# Ten Most Rectangular U.S. States

Which U.S. states appear to be the most rectangular on an unrotated Mercator projection map?
Rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent.
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: December 12, 2020
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 First submitted December 12, 2020 Times taken 52,268 Average score 80.0% Rating 4.45
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 % State 100 Colorado 100 Wyoming 97.7 Kansas 97.4 North Dakota 96.8 New Mexico
 % State 94.8 Pennsylvania 93.5 South Dakota 90.9 Utah 90.9 Oregon 90.8 Arizona
+45
Level ∞
Dec 12, 2020
I manually calculated these in Inkscape. The number is based on how much land you would have to add or subtract from the state to make it into a perfect, unrotated, rectangle.
+52
Level ∞
Dec 12, 2020
Technically Colorado is not a rectangle. It actually has 697 sides. But it looks like a rectangle when you zoom out far enough. Wyoming also has extra sides.
+35
Level ∞
Mar 15, 2021
p.s. Thank you to all the rectangle truthers who want to debate that a different state is actually more rectangular based on feels.
+15
Level 54
Dec 12, 2020
Wow! Interesting that PA is over SD. PA looks less rectangular on a large scale. And 697 sides for Colorado! Does it own exclaves or something?
+2
Level 51
Dec 12, 2020
Even on the Mercator projection?!
+11
Level 89
Dec 12, 2020
Or something... You can't put a rectangle on a globe, nor on an uneven surface (mountains). Colorado's boundaries were originally defined along lines of longitude and latitude, but after much surveying, its boundaries are now defined by 697 survey markers, connected by straight lines.
+22
Level ∞
Dec 12, 2020
This is correct.

Some people claim that the "Four Corners" monument is actually in the wrong place by a couple miles because the survey markers on the state borders don't align perfectly with the straight lines which were originally intended.

However, at some point, the official borders were changed to be defined by the survey markers. As a result, the official borders of these western states are not perfectly straight. The Four Corners monument is, by definition, in the right place.

+5
Level 76
Dec 13, 2020
I don't know if it's similar, but on the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border, there are "correction lines." With north-south borders, you'd have to choose between straight lines that pay no attention to one-mile roads, or do this. This is done even beyond the prairies and their one-mile roads. Thus, to get to Saskatchewan from Flin Flon, Manitoba, you typically go south.
+6
Level 59
Jan 13, 2021
When talking about the American-Canadian border it also has hundreds of individuals sides/lines because they were basically marking off most of North America without knowing where to go other than due west. So while the border is on a parallel, the actual markers can be as off as a few hundred yards. (Likely no more than a kilometer)
+6
Level 64
Mar 15, 2021
Every time I zoom in on the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border, it freaks me out.
+1
Level 46
Jan 12, 2023
I can't find this jump on OpenStreetMap :/
+1
Level 71
Mar 15, 2021
Wow, Pennsylvania? I didn't expect my state to be on here. In supposed it is pretty rectangular, but it also has such a jagged border. With QuizMaster's methodology though, I suppose it makes sense.
+1
Level 69
Aug 25, 2024
It's because of the way it's surveyed. A line of latitude is NOT a straight line (except for the Equator). But a surveyed line IS a straight line. So when surveying, in following a line of latitude that is ever so slightly curved, you end up with a series of line segments that are almost, but NOT quite, in line with each other.

Signed, a proud native of this almost perfectly rectangular state.

+13
Level 93
Dec 12, 2020
Interesting. Utah looks like two rectangles melded together but I didn't consider the entirety as resembling a rectangle. I would have thought Connecticut comes closer to a complete rectangle with the exception of the "tail" on the lower west side.
+1
Level 64
Mar 15, 2021
If the list were expanded so that it could include Connecticut, that would add a fun challenge.
+1
Level 79
Mar 15, 2021
Connecticut's panhandle does extend pretty far south relative to the eastern part of the state (about 25 miles) which is quite a bit for such a small state.
+1
Level 69
Aug 25, 2024
Point of trivia - in parts of Connecticut's little panhandle, if you go north, south, east, or west, the first state you hit is New York.
+4
Level 68
Dec 18, 2020
How close is Connecticut?
+6
Level ∞
Jan 24, 2021
If I remember correctly it was in the low 80s.
+11
Level 66
Mar 15, 2021
You could do states most like a peanut (still in the shell). New Jersey would certainly be #1.
+2
Level 67
Dec 18, 2023
fire quiz idea
+6
Level 58
Mar 15, 2021
How on earth is Utah more rectangular than Connecticut or Rhode Island?
+2
Level 18
Mar 15, 2021
How is Utah rectangular
+2
Level 73
Jan 10, 2023
It's, um, shaped like a rectangle with a small bite out of the northwest?
+3
Level 18
Mar 15, 2021
Also, I took 1 minute trying to spell Pennsylvania
+1
Level 67
Dec 18, 2023
i took 1:01 minutes
+1
Level 36
Mar 15, 2021
Colorado is probably upwards of 99% square, but not 100%.

Take a look at the state border south of Chromo, CO. ;)

+3
Level 59
Mar 15, 2021
take a look at the stickied comment ;)
+3
Level 57
Mar 15, 2021
Probably close to 99.99 which rounds up to 100%
+2
Level 62
Mar 15, 2021
A fun idea, good one. Course, you know what you've started now; next it'll be "Least heptagonal European countries" or something.
+1
Level 80
Mar 15, 2021
I'm surprised Connecticut didn't beat out Pennsylvania
+1
Level 46
Mar 15, 2021
+1
Level 75
Mar 15, 2021
Just curious - which state is least rectangular? Hawaii?
+1
Level 73
Mar 15, 2021
+2
Level 79
Mar 15, 2021
Florida has a pretty big tail, Michigan is pretty spread out, Texas has quite a difference between the top of the panhandle and Brownsville with a large amount of the Gulf of Mexico cutting out more of the eastern portion of the state, Idaho is very wide at the bottom and narrow at the top, and Maryland and West Virginia are both oddly shaped with various panhandles. I would also think the Aleutians extending for over 800 miles past where Wales, Alaska would be if it were on the islands (Wales is northwest of Nome but if you drew a line down to the Aleutians, Attu Island is about 800 miles west of this point).
+2
Level ∞
Mar 15, 2021
Almost certainly Hawaii.
+2
Level 28
Aug 26, 2024
west virginia
+1
Level 53
Mar 15, 2021
wow i was rly struggling to get pennsylvania i just ended up spamming random states and got it randomly :D
+2
Level 60
Mar 15, 2021
I'm sorry, this is bogus lol. Oregon has a huge hump on top. I suggest putting the way you figure rectangles in the description, as I never open the comments before taking the quiz for concern over reading answers accidentally. Thanks.
+4
Level 79
Mar 15, 2021
Even with that hump, Oregon is still pretty rectangular. It looks more rectangular on a map than New Mexico or Arizona do.
+1
Level 66
Jul 17, 2023
the fact that you say "bogus" makes me want to disregard the rest of your comment entirely
+3
Level 67
Mar 15, 2021
The answer is Massachusetts. Everyone I've met there is a square. Zing!
+1
Level 58
Mar 16, 2021
I thought for sure that Rhode Island and Connecticut would be on here...
+1
Level 43
Mar 19, 2021
And Georgia and Alabama
+1
Level 52
Jun 28, 2021
And Hawaii, with no doubt
+2
Level 38
Jan 10, 2023
If we had a triangle version of this, South Carolina would probably be #1
+1
Level 42
Jan 10, 2023
I was typing in Arizona just as the clock stopped!
+2
Level 37
Jan 12, 2023
D.C didn't make the cut? Or did you not consider it for this quiz?
+2
Level 70
Mar 27, 2023
D.C. isn't a U.S. State
+1
Level 69
Aug 25, 2024
Even if it was included, it's rotated, so wouldn't be very high on the rectangularity scale. Per the description in the comments, it's how rectangular it is vs. an unrotated rectangle.
+1
Level 46
Jan 12, 2023
connecticut is much more rectangular than pennsylvania, but connecticut isnt even on the list...

+1
Level 43
May 5, 2023
+1
Level 33
Jun 10, 2023
what abt MA?
+1
Level 65
Aug 25, 2024
Be there or be square, and Colorado wasn't there
+1
Level 48
Aug 25, 2024
How are Colorado and Wyoming 100 if they aren't even perfect rectangles
+1
Level 69
Aug 25, 2024
They are 100% to the nearest 0.1%, per the comments at the top.
+1
Level 48
Aug 25, 2024
Was the Lake Erie part of Pennsylvania included in the calculation?
+1
Level 47
Aug 28, 2024
Crazy how many RI comments are on here. Many of you haven't seen an RI state map, which shows the bay in the middle of the state lol. Totally get where it comes from if you've only seen it on a US map