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What was the first state in the USA?

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Wondering what was the first state in the USA? This is a tricky question. Here’s a clue: the first colony differs from the first official state. Think you know the answer? Take a look at the possible options below and make a guess. Then scroll down to find out if you’re right. The answer might surprise you!

American flag waving in the sky

American flag (Photo credit: Frankljunior,

a) Delaware
b) New Hampshire
c) Virginia
d) Pennsylvania
e) Connecticut



Scroll down for the answer!















Flag of the original Thirteen Colonies

Flag of the original Thirteen Colonies (Photo credit: tab62,


The first colony in the U.S., established in 1607, was Jamestown in Virginia. In spite of this, Virginia was tenth to become an official state.

The 13 colonies, located along the Atlantic Coast of North America, declared independence from the British Empire in 1776. This baker’s dozen of colonies were considered members of the United Colonies after the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Continental Congress changed the country’s name officially to the United States of America in September of that same year.

Delaware's State Flag

Delaware’s State Flag (Photo credit: fckncg,

First State in the USA

Most sources, including the 50 State Quarters program, recognize statehood according to the dates on which the states accepted the current U.S. Constitution. According to this method, a) Delaware holds the title as the first official U.S. state. It ratified the Constitution on December 7, 1787 when all 30 delegates to the Delaware Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution and declared an end to Delaware’s status as a colony of Great Britain. Next up was Delaware’s neighbor, Pennsylvania, five days later.

Delaware State Capital

Delaware State Capital (Photo credit: sframe,

History of Delaware

Delaware is so proud of this fact that its official State Nickname is “The First State”. Despite this distinction, Delaware is the only state without any National Park System units such as national parks, seashores, historic sites, battlefields, memorials, and monuments. In terms of geographic size, Delaware is the 49th largest in the nation, outranking only Rhode Island. Delaware is named after Lord de la Warr, the first governor of Virginia. English settlers had settled at Jamestown, Virginia 11 years prior to any white people set foot in Delaware. Want to learn more about the first state in the USA? Take a look at the most popular attractions in Delaware!

If you enjoyed learning about the first state in the U.S., then test your knowledge with additional travel trivia questions now!

What was the first state in the USA?

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Have you ever visited Delaware? Share your thoughts about America’s first state in the comments below!

About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin, MBA, is the founder and editor-in-chief of the popular travel blog, She is an expert in travel with kids and without. As the author of the book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents how to make the most of traveling with babies and children. Colleen loves sharing tips on hotels, cruises, spas, theme parks, and global lifestyle topics. When she is not traveling the world, she lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

  1. Just found your site looking through geography and leopard seals (got there because of my curiosity in Antarctica lol). Love what you do! A question though, I do think it’s extremely important to highlight the dangers of differing weather disasters that may occur traveling to a new geographical location but I most often fear for the threat of the crime by natives. Being a foreigner to these new locations, do you offer trivia for this or just information on what risks you are susceptible to as a foreigner? Scams, gang violence, kidnapping, burglary?
    Sorry this is so long, I just have known too many die abroad by native people and it keeps me from wanting to travel altogether. Thanks!

  2. Hello
    Was wondering what happened to the Travel Trivia site. Played for quite some time, but it stopped showing up after the 1st of Jan.

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Hi Jim – So glad to hear you’re enjoying our Travel Trivia questions! We will be adding more trivia questions throughout the year.

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