Where in the U.S. could invading aliens cram all of the citizens of the U.S.?

The Zzyzyzians, an etraterrestrial race, led by Alien Overload Zzyzbord, have taken over the United States. Every other country was able to negotiate a treaty by which the Zzyzyzians agreed to settle only within the current borders of the U.S.

Alien Overloard Zzyzbord has rounded up all the Americans and wants to keep us all on one convenient reservation opening up the rest of the country for the Zzyzyzians to settle. Now, the Zzyzyzians aren’t interested in any of our natural resources. The have no preference as to weather or seasons. They are no more impressed by the scenic beauty of Colorado than that of Indiana. They’re happy to put us any old place, whatever’s convenient.

The only concern is Alien Overloard Zzyzbord’s reluctance to redraw any maps. He has always despised cartography and would prefer to leave well enough alone. In relocating the American population he wants the borders of the new reservation to perfectly match borders on the map of the pre-invasion United States.

So, Zzyzboard is going to put us all into one of the current U.S. States or two or more contiguous States. He wants to give us as little territory as possible, but has agreed that the population density of the reservation should not exceed the population density of pre-invasion New Jersey.

Where will we end up living?

In a small pile of ash at the bottom of the Hudson river.
Humans are a natural resource.

If the “Z’s” arn’t interested, we’re toast.

Alaska, maybe?

Okay, first let’s work the math as per the OP:

New Jersey has 1134 people per square mile
The entire USA has 298,540,066 people

Therefore, we’re looking for an area of as close to 263,263 square miles as possible, without going under.

Texas is actually pretty close, at 268,581 miles. Whether it’s possible to get closer I’m not sure… would probably involve a lot of trial and error.

I assume that when you mean contiguous, you’re talking about any possible land-land borderline between states being a viable connection. (Thus, Alaska and hawaii cannot be connected to any other states.)

Here’s a useful reference

Good job, chrisk.
With your guidance I’ve got Texas beat with Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconson, and Illinois.

266,623

That’s the new number to beat.

Wait, why use the population density of New Jersey as your baseline? The population density of Hong Kong is 6,380 per square kilometer. At that density you could pack everyone in Pennsylvania with room left over.

Okay, I’ve been messing around in the northeast-midwest, and come up with a few good groups:

New york, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia: 264,098

New york, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Vermont, and Delaware: 263,389! :slight_smile:
Mike: I think it’s pretty likely that the density of Hong kong would not be scalable up above ten thousand square kilometers. How scalable new-jersey density is is less clear, but I think it’s a better fit for the question myself.

Reflecting the need for resources/food, Michigan + Minnesota would be better.

BTW–aren’t we all the ethnocentric Americans today, hmmm? :dubious:

Are we the whole world? :dubious:
What about the rest of the world, the rest of Mankind? :dubious:

So, are you casting aspersions on the OP’s scenario of ‘the aliens decided and agreed to just pick on the USA and leave all the rest of the world alone??’

(as a canadian, I’m not complaining!!)

Can’t we just cram them all down in the Gran Canyon?

From the title I was expecting this to be about illegal aliens. Like from Mexico. But Zzyzyzians are much funnier.

Uuuh? The rest of the world settled peacefully with the Zzyzyzians with very friendly little treaties- as stated in the (apparently unread) OP.

If we’re trying to keep roughly the population density of New Jersey, we wouldn’t fit into Michigan + Minnesota, besides Michigan + Minnesota are not contiguous.

We’re contiguous if we add Wisconsin (see? I do know how to spell Wisconsin!), but that still doesn’t get us to the minimum of 263,263 sq miles. Adding any other bordering State shoots us way over the low number chrisk has already come up with.

chrisk might have the winner. Best I can come up with is Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas at 263,725.

I do like Texas from the perspective of not being land-locked, unlike the rest of the candidates. Not that Captain Z and his alien friends are likely to care…

Okay… most of my answers need to be redone, as they include at least one ‘total area’ value insteal of ‘land area only’ values, which are the appropriate ones to use in any problem involving population density. Texas’ land area, for instance, is only 261,797 square miles, which means that it’s not enough, and there aren’t any particularly small states near texas to use without going very high.

Here.

Okay… I’ve spent far too long building up computer models for this, except that it’s a good excuse for keeping my skills sharp. Basic methodology as follows:

  • Methodically test all possible combinations of states to find a list of all sets with total land area between 263262 and 263389

  • Screen out all combinations where at least one state is disconnected from all the rest.

  • Then, perform a more detailed screening using breadth-first-search routines to find only the sets were ALL states are connected.

  • Finally, I sorted the remaining combinations in order by total area to find the absolute best.

And, here’s the winner:

North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hamphire, Maine

Total land area: 263,268 square miles.

:slight_smile:
PS: I’ve discovered a slight error in the data model, I accidentally put washington and missouri as being adjacent. :wink: Doesn’t directly affect this model, and I don’t think that by itself would have wiped out a better match, though I may have replaced another adjacency. Will review everything and check back in.

That’s a good combination. Access to the Atlantic and the Chesapeake Bay as well as the Great Lakes through Lake Erie, we can keep our seat of government, some farming country, and so on.

Okay, revised my findings, and that winner stands. (I’d mistakenly entered the Missouri-Oklahoma adjacency as Missouri-Washington because washington and Oklahoma are adjacent in the list by area.)

Here are all of my matches: (one set to a line. Hope it’s somehow clear.)

North Carolina. New York. Pennsylvania. Virginia. Maine. West Virginia. Maryland. Vermont. New Hampshire.
Iowa. Illinois. New York. Kentucky. West Virginia. Maryland. New Hampshire. Massachusetts. New Jersey. Connecticut. Delaware.
New York. Pennsylvania. Tennessee. Ohio. Kentucky. West Virginia. New Hampshire. Massachusetts. New Jersey. Rhode Island.
Georgia. North Carolina. New York. Pennsylvania. Virginia. Maryland. Massachusetts. New Jersey.
Illinois. New York. Pennsylvania. Ohio. Indiana. Maryland. New Hampshire. Massachusetts. New Jersey. Connecticut.
North Carolina. New York. Pennsylvania. Tennessee. Virginia. Maryland. Vermont. New Hampshire. Massachusetts. Connecticut. Rhode Island.
Michigan. North Carolina. Tennessee. Ohio. Kentucky. Indiana.
Michigan. New York. Pennsylvania. Ohio. Maine. Maryland. Vermont. New Hampshire. Massachusetts. Connecticut. Delaware.
Georgia. North Carolina. New York. Pennsylvania. Virginia. Maryland. New Jersey. Connecticut. Delaware. Rhode Island.
Illinois. New York. Pennsylvania. Kentucky. Virginia. West Virginia. New Jersey. Connecticut.
Missouri. North Carolina. New York. Kentucky. Virginia. Maryland. New Jersey. Delaware.
Missouri. New York. Kentucky. Virginia. Maine. Maryland. New Hampshire. Massachusetts. New Jersey. Delaware. Rhode Island.
North Carolina. New York. Pennsylvania. Kentucky. Virginia. West Virginia. Maryland. New Jersey. Delaware.
North Carolina. New York. Pennsylvania. Virginia. Maine. West Virginia. Vermont. New Hampshire. Massachusetts. Delaware.
Missouri. Iowa. Illinois. Kentucky. West Virginia. Maryland. New Jersey. Delaware.
New York. Pennsylvania. Kentucky. Virginia. Maine. West Virginia. Maryland. New Hampshire. Massachusetts. New Jersey. Delaware. Rhode Island.
New York. Pennsylvania. Tennessee. Ohio. Kentucky. Virginia. Maryland.
Michigan. Alabama. Tennessee. Ohio. Kentucky. West Virginia. Maryland.
Missouri. Illinois. Pennsylvania. Ohio. Indiana. Maryland. New Jersey.
New York. Pennsylvania. Ohio. Kentucky. Virginia. Indiana. Vermont. Connecticut. Rhode Island.
New York. Pennsylvania. Tennessee. Ohio. Kentucky. Virginia. Massachusetts. Delaware.
North Carolina. New York. Pennsylvania. Kentucky. Virginia. Maryland. Vermont. New Hampshire. Massachusetts. New Jersey.
Georgia. Alabama. North Carolina. New York. Virginia. Maryland. New Jersey. Delaware.
North Carolina. New York. Pennsylvania. Kentucky. Virginia. Maryland. Vermont. New Hampshire. New Jersey. Connecticut. Delaware. Rhode Island.
New York. Pennsylvania. Tennessee. Kentucky. Indiana. West Virginia. Vermont. Massachusetts. New Jersey. Connecticut. Rhode Island.
Missouri. New York. Pennsylvania. Kentucky. Virginia. Maryland. New Jersey. Connecticut. Rhode Island.
North Carolina. Pennsylvania. Tennessee. Kentucky. Virginia. South Carolina. Maryland. New Jersey. Delaware.
Missouri. Georgia. Illinois. Tennessee. Kentucky.
New York. Pennsylvania. Tennessee. Kentucky. Maine. West Virginia. Maryland. Vermont. New Hampshire. New Jersey.
New York. Pennsylvania. Tennessee. Ohio. Virginia. West Virginia. Maryland. Massachusetts. Connecticut. Delaware. Rhode Island.
Alabama. New York. Pennsylvania. Tennessee. Virginia. West Virginia. Maryland. Connecticut. Rhode Island.
Michigan. Wisconsin. Ohio. Virginia. Indiana. West Virginia. Maryland. Delaware.
Georgia. Illinois. Pennsylvania. Tennessee. Kentucky. West Virginia.
Missouri. New York. Tennessee. Kentucky. West Virginia. Maryland. Vermont. New Hampshire. New Jersey. Connecticut. Delaware.
New York. Pennsylvania. Ohio. Kentucky. Virginia. Maine. Vermont. New Hampshire. Delaware.
Illinois. New York. Pennsylvania. Ohio. Kentucky. Maryland. New Hampshire. Massachusetts. New Jersey. Rhode Island.
New York. Tennessee. Ohio. Kentucky. Indiana. West Virginia. Maryland. Vermont. New Jersey. Connecticut. Delaware. Rhode Island.
Illinois. New York. Pennsylvania. Kentucky. Indiana. West Virginia. Vermont. Connecticut. Delaware.
Missouri. Illinois. Alabama. Mississippi. Tennessee.
Arkansas. New York. Pennsylvania. Tennessee. Kentucky. West Virginia. New Jersey. Connecticut. Delaware.
North Carolina. New York. Pennsylvania. Virginia. South Carolina. West Virginia. Maryland. Vermont. Massachusetts. Delaware.
New York. Pennsylvania. Ohio. Virginia. Maine. West Virginia. Maryland. Vermont. New Hampshire. Massachusetts.
New York. Pennsylvania. Tennessee. Kentucky. Maine. West Virginia. Vermont. New Hampshire. Massachusetts. New Jersey. Delaware.
North Carolina. Mississippi. Louisiana. Tennessee. Kentucky. West Virginia. Maryland. New Jersey. Delaware.
Alabama. New York. Pennsylvania. Tennessee. Virginia. West Virginia. Massachusetts. Connecticut. Delaware. Rhode Island.
New York. Pennsylvania. Ohio. Virginia. Maine. West Virginia. Maryland. Vermont. New Hampshire. Connecticut. Delaware. Rhode Island.
Missouri. New York. Ohio. Kentucky. Virginia. Maryland. Massachusetts. New Jersey. Delaware.
Iowa. Illinois. Pennsylvania. Kentucky. Indiana. West Virginia. New Jersey.
Michigan. New York. Pennsylvania. Ohio. Kentucky. West Virginia. Maryland.
New York. Pennsylvania. Kentucky. Indiana. Maine. West Virginia. Maryland. New Hampshire. Massachusetts. New Jersey. Connecticut. Delaware.
New York. Pennsylvania. Ohio. Kentucky. Virginia. West Virginia. Maryland. Massachusetts. New Jersey. Delaware.
New York. Pennsylvania. Kentucky. Virginia. Indiana. West Virginia. New Hampshire. Massachusetts. New Jersey. Connecticut. Delaware. Rhode Island.
Missouri. Oklahoma. Pennsylvania. Kentucky. West Virginia. Maryland. New Jersey.
Michigan. New York. Pennsylvania. Ohio. Virginia. Maryland. New Hampshire. Massachusetts. New Jersey.
North Carolina. New York. Pennsylvania. Tennessee. Kentucky. West Virginia. Maryland. Massachusetts.
New York. Ohio. Kentucky. Virginia. Indiana. West Virginia. Maryland. New Hampshire. Massachusetts. New Jersey. Delaware.
Michigan. New York. Pennsylvania. Ohio. Kentucky. West Virginia. Massachusetts. Delaware.
North Carolina. New York. Pennsylvania. Tennessee. Kentucky. West Virginia. Maryland. Connecticut. Delaware. Rhode Island.
Iowa. Illinois. Mississippi. Tennessee. Kentucky. West Virginia.
Michigan. Illinois. Kentucky. Virginia. Indiana. West Virginia. Maryland. Delaware.

I, for one, welcome our new Zyzzyzian overlords.

(Especially on account of being English and therefore a disinterested party.)

Hell, Michigan isn’t contiguous with itself.