The United States is made up of a total of 50 states, plus the District of Columbia – or Washington D.C. There are 48 contiguous states, plus Alaska located in the far northwestern part of North America and Hawaii located in the mid-Pacific. The United States also has five major territories and various islands.
Unsurprisingly, the thirteen colonies were the first thirteen states to be ratified. The first states to be ratified were Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in 1787. Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, and New York were ratified in 1788, followed by North Carolina in 1789 and Rhode Island in 1790. Alaska and Hawaii, the only states that are not part of the mainland United States, were the last states admitted in 1959.
Alaska is the largest state in the United States, spanning over 663,300 square miles. On the opposite end, Rhode Island is the smallest state with just 1,212 square miles. California is the most populous state, with over 39 million residents, and Wyoming is the least populated, with only 577,000 residents.
There are four statistical regions of the United States as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Each area contains multiple states. The first region is the Northeast. The states in this region include:
Region 2 is the Midwest. The states in this region include:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
Region 3 is the South. The southern states are:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- Washington D.C.
- West Virginia
Region 4 – the final region – is the West. The western states include: