United States of Syllables

A syllable is a unit of blended sounds considered to be the phonological building blocks of words.   Listed here are the number of states by syllable.  There is probably some regional debate about the syllable count of some states ending with “ia”.  California tends to be pronounced with two syllables: “n-ya”.  Virginia and Pennsylvania are typically pronounced with one syllable: “nyuh”.

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How Many States Have Only One Syllable?

Maine is the only state in the United State with only one syllable.

How Many States Have Two Syllables?

There are six states with two syllables in their name: Georgia, Kansas, New York, Texas, Utah, and Vermont.

How Many States Have Three Syllables?

The most common syllable count for names of states is three.  There are 26 states with names that have three syllables: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New, Hampshire, New, Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode, Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

How Many States Have Four Syllables?

There are thirteen states with names that have four syllables: Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New, Mexico, North, Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South, Dakota, and West Virginia.

How Many States Have Five Syllables?

There are four states that have names with five syllables: California, Louisiana, North Carolina, and   South Carolina. Note that California is the only state ending in “ia” that pronounces it “n-ya” versus the “nyuh” ending of Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Table of States and Syllable Count

Here is a complete list of states by syllable.  You can sort the list by clicking on the row headers.

StateSyllable Count
Alabama4
Alaska3
Arizona4
Arkansas3
California5
Colorado3
Connecticut4
Delaware3
Florida3
Georgia2
Hawaii3
Idaho3
Illinois3
Indiana4
Iowa3
Kansas2
Kentucky3
Louisiana5
Maine1
Maryland3
Massachusetts4
Michigan3
Minnesota4
Mississippi4
Missouri3
Montana3
Nebraska3
Nevada3
New Hampshire3
New Jersey3
New Mexico4
New York2
North Carolina5
North Dakota4
Ohio3
Oklahoma4
Oregon3
Pennsylvania4
Rhode Island3
South Carolina5
South Dakota4
Tennessee3
Texas2
Utah2
Vermont2
Virginia3
Washington3
West Virginia4
Wisconsin3
Wyoming3