Thursday, November 06, 2008

Name the two states which are smaller than many countries in some of the larger states

I've now had two or three searches hit my blog on "name the two states which are smaller than many countries in some of the larger states".  Of course, my blog matches on on this because of this post, which was itself a response to a search referral.

States don't, in my experience, contain countries, at least not as I understand the terms.  So I don't understand what is meant by "many countries in some of the larger states" because states don't have countries.  So let's assume this is a typo, and the intended word is "counties".  States do contain counties (except for Alaska, which has "boroughs", and Louisiana, which has "parishes").  The largest county (by area) is San Bernardino County (in California), which checks in at 20,052.50 square miles of land area (most of it mostly empty desert).   There are three states that are smaller in area than this: Connecticut (14,356 square miles), Delaware (6,446 square miles) and Rhode Island (4,002 square miles).  I don't know which of these three is the desired answer to this particular trivia question, so you'll have to pick two of the three and take your chances.  I suggest using Delaware and Rhode Island, just because they're the two smallest states.

As to where this question came from, I have no idea.  Perhaps someone will tell me.

P.S. I'm assuming the inquiry is with respect to area.  It doesn't make that much sense if you do it with respect to population.  The two largest counties in terms of population are Los Angeles County, California (9,948,081) and Cook County, Illinois (5,288,655).  Only eight states are larger than Los Angeles County in population, and only twenty larger than Cook County.

P.P.S. Corrected flipped wording which I thought I fixed previously but apparently not.