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The interstate highway system has been around since the late 1950s. Because of this, most people have become accustomed to the convenience and added safety they provide for driving. Not only do they make it much easier to travel to other states, but they can also help make navigating within one city much easier than relying on non-interstate highways. Additionally, interstate highways are typically well-lit, which makes driving at night safer than it would be otherwise. Some might be surprised by states with high amounts of interstate highways.

The two states with the most highway miles

You might guess the states with the most highway miles based on size and population. Because of this, Alaska might be on your list. However, while large, it’s less populated, so doesn’t have the most highway miles. Texas has the most, with 3,222 highway road miles. Texas is the largest state in the country at 261,232 square miles. Regarding population, Texas comes in second with 30,029,572 people. This is based on estimates from 2022.

According to Car Parts, California has the second-highest number of interstate highway miles, with 2,456. As with Texas, this makes sense as California has the highest population in the country, with 39,029,342 people based on figures from 2022. According to USA Today, this is the second largest state (excluding Alaska) with 155,959 square miles. Texas and California show that, for the most part, the number of interstate highway miles correlates with the size and population of the state.

Two states you might not have guessed

An aerial view of the LA four level freeway interchange
LA’s four-level freeway interchange | SK Lafoca via iStock

Texas and California are two states that many people naturally assume have a ton of interstate highways. However, most wouldn’t guess that Ohio and Illinois also have quite a few. Illinois comes in third on the list with the highest presence of interstate highways, as it has 2,169 miles. Ohio is number five, with 1,572 miles of interstate highways.

Ohio and Illinois having high numbers of interstate highway miles may not be as surprising as some would believe. This is because both states have fairly large populations and are relatively big in size. In terms of population, Illinois comes in at number six with 12,582,032 people. Ohio follows with a population of 11,756,058. Regarding state size, Illinois has 55,518 square miles, while the state of Ohio has 40,860 square miles.

Ohio and Illinois are also located within easy distribution access to a huge chunk of the whole United States. As such, highways are integral to the efficient delivery of goods via semi trucks and trailers.