posted on a forum I often read that considered "hypothetical new states".  After mulling over the idea, I set about creating a "what-if" scenario, postulating what the existing "Lower 48" might look like today had some of the proposals for new U.S. states been successful.  The result is captured in the following map:

A larger version and a PDF version are also available.

The hypothetical "new" states:

 

Demographic Table

The following table was created to show how the new states, the existing-but-revised states, and the rest of the states, compare to each other in some basic demographic categories.  In the following table, the new states are highlighted in dark red while those existing states that had borders changed are highlighted in dark orange.  Unchanged states have a black background.  Data source is the U.S. Census Bureau.

State 2000 Population(1) 2000 Rank 2008 Population(2) 2008 Rank

Total Area(3)

Area Rank

2008 Density(4)

Density Rank US House Reps(5) Suggested Postal Code
Alabama 4,447,100 25 4,661,900 26 52,419.02 28 91.87 36 7 AL
Alaska 626,932 59 686,293 58 663,267.26(6) 1 1.20 64 1 AK
Arizona 5,130,632 19 6,500,180 15 113,998.30 5 57.20 44 9 AZ
Arkansas 2,673,400 37 2,855,390 36 53,178.62 27 54.84 45 4 AR
California 13,731,176 3 14,947,652 3 79,305.07 15 198.43 22 22 CA
Colorado 4,301,261 26 4,939,456 24 104,093.57 8 47.62 48 7 CO
Connecticut 3,405,565 32 3,501,252 32 5,543.33(6) 58 722.68 10 5 CT
Delmarva 1,144,950 53 1,262,719 53 9,009.82(6) 53 225.80 17 2 DE
District of Columbia 572,059 61 591,833 61 68.34(6) 64 9,638.97 1 1 DC
Florida 15,982,378 2 18,328,340 2 65,754.59(6) 20 339.87 13 27 FL
Franklin 1,397,047 48 1,524,287 48 7,703.10 56 204.26 20 2 FR
Georgia 8,186,453 11 9,685,744 9 59,424.77 24 167.27 24 14 GA
Hawai'i 1,211,537 52 1,288,198 52 10,930.98(6) 49 200.57 21 2 HI
Idaho 1,015,087 55 1,209,847 54 62,233.47 22 19.60 56 2 ID
Illinois 4,273,029 28 4,353,141 29 52,267.59 29 84.40 38 6 IL
Indiana 5,449,123 17 5,720,811 18 35,269.77 42 163.68 25 8 IN
Iowa 2,926,324 33 3,002,555 34 56,271.55 25 53.74 46 4 IA
Jefferson 1,362,364 49 1,440,660 49 88,089.19 10 16.93 58 2 JE
Kansas 2,688,418 36 2,802,134 37 82,276.84 14 34.25 505 4 KS
Kentucky 4,041,769 29 4,269,245 30 40,409.02 36 107.46 33 6 KY
Lincoln 1,727,251 45 1,898,467 43 84,868.61 13 22.66 54 3 LN
Long Island 12,409,515 4 12,958,938 5 5,079.25(6) 60 4,105.00 2 19 LI
Louisiana 4,468,976 24 4,410,796 28 51,839.70(6) 30 101.25 35 6 LA
Maine 1,274,923 50 1,316,456 50 35,384.65(6) 41 42.66 49 2 ME
Mariana Islands 224,026 64 258,002 64 394.02 63 654.79 11 1 MR
Maryland 4,986,534 21 5,295,565 21 7,991.57(6) 55 779.02 9 8 MD
Massachusetts 6,349,097 15 6,497,967 16 10,554.57(6) 50 828.82 8 9 MA
Michigan 9,620,828 8 9,695,103 8 60,575.71(6) 23 240.07 16 14 MI
Minnesota 4,919,479 22 5,220,393 22 86,938.87 11 65.57 41 8 MN
Mississippi 2,844,658 34 2,938,618 35 48,430.19 32 62.65 42 4 MS
Missouri 5,595,211 16 5,911,605 17 69,704.31 19 85.82 37 9 MO
Montana 902,195 56 967,440 56 147,042.40 2 6.65 62 1 MT
Nebraska 1,711,263 47 1,783,432 47 77,353.73 16 23.20 53 3 NE
Nevada 1,998,257 40 2,600,167 39 110,560.71 6 23.68 52 4 NV
New Hampshire 1,235,786 51 1,315,809 51 9,349.94 52 146.72 29 2 NH
New Jersey 8,414,350 10 8,682,661 12 8,721.30(6) 54 1,170.59 4 13 NJ
New Mexico 1,819,046 42 1,984,356 42 121,589.48 4 16.35 59 3 NM
New York 6,566,942 14 6,531,359 14 49,476.73(6) 31 148.25 27 9 NY
North Carolina 8,049,313 12 9,222,414 10 53,818.51 26 189.33 23 13 NC
North Dakota 642,200 58 641,481 59 70,699.79 18 9.30 61 1 ND
North Illinois 8,777,626 9 9,204,403 11 6,794.76(6) 57 1,869.52 3 13 NI
North Texas 6,676,200 13 7,908,265 13 38,682.83 37 210.08 18 12 NT
North Virginia 1,962,782 41 2,293,997 41 2,269.56 61 1,026.63 6 3 NO
Ohio 11,353,140 7 11,485,910 7 44,824.90 34 280.50 14 17 OH
Oklahoma 1,717,934 46 1,820,264 45 38,219.36 39 48.06 47 3 OK
Oregon 2,728,231 35 3,064,599 33 29,331.67 46 108.44 32 4 OR
Pennsylvania 12,281,054 5 12,448,279 6 46,055.24 33 277.76 15 18 PA
Puerto Rico 3,808,610 31 3,954,037 31 5,324.50(6) 59 1,154.61 5 6 PR
Rhode Island 1,048,319 54 1,050,788 55 1,545.05(6) 62 1,005.61 7 2 RI
Sequoyah 1,732,720 44 1,822,097 44 31,678.83 45 59.17 43 3 SQ
South California 19,329,839 1 20,951,463 1 44,324.20 35 494.95 12 31 SO
South Carolina 4,012,012 30 4,479,800 27 32,020.20 44 148.78 26 7 SC
South Dakota 754,844 57 804,194 57 77,116.49 17 10.60 60 1 SD
Superior 317,616 63 308,319 63 36,140.32(6) 40 18.78 57 1 SU
Tennessee 4,292,236 27 4,690,601 25 34,440.12 43 138.96 31 7 TN
Texas 11,807,685 6 13,945,752 4 104,510.10 7 140.71 30 20 TX
Utah 2,233,169 39 2,736,424 38 84,898.83 12 33.31 51 4 UT
Vermont 608,827 60 621,270 60 9,614.26 51 67.17 40 1 VT
Virginia 5,064,335 20 5,429,209 20 38,399.28 38 147.95 28 8 VA
Washington 4,587,173 23 5,107,078 23 28,793.73(6) 47 206.64 19 7 WA
West Texas 2,367,935 38 2,472,957 40 125,387.90 3 19.78 55 4 WT
West Virginia 1,808,344 43 1,814,468 46 24,229.76 48 75.36 39 3 WV
Wisconsin 5,363,675 18 5,627,967 19 65,497.82(6) 21 103.63 34 8 WI
Wyoming 493,782 62 532,668 62 97,813.56 9 5.49 63 1 WY

Table Footnotes:
(1) - Population from the 2000 Census
(2) - Population is 2008 Estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau
(3) - Total area is in square miles, and includes both land and water area.
(4) - Density is based on 2008 population estimate and is for land area only.  Water area was not calculated.
(5) - My estimate of how many U.S. Representatives in Congress each state would have.  Assumes the number of House seats increases to 451 (from the existing 435) to accommodate the new states.
(6) - For these states, 10% or more of their total area is covered by water.


Page last modified 10 February, 2010

2010, Adam Froehlig