Is Texas Bigger Than New York?

Texas and New York are two of the largest and most populous states in the United States, so it’s only natural that people wonder how they compare in size. If you’re looking for a quick answer, here it is: Yes, Texas is bigger than New York.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll take a detailed look at the land areas and populations of Texas and New York and break down exactly how much bigger the Lone Star State is. We’ll look at the history and geography behind the sizes of these two iconic states and settle the debate once and for all over bragging rights for the biggest state east or west of the Mississippi River.

Comparing the Total Land Area of Texas vs. New York

Texas Covers 268,580 Square Miles

When it comes to land area, Texas takes the crown as the largest state in the continental United States. Spanning an impressive 268,580 square miles, the Lone Star State is known for its vast landscapes, ranging from deserts and mountains to rolling plains and coastal areas.

To put it into perspective, Texas is larger than many countries around the world, including France and Germany. Its sheer size allows for diverse ecosystems, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

New York Spans 54,555 Square Miles

While Texas may be the largest state, New York holds its own in terms of population and cultural significance. With a land area of 54,555 square miles, the Empire State is known for its bustling cities, iconic landmarks, and rich history.

From the towering skyscrapers of Manhattan to the picturesque landscapes of the Adirondacks, New York offers a blend of urban excitement and natural beauty. Despite its smaller size compared to Texas, New York remains a major player in various industries, including finance, fashion, and entertainment.

Texas is 4.9 Times Larger than New York

When comparing the land area of Texas and New York, it becomes evident just how significant the difference is. Texas is approximately 4.9 times larger than New York. To put it simply, you could fit almost five New Yorks within the borders of Texas!

This stark contrast in size highlights the incredible diversity within the United States, where states can vary greatly in terms of geography, climate, and culture.

So, whether you find yourself exploring the sprawling ranches of Texas or wandering the bustling streets of New York City, both states offer unique experiences that reflect the vastness and diversity of America.

Population Density and Growth Rates

New York is More Densely Populated

When it comes to population density, New York takes the lead. With a population of over 19 million people packed into just 54,556 square miles, it has a population density of approximately 356 people per square mile.

The bustling city of New York alone accounts for a significant portion of this density. Its iconic skyline and vibrant streets are a testament to the city’s ability to accommodate a high population density.

Texas Population Growing Faster Than New York

While New York may have a higher population density, Texas is experiencing faster population growth. Over the past decade, Texas has consistently been one of the fastest-growing states in the United States.

The state’s population growth can be attributed to various factors, including job opportunities, a lower cost of living, and a favorable business environment. Texas has seen an influx of people from other states, seeking better opportunities and a higher quality of life.

In fact, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas gained over 3.9 million residents between 2010 and 2020, representing a growth rate of approximately 15%. On the other hand, New York’s population increased by around 4% during the same period.

This significant difference in growth rates highlights Texas’s appeal as a destination for individuals and families looking for new opportunities.

New York Still More Populous Overall

While Texas may be growing at a faster rate, New York remains more populous overall. As of 2020, New York had a population of over 19 million, whereas Texas had a population of approximately 29 million. Despite Texas’s rapid growth, it still has some catching up to do in terms of population size.

It’s important to note that population density and growth rates can be influenced by various factors, including economic conditions, job opportunities, and government policies. Understanding these factors helps us comprehend the dynamics of population growth and density in different regions.

To learn more about population trends and statistics, you can visit the U.S. Census Bureau website for detailed and up-to-date information.

History and Geography Behind the Vast Size of Texas

When it comes to land area, Texas holds the distinction of being the second largest state in the United States, just behind Alaska. Many people wonder how Texas got to be so big. The answer lies in its unique history and diverse geography.

Texas Was Its Own Nation for 10 Years

One of the main reasons for Texas’ large size can be traced back to its history as an independent nation. From 1836 to 1846, Texas was its own sovereign nation, known as the Republic of Texas. During this time, Texas expanded its borders through a series of treaties and land acquisitions.

This period of independence allowed Texas to establish itself as a vast territory with its own distinct identity.

Texas Retained Land Ceded by Mexico

Another factor contributing to the size of Texas is the land it retained from Mexico. After gaining independence from Spain, Mexico controlled a vast territory that included present-day Texas. However, tensions between the Mexican government and Texan settlers eventually led to the Texas Revolution.

In 1836, Texas won its independence from Mexico and negotiated its own borders. As a result, Texas retained a significant amount of land that was originally part of Mexico’s territory.

Texas Has Diverse Geography

Geographically, Texas boasts a diverse landscape that adds to its expansive size. The state is characterized by vast plains, rolling hills, rugged mountains, and numerous rivers and lakes. From the flat coastal plains along the Gulf of Mexico to the towering peaks of the Guadalupe Mountains, Texas offers a wide range of geographic features.

This diverse geography contributes to the overall size of the state.

New York’s Strategic Location and Settlement Patterns

New York, often referred to as the Empire State, has a rich history and a strategic location that has played a crucial role in its development. Its unique geographical position on the eastern seaboard of the United States has made it an important center for trade and immigration.

New York Grew as a Seaport and Immigration Gateway

New York City, located on the southern tip of the state, grew rapidly in the 19th century due to its prime location as a seaport. The city’s natural harbor made it an ideal location for ships to dock and unload their goods, attracting merchants and traders from around the world.

Additionally, New York City became a gateway for immigrants entering the United States, with Ellis Island serving as the main entry point for millions of newcomers.

According to, between 1892 and 1954, over 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island, seeking a better life in America. This influx of diverse cultures and talents contributed to the city’s vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere, making it a melting pot of cultures and ideas.

New York City Became the Financial Capital

Over time, New York City evolved into a global financial capital, solidifying its status as a major economic powerhouse. The city’s proximity to Europe and its well-developed infrastructure made it an attractive location for financial institutions and businesses to establish their headquarters.

Wall Street, located in Lower Manhattan, became synonymous with the world of finance and remains a symbol of American capitalism.

Did you know? The New York Stock Exchange, located on Wall Street, is the largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalization.

Upstate New York Remains Less Populated

While New York City has experienced significant growth and development, the rest of the state, commonly referred to as upstate New York, remains less populated. The majority of the state’s population is concentrated in the city and its surrounding areas.

Upstate New York, with its picturesque landscapes and natural beauty, attracts visitors who are seeking a peaceful retreat from the bustling city life.

Fun Fact: The Finger Lakes region in upstate New York is famous for its vineyards and wineries, making it a popular destination for wine enthusiasts.


In conclusion, there is no doubt that Texas is considerably larger than New York in terms of total land area. At almost 269,000 square miles, Texas is nearly 5 times the size of New York’s 55,000 square miles. However, New York has a much higher population density and remains the 4th most populous state, while Texas clocks in at 2nd. Both states have rich histories and diverse geographies that help explain their vast differences in size. No matter which state you call home, you can boast of an iconic, larger-than-life state that looms big in America’s story.

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