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First, an important note for everyone to remember:

A few Wikipedians have gotten together to make some suggestions about how we might organize data in articles about states, cities and towns. These are only suggestions, things to give you focus and to get you going, and you shouldn't feel obligated in the least to follow them. But if you don't know what to write or where to begin, following the below guidelines may be helpful. Mainly, we just want you to write articles!

Table of contents


WikiProject U.S. States


This WikiProject aims primarily to provide information on all of the 50 U.S. States, their counties and cities. This WikiProject shall also provide information on the current U.S. Federal Territories (District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, etc.) as well.


The parent of this WikiProject is the WikiProject Countries.

Descendant Wikiprojects

The descendant WikiProject is WikiProject U.S. Counties

Similar Wikiprojects

Similar Wikiprojects include WikiProject Cities and WikiProject French departements.



There shall be an article called U.S. state, which shall discuss U.S. States in general, as opposed to any particular state, and provide a list of U.S. states. It shall also list the current U.S. Federal Territories, and explain the difference between a state and a Federal territory. It shall also include a listing of U.S. states in order of admission to the Union, including the date on which it was admitted.

Each U.S. state shall be called by the common name of the state, e.g. Texas, California. An exception to this rule is Georgia (U.S. state), since it has the same name as Georgia (country), an independent country in the Caucasus; means must be found of distinguishing between the two. A template article can be found at the bottom of this page. The article on each U.S. State shall include the following information:
NOTE: Please only create these headings when there is more than a couple of sentences worth of information for an area. There is no need at all for an "introduction" heading.
NOTE: Where possible use both metric and english measurements, except in the tables where being simplified is important. Metric measurements should be used if only one is available because of its global use.

The rest of the article should consist of a few short paragraphs. These paragraphs should give an outline of the history/politics/etc. of the country and link to a full article on them. If any section becomes too detailed, it should be split off into a separate article with more detail as follows:

The heading should look like:

== Geography ==
''Main article: [[Geography of Pennsylvania]]''

A notice should be placed on each temp page that should read:

''This temporary page is being used to expand and convert the article [[_]] over to the new format agreed to at [[WikiProject U.S. States]]. Please feel free to add or edit anything on this page to help in the conversion process.''

Don't forget to replace the "_" with the name of the article being converted.

  • introduction: statement that it is a state of the United States, (note internal link to U.S. State), the U.S. Post Office abbreviation for the state, (e.g. MA, TX, etc.), the official (long) name of the state (e.g. "Commonwealth of Massachussetts"). Add "Order of entry into Union," and for the first 13 "Order of ratification of the Constitution." When available, add a picture of each state-designed quarter.
  • A table describing some of the important facts of the state. This table should look similar to the table used in WikiProject Countries. An example is included with the state template below. The table will include the following:
    • State flag and the state seal. The state coat of arms may be substituted for the state seal if it is not available. NOTE: In some states, use of these symbols is prohibited without permission from the state. If such is the case, a picture of each state-designed quarter could be used as a replacement.
    • The state nickname. The state motto may be substituted if the nickname is not available.
    • The state's capital city.
    • Area statistics including the total area (not land area or water area) and percent of total area that is water, and the ranking among states. All areas should use square kilometers. The english measure should be reserved for the articles to keep the table simplified. If this is a U.S. territory or non-state, the rank may be omitted. Existing values are maintained at List of U.S. states by area.
    • Population statistics including the total population, the population density (using square kilometers), and the rank among states. Add the year when the census was taken for the total population. Ranking may be omitted if it is a U.S. territory or non-state. Existing values are maintained at List of U.S. states by population.
    • For the first 13 states, ad "Order of ratification of the Constitution." Add the order and date of admittance into the Union. Include any events that caused the admittance (may be omitted). For the seceding states of the Confederacy there should also be "seceded on" and "readmitted in" dates. For a territory or non-state, an appropriate date, such as annexation dates, can be used instead.
    • The time zone(s) of the state. Include the name of the timezone (e.g. Eastern) followed by the UTC numbers. Also include information on Daylight Saving Time.
    • Latitude and Longitude range
      • The parallels that bound the state's eastern and western most parts.
      • The longitudes that bound the state's northern and southern most parts.
    • Width, Length and Elevation
      • The greatest width of the state
      • The greatest length of the state
      • Elevation
        • The highest elevation in meters
        • The mean elevation in meters
        • The lowest elevation in meters
  • Add each state's motto, song, tree, bird, and other official items to a table (see Pennsylvania for an example).
  • History
    • history prior to joining the United States
    • when first came under U.S. control (if it was a territory prior to being a state)
    • When it attained statehood
    • Major historical events that occurred in state
  • Law and Government [Note that all the U.S. states have similar legal and political systems, so maybe we only need to mention anything that makes the state distinct]
    • governor -- current, previous governors
    • legislature -- bicameral or unicameral? names of houses?
    • structure of state judicary
    • information on state constitution
    • does it have referenda?
  • Geography
    • Physical geography (mountains, rivers, plains, elevation, area, that sort of thing)
    • National parks, etc.
    • adjacent U.S. states, oceans, Great Lakes, Canadian provinces or Mexican states
    • List of counties (if someone wants to go to the trouble) (the list itself makes for a good subpage)
  • Economy
    • State income
    • Major industries/products
    • state taxes
  • Demographics
    • state population
    • racial/ethnic makeup of state
    • religious makeup of state
  • Important Cities and Towns
  • Education. Elementary upwards.
    • Colleges and Universities. A list of the colleges and universities in the state.
  • Professional Sport Teams. A list of the professional sport teams in the state
  • External Links. A list of external web links about the state.

For all lists, Use small font and two columns were appropriate (i.e. if list is 6 or greater and does not have lengthly descriptions ). Pages on U.S. Federal Territories are to have the same format as U.S. States above, changed as needed.

Please try to avoid including trivia in the articles for U.S. States, unless you consider the trivia especially interesting.

Hierarchy Definition

No classifications of U.S. States has been defined (Do we need to classify them into groups somehow?). ManningBartlett's example has ways of dividing a topic into a hierarchy.

General Strategy and Discussion forum /General

References Geographic references

Template Don't forget to replace the "_" with the name of the article being converted. For the table, replace the X's with the proper information.

This temporary page is being used to expand and convert the article _ over to the new format agreed to at WikiProject U.S. States. Please feel free to add or edit anything on this page to help in the conversion process.
Definition paragraph.

Official State Name(s) (local)
state flag state seal
(In Detail[?]) (Full size[?])
State nickname (or motto): Xxxxx
(In Detail)
Capital Xxxxx
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked xth
xxx,xxx km2
 - Total (Year)
 - Density
Ranked xth
Admittance into Union
 - Order
 - Date
(Event Xxxx)
Time zone UTC +/- X
XXX km
XXX km
XXX meters
XXX meters
XX meters

History Main article: History of _[?]

Law and Government Main article: Law and Government of _[?]

Geography Main article: Geography of _[?]

See: List of _ counties[?]

Economy Main article: Economy of _[?]

Demographics Main article: Demographics of _[?]

Important Cities and Towns


Colleges and Universities

Professional Sports Teams

Miscellaneous Information Additional lists and info

External links

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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