Smallest county in every state
The structure of the United States is unique. It’s a country made up of 50 states, each of which consists of various counties, cities, states, and towns. Depending on where it's located, an area might have three or four layers of local government. It’s almost like a geographical Russian nesting doll.
This set-up largely makes sense — except in a few cases. Some states are so sparsely settled that geographically large counties have tiny populations while others might only cover a few square miles but hold hundreds of thousands of people. To see how much this varies from state to state, Stacker examined population data gathered by U.S. Census Bureau from 2010 to 2017 to compile this list of the smallest counties in every state. The Census Bureau’s population estimates are based on the population base, plus migration numbers, plus the births-minus-deaths total. The growth rate was determined by dividing the difference between present and past populations by the past population, using population data from the Census Report. Read on to find out which county in your state has the smallest population and which state has a county with a population of just 88 residents.
Alabama: Greene County
2017 population estimate: 8,330
2010 census population: 9,045
Growth rate (since 2010): -7.90%
Eutaw, the largest city in this county in western Alabama, has just 2,122 people. The average household income was $50,498 in 2016.
Alaska: Yakutat City and Borough
2017 population estimate: 605
2010 census population: 662
Growth rate (since 2010): -8.61%
The small fishing village of Yakutat, which is also the borough seat, has been inhabited by the Tlingit people for hundreds of years. In their native tongue, Yakutat means "the place where canoes rest.”
Arizona: Greenlee County
2017 population estimate: 9,455
2010 census population: 8,437
Growth rate (since 2010): 12.07%
First settled in 1874 by miners who discovered that the area hosts large copper deposits, Greenlee County remains economically dependent on the mining industry. Clifton, a city near the county’s geographical center, won the honor of being its county seat.
Arkansas: Calhoun County
2017 population estimate: 4,833
2010 census population: 5,089
Growth rate (since 2010): -5.03%
This county was originally named Benton County after Missouri senator Thomas Hart Benton, who served in Alabama during the War of 1813-14. However, the state senate voted to change the name to Calhoun County in 1858 to honor Vice President John C. Calhoun.
California: Alpine County
2017 population estimate: 1,120
2010 census population: 1,175
Growth rate (since 2010): -4.68%
This tiny county on the border between California and Nevada just south of Lake Tahoe has a rich history. The Washoe people were the first residents. Famous explorers, including John Fremont and Kit Carson, first journeyed across the Sierra Nevada mountain range through the region. It was eventually settled by prospectors looking for gold.
Colorado: San Juan County
2017 population estimate: 715
2010 census population: 699
Growth rate (since 2010): 2.29%
There’s only one city in San Juan County: Silverton, which boasts only 637 residents. The county has an average elevation of 11,240 feet, which is the highest in the country.
Connecticut: Windham County
2017 population estimate: 42,869
2010 census population: 44,513
Growth rate (since 2010): -3.69%
Though Windham County is much larger than many of the counties on this list, it’s still Connecticut’s smallest. It’s also not a particularly diverse county: more than 92% of the residents are white.
Delaware: Kent County
2017 population estimate: 763
2010 census population: 808
Growth rate (since 2010): -5.57%
Kent County is governed by the Levy Court, a group of seven elected commissioners from all regions of the county. The Levy Court has watched over the area since 1655, when the Delaware General Assembly first established it.
Florida: Liberty County
2017 population estimate: 2,427
2010 census population: 2,339
Growth rate (since 2010): 3.76%
The oldest known residents of this county were the Apalachee people. Burial mounds and pottery remnants in the area date back to the 13th century. Still, Liberty County wasn’t formally established until 1855.
Georgia: Taliaferro County
2017 population estimate: 1,628
2010 census population: 1,717
Growth rate (since 2010): -5.18%
This 197-square-mile county in the Piedmont region of Georgia is full of rolling farmland, pastures, forests, and streams. Movie buffs might recognize Taliaferro County from the film "Sweet Home Alabama,” which was shot here.2018 All rights reserved.