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When Were Individual States Admitted to the U.S.?

The tapestry of the United States was woven over centuries, with each state's admission marking a unique chapter in American history. From Delaware's first step in 1787 to Hawaii's tropical addition in 1959, the timeline reflects a nation's expansion and evolution. Discover the stories behind each state's journey—what fascinating tales does your state hold? Continue exploring with us.
L. S. Wynn
L. S. Wynn
L. S. Wynn
L. S. Wynn

The United States of America is currently made up of 50 states and they officially joined the union over a period of 172 years. Here are some interesting statistics about states admitted to the union:

  • Most common day of the month to join the union: 1st of the month (five states)
  • Most common month to join the union: December (nine states)
  • Least common month to join the union: September and October (one admission each)
  • Only two states were admitted on exactly the same date: North and South Dakota (2 November 1889)
  • Admission dates that coincide with U.S. holidays:
    • Oregon and Arizona were admitted on Valentine's Day (14 February)
    • Nevada was admitted on Halloween (31 October)
    • Washington was admitted on Veteran's Day (11 November)
  • Most admissions in one particular month: November 1889 (four)
  • Year with the most admissions: 1788 (eight)

Here are two charts showing the dates when each state was admitted to the US. The first chart lists them in order of admission date. In the second chart, they are organized in alphabetical order.

sorted by date

# State Admission Date
1 Delaware 7 December 1787
2 Pennsylvania 12 December 1787
3 New Jersey 18 December 1787
4 Georgia 2 January 1788
5 Connecticut 9 January 1788
6 Massachusetts 6 February 1788
7 Maryland 28 April 1788
8 South Carolina 23 May 1788
9 New Hampshire 21 June 1788
10 Virginia 25 June 1788
11 New York 26 July 1788
12 North Carolina 21 November 1789
13 Rhode Island 29 May 1790
14 Vermont 4 March 1791
15 Kentucky 1 June 1792
16 Tennessee 1 June 1796
17 Ohio 1 March 1803
18 Louisiana 30 April 1812
19 Indiana 11 December 1816
20 Mississippi 10 December 1817
21 Illinois 3 December 1818
22 Alabama 14 December 1819
23 Maine 15 March 1820
24 Missouri 10 August 1821
25 Arkansas 15 June 1836
26 Michigan 26 January 1837
27 Florida 3 March 1845
28 Texas 29 December 1845
29 Iowa 28 December 1846
30 Wisconsin 29 May 1848
31 California 9 September 1850
32 Minnesota 11 May 1858
33 Oregon 14 February 1859
34 Kansas 29 January 1861
35 West Virginia 20 June 1863
36 Nevada 31 October 1864
37 Nebraska 1 March 1867
38 Colorado 1 August 1876
39 North Dakota 2 November 1889
40 South Dakota 2 November 1889
41 Montana 8 November 1889
42 Washington 11 November 1889
43 Idaho 3 July 1890
44 Wyoming 10 July 1890
45 Utah 4 January 1896
46 Oklahoma 16 November 1907
47 New Mexico 6 January 1912
48 Arizona 14 February 1912
49 Alaska 3 January 1959
50 Hawaii 21 August 1959
# State Admission Date

sorted by state

# State Admission Date
22 Alabama 14 December 1819
49 Alaska 3 January 1959
48 Arizona 14 February 1912
25 Arkansas 15 June 1836
31 California 9 September 1850
38 Colorado 1 August 1876
5 Connecticut 9 January 1788
1 Delaware 7 December 1787
27 Florida 3 March 1845
4 Georgia 2 January 1788
50 Hawaii 21 August 1959
43 Idaho 3 July 1890
21 Illinois 3 December 1818
19 Indiana 11 December 1816
29 Iowa 28 December 1846
34 Kansas 29 January 1861
15 Kentucky 1 June 1792
18 Louisiana 30 April 1812
23 Maine 15 March 1820
7 Maryland 28 April 1788
6 Massachusetts 6 February 1788
26 Michigan 26 January 1837
32 Minnesota 11 May 1858
20 Mississippi 10 December 1817
24 Missouri 10 August 1821
41 Montana 8 November 1889
37 Nebraska 1 March 1867
36 Nevada 31 October 1864
9 New Hampshire 21 June 1788
3 New Jersey 18 December 1787
47 New Mexico 6 January 1912
11 New York 26 July 1788
12 North Carolina 21 November 1789
39 North Dakota 2 November 1889
17 Ohio 1 March 1803
46 Oklahoma 16 November 1907
33 Oregon 14 February 1859
2 Pennsylvania 12 December 1787
13 Rhode Island 29 May 1790
8 South Carolina 23 May 1788
40 South Dakota 2 November 1889
16 Tennessee 1 June 1796
28 Texas 29 December 1845
45 Utah 4 January 1896
14 Vermont 4 March 1791
10 Virginia 25 June 1788
42 Washington 11 November 1889
35 West Virginia 20 June 1863
30 Wisconsin 29 May 1848
44 Wyoming 10 July 1890
# State Admission Date

Frequently Asked Questions

Which were the first states admitted to the United States?

Delaware was the first state admitted to the union, in December 1787.
Delaware was the first state admitted to the union, in December 1787.

The first states admitted to the United States were the original 13 colonies, which became states with the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1787-1788. These states are Delaware (December 7, 1787), Pennsylvania (December 12, 1787), New Jersey (December 18, 1787), Georgia (January 2, 1788), Connecticut (January 9, 1788), Massachusetts (February 6, 1788), Maryland (April 28, 1788), South Carolina (May 23, 1788), New Hampshire (June 21, 1788), Virginia (June 25, 1788), New York (July 26, 1788), North Carolina (November 21, 1789), and Rhode Island (May 29, 1790).

What was the last state admitted to the United States?

Hawaii, the 50th state, was admitted in August 1959.
Hawaii, the 50th state, was admitted in August 1959.

The last state admitted to the United States was Hawaii, which became the 50th state on August 21, 1959. The admission of Hawaii followed a referendum where over 93% of Hawaiian residents voted in favor of statehood. This historic event marked the end of a long process that began with the islands' annexation by the United States in 1898.

How many states were added to the U.S. in the 20th century?

Texas was admitted to the union as the 28th state on Dec. 29, 1845.
Texas was admitted to the union as the 28th state on Dec. 29, 1845.

In the 20th century, a total of three states were added to the United States. New Mexico and Arizona were admitted in 1912, becoming the 47th and 48th states, respectively. Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959, and Hawaii followed as the 50th state on August 21, 1959. These additions expanded the U.S. from coast to coast and into the Pacific Ocean.

What is the process for a territory to become a state in the U.S.?

Alaska was the 49th state to join the union on Jan. 3, 1959.
Alaska was the 49th state to join the union on Jan. 3, 1959.

The process for a territory to become a state in the U.S. typically involves a series of steps: the territory's residents must express a desire for statehood, usually through a referendum; a state constitution must be drafted and approved; Congress must pass an enabling act to allow the drafting of a state constitution; and finally, Congress must pass an act of admission to grant statehood. Throughout this process, there may be negotiations over issues such as borders, representation, and federal laws.

Have there been any territories that declined statehood?

Virginia became a state in June 1788.
Virginia became a state in June 1788.

Yes, there have been territories that declined statehood or where statehood has been a contentious issue. For example, Puerto Rico has had several referendums on statehood, with mixed results reflecting divisions among its population. As of the last referendum in 2020, a slim majority voted in favor of statehood, but no action has been taken by Congress to admit Puerto Rico as a state. The complexity of political, economic, and cultural factors contributes to the ongoing debate in such territories.

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Discussion Comments

anon47574

What sources were used for this information?

jh443

The U.S. has now gone the longest period of time since the last state was admitted. To date it is just over 49 years. The previous longest period between admissions was just under 47 years - between the admission of Arizona and Alaska.

ericzahler

There are only 33 states admitted to the Union. It takes the President and two thirds of the Senate to concur to ratify a treaty necessary to admit a State to the Union. The best example of the fraud of there being 50 states is North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington. The United State Senate was not even in session in November 1889. I live in Yakama. They call this Washington State. They claim their constitution was ratified in this state on November 7th and then was admitted to the Union on November 11th. This is a total fraud. I am going to throw the corporate washington state right off the damned continent.

malena

Wow! Arizona was the last state in the contiguous US (lower 48 states) to be accepted to the US! Not exactly what you would have guessed!

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    • Delaware was the first state admitted to the union, in December 1787.
      By: seaartbydani
      Delaware was the first state admitted to the union, in December 1787.
    • Hawaii, the 50th state, was admitted in August 1959.
      By: Katrina Brown
      Hawaii, the 50th state, was admitted in August 1959.
    • Texas was admitted to the union as the 28th state on Dec. 29, 1845.
      By: cphotos100
      Texas was admitted to the union as the 28th state on Dec. 29, 1845.
    • Alaska was the 49th state to join the union on Jan. 3, 1959.
      By: juan35mm
      Alaska was the 49th state to join the union on Jan. 3, 1959.
    • Virginia became a state in June 1788.
      By: Ruslan Olinchuk
      Virginia became a state in June 1788.
    • Wisconsin was admitted to the U.S. in 1848.
      By: soupstock
      Wisconsin was admitted to the U.S. in 1848.
    • Florida became a state on March 3, 1845.
      By: SeanPavonePhoto
      Florida became a state on March 3, 1845.
    • Utah officially became a U.S. state on Jan. 4, 1896.
      By: malkolm
      Utah officially became a U.S. state on Jan. 4, 1896.
    • Missouri became a state on Aug. 10, 1821.
      By: Marty Haas
      Missouri became a state on Aug. 10, 1821.
    • Oregon became a state on Valentine's Day in 1859.
      By: Chris Boswell
      Oregon became a state on Valentine's Day in 1859.
    • West Virginia was the 35th state admitted, doing so on June 20, 1863.
      By: Ruslan Olinchuk
      West Virginia was the 35th state admitted, doing so on June 20, 1863.