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How Old Is The United States Of America?

The simple answer is that as of the 4th of July 2021, the United States is 245 years old. It’s 245-years-old because the Declaration of Independence was ratified by the US Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

The passing of the Declaration of Independence meant that the thirteen original British colonies in North America ceased to be colonies and officially (at least according to them) became a sovereign nation.

But, as I said before, this is just the simple answer and the simple answer may or may not be correct depending on when you count the birth of a nation.

Here are 9 other potential birth dates and ages for the United States of America.

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Birthday 2. The Formation of a Continent (200 million years old)

If you believe the age of the United States should be counted from when the North American landmass first separated from the rest of the surrounding world, the US would be celebrating it’s 200 millionth birthday!

Good luck trying to find a Hallmark card for that one…

It separated from a landmass known as Laurentia (Lauren, to her friends) which also contained Eurasia, around 200 million years ago.

Birthday 3. The Arrival of the Native Americans (15,000-40,000 years old)

If you believe the age of the United States should be counted from when the Native Americans first set foot on the North American continent, then the age of the United States is somewhere between 15,000 and 40,000-years-old.

It’s believed the first Native Americans arrived between 13,000 B.C.E and 38,000 B.C.E via a land bridge connecting North America to Siberia. Hallmark still isn’t coming to the party on this one, but I’d LOVE to see a birthday cake stacked with 13,000+ candles!

If you believe the age of the United States should be counted from when Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ America, landing on the ‘uninhabited’ (if you don’t count the somewhere between 8 million and 112 million Native Americans) shores of North America, then the United States is 528 years old.

He set sail on the evening of August 3, 1492, in three ships: the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. It took roughly 10 weeks to find the Americas, and on October 12, 1492, he set foot in the Bahamas with a group of sailors from the Santa Maria.

However, given the ugly events of the next few years surrounding European colonization in the Americas, celebrating this date as America’s birthday has fallen largely out of favor. In fact, in many places in the United States, people have stopped celebrating the anniversary of Columbus’ arrival to the America’s because of a better understanding of the impact this had on indigenous populations.

Birthday 5. The First Settlement (434 years old)

If you believe the age of the United States should be counted from when the first settlement was established, then the United States is 434 years old.

The first settlement was established on Roanoke Island in 1587, however, all was not well. The harsh conditions and lack of supplies meant that by the time some of the original settlers arrived back on the island with supplies in 1590, the settlement appeared to be completely abandoned with no sign of the original inhabitants.

Birthday 6. The First SUCCESSFUL Settlement (412 years old)

If you believe the age of the United States should be counted from when the first successful settlement was established, then the age of the United States is 412 years old.

The failure of Roanoke Island didn’t deter the British. In a joint venture with the Virginia Company, they established a second settlement at Jamestown in 1609. Once again, the harsh conditions, aggressive natives, and lack of supplies made life on the continental US very tough (they even resorted to cannibalism to survive at one point), but the settlement was ultimately successful.

Birthday 7. The Articles of Confederation (240 years old)

If you believe the age of the United States should be counted from the Articles of Confederation were ratified, then the United States is 240-years-old.

The Articles of Confederation laid the framework for how the states were to operate in their ‘League of Friendship’ (their words, not mine) and were the guiding principles behind the decision-making process of Congress.

The articles were debated for more than a year (July 1776 – November 1777) before being sent to the states for ratification on November 15th. They were finally ratified and came into force on March 1st, 1781.

Birthday 8. The Ratification of the Constitution (233 years old)

If you believe the age of the United States should be counted from when the constitution, then the age of the United States is 233-years-old.

The Constitution was finally ratified by the ninth state (New Hampshire – holding everyone back…) on 21 June 1788 and came into force 1789. In its 7 articles, it embodies the doctrine of the separation of powers, the concepts of federalism, and the process of ratification. It’s been amended 27 times to help a growing nation accommodate the changing needs of an ever-expanding population.

Birthday 4. The Arrival of Christopher Columbus (528 years old)

Every 4th of July, the United States of America celebrates its birthday. The US is a federal republic, made up of 50 states, 48 of which are located in North America between Canada and Mexico. The US also has a federal district, five self-governing territories, and other possessions. It is one of the most highly developed countries in the world and includes nearly 40% of the total wealth in the world. The country is also a prominent political and cultural force internationally. But how old is the US?

History Of America

The history of the United States of America dates back to the prehistory of the Native Americans and the colonial period. The people who lived in present-day America arrived in the early 1600s, mostly from England. The Spanish and French built small settlements in Florida, along the Mississippi River, the southwest, and the Gulf Coast. Most European settlers were farmers, and various industries began to develop within a few decades. Several cities were established along the coast to support local economies and to act as trade hubs. The colonies that formed the US were established in 1732, with the colonization of Georgia by the British. All colonies had local governments with elections open to free men. By 1770, the 13 British colonies had a population of about 2.1 million people.


Americans felt that their freedom had been suppressed by the European colonialists, and the American Revolutionary War marked the first successful independence campaign against the colonialists. Americans developed the spirit of “Republicanism,” maintaining that the government rested with the people’s will, as proclaimed in the local legislature. They demanded that the rights of Americans be respected and “no tax should be charged without any representation.” However, the British insisted on ruling the country through parliament, leading to war. On July 2, 1776, the Lee Resolution, which was a vote for independence, was passed and led to the Declaration of Independence two days later. July 4 has since been celebrated as US Independence Day.

Independence Day

Although July 2, 1776, marked the formal separation of the 13 colonies from Britain colonialists, the Declaration of Independence was officially signed on July 4, 1776. Thus, Independence Day is also known as Fourth of July, or simply as July Fourth. The US marked its first birthday on July 4, 1777, with 13 gunshots fired once in the morning and again in the evening. July 4 was first recognized as a state celebration in 1781 by the Massachusetts General Court. Thus, Independence Day became a national holiday marked by patriotic displays. On July 4, 2019, the US celebrated its 243rd birthday.


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