Special Report

Do You Know When Your State Joined the US? Here's The Answer

Thinkstock

Ninety-seven percent of Puerto Ricans voted for statehood in a non-binding referendum Sunday, a result considered flawed given the fact that just 23% of eligible voters cast their ballots.

It was the fifth time during the U.S. territory’s 119-year relationship with the United States that Puerto Ricans voted on their status. A majority of Puerto Ricans chose statehood for the first time in the last referendum in 2012 but Congress ignored the result because of voter confusion. The U.S. acquired Puerto Rico after defeating Spain in the Spanish-American War in 1898.

Puerto Rico hopes a change in status will help it better address $74 billion in debt $49 billion in pension obligations. The island filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. Puerto Rico’s economic distress has forced the closure of schools and reduced availability of social services, as well as accelerating out-migration to the mainland from the island.

Puerto Rico’s economy has been in recession since 2006, according to the General Accounting Office, and its levels of employment and labor force participation are relatively low, compared with those of the U.S. states. In February 2014, Puerto Rico’s general obligation bonds were downgraded to speculative, or non-investment, grade by three ratings agencies.

Statehood would allow Puerto Rico greater access to federal resources. The GAO found in a study in 2010 that the island’s share of federal money would surge by as least one-third for programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Supplemental Security Income.

Also, all federal revenue sources GAO reviewed—individual and corporate income taxes, employment tax, excise tax, estate and gift taxes, and customs duties—could be affected if Puerto Rico became a state.

Congress must still approve the Puerto Rico’s admission to the union, a long shot at best given the fact that the island votes overwhelmingly Democratic and both houses of Congress are controlled by Republicans.

If Puerto Rico joined the union, it would be the first state admitted since Hawaii in 1959. That same year, Alaska joined the union. Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma were admitted in the early part of the 20th century.

Click here to see when each state joined the union.

The 4.2 million Puerto Ricans living in the mainland U.S. are the second-largest subgroup of the Hispanic population (after Mexican-Americans), according to U.S. Census data, and the population on the mainland surpasses that of Puerto Rico.

New York state has been the main destination for mainland Puerto Ricans, with about 1.2 million people of Puerto Rican descent. There has been a surge in Puerto Rican population in Florida, where the Puerto Rican population has tripled to more than 700,000, drawn by better job prospects.

Historical populations for each state come from the U.S. Census Bureau and are from the decennial census closest to each state’s admission to the Union.

1. Delaware
> Date admitted: December 7, 1787
> Population in 1790: 59,096 (1.5% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 952,065 (0.3% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Dover

[in-text-ad]

2. Pennsylvania
> Date admitted: December 12, 1787
> Population in 1790: 434,373 (11.1% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 12,784,227 (4.0% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Harrisburg

3. New Jersey
> Date admitted: December 18, 1787
> Population in 1790: 184,139 (4.7% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 8,944,469 (2.8% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Trenton

4. Georgia
> Date admitted: January 2, 1788
> Population in 1790: 82,548 (2.1% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 10,310,371 (3.2% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Atlanta

[in-text-ad-2]

5. Connecticut
> Date admitted: January 9, 1788
> Population in 1790: 237,946 (6.1% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 3,576,452 (1.1% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Hartford

6. Massachusetts
> Date admitted: February 6, 1788
> Population in 1790: 378,787 (9.6% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 6,811,779 (2.1% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Boston

[in-text-ad]

7. Maryland
> Date admitted: April 28, 1788
> Population in 1790: 319,728 (8.1% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 6,016,447 (1.9% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Annapolis

8. South Carolina
> Date admitted: May 23, 1788
> Population in 1790: 249,073 (6.3% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 4,961,119 (1.5% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Columbia

9. New Hampshire
> Date admitted: June 21, 1788
> Population in 1790: 141,885 (3.6% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 1,334,795 (0.4% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Concord

[in-text-ad-2]

10. Virginia
> Date admitted: June 25, 1788
> Population in 1790: 691,737 (17.6% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 8,411,808 (2.6% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Richmond

11. New York
> Date admitted: July 26, 1788
> Population in 1790: 340,120 (8.7% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 19,745,289 (6.1% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Albany

[in-text-ad]

12. North Carolina
> Date admitted: November 21, 1789
> Population in 1790: 393,751 (10.0% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 10,146,788 (3.1% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Raleigh

13. Rhode Island
> Date admitted: May 29, 1790
> Population in 1790: 68,825 (1.8% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 1,056,426 (0.3% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Providence

14. Vermont
> Date admitted: March 4, 1791
> Population in 1790: 85,425 (2.2% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 624,594 (0.2% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Montpelier

[in-text-ad-2]

15. Kentucky
> Date admitted: June 1, 1792
> Population in 1790: 73,677 (1.9% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 4,436,974 (1.4% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Frankfort

16. Tennessee
> Date admitted: June 1, 1796
> Population in 1800: 105,602 (2.0% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 6,651,194 (2.1% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Nashville

[in-text-ad]

17. Ohio
> Date admitted: March 1, 1803
> Population in 1800: 42,159 (0.8% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 11,614,373 (3.6% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Columbus

18. Louisiana
> Date admitted: April 30, 1812
> Population in 1810: 76,556 (1.1% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 4,681,666 (1.4% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Baton Rouge

19. Indiana
> Date admitted: December 11, 1816
> Population in 1820: 147,178 (1.5% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 6,633,053 (2.1% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Indianapolis

[in-text-ad-2]

20. Mississippi
> Date admitted: December 10, 1817
> Population in 1820: 75,448 (0.8% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 2,988,726 (0.9% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Jackson

21. Illinois
> Date admitted: December 3, 1818
> Population in 1820: 55,211 (0.6% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 12,801,539 (4.0% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Springfield

[in-text-ad]

22. Alabama
> Date admitted: December 14, 1819
> Population in 1820: 127,901 (1.3% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 4,863,300 (1.5% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Montgomery

23. Maine
> Date admitted: March 15, 1820
> Population in 1820: 298,335 (3.1% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 1,331,479 (0.4% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Augusta

24. Missouri
> Date admitted: August 10, 1821
> Population in 1820: 66,586 (0.7% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 6,093,000 (1.9% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Jefferson City

[in-text-ad-2]

25. Arkansas
> Date admitted: June 15, 1836
> Population in 1840: 97,574 (0.6% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 2,988,248 (0.9% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Little Rock

26. Michigan
> Date admitted: January 26, 1837
> Population in 1840: 212,267 (1.2% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 9,928,300 (3.1% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Lansing

[in-text-ad]

27. Florida
> Date admitted: March 3, 1845
> Population in 1850: 87,445 (0.4% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 20,612,439 (6.4% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Tallahassee

28. Texas
> Date admitted: December 29, 1845
> Population in 1850: 212,592 (0.9% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 27,862,596 (8.6% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Austin

29. Iowa
> Date admitted: December 28, 1846
> Population in 1850: 192,214 (0.8% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 3,134,693 (1.0% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Des Moines

[in-text-ad-2]

30. Wisconsin
> Date admitted: May 29, 1848
> Population in 1850: 305,391 (1.3% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 5,778,708 (1.8% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Madison

31. California
> Date admitted: September 9, 1850
> Population in 1850: 92,597 (0.4% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 39,250,017 (12.1% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Sacramento

[in-text-ad]

32. Minnesota
> Date admitted: May 11, 1858
> Population in 1860: 172,023 (0.5% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 5,519,952 (1.7% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Saint Paul

33. Oregon
> Date admitted: February 14, 1859
> Population in 1860: 52,465 (0.2% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 4,093,465 (1.3% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Salem

34. Kansas
> Date admitted: January 29, 1861
> Population in 1860: 107,206 (0.3% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 2,907,289 (0.9% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Topeka

[in-text-ad-2]

35. West Virginia
> Date admitted: June 20, 1863
> Population in 1860: 376,688 (1.2% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 1,831,102 (0.6% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Charleston

36. Nevada
> Date admitted: October 31, 1864
> Population in 1860: 6,857 (0.0% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 2,940,058 (0.9% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Carson City

[in-text-ad]

37. Nebraska
> Date admitted: March 1, 1867
> Population in 1870: 122,993 (0.3% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 1,907,116 (0.6% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Lincoln

38. Colorado
> Date admitted: August 1, 1876
> Population in 1880: 194,327 (0.4% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 5,540,545 (1.7% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Denver

39. North Dakota
> Date admitted: November 2, 1889
> Population in 1890: 190,983 (0.3% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 757,952 (0.2% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Bismarck

[in-text-ad-2]

40. South Dakota
> Date admitted: November 2, 1889
> Population in 1890: 348,600 (0.6% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 865,454 (0.3% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Pierre

41. Montana
> Date admitted: November 8, 1889
> Population in 1890: 142,924 (0.2% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 1,042,520 (0.3% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Helena

[in-text-ad]

42. Washington
> Date admitted: November 11, 1889
> Population in 1890: 357,232 (0.6% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 7,288,000 (2.3% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Olympia

43. Idaho
> Date admitted: July 3, 1890
> Population in 1890: 88,548 (0.1% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 1,683,140 (0.5% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Boise

44. Wyoming
> Date admitted: July 10, 1890
> Population in 1890: 62,555 (0.1% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 585,501 (0.2% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Cheyenne

[in-text-ad-2]

45. Utah
> Date admitted: January 4, 1896
> Population in 1900: 276,749 (0.4% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 3,051,217 (0.9% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Salt Lake City

46. Oklahoma
> Date admitted: November 16, 1907
> Population in 1910: 1,657,155 (1.8% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 3,923,561 (1.2% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Oklahoma City

[in-text-ad]

47. New Mexico
> Date admitted: January 06, 1912
> Population in 1910: 327,301 (0.4% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 2,081,015 (0.6% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Santa Fe

48. Arizona
> Date admitted: February 14, 1912
> Population in 1910: 204,354 (0.2% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 6,931,071 (2.1% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Phoenix

49. Alaska
> Date admitted: January 03, 1959
> Population in 1960: 226,167 (0.1% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 741,894 (0.2% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Juneau

[in-text-ad-2]

50. Hawaii
> Date admitted: August 21, 1959
> Population in 1960: 632,772 (0.4% of U.S. population)
> Current population: 1,428,557 (0.4% of U.S. population)
> Capital: Honolulu

URGENT – New Seats Available (sponsored)

Top financial advisors are now accepting new clients for 2024! Finding the right advisor can be the difference between retiring early, or working forever. Don’t waste a moment matching with the right advisor for you. Every moment today can mean riches tomorrow, with the right advisor by your side.

Use the advisor match tool below, or click here now, to find your financial freedom!

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.