The United States is made up of fifty states. Each state has its own government and makes its own laws although they are still bound by federal law. States also have their own personalities as do the people living in those states.

Although Americans are united in many ways, they have some lifestyle differences related to geography and climate. For instance, Hawaii is a group of islands with a tropical climate. On the other hand, Alaska is a state near the Arctic Circle with a very cold climate. In the continental U.S. the climate ranges from tropical in Florida to very cold and snowy in many of the northern states. The geographical features vary widely as well. For example, there are mountains, flat plains, desert, wetlands, lakes, and forests. The people living in or near these places may live and work in rural areas or in big cities.  Due to all these differences, people in one part of the country may live very different lives from people in other parts of the country.

Here are some facts about the states.

State Name Abbreviation State Bird State Tree State Flower
Alabama AL yellowhammer Southern longleaf pine camellia
Alaska AK willow ptarmigan sitka spruce forget-me-not
Arizona AZ cactus wren palo verde saquaro cactus flower
Arkansas AR mockingbird pine apple blossom
California CA California valley quail California redwoods golden poppy
Colorado CO lark bunting Colorado blue spruce Rocky Mountain columbine
Connecticut CT American robin white oak mountain laurel
Delaware DE blue hen chicken American holly peach blossom
Florida FL mockingbird orange blossom
Georgia GA brown thrasher live oak Cherokee
Hawaii HI Hawaiian goose candlenut yellow hibiscus
Idaho ID mountain bluebird white pine syringa
Illinois IL cardinal white oak violet
Indiana IN cardinal tulip tree peony
Iowa IA Eastern goldfinch Wild rose
Kansas KS Western meadowlark Cottonwood Sunflower
Kentucky KY Kentucky cardinal Tulip poplar Goldenrod
Louisiana LA Eastern brown pelican Bald cypress Magnolia
Maine ME chickadee White pine tree White pine cone and tassel
Maryland MD Baltimore oriole White oak Black-eyed susan
Massachusetts MA Chickadee American elm Mayflower
Michigan MI robin White pine Apple blossom
Minnesota MN Common loon Red pine Lady slipper
Mississippi MS mockingbird magnolia Magnolia flower
Missouri MO bluebird Flowering dogwood Hawthorn
Montana MT Western meadowlark Ponderosa pine Bitterroot
Nebraska NE Western meadowlark cottonwood Goldenrod
Nevada NV Mountain bluebird Sagebrush
New Hampshire NH Purple finch White birch Purple lilac
New Jersey NJ Eastern goldfinch Red oak Purple violet
New Mexico NM roadrunner pinon Yucca
New York NY bluebird Sugar maple Rose
North Carolina NC cardinal pine Dogwood
North Dakota ND Western meadowlark American elm Wild prairie rose
Ohio OH cardinal buckeye Scarlet carnation
Oklahoma OK Scissor-tailed flycatcher redbud Mistletoe
Oregon OR Western meadowlark Douglas fir Oregon grape
Pennsylvania PA Ruffed grouse hemlock Mountain laurel
Rhode Island RI Rhode Island red hen Red maple Violet
South Carolina SC Carolina wren Palmetto tree Carolina yellow Jessamine
South Dakota SD Ring-necked pheasant Black hills spruce American pasqueflower
Tennessee TN mockingbird Tulip poplar Iris
Texas TX mockingbird pecan Bluebonnet
Utah UT California gull Blue spruce Sego lily
Vermont VT Hermit thrush Sugar maple Red clover
Virginia VA cardinal dogwood American dogwood
Washington WA Willow goldfinch Western hemlock Coast rhododendron
West Virginia WV cardinal Sugar maple Rhododendron
Wisconsin WI robin Sugar maple Wood violet
Wyoming WY Western meadowlark cottonwood Indian paintbrush


There are many geographic regions in the U.S. and people may define the regions differently. The U.S. Census Bureau defines four major regions along with several smaller sub-regions.

The four major geographic regions as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau are

  • West: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
  • Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin
  • Northeast: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
  • South: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia
  • Subregions: Pacific, Mountain, West North Central, West South Central, East North Central, East South Central, New England, Middle Atlantic, South Atlantic

Time Zones

There are six different standard time zones in the United States: Eastern Time, Central Time, Mountain Time, Pacific Time, Alaska Time, and Hawaii-Aleutian Time. In addition, all states except Arizona and Hawaii observe daylight saving time. This means they set their clocks forward one hour in the spring and back one hour in the fall.  Daylight saving time begins on the second Sunday of March at 2:00 a.m. and ends on the first Sunday of November at 2:00 a.m.

Eastern Standard Time EST UTC-5 Eastern Daylight Time EDT UTC-4
Central Standard Time CST UTC-6 Central Daylight Time CDT UTC-5
Mountain Standard Time MST UTC-7 Mountain Daylight Time MDT UTC-6
Pacific Standard Time PST UTC-8 Pacific Daylight Time PDT UTC-7
Alaska Standard Time AKST UTC-9 Alaska Daylight Time AKDT UTC-8
Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time HAST UTC-10