Statehood Year of US States

The United States of America was established in July 1776 when first 13 states – then known as individual colonies – agreed to the United States Declaration of Independence. The first state to join the union was Delaware, which ratified the 1787 Constitution (which created the federal union of states that exists today) on December 7, 1787. It was closely followed by Pennsylvania on December 7, 1787, and New Jersey on December 18, 1787. A further 10 states along the eastern seaboard made up the original 13 states of the United States of America – Rhode Island was the last of these to join in May, 1790.

Over the next 20 years, a further 11 states joined the union, including Ohio (1803), Louisiana (1812), and Maine (1820). There was then a gap of 15 years before the next state joined – this was Arkansas in June, 1836. Two of today's most populous states, Texas and California, joined in 1845 and 1850, respectively. By the end of the 19th century, the majority of the states that make up the current union had joined. Utah was the last 19th-century state to join in January, 1896.

Throughout the 20th century, only a further five states would join the union. These were Oklahoma in November 1907, New Mexico in January 1912, and Arizona in February 1912, while Alaska and Hawaii – the only two non-continental states – joined as recently as 1959, taking the total number of states in the union to 50. Today, Americans are citizens of both the state in which they live as well as the Federal Republic of the United States. Interestingly, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Kentucky continue to use the term 'commonwealth' rather than state in their full official names.

Rank State Year
1Pennsylvania1787
2Delaware1787
3New Jersey1787
4South Carolina1788
5New Hampshire1788
6Massachusetts1788
7Georgia1788
8Maryland1788
9Virginia1788
10Connecticut1788
11New York1788
12North Carolina1789
13Rhode Island1790
14Vermont1791
15Kentucky1792
16Tennessee1796
17Ohio1803
18Louisiana1812
19Indiana1816
20Mississippi1817
21Illinois1818
22Alabama1819
23Maine1820
24Missouri1821
25Arkansas1836
26Michigan1837
27Texas1845
28Florida1845
29Iowa1846
30Wisconsin1848
31California1850
32Minnesota1858
33Oregon1859
34Kansas1861
35West Virginia1863
36Nevada1864
37Nebraska1867
38Colorado1876
39Montana1889
40North Dakota1889
41South Dakota1889
42Washington1889
43Idaho1890
44Wyoming1890
45Utah1896
46Oklahoma1907
47New Mexico1912
48Arizona1912
49Alaska1959
50Hawaii1959