The contiguous United States (US) contains 48 states, and thus excludes Alaska and Hawaii.
This article looks at how many states are along the East Coast and how many states are along the West Coast.
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How Many States are Along the East Coast?
The east coast of the US abuts the Atlantic Ocean. There are fourteen states which have coastal access to the Atlantic Ocean.
These states, in order from north to south, are: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
A fifteenth state can be included in consideration of the states along the East Coast. While not actually along the Atlantic Coast Pennsylvannia’s coastline access is provided by 57 miles (92km) of shoreline along the Delaware River estuary.
Connecticut, located on theLong Island Sound, also has no actual coastline facing the Atlantic Ocean.
While Vermont is located in the eastern part of the United States, it does not have coastal access to the Atlantic.
The capital of the United States, Washington D.C. is part of the region known as the East Coast but is landlockedand is sandwiched between Maryland and Virginia.
How Long are the Coastlines of States Along the East Coast?
Measuring the length of a coastline is challenging due to the coastline paradox.
Coastlines are not smooth lines. Decisions have to be made about how much of the variation inherent in coastlines to measure. As the Congressional Research Service (CRS) notes, “Coastline measurements are more difficult because of the effects of tides and the necessarily arbitrary decisions that must be made about measuring bays, coves, islands, and inlets leading to streams and rivers.”
The CRS measures coastlines using large scale nautical charts while NOAA measures the length of coastlines based on measurements calculated in 1930-1940 and 1970 based on the largest-scale charts and maps available at that time.
This table lists the total calculated miles (and kilometers) for the states that are along the Atlantic Coast based on measurements from the CRS and NOAA:
|State||CRS||CRS Rank||NOAA||NOAA Rank|
|Florida||1,350mi (2,170km)||2||8,436mi (13,576km)||2|
|North Carolina||301mi (484km)||7||3,375mi (5,432km)||6|
|Maine||228mi (367km)||9||3,478mi (5,597km)||4|
|Massachusetts||192mi (309km)||10||1,519mi (2,445km)||16|
|South Carolina||187mi (301km)||11||2,876mi (4,628km)||12|
|New Jersey||130mi (210km)||13||1,792mi (2,884km)||15|
|New York||127mi (204km)||14||2,625mi (4,225km)||13|
|Virginia||112mi (180km)||15||3,315mi (5,335km)||8|
|Georgia||100mi (160km)||16||2,344mi (3,772km)||14|
|Connecticut||96mi (154km)||17||618mi (995km)||21|
|Rhode Island||40mi (64km)||20||384mi (618km)||23|
|Maryland||31mi (50km)||21||3,190mi (5,130km)||10|
|Delaware||28mi (45km)||22||381mi (613km)||24|
|New Hampshire||13mi (21km)||23||131mi (211km)||31|
How Many States are Along the West Coast?
There are three states in the contiguous United States that have coastline access to the Pacific Ocean: California, Oregon, and Washington.
The state of Alaska and the island state of Hawaii make up the other two states that are part of the region called the West Coast of the United States.
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How Long are the Coastlines of States Along the West Coast?
This table lists the total calculated miles (and kilometers) for the states that are along the Pacific Coast based on measurements from the CRS and NOAA:
|State||CRS||CRS Rank||NOAA||NOAA Rank|
|Alaska||6,640mi (10,690km)||1||33,904mi (54,563km)||1|
|California||840mi (1,350km)||3||3,427mi (5,515km)||5|
|Hawaii||750mi (1,210km)||4||1,052mi (1,693km)||18|
|Oregon||296mi (476km)||8||1,410mi (2,270km)||17|
|Washington||157mi (253km)||12||3,026mi (4,870km)||11|
The State of Alaska has the longest coastline by far of all the states.
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