When Americans decide to see their country, New York and Florida apparently come first.

The Empire State's city life and placid mountains, and Florida's beaches and tourist attractions have helped boost those states to the most visited in the nation, a study shows.Some 63 percent of all Americans have either visited or lived in New York, the same figure as for Florida, reports Timothy Q. Rounds in the May edition of American Demographics magazine.

Indeed, the Sunshine State and New York were the only states to have attracted more than three-fifths of all Americans, reported Rounds, senior vice president of Market Facts Inc., of Chicago.

Pennsylvania and Illinois were close behind, each with 59 percent of Americans having been there, Rounds said. California followed at 57 percent.

At the other end of the scale, only 7 percent of Americans have been north to Alaska: about the same share as have been to Japan.

Hawaii also ranked low, at 22 percent, a reflection of the distance that must be traveled to reach the nation's two newest states, Rounds found.

His report was based on a survey of 3,148 people, asking them which states they had ever lived in or visited. The margin of error varies slightly by the percentage of responses, but is about 1.4 percent, Rounds said. American Demographics, published by Dow Jones & Company, specializes in population issues.

The aim was to find out how much Americans have traveled, he said.

Only 1 percent have never left their home state, and about that many have been in all 50 states, Rounds found.

Only 11 states have been lived in or visited by more than half of the population, he reported.

Besides the top five, those include Ohio, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas and Indiana.

Rounds also asked about travel overseas, and found that Canada would have ranked 12th on the list, having been visited by 49 percent of U.S. residents the same as Kentucky and New Jersey.

Mexico was the second most popular foreign destination at 34 percent, the same share as has visited Utah.

That was followed by Germany, 17 percent; Great Britain and France, 15 percent each; Italy, 12 percent and Japan, 7 percent.

The combination of high population and tourism boosted states to the top of the list, Rounds commented in a telephone interview.