List of U.S. states by date of admission to the Union

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Map of the United States with names and borders of states Map of USA States with names white.svg
Map of the United States with names and borders of states
The order in which the original 13 states ratified the 1787 Constitution, then the order in which the others were admitted to the union US states by date of statehood3.gif
The order in which the original 13 states ratified the 1787 Constitution, then the order in which the others were admitted to the union

A state of the United States is one of the 50 constituent entities that shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Americans are citizens of both the federal republic and of the state in which they reside, due to the shared sovereignty between each state and the federal government. [1] Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.


States are the primary subdivisions of the United States. They possess all powers not granted to the federal government, nor prohibited to them by the United States Constitution. In general, state governments have the power to regulate issues of local concern, such as: regulating intrastate commerce, running elections, creating local governments, public school policy, and non-federal road construction and maintenance. Each state has its own constitution grounded in republican principles, and government consisting of executive, legislative, and judicial branches. [2]

All states and their residents are represented in the federal Congress, a bicameral legislature consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each state is represented by two Senators, and at least one Representative, while the size of a state's House delegation depends on its total population, as determined by the most recent constitutionally-mandated decennial census. [3] Additionally, each state is entitled to select a number of electors to vote in the Electoral College, the body that elects the President of the United States, equal to the total of Representatives and Senators in Congress from that state. [4]

Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1 of the Constitution grants to Congress the authority to admit new states into the Union. Since the establishment of the United States in 1776, the number of states has expanded from the original 13 to 50. Each new state has been admitted on an equal footing with the existing states. [5]

The following table is a list of all 50 states and their respective dates of statehood. The first 13 became states in July 1776 upon agreeing to the United States Declaration of Independence, and each joined the first Union of states between 1777 and 1781, upon ratifying the Articles of Confederation, its first constitution. [6] (A separate table is included below showing AoC ratification dates.) These states are presented in the order in which each ratified the 1787 Constitution, thus joining the present federal Union of states. The date of admission listed for each subsequent state is the official date set by Act of Congress. [lower-alpha 1]

List of U.S. states

(admitted or ratified)
Formed from
1Flag of Delaware.svg  Delaware December 7, 1787 [8]
Colony of Delaware [lower-alpha 2]
2Flag of Pennsylvania.svg  Pennsylvania December 12, 1787 [10]
Proprietary Province of Pennsylvania
3Flag of New Jersey.svg  New Jersey December 18, 1787 [11]
Crown Colony of New Jersey
4Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg  Georgia January 2, 1788 [8]
Crown Colony of Georgia
5Flag of Connecticut.svg  Connecticut January 9, 1788 [12]
Crown Colony of Connecticut
6Flag of Massachusetts.svg  Massachusetts February 6, 1788 [8]
Crown Colony of Massachusetts Bay
7Flag of Maryland.svg  Maryland April 28, 1788 [8]
Proprietary Province of Maryland
8Flag of South Carolina.svg  South Carolina May 23, 1788 [8]
Crown Colony of South Carolina
9Flag of New Hampshire.svg  New Hampshire June 21, 1788 [8]
Crown Colony of New Hampshire
10Flag of Virginia.svg  Virginia June 25, 1788 [8]
Crown Colony and Dominion of Virginia
11Flag of New York.svg  New York July 26, 1788 [13]
Crown Colony of New York
12Flag of North Carolina.svg  North Carolina November 21, 1789 [14]
Crown Colony of North Carolina
13Flag of Rhode Island.svg  Rhode Island May 29, 1790 [8]
Crown Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
14Flag of Vermont.svg  Vermont March 4, 1791 [15]
Vermont Republic [lower-alpha 3]
15Flag of Kentucky.svg  Kentucky June 1, 1792 [16]
Virginia (nine counties in its District of Kentucky [lower-alpha 4] )
16Flag of Tennessee.svg  Tennessee June 1, 1796 [18]
Southwest Territory
17Flag of Ohio.svg  Ohio March 1, 1803 [19] [lower-alpha 5]
Northwest Territory (part)
18Flag of Louisiana.svg  Louisiana April 30, 1812 [21]
Territory of Orleans
19Flag of Indiana.svg  Indiana December 11, 1816
Indiana Territory
20Flag of Mississippi.svg  Mississippi December 10, 1817 [22]
Mississippi Territory
21Flag of Illinois.svg  Illinois December 3, 1818 [23]
Illinois Territory (part)
22Flag of Alabama.svg  Alabama December 14, 1819 [24]
Alabama Territory
23Flag of Maine.svg  Maine March 15, 1820 [25]
Massachusetts (District of Maine [lower-alpha 6] )
24Flag of Missouri.svg  Missouri August 10, 1821 [26]
Missouri Territory (part)
25Flag of Arkansas.svg  Arkansas June 15, 1836 [27]
Arkansas Territory
26Flag of Michigan.svg  Michigan January 26, 1837 [28]
Michigan Territory
27Flag of Florida.svg  Florida March 3, 1845
Florida Territory
28Flag of Texas.svg  Texas December 29, 1845 [29]
Republic of Texas
29Flag of Iowa.svg  Iowa December 28, 1846
Iowa Territory (part)
30Flag of Wisconsin.svg  Wisconsin May 29, 1848 [30]
Wisconsin Territory (part)
31Flag of California.svg  California September 9, 1850 [31]
unorganized territory (part)
32Flag of Minnesota.svg  Minnesota May 11, 1858 [32]
Minnesota Territory (part)
33Flag of Oregon.svg  Oregon February 14, 1859
Oregon Territory (part)
34Flag of Kansas.svg  Kansas January 29, 1861 [33]
Kansas Territory (part)
35Flag of West Virginia.svg  West Virginia June 20, 1863 [34]
Virginia (50 Trans-Allegheny region counties [lower-alpha 7] )
36Flag of Nevada.svg  Nevada October 31, 1864
Nevada Territory
37Flag of Nebraska.svg  Nebraska March 1, 1867
Nebraska Territory
38Flag of Colorado.svg  Colorado August 1, 1876 [37]
Colorado Territory
39Flag of North Dakota.svg  North Dakota November 2, 1889 [38] [lower-alpha 8]
Dakota Territory (part)
40Flag of South Dakota.svg  South Dakota November 2, 1889 [38] [lower-alpha 8]
Dakota Territory (part)
41Flag of Montana.svg  Montana November 8, 1889 [39]
Montana Territory
42Flag of Washington.svg  Washington November 11, 1889 [40]
Washington Territory
43Flag of Idaho.svg  Idaho July 3, 1890
Idaho Territory
44Flag of Wyoming.svg  Wyoming July 10, 1890
Wyoming Territory
45Flag of Utah.svg  Utah January 4, 1896 [41]
Utah Territory
46Flag of Oklahoma.svg  Oklahoma November 16, 1907 [42]
Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory
47Flag of New Mexico.svg  New Mexico January 6, 1912
New Mexico Territory
48Flag of Arizona.svg  Arizona February 14, 1912
Arizona Territory
49Flag of Alaska.svg  Alaska January 3, 1959
Territory of Alaska
50Flag of Hawaii.svg  Hawaii August 21, 1959
Territory of Hawaii

Articles of Confederation ratification dates

The Second Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation for ratification by the individual states on November 15, 1777. The Articles of Confederation came into force on March 1, 1781, after being ratified by all 13 states. On March 4, 1789, the general government under the Articles was replaced with the federal government under the present Constitution. [43]

1 Seal of Virginia.svg Virginia December 16, 1777
2 Seal of South Carolina.svg South Carolina February 5, 1778
3 Seal of New York.svg New York February 6, 1778
4 Seal of Rhode Island.svg Rhode Island February 9, 1778
5 Seal of Connecticut.svg Connecticut February 12, 1778
6 Seal of Georgia.svg Georgia February 26, 1778
7 Seal of New Hampshire.svg New Hampshire March 4, 1778
8 Seal of Pennsylvania.svg Pennsylvania March 5, 1778
9 Seal of Massachusetts.svg Massachusetts March 10, 1778
10 Seal of North Carolina.svg North Carolina April 5, 1778
11 Seal of New Jersey.svg New Jersey November 19, 1778
12 Seal of Delaware.svg Delaware February 1, 1779
13 Seal of Maryland (reverse).svg Maryland February 2, 1781

See also


  1. This list does not account for the secession of 11 states (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas) during the Civil War to form the Confederate States of America, nor for the subsequent restoration of those states to the Union, or each state's "readmission to representation in Congress" after the war, as the federal government does not give legal recognition to their having left the Union. Also, the Constitution is silent on the question of whether states have the power to secede from the Union, but the Supreme Court held that a state cannot unilaterally do so in Texas v. White (1869). [7]
  2. Also known as the "Three Lower Counties Upon Delaware". Delaware became a state on June 15, 1776, when the Delaware Assembly formally adopted a resolution declaring an end to Delaware's status as a colony of Great Britain and establishing the three counties as an independent state under the authority of "the Government of the Counties of New Castle, Kent and Sussex Upon Delaware". [9]
  3. Between 1749 and 1764 the provincial governor of New Hampshire, Benning Wentworth, issued approximately 135 grants for unoccupied land claimed by New Hampshire west of the Connecticut River (in what is today southern Vermont), territory that was also claimed by New York. The resulting "New Hampshire Grants" dispute led to the rise of the Green Mountain Boys, and the later establishment of the Vermont Republic. New Hampshire's claim upon the land was extinguished in 1764 by royal order of George III, and in 1790 the State of New York ceded its land claim to Vermont for 30,000 dollars.
  4. The Virginia General Assembly adopted legislation on December 18, 1789, separating its "District of Kentucky" from the rest of the State and approving its statehood. [17]
  5. The exact date upon which Ohio became a state is unclear. On April 30, 1802, the 7th Congress had passed an act "authorizing the inhabitants of Ohio to form a Constitution and state government, and admission of Ohio into the Union" (Sess. 1, ch. 40, 2  Stat.   173). On February 19, 1803, the same Congress passed an act "providing for the execution of the laws of the United States in the State of Ohio" (Sess. 2, ch. 7, 2  Stat.   201). Neither act, however, set a formal date of statehood. An official statehood date for Ohio was not set until 1953, when the 83rd Congress passed a Joint resolution "for admitting the State of Ohio into the Union", (Pub.L.   83–204, 67  Stat.   407, enacted August 7, 1953) which designated March 1, 1803, as that date. [20]
  6. The Massachusetts General Court passed enabling legislation on June 19, 1819, separating the "District of Maine" from the rest of the State (an action approved by the voters in Maine on July 19, 1819, by 17,001 to 7,132); then, on February 25, 1820, passed a follow-up measure officially accepting the fact of Maine's imminent statehood. [17]
  7. On May 13, 1862, the General Assembly of the Restored Government of Virginia passed an act granting permission for creation of West Virginia. [35] Later, by its ruling in Virginia v. West Virginia (1871), the Supreme Court implicitly affirmed that the breakaway Virginia counties did have the proper consents necessary to become a separate state. [36]
  8. 1 2 Brought into existence within moments of each other on the same day, North and South Dakota are the nation's only twin-born states.

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