Of the 10 U.S. States with 2-word names, this one stretches the farthest south

The Final Jeopardy question presented on June 11, 2024, in the category of “U.S. Geography,” asked: “Of the 10 U.S. States with two-word names, this one stretches the farthest south.”

This question not only tested contestants’ knowledge of U.S. geography but also required them to think about the specific positioning of states within the continental United States.

What is New Mexico?

New Mexico, known for its diverse landscape and rich cultural history, extends farther south than any other U.S. state with a two-word name. The state’s southern border, which it shares with Texas to the east and the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora to the south, dips down to a latitude of about 31.3333 degrees north. This positioning makes New Mexico the southernmost among states like New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia, which also have two-word names.

The geographical extent of New Mexico is significant because it influences various aspects of the state’s climate, biodiversity, and agricultural practices. The southern reach allows for a warmer climate, which is conducive to the growth of crops that are typically not seen in more northern states, such as chile peppers, a staple in New Mexican cuisine. Additionally, New Mexico’s southern location plays a role in its historical and ongoing cultural exchanges with Mexico, impacting everything from architecture to linguistic patterns.

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