Statehood Dates

US States Dates and Order of Statehood

Statehood simply means the status of being one of the states of the US. Delaware was the very first state admitted to the Union in 1787. The United States most recent state admitted to the Union was Hawaii in 1959. A state in the United States is defined as a geographical boundary that holds legislative, executive, and judicial authority below the federal government. There are currently 50 states bound together in the Union. As of 2020, there has been significant interest in granting District of Columbia (DC) statehood as well as Puerto Rico, the oldest colony. States admitted to the statehood are listed below. You can sort in order of admission dates or alphabetical by state.

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State Name
Statehood Date/Order
Pre-Statehood Notes
DelawareDec. 7, 1787 1 stThe first of the original 13 colonies.
PennsylvaniaDec. 12, 1787 2 ndThe second of the original 13 colonies.
New JerseyDec. 18, 1787 3 rdThe third of the original 13 colonies.
GeorgiaJan. 2, 1788 4 thThe fourth of the original 13 colonies
ConnecticutJan. 9, 1788 5 thThe fifth of the original 13 colonies.
MassachusettsFeb. 6, 1788 6 thThe sixth of the original 13 colonies
MarylandApril 28, 1788 7 thThe seventh of the original 13 colonies.
South CarolinaMay 23, 1788 8 thThe eighth of the original 13 colonies.
New HampshireJune 21, 1788 9 thThe ninth of the original 13 colonies
VirginiaJune 25, 1788 10 thThe 10th of the original 13 colonies.
New YorkJuly 26, 1788 11 thThe 11th of the original 13 colonies.
North CarolinaNov. 21, 1789 12 thThe 12th of the original 13 colonies.
Rhode IslandMay 29, 1790 13 thThe 13th of the original 13 colonies.
VermontMarch 4, 1791 14 thUntil statehood, had been a region claimed by both New York and New Hampshire
KentuckyJune 1, 1792 15 thNever a territory, it was part of Virginia until statehood.
TennesseeJune 1, 1796 16 thWas Southwest Territory before statehood.
OhioMarch 1, 1803 17 thWas part of the Northwest Territory until statehood.
LouisianaApril 30, 1812 18 thWith certain boundary changes, had been the Territory of Orleans.
IndianaDec. 11, 1816 19 thThere was a residue of Indiana Territory that continued to exist under that name until Dec. 3, 1818, when it was attached to Michigan Territory.
MississippiDec. 10, 1817 20 thTerritory by Act of April 7, 1798, effective May 7, 1798.
IllinoisDec. 3, 1818 21 st.
AlabamaDec. 14, 1819 22 ndTerritory by Act of March 3, 1817, effective Aug. 15, 1817.
MaineMarch 15, 1820 23 rdWhat is now the state of Maine was, before statehood, called the District of Maine and belonged to Massachusetts.
MissouriAug. 10, 1821 24 thThe 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.
ArkansasJune 15, 1836 25 thThe 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."
MichiganJan. 26., 1837 26 th.
FloridaMarch 3, 1845 27 th.
TexasDec. 29, 1845 28 thWas an independent republic before statehood.
IowaDec. 28, 1846 29 th.
WisconsinMay 29, 1848 30 thThe state is smaller than the territory and the leftover area continued to be called the Territory of Wisconsin until March 3, 1849.
CaliforniaSept. 9, 1850 31 stCeded 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.
MinnesotaMay 11, 1858 32 nd.
OregonFeb. 14, 1859 33 rd.
KansasJan. 29, 1861 34 th.
West VirginiaJune 20, 1863 35 thWas part of Virginia until statehood.
NevadaOct. 31, 1864 36 th.
NebraskaMarch 1, 1867 37 th.
ColoradoAug. 1, 1876 38 th.
North DakotaNov. 2, 1889 39 th or 40 thWas part of Dakota Territory before statehood. Admitted on same day as South Dakota
South DakotaNov. 2, 1889 39 th or 40 thWas part of Dakota Territory before statehood. Admitted on same day as North Dakota
MontanaNov. 8, 1889 41 st.
WashingtonNov. 11, 1889 42 nd.
IdahoJuly 3, 1890 43 rd.
WyomingJuly 10, 1890 44 th.
UtahJan. 4, 1896 45 th.
OklahomaNov. 16, 1907 46 thThe state was formed from Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory.
New MexicoJan. 6, 1912 47th.
ArizonaFeb. 14, 1912 48 thThis region was sometimes called Arizona before 1863, although it was still in the Territory of New Mexico.
AlaskaJan. 3, 1959 49 thA district from Oct. 18, 1867, until it became an organized territory Aug. 24, 1912.
HawaiiAug. 21, 1959 50 thThe territorial date Aug. 12, 1898 is that of the formal transfer to the United States, with Sanford B. Dole as first Governor.
 

Source: Scott Stamp Monthly (April 1998)