Statehood: When did your State Join the Union - Find a directory of dates that states were admitted into the union. Or read about
the US Territories
This is a list of US states by date of statehood,
that is, the date when each US state joined the Union. Although the first 13 states can be considered to have been members of the United States from
the date of the Declaration of Independence - Thursday, July 4, 1776 - they are presented here as being "admitted" on the date each ratified
the present United States Constitution; most other such lists, including the 50 State Quarters program, do the same. The admission dates for later
states were set by either the act of admission or a later resolution issued under that act, except for Ohio, whose date of admission was determined
by act of Congress in 1953
Delaware, one of the thirteen colonies, gained its distinction as the "First State" when it was the first to ratify the Constitution on December 7, 1787.
In September 1787, the US Constitution was signed in Philadelphia and on December 12, 1787, Pennsylvania, one of the
thirteen colonies, became the second state.
New Jersey, one of the thirteen colonies, became the third state on December 18, 1787.
Georgia, one of the thirteen colonies, ratified the US Constitution on January 2, 1788, becoming the fourth state
to do so; it joined the Confederacy on January 19, 1861, and re-entered the Union after the Civil War.
Connecticut, one of the thirteen colonies, became the fifth state on January 9, 1788.
Originally part of the thirteen colonies, Massachusetts became a state on February 6, 1788
Maryland became the seventh state on April 28, 1788. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln placed Maryland
under military control.
South Carolina, one of the thirteen colonies, became the eighth state on May 23, 1788. On December 20, 1860, South
Carolina became the first state to secede form the Union. It re- entered after the Civil War.
In a sense, New Hampshire, originally one of the thirteen colonies, "created" the new nation by becoming the ninth state on June
21, 1788, meeting the requirement for nine states to ratify the Constitution.
Virginia one of the thirteen colonies, became the 10th state on June 25, 1788. Richmond became the capital of the
Confederacy on May 29, 1861, but re-entered the Union after the war.
On July 26, 1788, New York , one of the thirteen colonies, became the 11th state.
North Carolina, one of the thirteen colonies, became the 12th state on November 21, 1789. North Carolina troops suffered
the greatest losses of all the states during the Civil War while fighting for the Confederacy, re-entered the Union after the fighting ceased.
Rhode Island was the last of the thirteen colonies to join the Union on May 29, 1790.
Vermont became the first state added to the Union following the 13 colonies on March 1, 1791. Until statehood, had
been a region claimed by both New York and New Hampshire
Kentucky became the first state to be carved from the great western wilderness on June 1, 1792. Never a territory,
it was part of Virginia until statehood.
Tennessee became a state on June 1, 1796. On June 8, 1861, it joined the Confederacy and became a major battleground
for the Civil War, re-entering the Union after war's end. Was Southwest Territory before statehood.
Ohio became the first state west of the Alleghenies on March 1, 1803. Was part of the Northwest Territory until statehood.
Louisiana became the 18th state on April 30, 1812. It joined the Confederacy on January 26, 1861 and re-entered the
Union after the Civil War. With certain boundary changes, had been the Territory of Orleans.
Indiana became the 19th state on December 11, 1816. There was a residue of Indiana Territory that continued
to exist under that name until Dec. 3, 1818, when it was attached to Michigan Territory
On December 10, 1817, Mississippi was admitted as the 20th state. Territory by Act of April 7, 1798, effective May
Illinois became the 21st state on December 3, 1818.
Alabama entered the Union on December 14, 1819. In January 1861, Alabama seceded from the Union, and on February 4,
delegates from six states met at Montgomery and formed the Confederate States of America, with Montgomery as the capital. After the Civil War, Alabama
re-entered the Union. Territory by Act of March 3, 1817, effective Aug. 15, 1817.
Maine became the 23rd state on March 15, 1820. Its admission to the Union balanced the simultaneous admission of Missouri
as a slave state. What is now the state of Maine was, before statehood, called the District of Maine and belonged to Massachusetts.
Missouri was admitted as a slave state on August 10, 1821, after an agreement known as the Missouri Compromise in
which Maine was admitted as a free state. The state was much smaller than the territory. The area to the west and northwest of the state, which had
been in the territory, was commonly known as the "Missouri Country" until May 30, 1854, and certain of the post offices in this area show
a Missouri abbreviation in the postmark.
Despite opposition in Congress to a new slave state, Arkansas became a state on June 15, 1836. Arkansas Governor Henry
M. Rector seized Fort Smith and Arkansas joined the Confederacy in 1861 re-entering the Union at War's end. The territory was larger than the state.
After statehood the leftover area to the west had post offices that continued for some years to use an Arkansas abbreviation in the postmarks, although
they were really in the "Indian Country."
Michigan became the 26th state on January 26, 1837.
Florida became a state on March 3, 1845, a move delayed by the reluctance of Congress to admit another slave state,
and it joined the Confederacy on January 10, 1861, re-entering the Union at war's end.
After ten years of independence, Texas became a state on December 29, 1845. Was an independent republic before statehood.
On December 28, 1846, Iowa became the first free state in the old Louisiana Territory.
Wisconsin became the 30th state on May 29, 1848. The state is smaller than the territory and the leftover area continued
to be called the Territory of Wisconsin until March 3, 1849.
Congress hesitated to welcome a new free state, but because of its booming population and the discovery of gold California was admitted in September 9, 1850. Ceded by Mexico by the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, concluded Feb. 2, 1848, and proclaimed July 4,
1848. From then until statehood, California had a military government until Dec. 20, 1849, and then a local civil government. It never had a territorial
form of government.
On May 11, 1858 Minnesota became the 32 state.
On February 14, 1859, Oregon gained statehood.
Kansas became a free state on January 29, 1861, after seven years of bloody feuding between residents over whether
to be admitted as a slave or free state.
On June 20, 1863, the wartime state of West Virginia was born by acceptance of the federal government. Was part
of Virginia until statehood.
On October 31, 1864, at the urging of President Abraham Lincoln, Nevada became a state. Only a short four years earlier,
it had been a wilderness.
President Andrew Johnson vetoed the Nebraska statehood bill of 1866, but Congress overrode his veto, and Nebraska became a state on March 1, 1867.
After three tries Colorado was made a state on August 1, 1876.
Both North and South Dakota became states on November 2, 1889. Was part of Dakota Territory before statehood.
Admitted on same day as South Dakota
Both Dakotas became states on November 2, 1889. Was part of Dakota Territory before statehood. Admitted on same day
as North Dakota
Montana achieved statehood on November 8, 1889.
On November 11, 1889, Washington became a state.
Idaho became a state on July 3, 1890.
Although the Wyoming population was not enough to qualify for statehood, it became one anyway on July 10, 1890.
Utah became the 45th state on January 4, 1896.
Oklahoma became a state on November 6, 1907, with a population of 1,414,177, including residents in Indian Territory.
The state was formed from Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory.
On January 6, 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state
Arizona became the 48th state on February 14, 1912. This region was sometimes called Arizona before 1863, although
it was still in the Territory of New Mexico
Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959; it was the first new state in the Union since 1912. A district from
Oct. 18, 1867, until it became an organized territory Aug. 24, 1912.
Hawaii became the Fiftieth state on August 21, 1959 The territorial date Aug. 12, 1898 is that of the formal
transfer to the United States, with Sanford B. Dole as first Governor.
Residents of Washington were given the right to vote for president and vice president with the ratification of the 23rd Amendment in 1961. But the
District of Columbia does not have statehood.
Puerto Ricans received US citizenship in 1917, and the island became an internally self- governing commonwealth in 1952. The people of Puerto Rico
are represented in the US House of Representatives by a nonvoting delegate.
US Virgin Islands
In 1927, the people of the US Virgin Islands became American nationals and in 1936, they achieved limited self-government. Today the Virgin Islands
has a limited form of self-government, with an elected governor and lieutenant, and a nonvoting delegate to the US House of Representatives.
The United States, Britain, and France claimed trade and other privileges in the islands, and the United States established a naval station at Pago
Pago in 1878. An agreement of 1899 recognized in the US right to govern present American Samoa. In 1978, a governor was popularly elected for the first
After the Spanish-American War of 1898, Spain ceded the island to the United States. Guam is represented by a nonvoting delegate in the US House of
Representatives, and its residents are citizens but do not vote for the President.
Several Pacific Island groups, collectively known as Micronesia, were placed under US trusteeship after World War II. The trusteeship has since been
dissolved. The Northern Mariana Islands is a US commonwealth; the other island groups are now independent states with close ties to the US
The information for this listing was provided by:
The World Almanac of the USA.
World Almanac Books, 1996
An Imprint of K-III Reference Corporation
One International Boulevard
Mahwah, NJ 07497-0017
Order & Dates of Statehood
Official order and dates by which all 50 States joined the United States.