Waterways in US States

May 31, 2018
Chart of Waterways in US States

The chart above shows the length of waterways in US states.  Louisiana has by far the most waterways in the nation and the South in general leads the other regions.


  • The difference between the state with the most waterways, Louisiana, and the state with the least, New Hampshire, is 2,810 miles (4,522 km).
  • Louisiana has 282 times the waterways that New Hampshire does.
  • Only Louisiana has more than 2,000 miles (3,219 km) of waterways.
  • Only nine states have more than 1,000 miles (1,609 km) of waterways.
  • The mean of the 38 states is 634.5 miles (1,021 km) and the median 460 miles (740 km) of waterways.


  • Waterway data is from 2013.
  • All figures are rounded to the nearest whole.
  • Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming did not have any data.


The states with the most waterways in each region are Louisiana with 2,820 miles (4,538 km) for the South (ranked 1st overall), Illinois with 1,100 miles (1,770 km) for the Midwest (ranked 7th), Washington with 1,060 miles (1,706 km) for the West (ranked 8th), and Maryland with 530 miles (853 km) for the Northeast (ranked 17th).

The United States as a whole has 24,110 miles (38,801 km) of waterways.


United States Department of Transportation.  2015.  "State Transportation by the Numbers."  Accessed March 21, 2018.  https://www.bts.gov/sites/bts.dot.gov/files/legacy/_entire.pdf.

Filed under: Charts and Graphs