U.S. State Facts
States of the Union
Updated 12 June 2014
The last two states to join the Union were Alaska (49th) and Hawaii (50th). Both joined in 1959.
Washington D.C. is a federal district under the authority of Congress. Local government is run by a mayor and 13 member city council. Washington DC is represented in Congress by an elected, nonvoting Delegate to the House of Representatives and residents have been able to vote in Presidential elections since 1961.
Puerto Rico is a commonwealth associated with the U.S. Its indigenous inhabitants are U.S. citizens. Puerto Ricans are unable to vote in U.S. Presidential elections but they do elect a nonvoting resident commissioner to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Dependent areas: American Samoa, Baker Island, Guam,
Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway
Islands, Navassa Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll,
Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Wake Island.
Note: from 18 July 1947 until 1 October 1994, the US
administered the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, but recently
entered into a new political relationship with all four political
units: the Northern Mariana Islands is a commonwealth in political
union with the U.S. (effective 3 November 1986); Palau concluded a
Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 1 October 1994); the
Federated States of Micronesia signed a Compact of Free Association
with the U.S. (effective 3 November 1986); the Republic of the Marshall
Islands signed a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 21
Source: The CIA Factbook
Detailed information about each of the territories can also be found in this CIA publication.
Links to State Governments
New Hampshire (NH)
New Jersey (NJ)
New Mexico (NM)
New York (NY)
North Carolina (NC)
North Dakota (ND)
Rhode Island (RI)
South Carolina (SC)
South Dakota (SD)
West Virginia (WV)
The National Governors' Association provides a list of names and contact details for the governors of the states and territories. There are also links to brief biographies of each of the officials.
Other Sources of State Information
- The 50 States of the United States: Capital Cities and Information Links
- State and Local Government on the Net
- Council of State Governments
- State and County Quick Facts - U.S. Census Bureau
- State Fact Sheets - Department of Agriculture
- State Export to Countries and Regions - Department of Commerce
Quick reference assistance available from the Information Resource Center between 10.00 a.m. and 12 noon, Monday to Friday, on 020-7894-0925.
Further research services are provided to U.K. media, government departments and academics.