Build Status

These are tools to save me from having to copy and paste the same state constants across tools when I need to iterate thru or populate a list of states (which is basically all the time).


  • option rename DC to whatever bonkers things people put down in text
  • count DC (and other states, I guess) when AKA strings show up


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'state_geo_tools' 

And then execute:

$ bundle install

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install state_geo_tools


States and territories

This provides access to an array of states (and Washington, DC, which is not a state because of (longstanding injustice by the U.S. Congress)[]) and territories, as strings.

> require 'state_geo_tools'
> StateGeoTools.states
=> ["Alabama", "Alaska", "Arizona", "Arkansas", "California", "Colorado", "Connecticut", "Delaware", "District of Columbia", "Florida", "Georgia", "Hawaii", "Idaho", "Illinois", "Indiana", "Iowa", "Kansas", "Kentucky", "Louisiana", "Maine", "Maryland", "Massachusetts", "Michigan", "Minnesota", "Mississippi", "Missouri", "Montana", "Nebraska", "Nevada", "New Hampshire", "New Jersey", "New Mexico", "New York", "North Carolina", "North Dakota", "Ohio", "Oklahoma", "Oregon", "Pennsylvania", "Rhode Island", "South Carolina", "South Dakota", "Tennessee", "Texas", "Utah", "Vermont", "Virginia", "Washington", "West Virginia", "Wisconsin", "Wyoming"]
> StateGeoTools.territories
=> ["American Samoa", "Federated States of Micronesia", "Guam", "Marshall Islands", "Northern Mariana Islands", "Palau", "Puerto Rico", "Virgin Islands"]

State codes and territory codes

Prefer a two letter code instead of the full string? You're covered:

> require 'state_geo_tools'
> StateGeoTools.state_codes
=> ["AL", "AK", "AZ", "AR", "CA", "CO", "CT", "DE", "DC", "FL", "GA", "HI", "ID", "IL", "IN", "IA", "KS", "KY", "LA", "ME", "MD", "MA", "MI", "MN", "MS", "MO", "MT", "NE", "NV", "NH", "NJ", "NM", "NY", "NC", "ND", "OH", "OK", "OR", "PA", "RI", "SC", "SD", "TN", "TX", "UT", "VT", "VA", "WA", "WV", "WI", "WY"]
> StateGeoTools.territory_codes
=> ["AS", "FM", "GU", "MH", "MP", "PW", "PR", "VI"]

Count instances of states in a string

There is a convenience method provided to scan a string for state or territory names and return a count.

Coming eventually: Handling all the aliases for Washington, DC.

> require 'state_geo_tools'
> StateGeoTools.count_states_in('Pantera were from Texas, I saw them in Indiana')
=> {"Texas"=>1, "Indiana"=>1}

> StateGeoTools.count_territories_in('The Simpsons are going to Guam!')
=> {"Guam"=>1}

# There's some special handling for Washington/Washington DC and Virginia/West
# Virginia. It doesn't work flawlessly yet, so heads up!
> StateGeoTools.count_states_in('Virginia and West Virginia are for lovers')
=> {"West Virginia"=>1, "Virginia"=>1}

> StateGeoTools.count_states_in('Washington and Washington, DC are on opposite sides of the country')
=> {"Washington"=>1}


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run rake test to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release, which will create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.