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Geography of the Gulf of Mexico States

Learn about the States Surrounding the Gulf of Mexico

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The Gulf of Mexico is an ocean basin located close to the southeastern United States. It is one of the largest bodies of water in the world and it is a part of the Atlantic Ocean. The basin has an area of 600,000 square miles (1.5 million sq km) and most of it consists of shallow intertidal areas but there are some very deep portions.

The Gulf of Mexico is bounded by five U.S. states. The following is a list of the five Gulf states and some information about each.

1. Alabama

Alabama is a state located in the southeastern United States. It has an area of 52,419 square miles (135,765 sq km) and a 2008 population of 4,4661,900. Its largest cities are Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile. Alabama is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida to the south and Mississippi to the west. Only a small portion of its coastline is on the Gulf of Mexico (map) but it has a busy port located on the Gulf in Mobile.

2. Florida

Florida is a state in the southeastern United States that is bordered by Alabama and Georgia to the north and the Gulf of Mexico the the south and east. It is a peninsula that is surrounded by water on three sides (map) and it has a 2009 population of 18,537,969. The area of Florida is 53,927 square miles (139,671 sq km). Florida is known as the "sunshine state" because of its warm subtropical climate and many beaches, including those on the Gulf of Mexico.

3. Louisiana

Louisiana (map) is located between the Gulf of Mexico states of Texas and Mississippi and is south of Arkansas. It has an area of 43,562 square miles (112,826 sq km) and a 2005 population estimate (prior to Hurricane Katrina) of 4,523,628. Louisiana is known for its multicultural population, its culture and events such as Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It is also known for its well established fishing economy and ports on the Gulf of Mexico.

4. Mississippi

Mississippi (map) is a state located in the southeastern United States with an area of 48,430 square miles (125,443 sq km) and a 2008 population of 2,938,618. Its largest cities are Jackson, Gulfport and Biloxi. Mississippi is bordered by Louisiana and Arkansas to the west, Tennesse to the north and Alabama to the east. Most of the state is forested and undeveloped aside from the Mississippi River delta and the Gulf coast area.  Like Alabama, only a small portion of its coastline is on the Gulf of Mexico but the area is popular for tourism.

5. Texas

Texas (map) is a state located on the Gulf of Mexico and it is the second largest of the contiguous states based on both area and population. The area of Texas is 268,820 square miles (696,241 sq km) and the state's 2009 population was 24,782,302. Texas is bordered by the U.S. states of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana as well as by the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico. Texas is known for its oil-based economy but its Gulf Coast areas are quickly growing and are some of the most important areas for the state.

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