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US State Capitals by Proximity in 30 Seconds

When you type a state capital, all the ones within 500 km will be completed too.
Quiz by scambigol
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Last updated: March 9, 2019
First submittedNovember 6, 2016
Times taken68,699
Rating3.91
0:30
Enter city here:
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Capital
Albany
Annapolis
Atlanta
Augusta
Austin
Baton Rouge
Bismarck
Boise
Boston
Carson City
Capital
Charleston
Cheyenne
Columbia
Columbus
Concord
Denver
Des Moines
Dover
Frankfort
Harrisburg
Capital
Hartford
Helena
Honolulu
Indianapolis
Jackson
Jefferson City
Juneau
Lansing
Lincoln
Little Rock
Capital
Madison
Montgomery
Montpelier
Nashville
Oklahoma City
Olympia
Phoenix
Pierre
Providence
Raleigh
Capital
Richmond
Sacramento
Saint Paul
Salem
Salt Lake City
Santa Fe
Springfield
Tallahassee
Topeka
Trenton
+5
level 28
Nov 11, 2016
I was thinking "why doesn't Honolulu get me Phoenix or Juneau" and completely forgot that Honolulu is far away.
+9
level 71
Nov 11, 2016
making a quiz where proximity is defined by distance on the monitor is an idea :D
+1
level 61
Jan 27, 2017
Great quiz! If only I knew more US state capitals (why are all Americans capitals small, arguably insignificant cities?) I know there's history behind this, but it does make US capital quizzes difficult, for me at least.
+8
level 61
Jan 27, 2017
Not all, but most. Atlanta, Boston, Austin, St. Paul, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Honolulu, Denver, Columbus, and Phoenix are major cities (at least by the standards of their own states). But the capitals are usually small because 1) they're often centrally-located in the state so they are accessible to all residents, which usually means they're not near water (and the biggest cities usually develop by water), and 2) a lot of older capitals, like Albany and Harrisburg, were specifically chosen to be far away from the commercial centers (i.e., big cities) to limit the influence of big business on politics...obviously, that strategy has not worked.
+2
level 70
Jan 27, 2017
Thanks! I'd always wondered why they were so often places I'd never heard of.
+1
level 76
Jan 27, 2017
In the state of Arkansas many counties have two county seats, especially counties which are divided by a river. In the spring when rivers were in flood, people could still get to one county seat to conduct business. Making the capitals in cities away from water makes sense from that point of view.
+1
level 48
Dec 20, 2017
Some are meant to be central to the populations of their state at the time. Salem, OR, for instance is central to the Willamette Valley, putting it within a day's travel for the majority of Oregon's population, despite being several hundred miles from 2/3 of the state.
+1
level 48
Feb 15, 2018
Indianapolis a major city too, but its always forgotten when people mention big cities in the US.
+1
level 15
Feb 19, 2018
I happen to live near Boston and I can tell you why it is the capital. 1, because it is the largest and most populated city in Massachusets. 2, It has a very long line of history and 3, it is located next to the water.
+1
level 37
Jun 14, 2018
I can say the same thing about about Philly - but they aren’t the capital
+1
level 37
Nov 4, 2018
In the case of Albany, it was a 'big city' in its own right at the time of being chosen. In 1810, it was the 10th largest city in the country.
+2
level 20
Jan 8, 2019
(@Thomas739945) An interesting fact about Massachusetts, the town of Rehoboth was once in consideration for the capital of the state. As a town with a population of 11,608 it makes no sense now... but at the time, it was much bigger - in population and in area. Rehoboth's territory included present-day cities of Attleboro, East Providence RI, most of Pawtucket RI, and others.
+1
level 62
May 15, 2019
A few state capitals started out as secondary cities and then became major cities. The best example of this is Atlanta, which was not the biggest city in Georgia when it was selected as a capital, but now is a major U.S. city. Similarly, Columbus has grown in size over time and eclipsed the former bigger cities of Cleveland and Cincinnati.
+2
level 78
Jan 27, 2017
That's a misconception, the majority of the state capitals are the biggest or second-biggest city in the state.
+2
level 62
Jan 27, 2017
True, or the biggest city of the state at the time.
+1
level 69
Apr 17, 2019
There are 17 states where the capital is also the largest city: Arizona (Phoenix), Arkansas (Little Rock), Colorado (Denver), Georgia (Atlanta), Hawaii (Honolulu), Idaho (Boise), Indiana (Indianapolis), Iowa (Des Moines), Massachusetts (Boston), Mississippi (Jackson), Ohio (Columbus), Oklahoma (Oklahoma City), Rhode Island (Providence), South Carolina (Columbia), Utah (Salt Lake City), West Virginia (Charleston), Wyoming (Cheyenne). There's also some cases where things are changed when taking into account metro area - St Paul is the capital, but taken alone is not the largest city in Minnesota, however it is part of the largest metro area thanks to merging with larger Minneapolis. In Ohio Columbus and Cleveland metro areas are neck and neck, but Cleveland's CSA is larger than that of Columbus.
+1
level 69
Apr 17, 2019
Further on that point, I think part of the reason people think US capital cities tend to be small or obscure arises from the fact that many major cities nationally are not capitals. Part of the reason for this is that the big states tend to have many major cities, whereas some states have no major cities at all so even their largest is small by national standards. Cheyenne, Wyoming is the largest city in its state, but the whole state has only about a quarter of the metro populations of Sacramento or Austin, which despite both being large cities and capitals are nowhere near the biggest in their respective states. I think another factor is that in the big four states a (competitively) small city is capital, not the world-famous metropolis(es) - neither LA nor San Francisco get to be capital of California, neither Houston nor Dallas get to be capital of Texas, and both Miami and NYC miss out in Florida and New York. Yet among the Big 4's capitals, only Tallahassee is genuinely 'small'.
+1
level 39
Jan 27, 2017
Fantastic quiz idea!
+1
level 48
Jan 27, 2017
Great quiz idea! We could do with a lot more of these.
+1
level 43
Jan 27, 2017
Me Likey
+1
level 27
Jan 31, 2017
+1
+1
level 76
Jan 27, 2017
The 500 km threw me, since this a quiz on US capitals. For any other metrically-challenged people like me, it is roughly 311 miles.
+1
level 54
Jan 8, 2019
Thank you! I was trying to figure out why Austin didn't get me OKC or Baton Rouge. Now it makes sense...
+1
level 49
Jan 27, 2017
Hartford Raleigh Atlanta Little Rock Des Moines Lansing Pierre Denver Boise Sacramento (or Carson City) Salem then Phoenix Austin Juneau and Honolulu
+1
level 63
Jan 27, 2017
Haven't beaten 45 yet.
+1
level 63
Jan 28, 2017
50!
+1
level 52
Jan 28, 2017
The best combination I have found is Augusta - Annapolis - Atlanta - Indianapolis - Des Moines - Little Rock - Pierre - Denver - Boise - Salem - Carson City - Phoenix - Austin - Juneau - Honolulu.
+1
level 85
Jun 21, 2017
This works very good, thanks!
+1
level 77
May 17, 2019
In order to type all those cities in the time allocated what would my typing speed need to be?
+1
level 35
Jan 29, 2017
My high score is 48. Not sure I can beat it.
+2
level 40
Mar 2, 2017
got 50/50 with 0:01 time left... you just have to find the best combination to get full score!
+1
level 60
Sep 29, 2017
Got it on my 4th try, although on my 3rd I had the time, only I typed in "olympius" instead of "olympia" to round out the NW and stared blankly for 3 seconds, not comprehending why it wasn't accepted. I started in the NE and zigzagged north and south. Albany - Annapolis - Atlanta - Jackson - Austin - Lansing - Oklahoma City - Jefferson City - Bismarck - Boise - Denver - Salt Lake City - Sacramento - Honolulu - Juneau - Olympia - Phoenix. Thank God it accepted "pheonix" for the last one.
+1
level 58
Dec 20, 2017
This less a capital quiz than it is a typing quiz.
+1
level 37
Feb 15, 2018
Exactly.
+1
level 57
Dec 21, 2017
Did it after 13 tries!!
+1
level 8
Jun 1, 2018
Did it the first time
+1
level 62
May 15, 2019
By the way, it's not just US states that don't always have their largest or more iconic city as the capital. Whether it's because sub-national groups don't want to be ruled from a city identified with a different sub-national group, because people outside the iconic city want to tame that city's power, or because new rulers wanted to separate from the previous ruling elite, or another reason, or because a different city eclipsed the previously iconic city, this phenomenon happens a fair amount. Off the top of my head, nations in which this has clearly played out include Canada, Switzerland, Tanzania, Canada, Myanmar, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, South Africa, and the US itself. I'm sure others can come up with many other examples even excluding countries such as India where the capital has clearly been an important city for ages even though it's not currently the largest city.
+2
level 65
May 15, 2019
I find it ironic that a proximity quiz for the US uses kilometers instead of miles.