Q. 92: Name One State That Borders Canada

Woman draped in Canadian flag
The border between the United States and Canada is 5,525 miles long.

To pass the US citizenship test, you will have to answer 10 of a possible 100 questions. The following question is from the USCIS test.

Name one state that borders Canada.

Acceptable Answers:

  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Montana
  • Idaho
  • Washington
  • Alaska


The following is a full explanation of the USCIS question:

The test only requires one answer here, so those studying for it may choose to memorize a single answer. This is all the easier if it is a state they reside in. However, the geography of the Canadian border and its place in modern culture is very interesting. Below are some additional geographical facts on the states.

The Canadian Border With the United States

The boundary between Canada and the United States is the longest globally at 5,525 miles. It stretches coast to coast from Atlantic to Pacific and includes the border with Alaska. This border is also significantly larger than the one on the southern boundary with Mexico, which is just 1,954 miles long.

This United States border was first established in 1783 via the Treaty of Paris with Great Britain after the Revolutionary War. It was then finalized in 1908 to form the current border. 

Which States Are on the Border With Canada?

The impressive length of the Canadian border means that there are many states in the northern part of the USA that have some physical link. The length of these individual borders varies, as does the nature of the landscape. So, here is a quick run-through from east to west.

Maine

A large part of Maine lies on the border with Canada because there is an extensive sweeping curve in the line that forms the northern part of the country.

New Hampshire

As the border heads further west towards more densely populated areas, a small section of New Hampshire shares a border with Canada. This is almost directly south of Quebec City in the prominently French Canadian province of Quebec.

Vermont

The border then continues further west with a long stretch of territory across the top of Vermont. Here, citizens are much closer to Montreal in the north.

New York

Many people think of New York City when the name New York crops up. But, there is a vast area of land up-state, including a lengthy border with Canada. Much of this sees the state connect with Canada via the Great Lakes system – partially on Lake Ontario and other areas on Lake Erie. Major cities here include Rochester and Buffalo.

This more densely populated area of New York is very close to the cluster of Toronto, Mississauga, and Hamilton on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario. Also, a major border point lies at the tourist site of Niagara Falls.

Pennsylvania

What is surprising to those outside the state is that there is a small section of the Pennsylvanian border at Lake Erie.

Ohio

The Erie lakefront border continues west along the top of Ohio via Cleveland and into Toledo.

Michigan

This is where the geography of the Canadian border gets more interesting. The Great Lakes continue into the United States and Canada, with some of the larger bodies of water surrounding the “mitten” and top section of Michigan. Through Lake Huron, the Canadian border rises northwards, with a clean border down the middle. To the east of the state, the city of Detroit lies the closest to the border.

What is interesting here is that there is no border with Wisconsin. Wisconsin has two areas that border the Great Lakes. The eastern stretch parallel to Michigan, on Lake Michigan, is home to Milwaukee and Green Bay. Then there is the small section to the north that meets an area of Lake Superior. However, the border here is with Michigan and Minnesota, with the Canadian border further north. 

Minnesota

Minnesota is the next state that has a border with Canada. This is a long way from the larger cities and the metropolitan area of Minneapolis. The border lies between Superior National Forest and Wabakimi Provincial Park.

North Dakota

The border between Minnesota and Canada continues to be a major highway leading up into Winnipeg. This lies on the border of North Dakota. From there, the boundary continues through more rural and sparsely populated land.

Montana

It is a similar story in Montana. Here, the border passes through the Fort Peck and Blackfeet Indian Reservations and into the Kootenai National Forest. This brings the geography in line with the city of Calgary, a short distance north of the border.

Idaho

This next section is easy to miss, and you might assume it goes to Montana and then Washington. But, the odd shape of Idaho means that there is a small section of the Kootenai National Forest and a bit of Canadian border within this country.

Washington

This is the last state in that long stretch from the east to the west coast. Again, the border comprises national forests and no major towns. At the end, there is the bay around Seattle and the coastline that reaches up into Vancouver.

Alaska

Finally, we can’t forget about the border with Alaska. There is a long straight line splitting the wilderness of northern Canada from Alaska. This then becomes more erratic as it carves out a long stretch of coastline along the Gulf of Alaska. This doesn’t meet up with the rest of the United States but does mean that Juneau is in Alaska and not Canada.

When you add up all the different states with Canadian borders, the expanses, major forests and reservations, and the links to the Great Lakes, it is clear why this is the longest land border globally. It is an important boundary between the countries and is unlikely to change again. 

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