I don’t know why I thought of this little map “game” the other day, but it occurred to me after thinking about the town of Virginia, Minnesota. I passed through Virginia last summer en route to International Falls and always wondered if the founders of the town were formerly from the Old Dominion state.

Of course, one thing led to another and I find myself plotting out every place named exactly after another state in the union. The rules are rather vague – to be a “place” you can be a city, town, borough, community, unincorporated area, etc. Township’s don’t count in my book since the “township” part is usually in the name. This is strictly state-comma-state type locations.

All told there are roughly 113 places named after states – with a grand total of 38 of them being named Washington, which is more or less a tribute to our first President than to the state of Washington (which is also named after our President, of course). But hey, it counts as a state-aping locale. Digging a little deeper, I found a few more tidbits…

There are still plenty of states that haven’t been named as a place in another state. There is no town called North Dakota anywhere. That goes for the rest of the directional states – South Dakota, North and South Carolina and West Virginia. Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah and Wisconsin are all exclusive to their own states. That means 29 state names get passed around…

Who leads the pack with the most places named after states? Wisconsin – with eight places named Washington, two places named Maine and six other state-named locations, comes in first with 17 places named after eight states. I’d count Kansasville, Wisconsin as state #9 but I’d be breaking the rules with “-ville”.  Three other states – Illinois, Indiana and New York have eight state-named places with no duplicates. Let’s just say if you’re from Washington, Wisconsin – then you better give me damn good directions.

Washington and Wyoming (with a combined 51 places named after them) hardly return the favor, naming absolutely no place after a state within their borders. The opposite is true, as Wisconsin is not named anywhere else despite the state topping the state-named places charts.

There are five “double-zeros” out there. States that are not named anywhere else and also don’t include any state-named places. These include: Arizona, Idaho, North and South Dakota and South Carolina.

Finally some oddballs you wouldn’t expect:

Alabama, New York

Montana, Wisconsin

Alaska, New Mexico

New Mexico, Maryland

Texas, New York and New York, Texas

Of course Texas likes to go big. The state not only owns Houston and Dallas and the aforementioned “little” New York, it also has a Los Angeles and a San Diego. Anyway, next time I’m rolling through the dairyland of Montana (Wisconsin) and the dusty desert of Alaska (New Mexico), I’ll be the first to let you know!


  1. This article omitted some of the obvious ones – Kansas City, MO; Michigan City, IN; and my favorite Virginia City, NV.

    • I would add Virginia City, MT to the list as well – one I’ve visited before. I was going purely for the state name, though, nothing else in the official moniker (including “City”).

    • Understood how many may think this, but Kansas City, MO is older than the state of Kansas and was originally named Town of Kansas.

  2. It always struck me as funny that here in Rhode Island we have a village named Wyoming, Rhode Island. Today when I learned there is a Florida, New York, the ensuing google search for other places named-after/sharing-names-with states brought me here… do you have a complete list, or just the oddities?

  3. If there is a list here, I’m not finding it.
    I would add Vermontville, Michigan and one of my faves, West New York, New Jersey

    • There is a Nashville,Pa. It is in Indiana Co. Pa. There are two cities in Ohio called Oregon and Delaware and a Wyoming county in Pa.! One more ! There is a place called Kansas ,Texas ! Polywog 690 a.k.a.Paul Rhea . Indiana PA.

  4. Hi Philip Believe it or not there is a town here in PA . called Oklahoma not to far from Indiana again where I am from and this one is really weird Pennslyvania ,Pa.If I think of anymore places I will let you know! Paul aka Polywog 690!

  5. To Steve’s request above: today when searching for weather in Rhode Island, one of the weather companies suggested Rhode Island, New York as a place. Sure enough, it shows up on Mapquest and google maps as being (a village?) in the town of Otselic, NY. And yes, Rhode Island borders New York, though it is a water border. I guess it is time to strike Rhode Island from the list of “states that haven’t been named as a place in another state. “

  6. I was having a little chuckle after reading Trump congratulating the state of Kansas for their super bowl win. I just had to find how many states have cities that might confuse someone who tweets before they do a little research. I found this site and might have misunderstood why you listed Idaho as not having a town named after a state. I might have missed this meant a town named after another state rather than it’s own, since there is Idaho City, Idaho.

    • There is also an Idaho Falls, Idaho and Idaho Springs, Colorado. I have to believe they mean there are no towns with just “Idaho” in the name.

  7. My ancestors are from Texas, Maryland. Texas used to be a thriving community, settled by Irish immigrants who worked in the local quarry (which is still producing), but was absorbed by nearby Cockeysville.

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