How Many States Are There?

The United States is comprised of 50 states plus the District of Columbia. There are also five U.S. territories throughout the world: Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the Northern Marianas Islands.

Of the 50 states, 48 are contiguous within the North American continent. Two, Alaska and Hawaii, are remotely located. Alaska is located on the northwest border of Canada, still within the North American continent. Hawaii is located about 2,500 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, Calif. Delaware was the first state to join the union in 1787, and Hawaii was the last in 1959.