A state is a place you can travel to and still be in the United States of America.
You are both a citizen of the United States AND your home state!

Click on a state to learn about it

United States of America

The Alabama Territory was less than 2 years old before it became the 22nd state on December 14, 1819.

People were worried about Alaska becoming a state because it was sparsely populated and far away! It became the 49th state on January 3, 1959.

Arizona almost entered the union as a part of New Mexico. It became the 48th state on February 14, 1912.

Arkansas was nervous about joining the union because of taxes and their low population. It became the 25th State on June 15, 1836.

California was admitted to the union without being a territory first because of its rapid growth and development. It became the 31st state on September 9, 1850.

Colorado became the 38th State August 1, 1876. It was the second state in the union to grant women the right to vote.

Connecticut is one of the original 13 colonies to ratify the Constitution. It became the 5th state on January 9, 1788.

Delaware is the oldest state! It is one of the original 13 colonies to ratify the Constitution. It became the 1st state on December 7, 1787.

Florida was a territory for twenty years before it joined the union. It became the 27th state on March 3, 1845.

Georgia was hesitant to ratify the Constitution but thought it was necessary because of high taxation. it became the 4th state on January 2, 1788.

Hawaii is the youngest state! People on the island petitioned the government for statehood status so that they could vote in elections. It became the 50th state on August 21, 1959.

When Idaho became a state, there were over 88,000 people living in it. Idaho became 43rd state on July 3, 1890.

The southern part of Illinois did not want to join the Union, but the northern part did. Guess who won? Illinois became the 21st state on December 3, 1818.

It took Indiana two tries before it joined the union because of a war in 1812. It became the 19th state on December 11, 1816.

As soon as Iowa became a territory, it immediately applied for statehood! It became the 29th state on December 28, 1846.

Cheap land and zero federal tax attracted immigrants to Kansas, which raised the population and gave momentum to statehood. It became the 34th state on January 29, 1861.

Kentucky was the first state to join the union in the western and, it became a state before it was a territory! It became the 15th state on June 1, 1792.

Thomas Jefferson almost did not go through with acquiring Louisiana because the constitution did not say anything about acquiring land. It became the 18th state on April 30,1812.

Maine's delegates unanimously voted to join the union and entered as a result of the Missouri compromise. It became the 23rd state on March 15, 1820.

Maryland was eager to ratify the Constitution! Known as the "free state," Maryland was one of two states that gave up territory to form the District of Columbia. It became the 7th state on April, 28, 1788.

Originally, Massachusetts didn’t sign the Constitution because of the lack of the Bill of Rights. It became the 6th state on February 6, 1788.

Michigan did not enter the union until after the Toledo War. It became the 26th state on January 26, 1837.

Minnesota, despite some serious opposition from senators, became the 32nd state on May 11, 1858.

The western part of the Mississippi territory was the only part that joined the Union. Mississippi became the 20th state on December 10, 1817.

When Missouri was inducted into the union it was the largest state, and the last state to enter the union before the Civil War started! It became the 24th state on August 20, 1821.

Montana held a constitutional convention in 1866 for statehood but had a failed bid. It became the 41st state on November 8, 1889.

The Nebraska territory used to include Colorado, Wyoming, the Dakotas, and Montana but got rid of all of them to join the Union. It became the 37th state on March 1, 1867.

Nevada is known as the "Battle Born State", because it gained statehood during the Civil War and it became a state just days before the presidential election! It became the 36th state on October 31, 1864.

New Hampshire was the decisive vote the put the federal constitution into effect! It became the 9th state on June 21, 1788.

The youngest person to sign the Constitution came from New Jersey and, New Jersey was the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights. New Jersey became the 3rd state on December 18, 1787.

New Mexico was almost not admitted into the Union because some believed it was not American enough (?!). It became the 47th state on January 6, 1912.

New York's own Constitution's concepts on the separation of powers heavily influenced the federal Constitution. New York became the 11th state on July 26, 1788.

North Carolina was the first state to instruct its delegates to vote for independence from British rule. It became the 12th state on November 21, 1789.

There used to be only one Dakota and it included Montana and Wyoming. When it split into two, both North and South Dakota joined the union on the same day! North Dakota became the 39th state on November 2, 1889.

Congress did not pass a specific resolution to formally admit Ohio into the Union, but President Jefferson signed an act of Congress that approved Ohio’s boundaries and constitution! It became the 17th state on March 1, 1803.

Oklahoma used to be included as part of Texas before it joined the union. Oklahoma became the 46th state on November 16th, 1907.

Until Oregon became a state, parts of Oregon were included as part of Texas. Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859.

Pennsylvania hosted the Constitutional Convention and it tried hard to be the "first state," but Delaware was able to ratify the Constitution first. Pennsylvania became the 2nd state on December 12, 1787.

Rhode Island was the only state of the original 13 to not send delegates to Philadelphia in 1787 and it only ratified the Constitution after being assured that there would be a Bill of Rights. Rhode Island became the 13th state on May 29, 1790.

South Carolina was a trailblazer: it was the first republic on the American continent; the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation and more. South Carolina became the 8th state on May 23, 1788.

The gold rush in Dakota increased the population and Dakota split into two! Both states joined the union on the same day! South Dakota became the 40th state on November 2, 1889.

Tennessee was the first territory to ask permission to join the union and Congress did not know how to proceed! Tennessee became the 16th state on June 1, 1796.

At first, Texas couldn’t join the union because other states in the union were afraid of a ware with Mexico. As part of deal to become a state, Texas gave up parts of Oklahoma. It became the 28th state on December 29, 1845.

It took Utah over 40 years and six tried to become a state! It became the 45th state on January 4, 1896.

Vermont was the first state that was not one of the original 13 colonies. It became the 14th state on March 4, 1791.

Virginia only ratified the Constitution and joined the union after they were promised the Bill of Rights. Virginia was one of two states that gave up territory to form the District of Columbia. It became the 10th state on June 25th, 1788.

Washington is the only state named after a U.S. president. It became the 42nd state on November 11, 1889.

West Virginia was formed when people who opposed Virginia’s secession from the union formed their own government. West Virginia became the 35th state on June 20, 1863.

Wisconsin didn’t become a state on the first try because their first constitution was considered too progressive for its time! It became the 30th state on May 29, 1848.

Wyoming almost didn’t become a state because it only had 55,000 people. Wyoming was the first state to have a female justice of the peace in 1870! It became the 44th state on July 10, 1890.

How States Became States

Easiest way: Be one of the original 13 territories signing the Constitution by 1790. Note: The deadline for this is past.

More complicated way:

First, other than the 13 states, other places were called territories. Congress has the power to make a territory a state.

  1. The people in the territory had to let the U.S. Congress know that they had at least 60,000 people living in their territory and they wanted to join the union and become a state.
  2. Congress would tell the territory that it had to write its own Constitution for their new state.
  3. If Congress approved the state

* A few states we have now, were never territories; they were either carved out of other states or were independent republics! Click on the map above to find out which ones.

* Remember that the Washington, DC is not a state, it is the capital of the United States!