How many states start with the letter M?

Have you ever wondered how many states in the US start with the letter M? If you’re a geography buff, this question has probably crossed your mind at some point. Well, wonder no more. In this fun little explainer article, we’ll tell you the answer and share some interesting facts about the states whose names begin with the thirteenth letter of the alphabet. You might be surprised by how many there are. Here’s a hint: it’s more than just Minnesota and Michigan. The Midwest isn’t the only region represented here. From the northern plains to the deep South to island life in the Pacific, “M” states come in all shapes, sizes, and locations. Ready to discover the variety of places in America whose names match the initial of the word “many”? Keep reading to learn all about the states starting with M.

The Letter M and U.S. State Names

There are a good number of states in the union whose names begin with the letter M. America had eight states, from Maine to Missouri, that started with the letter M.

  • Maine:

Situated in the region of New England, the Pine Tree State was formerly a part of Massachusetts until 1820, when it became its state. Portland and Lewiston are thus two of its biggest cities.

  • Maryland:

After Queen Henrietta Maria, the Old Line State was given its name. It is surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Ocean City, Annapolis, and Baltimore are all located in Maryland.

  • Massachusetts:

One of the earliest colonies was the Bay State, where the Pilgrims first settled. Its main city and capital, Boston, was crucial to the American Revolution.

  • Michigan:

Four of the 5 Great Lakes are encircled by the mitten-shaped Great Lakes State. Its two largest cities are Detroit and Grand Rapids; in the summer, a large number of tourists visit Mackinac Island & Traverse City.

  • Minnesota:

There are more than 12,000 lakes in the North Star State, including Lake Superior. Thus, the “Twin Cities,” Minneapolis & Saint Paul, are situated along the banks of the Mississippi. One of the biggest malls in the United States, Mall of America, is also located in Minnesota.

  • Mississippi:

The Mississippi River served as the inspiration for the name of the Deep South state known as Magnolia. Its largest city and capital is Jackson. Furthermore, Mississippi served as the focal point of the 20th-century Civil Rights Movement.

  • Missouri:

The two largest cities in the Show Me State are Kansas City, which is well-known for jazz music and barbecue, and St. Louis, which is famous for the Gateway Arch. Therefore, Branson, with its abundance of theatres, lakes, and amusement parks, is a well-liked family holiday spot.

Michigan: The Great Lakes State

Nicknamed the Upper Great Lakes State, Michigan is an outdoor lover’s dream come true. Michigan, on the other hand, has the greatest freshwater shoreline in the United States, surrounded by 4 of the five Great Lakes.

  • Outdoor Recreation

Michigan is the ideal state for enjoying outdoor activities because of its natural beauty. Therefore, you can enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, or just lounging on one of the many beaches that line the Great Lakes’ shoreline. There are many chances to cast a line or go swimming in the state’s more than 11,000 inland lakes.

Michigan features amazing hiking paths, such as the Porcupine Lakes Wilderness State Park and the North Country Trail. There are almost 2,000 miles of bike routes in the state, which include the 61-mile White Pine Trail if you’d rather be on two wheels than two feet.

Skiing is available throughout the winter at a variety of cross-country and downhill facilities, such as Boyne Mountain & Crystal Mountain. For a truly unique experience, choose dog sledding, ice fishing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling.

  • Culture and Cuisine

Although Michigan’s natural beauty is breathtaking, the state offers much more than just its outdoor experiences. Rich cultural attractions can be found in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Detroit. World-class museums like the Detroit Museum of Arts and The Henry Ford are located in Detroit specifically.

Michigan is well-known for its tasty microbrews, cinnamon sugar pasties, and cherries. Hence, a pasty is a transportable pie made of meat and vegetables that Cornish miners carried across. Try one at a classic Marquette bakery such as Jean Kay’s.

Michigan has everything for everyone, including breathtaking beauty, thrilling outdoor activities, a thriving culture, and delectable cuisine. But find out for yourself why the state is known as the Great Lakes.

Minnesota: The North Star State

Because of its location in the north of the country, Minnesota is rightly known as the “North Star State”. Minnesota, the thirty-second state to enter the union, got its name via a Dakota Sioux term that means “sky-tinted water.”

Minnesota truly lives within its name with more than 12,000 lakes dotting its terrain. During the summer, the state is a haven for water sports like swimming, boating, fishing, and waterskiing. Beautiful natural landscape is also produced by the abundance of lakes, particularly when the autumn foliage appears. Lake Superior is among the most well-known lakes. Lake Mille Lacs and Lake of the Woods.

Minnesotans love the snow and the cold in the winter. Popular ways to spend the season include fishing on the ice, snowmobiling, skiing, and skating. Thus, from December through February, the state experiences exceptionally low average temperatures, earning it a reputation for having harsh winters. If you travel during these months, don’t forget your parka!

The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are the heart of Minnesota. Home to many Fortune 500 companies, the metro area has a vibrant food, arts, music, and craft beer scene. For outdoor enthusiasts, the area offers over 200 miles of biking and walking paths. Sports fans can catch a Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, or Wild game at one of the major stadiums downtown.

Other noteworthy locations in Minnesota are:

  • Beautiful lakes and woodlands can be found in Voyageurs National Park, where visitors may go trekking, and camping, and see animals like bald eagles, moose, and loons.
  • America’s Mall With more than 500 shops, dining options, entertainment options, and the nation’s biggest indoor theme park, this is the biggest retail and leisure complex in the United States.
  • Over a million acres of lakes, streams, and forests make up the Boundary Lakes Canoe Area Wilderness, which is ideal for canoeing, fishing, and kayaking. fishing, and trekking.
  • Duluth is a port resort on the beaches of Lake Superior that offers beautiful parks, interesting stores, historical sites, and outdoor activities.

Minnesota has much to offer everyone, from its vibrant cities to its stunning natural surroundings. Thus, learn why the state of Minnesota is known as the “Land with 10,000 Lakes!

Mississippi: The Magnolia State

The twentieth state to accede to the Union was Mississippi, sometimes referred to as the Magnolia State. Mississippi takes its name after the Mississippi River, which serves as the state’s western border. The state has more than a million acres of forestry, making it densely forested. The state flower is the magnolia blossom, while the official tree is the southern magnolia.

  • Culture

Southern US culture, African American culture, and European American culture all impact Mississippi culture. Mississippi is home to several popular music genres, including bluegrass, gospel, rock and roll, jazz, soul, and country music. Writings by William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Richard Wright, and Eudora Welty are examples of literature.

  • Geography

Mississippi experiences hot, muggy summers and brief, pleasant winters due to its humid subtropical climate. It’s in the Deep South and the American Gulf Coast. The state features barrier islands, bayous, and marshes along its Gulf of Mexico coastal plain. Prairies, thick pine forests, and undulating hills can be found further inland. Rich alluvial soil in the Mississippi Delta formerly made it the epicenter of cotton farming.

  • Economy

Mississippi’s economy is mostly centered on fishing, forestry, and agriculture in its rural areas. Soybeans, lumber, poultry, catfish, and cotton are the main products. Additionally significant is tourism, which is fueled by attractions like casinos, sandy beaches, blues music, & Southern cooking. There is no income tax for the state and a cheap cost of living in the state. But the rates of unemployment and poverty are higher than usual.

Rich cultural legacy, unspoiled nature, and a true Southern experience may all be found in the Magnolia State. Mississippians are known for their friendliness, resiliency, faith, and sense of community despite their economic struggles. You will always remember the people & places that make Mississippi special if you visit.

Missouri: The Show Me State

Missouri became the 24th state to join the Union in 1821. Nicknamed the “Show Me State,” Missourians are known for their skepticism and practicality. The state motto sums it up: “Salus populi suprema lex esto”-“The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law.

  • Geography

Located in the Midwestern United States, Missouri borders eight states: Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska. The Missouri River runs through the state, with the Ozark Plateau in the south and the Great Plains in the west. So, major cities include Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, and Columbia.

  • Culture

Music genres like jazz, blues, and ragtime originated in Missouri, especially St. Louis. Famous musicians from Missouri include Miles Davis, Tina Turner, and Chuck Berry. However, Branson is a popular family vacation destination, known for its many live music shows and theaters.

Sports are also huge in Missouri, especially baseball. So, the St. Louis Cardinals have won 11 World Series titles, second only to the New York Yankees. Kansas City is home to the Kansas City Chiefs NFL team and Kansas City Royals MLB team.

Missouri cuisine includes St. Louis-style pizza, Kansas City-style barbecue ribs, and gooey butter cake. Anheuser-Busch, the world’s largest brewer, is headquartered in St. Louis.

  • Economy

Missouri has a diverse economy focused on industries like aerospace, transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, printing/publishing, electrical equipment, and tourism. So, several major corporations started in Missouri, including Anheuser-Busch, Monsanto, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Hallmark Cards. Missouri ranks 18th in population but has the 19th largest economy in the U.S. by GDP.

From music to sports to business, Missourians have a lot to be proud of in their state. But true to the “Show Me” spirit, they’re probably too practical to brag about it too much!

Montana: The Treasure State

Montana is the 4th largest state by area, yet 44th most populated, so there are lots of open spaces to explore in Big Sky Country. Nicknamed “The Treasure State,” Montana’s natural beauty will leave you in awe. Moreover, majestic mountains, pristine forests, stunning lakes, and rivers surround every bend. If getting outside is your thing, Montana won’t disappoint.

The Rocky Mountains dominate western Montana, with Glacier National Park being the crown jewel. Moreover, massive glaciers, alpine meadows, and over 700 miles of hiking trails will captivate you. Spotting wildlife like mountain goats, grizzly bears and gray wolves in their natural habitat is common. Going to the Sun Road is a scenic drive you shouldn’t miss.

In central Montana, you’ll find Lewis & Clark National Forest, named after the famous explorers, Float down the Blackfoot River for a taste of adventure. So, the area around Missoula, known as the “hub of five valleys,” offers hiking, fishing, and camping with stunning views.

Eastern Montana is home to the Missouri River and Fort Peck Lake, the 5th largest man-made lake in the U.S. Moreover, it’s a boater and angler’s paradise, with walleye, smallmouth bass, and pike in abundance. So, the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge encompasses over a million acres of prairie grasslands. Moreover, spot bison, pronghorn, and migratory birds along the scenic roads.

So, culture vultures will enjoy the museums, historical attractions, art galleries, music festivals, and cuisine in towns like Bozeman, Missoula, and Helena, the state capital. For winter sports, head to Big Sky or Whitefish for world-class skiing and snowboarding.

With its natural splendor and small-town charm, the Treasure State is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Once you visit, the call of the wild will keep calling you back to Montana.

Mapping Out the M States

When thinking about the states that start with the letter M, 7 specific states come to mind. So, let’s map them out and explore some details about each one.

  • Maine

Maine’s lobster rolls, lighthouses, and colorful autumn foliage make it the northernmost New England state. So, it borders Canada and the Atlantic Ocean, with a rugged coastline and pine tree forests. The capital and largest city is Augusta, while Portland is the cultural hub, with a popular historic port.

  • Maryland

Maryland, “America in Miniature” lies just north of Virginia and Washington D.C. It’s a Mid-Atlantic state with a long coastline on the Chesapeake Bay. Moreover, Baltimore, its largest city, is a major seaport known for its seafood. So, the capital Annapolis is home to the U.S. Naval Academy. Major battlegrounds from the Revolutionary & Civil Wars, including Gettysburg and Antietam, are located in Maryland.

  • Massachusetts

One of the first 13 colonies, Massachusetts is a state in New England well-known for the Mayflower ship and the Pilgrims’ landing at Plymouth Rock. Thus, Boston, the nation’s capital & largest city, is a shipping city with a rich history of revolution. It also boasts a number of prestigious universities, such as MIT and Harvard. Popular beach towns include Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Cape Cod, particularly in the summer.

  • Michigan

Superior Lakes Four of the five Great Lakes—Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior—are bordered by the state of Michigan. Its terrain varies from the rough peaks of the Peninsula Mountains to the forested lakeshores. The major city and centre of the automotive industry are Detroit, although little communities like Traverse City have beaches, wineries, & farm-to-table dining options. Furthermore, Mackinac Island in Lake Huron is well-known for its opulent hotels from the Victorian era and its no-cars policy.

  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri 

Creating a detailed map of these M states offers a chance to recognize the diversity of American geography, culture, and tradition. Which state are you most interested in exploring first?

Memorizing the 6 M States

The six states that start with M are easy to learn by heart. So, here are a few tricks to help you remember them:

  • Mnemonics

Create a mnemonic, like “Maine Men Make Many Muffins” to memorize Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, and Mississippi. So, come up with your silly sentence or phrase using words that start with M to represent each state. So, our brains are great at remembering weird associations and rhymes!

  • Map it out

Pull out a map of the US and locate each of the M states. However, Visualizing where they are located geographically will strengthen your memory. Are they clustered together in one region? Scattered across the country? Noticing their positions relative to one another on the map will make them more memorable.

  • Match the capitals

Match each M state with its capital city. For example, Augusta is the capital of Maine. Annapolis is the capital of Maryland. Boston is the capital of Massachusetts. And so on. Making connections between the states and their capitals gives you another data point to help retain the information.

  • Flashcards

Old-school flashcards are highly effective for memorizing lists of words or phrases. Make a set of flashcards for the 6 M states and quiz yourself or have a friend quiz you. So, start with the names of the states on one side and the capitals on the other. Then mix up the cards so you have to identify both the state and its capital. With regular practice, you’ll have them committed to memory in no time.

Using a combination of these memorization techniques a mnemonic, visualizing a map, matching capitals, and using flashcards’ll master the 6 states beginning with M. Then you can move on to memorizing the remaining 44 states! What methods do you find most helpful for memorizing information? Let me know if you have any other questions.

FAQ: Answering Common Questions About the M States

Many people wonder exactly how many U.S. states start with the letter M. However, the answer is nine states: Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, and Maine. So, here are some frequently asked questions about these “M states.”

How did these states get their names?

The names of the M states come from a variety of origins:

  • Maine got its name from a French province.
  • Maryland was named after Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I of England.
  • Massachusetts comes from a Native American word meaning “big hill place.”
  • Michigan was derived from a French word meaning “big lake.”
  • Minnesota comes from a Dakota word meaning “sky-tinted water.”
  • Mississippi comes from an Ojibwe word meaning “great river.”
  • Missouri originates from an Algonquin word meaning “people with wooden canoes,”
  • Montana comes from a Spanish word meaning “mountain.”

What are the capitals of the M states?

  • The capital of Maine is Augusta.
  • The capital of Maryland is Annapolis.
  • Boston is Massachusetts’ capital city.
  • The capital of Michigan is Lansing, The capital of Minnesota is Saint Paul.
  • The capital of Mississippi is Jackson
  • Jefferson City is Missouri’s capital.
  • The capital of Montana is Helena,

What regions do the M states belong to?

  • Maine, Massachusetts, and Maryland are part of the Northeastern US.
  • Michigan is part of the Midwestern US.
  • The Midwest also includes Minnesota.
  • Mississippi and Missouri are part of the Southern US.
  • Montana is part of the Western US.

The nine M states showcase the diversity of geography, history, and culture in America. So, learning more about them helps us better understand the patchwork of places and people that make up this country.


So there you have it. Out of the 50 states that make up this great country of ours, only five start with the letter M. Sure, we could’ve included Minnesota and Mississippi in our little trivia question, but where’s the fun in that? Sometimes the simplest questions with the most straightforward answers end up stumping us the most. At least now if this little factoid ever comes up at your local pub trivia night or while playing a rousing game of Scattergories with friends, you’ll be able to answer confidently and maybe even win a prize. And isn’t winning half the battle? Now go forth, armed with your newfound knowledge about states beginning with M, and spread the joy of learning random tidbits of geography to all you meet.

Related Topics:

States that start with a A
States that start with a K

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