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

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

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.[a]

List of U.S. states

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

State Date
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

  • Enabling Act of 1802, authorizing residents of the eastern portion of the Northwest Territory to form the state of Ohio
  • Missouri Compromise, 1820 federal statute enabling the admission of Missouri (a slave state) and Maine (a free state) into the Union
  • Toledo War, 1835–36 boundary dispute between Ohio and the adjoining Michigan Territory, which delayed Michigan's admission to the Union
  • Texas annexation, the 1845 incorporation of the Republic of Texas into the United States as a state in the Union
  • Compromise of 1850, a package of congressional acts, one of which provided for the admission of California to the Union
  • Bleeding Kansas, a series of violent conflicts in Kansas Territory involving anti-slavery and pro-slavery factions in the years preceding Kansas statehood, 1854–61
  • Enabling Act of 1889, authorizing residents of Dakota, Montana, and Washington territories to form state governments (Dakota to be divided into two states) and to gain admission to the Union
  • Oklahoma Enabling Act, authorizing residents of the Oklahoma and Indian territories, and the New Mexico and Arizona territories, to form two state governments as steps to gaining admission to the Union
  • Alaska Statehood Act, admitting Alaska as a state in the Union as of January 3, 1959

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