This Is the State with the Most Costcos in the Country

Hint: The company has roots there.

With 533 warehouse clubs around the United States, Costco seems to have the country pretty well covered. As it turns out, there’s one state that contains the most Costcos by far—24 percent of them, in fact.

If you guessed California, you’re correct. The Golden State is home to 128 Costcos, according to the $138 billion retailer’s most recent annual report. That makes sense in a lot of ways. For example, California is the most populated state in the United States, with nearly 40 million residents. If you’re a member, here are some things you should buy and skip at Costco.

But it’s also likely due to the history behind Costco. In 1976, an entrepreneur named Sol Price opened a warehouse club called Price Club at a converted airport hanger in San Diego. Ten years later, James Sinegal and Jeffrey Brotman opened another warehouse club they called Costco in Seattle, Washington. In 1993, Price Club and Costco merged, and in 1999, the official name of the company was changed to Costco. The company is now headquartered in Issaquah, Washington, and there are plenty of things Costco employees won’t tell you about the company.

Present-day Costco has deep roots in both California and Washington states, so it makes sense that they top the list of states with the most locations. The rest of the top five also includes states that are large in land mass and population. Here’s a breakdown as of December 31, 2018:

  1. California: 128
  2. Washington: 32
  3. Texas: 31
  4. Florida: 26
  5. Illinois, New York, New Jersey: 19

While it may seem like Costcos are ubiquitous, it turns out there isn’t one in every state, however. Arkansas, Maine, Mississippi, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wyoming don’t have any Costcos, according to the report. That might be OK, though, since there are plenty of ways Costco tricks you into spending more money.

Jen McCaffery
Jen McCaffery covers money, tech, products, health and safety for Reader's Digest and other publications and websites. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s growing veggies or trying to figure out the way home from assorted trails.