What letter is not in the 50 states?

Only one letter is missing from every state name in the United States

Can You Guess It?
25 letters, 50 states. Which one’s missing?

Small United States flags to be handed out at ceremony

Quick—run through the list of U.S. states in your mind. Guess which letter of the alphabet is the only one that doesn’t appear in any of their names. Got your guess?  So, my trivia-savvy friends, the answer is…Q

Photograph of colorful Wooden Block Letter Q

Yes, 50 different names, not a single one of which begins with the letter Q. Every other letter of our alphabet shows up at least once (well, unless you count these 6 letters that dropped out of our alphabet.) 

If you guessed J or Z, though, you were close—and probably don’t live in New Jersey or Arizona, since those are the only states that contain J and Z, respectively.  There are a few more rare letters that only appear twice.

White letter B on color background, space for textWhite letter B on color background, space for text

B is not found in the names of any states except Alabama and Nebraska, and F is only found in the names of California and Florida. 

White letter X on color background, space for text

If X was your guess, you were also close because it only appears in Texas and New Mexico. Try to guess each U.S. state based on its nickname for a more difficult state trivia challenge. The only other letter with fewer than five appearances might surprise you: P

It only appears in three state names: Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Mississippi the latter’s double-P bumps it up to four appearances, even though it’s only in three state names).  

District of Columbia Engraved

B, F, and P will have a little more representation if the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico become our 51st and 52nd states, respectively.

Still no love for Q, though! Of course, there’s more to the states than just their names—just look at these quirky facts about each of the U.S. states.


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