List of U.S. states by date of admission to the Union

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This is a list of U.S. states by date of admission to 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 – July 4, 1776 – or from the date on which they ratified the Articles of Confederation, 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 as March 1, 1803, when its legislature first met because of a clerical error of omission—the original act omitted setting a date that the act took effect.[note 1]

This list does not account for the secession of 11 states during the American Civil War to form the Confederate States of America, the subsequent restoration of those states to representation in Congress (sometimes called "readmission") between 1866 and 1870, or the end of Reconstruction in those states. Since their secession was declared illegal by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Texas v. White, the federal government does not give legal recognition to their having left the Union. The list also does not account for secessionist governments formed in two other states, as their Unionist governments generally remained in control.


The order in which the original 13 states ratified the constitution, then the order in which the others were admitted to the union
U.S. states by date of admission to the Union


Ratifications of the Constitution by the thirteen original states[edit]

The Constitution went into effect upon ratification by nine of the thirteen states. The status of the first eight as members of the federal Union in the form established by the Constitution did not exist until the ninth state, New Hampshire, ratified the Constitution in June 1788. None of the first thirteen states became states upon ratifying the Constitution, since all were already states before that.

# State Date of ratification Previous status(es) (British Colony, County, Province Or Commonwealth)
1 Delaware Delaware December 7, 1787[1] Lower Counties on Delaware (prior to becoming a sovereign state within the United States of America)[2]
2 Pennsylvania Pennsylvania December 12, 1787[3] Province of Pennsylvania[4]
3 New Jersey New Jersey December 18, 1787[5] Province of New Jersey (prior to becoming a sovereign state within the United States of America)
4 Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia January 2, 1788[6] Province of Georgia
5 Connecticut Connecticut January 9, 1788[7] Connecticut Colony[8]
6 Massachusetts Massachusetts February 6, 1788 Province of Massachusetts Bay
7 Maryland Maryland April 28, 1788 Province of Maryland
8 South Carolina South Carolina May 23, 1788 Province of South Carolina
9 New Hampshire New Hampshire June 21, 1788 Province of New Hampshire
10 Virginia Virginia June 25, 1788 Virginia Colony
11 New York New York July 26, 1788 Province of New York
12 North Carolina North Carolina November 21, 1789 Province of North Carolina
13 Rhode Island Rhode Island May 29, 1790 Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

Admissions of new states beyond the thirteen original colonies[edit]

# State Date of admission Previous status
14 Vermont Vermont March 4, 1791 Republic of Vermont (formed upon land claimed by both New York and New Hampshire).[note 2]
15 Kentucky Kentucky June 1, 1792 Part of Virginia, seceded with approval of the Virginia General Assembly
16 Tennessee Tennessee June 1, 1796 Southwest Territory
17 Ohio Ohio March 1, 1803[note 1] Northwest Territory
18 Louisiana Louisiana April 30, 1812 Territory of Orleans
19 Indiana Indiana December 11, 1816 Indiana Territory
20 Mississippi Mississippi December 10, 1817 Mississippi Territory
21 Illinois Illinois December 3, 1818 Illinois Territory
22 Alabama Alabama December 14, 1819 Alabama Territory
23 Maine Maine March 15, 1820 Part of Massachusetts, seceded with approval of the Massachusetts General Court)
24 Missouri Missouri August 10, 1821 Missouri Territory (initially organized as the Louisiana Territory)
25 Arkansas Arkansas June 15, 1836 Arkansas Territory (initially organized as the Territory of Arkansaw)
26 Michigan Michigan January 26, 1837 Michigan Territory
27 Florida Florida March 3, 1845 Florida Territory
28 Texas Texas December 29, 1845 Republic of Texas (granted statehood simultaneously with annexation)
29 Iowa Iowa December 28, 1846 Iowa Territory
30 Wisconsin Wisconsin May 29, 1848 Wisconsin Territory
31 California California September 9, 1850 California Military District[note 3]
32 Minnesota Minnesota May 11, 1858 Minnesota Territory
33 Oregon Oregon February 14, 1859 Oregon Territory
34 Kansas Kansas January 29, 1861 Kansas Territory
35 West Virginia West Virginia June 20, 1863 Part of Virginia, seceded with approval of the pro-Union Virginia government, but not the Virginia government in rebellion
36 Nevada Nevada October 31, 1864 Nevada Territory
37 Nebraska Nebraska March 1, 1867 Nebraska Territory
38 Colorado Colorado August 1, 1876 Colorado Territory
39 North Dakota North Dakota November 2, 1889[note 4] Dakota Territory
40 South Dakota South Dakota November 2, 1889[note 4] Dakota Territory
41 Montana Montana November 8, 1889 Montana Territory
42 Washington (state) Washington November 11, 1889 Washington Territory
43 Idaho Idaho July 3, 1890 Idaho Territory
44 Wyoming Wyoming July 10, 1890 Wyoming Territory
45 Utah Utah January 4, 1896 Utah Territory
46 Oklahoma Oklahoma November 16, 1907 Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory
47 New Mexico New Mexico January 6, 1912 New Mexico Territory
48 Arizona Arizona February 14, 1912 Arizona Territory
49 Alaska Alaska January 3, 1959 Territory of Alaska
50 Hawaii Hawaii August 21, 1959 Territory of Hawaii
  1. ^ a b Congress recognized the state of Ohio on February 19, 1803 ("An act to provide for the due execution of the laws of the United States, within the state of Ohio", Seventh Congress, Session II, Chapter VII), but no formal date of statehood was set by the act of admission or a later resolution, as occurred with all other new states. On August 7, 1953, Congress passed a law retroactively setting the date of Ohio's statehood at March 1, 1803, the date when Ohio's first legislature convened.
  2. ^ Unlike most later instances, this was not really a separate entity. When a state is formed within a territory and encompasses less than the whole territory, then the state is a new entity. When a whole territory becomes a state, the state is a new entity whose constitution, governor, legislature, are distinct from those of the territory that preceded it. However, the state of Vermont simply continued to exist as a state under the same state constitution that it had already, with the same governor and legislators continuing their terms of office. Rather than being a new entity, it was a state whose status changed to one that was admitted to the Union.
  3. ^ Although the Republic of California, also known as the Bear Flag Republic, was declared on June 14, 1846 by Anglo-American settlers in Sonoma, that lasted only for 26 days, and never achieved internal or external recognition.
  4. ^ a b The actual statehood proclamations for North and South Dakota were intentionally shuffled so it is unknown which state was admitted first. President Benjamin Harrison always refused to tell the order in which he had signed the two statehood bills. However, North Dakota's proclamation was published first in the "Statutes at Large", since it is first in alphabetical order.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dec 7, 1787: Delaware ratifies the Constitution". The History Channel. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "State of Delaware (A brief history)". The State of Delaware. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Today in History: December 12". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Charter for the Province of Pennsylvania-1681". Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "New Jersey's Ratification". U.S. Constitution Online. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  6. ^ United States Census Office. "Dates of Statehood for 50 U.S. States". Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "Connecticut State Quarter". Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "About Connecticut". Retrieved 19 April 2012. 


External links[edit]