Potential Future States



Since Hawaii became a state in 1959, the United States totals 50 states. The Star Spangled banner has had 50 stars for the past 63 years; however, that could change in the near future. Many existing territories have been asking for statehood and it seems more likely than ever that a 51st state could happen soon.

Puerto Rico is a US territory located in the Caribbean, and has been a territory since 1898 after America seized it from Spain at the end of the Spanish-American War. While the Philippines and Cuba had also been seized in the war, both gained independence in the 1900s. On December 15th,  the house of representatives passed a bill calling for a referendum that would allow Puerto Rico to choose whether to become a state, completely independent from the US, or remain a US territory. Before Puerto Ricans can vote on this, the Senate must approve the referendum as well. 

Washington D.C., the capital of the United States, is a part of a special zone between the states of Virginia and Maryland which is part of no state. In 2016 an unofficial referendum was sent out and 85% of voters voted for statehood. D.C does have a seat in congress, but unlike other states, D.C’s congressional candidate can’t vote on legislation and can only suggest ideas. If D.C became a state it would become the third least populated state .

Will we have 51 or more states in the near future? Many are indeed anticipating whether or not the US will have to add stars to our flag once again!