What Two State Capitals Are Closest to Each Other?

June 15, 2023

There are a lot of strange state capitals in the United States. Some, like Cheyenne and Oklahoma City, are the furthest capitals from their respective states' geographic centers. Others, like Richmond and Charleston, are named for a British colony or an American frontiersman. And still others, like Atlanta and Austin, have weird features (the highest Capitol building in the country; a plethora of professional sports teams).

Most US states adopted statehood before their population was large enough to warrant having a central government in a city, so they often selected a town near the geographic center of the state. Springfield, Illinois; Austin, Texas; and so on. This resulted in oddly placed capitals, with one of the most bizarre being Brasilia, the capital of Brazil.

A Reddit user decided to redraw the map of the US so that every state had its closest capital at hand. The resulting chart is pretty amazing, with angular borders that look more like a geometry equation than a state's outline.

For example, Virginia is bordered by Maryland to the northeast, Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, North Carolina and Tennessee to the south, and Kentucky to the west. It's also closer to nine other state capitals than it is to its own, namely Richmond and Washington, DC. But this doesn't seem to bother residents of Ewing, the Westernmost town in the state. "We're a little bit removed from the politics here," Mike's Gun Shop manager Mark Leight says. "But I'm not complaining."


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