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42nd Parallel North

Line across the Earth
42nd parallel north

The 42nd parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 42 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean.

At this latitude the sun is visible for 15 hours, 15 minutes during the summer solstice and 9 hours, 7 minutes during the winter solstice.[1]


  • Around the world 1
  • United States 2
  • Canada 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Around the world

Starting at the Prime Meridian and heading eastwards, the parallel 42° north passes through:

Co-ordinates Country, territory or sea Notes
 Spain Passing just north of Girona
Mediterranean Sea
 France Island of Corsica
Mediterranean Sea Tyrrhenian Sea
 Italy Passing just north of Rome
Mediterranean Sea Adriatic Sea
 Kosovo or  Serbia Kosovo is a partially recognised state. Some nations consider its territory to be part of Serbia.
 Macedonia Passing through Skopje
 Turkey For about 3 km
Black Sea
Black Sea
Black Sea
 Russia Dagestan - For about 2 km
 Georgia For about 3 km
 Russia Dagestan
Caspian Sea
 People's Republic of China Xinjiang
Inner Mongolia
 People's Republic of China Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
 North Korea Passing through Baekdu Mountain
 People's Republic of China Jilin (for about 8 km)
 North Korea North Hamgyeong Province - Kaema Plateau
Passing just south of Raseon
Sea of Japan Passing just south of Okushiri Island,  Japan
 Japan Island of Hokkaidō
Pacific Ocean
 Japan Island of Hokkaidō
Pacific Ocean
 United States Oregon / California border
Oregon / Nevada border
Idaho / Nevada border
Idaho / Utah border
Illinois - passing through Chicago
Lake Michigan
 United States Michigan
Lake Erie
 Canada Ontario
Lake Erie
 United States Pennsylvania (Erie County)
New York / Pennsylvania border
New York
Connecticut - running just south of the border with Massachusetts
Rhode Island - running just south of the border with Massachusetts
Cape Cod Bay
 United States Massachusetts (Truro, Cape Cod)
Atlantic Ocean

United States

The 42nd parallel north defining borders between states in the United States
Crossing the parallel in Girard, Pennsylvania

The parallel 42° north forms most of the New York-Pennsylvania border, although due to imperfect surveying in 1785–1786, this boundary wanders around on both sides of the true parallel. The area around the parallel in this region is known as the Twin Tiers.

The 42nd parallel became agreed upon as the northward limit of the Spanish Empire by the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819 with the United States, which established the parallel as the border between the Viceroyality of New Spain of the Kingdom of Spain and the western territory of the United States of America from the meridian of the headwaters of the Arkansas River west to the Pacific Ocean.[2] The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848 then ceded much of what was then northern Mexico to the United States; as a result, the northernmost U.S. states which were created from Mexican territory (California, Nevada, and Utah) have the parallel 42° north as their northern border, and the adjoining U.S. states of Oregon and Idaho have the parallel as their southern border.

The parallel passes through the states of Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and passes through (or near - within three-tenths degree of latitude) the following cities in the United States:


The parallel 42° north passes through the southern end of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie. Part of the water boundary between Canada and the United States passes south of the 42nd parallel, and the southern tip of the Canadian province of Ontario just barely goes south of it - this is located at Point Pelee and Pelee Island.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Nugent, Walter (2008). Habits of Empire: A History of American Expansion. Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 161, 166–167.  
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