There are not more than 50 states in the United States. The country is made up of 48 continental states, Alaska, which sits northwest of the Canadian continent, and Hawaii, an island in the South Pacific. Additionally, the United States holds many small territories around the world.
The process of achieving statehood is a difficult one that has not been completed since Hawaii was granted state status in 1959. Inspired by Hawaii's success, other U.S. territories have since attempted to apply for statehood; however, these attempts have proven fruitless. These territories include American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and many more.