The contiguous United States (US) contains 48 states, and thus excludes Alaska and Hawaii.
This article looks at how many states are along the East Coast and how many states are along the West Coast.
How Many States are Along the East Coast?
The east coast of the US lies along the Atlantic Ocean.
There are fourteen states which have coastal access to the Atlantic Ocean.
These states, in order from north to south, are: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
States Along the East Coast that Have No Atlantic Coastline
There is one state along the East Coast that does not have an Atlantic coastline but still has access to the ocean. While not actually along the Atlantic Coast, Pennsylvannia’s coastline access is provided by 57 miles (92 km) of shoreline along the Delaware River estuary.
Connecticut, located on the Long Island Sound, also has no actual coastline facing the Atlantic Ocean.
While Vermont is located in the eastern part of the United States, it does not have coastal access to the Atlantic.
The capital of the United States, Washington D.C. is part of the region known as the East Coast but is landlocked and is sandwiched between Maryland and Virginia.
How Long are the Coastlines of States Along the East Coast?
Measuring the length of a coastline is challenging due to the coastline paradox.
Coastlines are not smooth lines. Decisions have to be made about how much of the variation inherent in coastlines to measure.
As the Congressional Research Service (CRS) notes, “Coastline measurements are more difficult because of the effects of tides and the necessarily arbitrary decisions that must be made about measuring bays, coves, islands, and inlets leading to streams and rivers.”
The CRS measures coastlines using large scale nautical charts while NOAA measures the length of coastlines based on measurements calculated in 1930-1940 and 1970 based on the largest-scale charts and maps available at that time.
This table lists the total calculated miles (and kilometers) for the states that are along the Atlantic Coast based on measurements from the CRS and NOAA:
|State||CRS||CRS Rank||NOAA||NOAA Rank|
|Florida||1,350 mi (2,170 km)||2||8,436 mi (13,576 km)||2|
|North Carolina||301 mi (484 km)||7||3,375 mi (5,432 km)||6|
|Maine||228 mi (367 km)||9||3,478 mi (5,597 km)||4|
|Massachusetts||192 mi (309 km)||10||1,519 mi (2,445 km)||16|
|South Carolina||187 mi (301 km)||11||2,876 mi (4,628 km)||12|
|New Jersey||130 mi (210 km)||13||1,792 mi (2,884 km)||15|
|New York||127 mi (204 km)||14||2,625 mi (4,225 km)||13|
|Virginia||112 mi (180 km)||15||3,315 mi (5,335 km)||8|
|Georgia||100 mi (160 km)||16||2,344 mi (3,772 km)||14|
|Connecticut||96 mi (154 km)||17||618 mi (995 km)||21|
|Rhode Island||40 mi (64 km)||20||384 mi (618 km)||23|
|Maryland||31 mi (50 km)||21||3,190 mi (5,130 km)||10|
|Delaware||28 mi (45 km)||22||381 mi (613 km)||24|
|New Hampshire||13 mi (21 km)||23||131 mi (211 km)||31|
How Many States are Along the West Coast?
There are three states in the contiguous United States that have coastline access to the Pacific Ocean: California, Oregon, and Washington.
The state of Alaska and the island state of Hawaii make up the other two states that are part of the region called the West Coast of the United States.
How Long are the Coastlines of States Along the West Coast?
This table lists the total calculated miles (and kilometers) for the states that are along the Pacific Coast based on measurements from the CRS and NOAA:
|State||CRS||CRS Rank||NOAA||NOAA Rank|
|Alaska||6,640 mi (10,690 km)||1||33,904 mi (54,563 km)||1|
|California||840 mi (1,350 km)||3||3,427 mi (5,515 km)||5|
|Hawaii||750 mi (1,210 km)||4||1,052 mi (1,693 km)||18|
|Oregon||296 mi (476 km)||8||1,410 mi (2,270 km)||17|
|Washington||157 mi (253 km)||12||3,026 mi (4,870 km)||11|
The State of Alaska has the longest coastline by far of all the states.