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