Unless you still have the Fifty Nifty United States song from elementary school memorized, you probably can’t name all 50 states in less than five minutes. If you’ve ever actually tried to list all the states from memory, you know how hard it is. You’ll most likely fly through about 40 of them and then start to struggle.
Even if you drew out the entire U.S. map, accounting for all of the tiny states in New England and remembering to sketch out both Dakotas and Kansas, there’s still one that inevitably holds the total count at 49.
Nope, it’s not Hawaii or Alaska. That state is Missouri.
The results from Sporcle’s “US States Quiz” make it clear that Missouri is the most forgotten state. The quiz has been attempted by players more than 18 million times, and Missouri is the state the lowest percent of people guess correctly. Only 77.9 percent of players manage to remember it, compared to the 99.3 percent who list California or Texas. The four most-forgotten states behind Missouri are Minnesota, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Nebraska. (Can you guess the only letter that’s not in any U.S. state name?)
The fact that so many people forget Missouri isn’t that surprising, though. Eight U.S. states start with the letter M—you’re bound to forget one of them. Being able to list Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Montana on your own already signals a pretty good memory.
Put yourself to the test. Do you think you can name all 50? Don’t forget Missouri. You’re probably wishing you had paid a little more attention in school, because every American should be able to name all 50 states just as easily as they rattle off their phone number. Memorizing the lyrics to that catchy Fifty Nifty United States song will make the task easier.
For more U.S. fun facts, read up on these astonishing facts about all 50 states.