Mike Tighe writes on Wisconsin Shows Potential As A Storage Spot Of Nation and it brings up an interesting measurement point. Mike says Wisconsin is 65,496 square miles and the 23rd largest state. Wikipedia has a similar answer that adds a couple of square miles and notes that it includes water. My atlas lists Wisconsin’s land area as 54,310 square miles and a rank of 25th. There are lots of lakes (over 14,000 including two Greats) in Wisconsin.
Sidebar: this list in Wikipedia puts Wisconsin total area at 59,425 but the land and water on that list add to more than the total. On the other hand, Georgia’s total is more than the sum of its water and land areas. Go ahead and check it out we have all the time in the world. End Sidebar
Our take is we see land area as a better measure. Where that line is on Lake Michigan is really doesn’t tell us much about which state is bigger. Still there is the issue of having the states and the USA total. And there is Mike’s storage problem.
We don’t want to be on Jeopardy and see the answer The Second Biggest State East of the Mississippi. It might be Wisconsin. And there is, as always, reason to be nervous about Wikipedia.