How old is America? 1 common answer and 9 potential others (2022)

The question “How old is America?” is both a simple and complex question to answer, depending on how you want to measure age.

We’re going to start with the simple and then move onto the complex.

How Old Is America? – the Simple Answer

How old is America? 1 common answer and 9 potential others (1)

The simple answer is that as of the July 4, 2022, the United States is 246 years old. The United States is 246-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.

READ MORE: Colonial America

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)

How old is America? 1 common answer and 9 potential others (5)

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 (known as 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)

How old is America? 1 common answer and 9 potential others (6)

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!

Birthday 4. The Arrival of Christopher Columbus (529 years old)

How old is America? 1 common answer and 9 potential others (7)

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 529 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 (435 years old)

How old is America? 1 common answer and 9 potential others (8)

If you believe the age of the United States should be counted from when the first settlement was established, then the United States is 435 years old.

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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 (413 years old)

How old is America? 1 common answer and 9 potential others (9)

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 413 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 (241 years old)

How old is America? 1 common answer and 9 potential others (10)

If you believe the age of the United States should be counted from the Articles of Confederation were ratified, then the United States is 241-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)

How old is America? 1 common answer and 9 potential others (11)

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.

READ MORE: The Great Compromise of 1787

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 9. The End of the Civil War (157 years old)

How old is America? 1 common answer and 9 potential others (12)

If you believe the age of the United States should be counted from the end of the Civil War, then the United States is only 157 years old!

During the Civil War, the Union ceased to exist as the southern states seceded. It wasn’t reformed until the end of the Civil War in June 1865.

I mean, if you get divorced and remarried, you don’t count your wedding anniversary from when you were first married, do you? So why would you do that with a country?

Birthday 10. The First McDonalds (67 years old)

How old is America? 1 common answer and 9 potential others (13)

If we’re going to play fun hypotheticals, then lets at least have some fun with it.

One of the significant contributions the United States has made to world culture is the invention of fast food (you can argue about its merits, but you can’t deny its impact). Of all the fast-food chains, the most iconic is MacDonalds.

A new restaurant opens every 14.5 hours and the company feeds 68 million people PER DAY – which is larger than the population of Great Britain, France, and South Africa, and more than double the population of Australia.

Given the significant role this American icon has played in shaping the culinary habits of the world, an argument could be made (not a good argument, but an argument nonetheless) that you should count America’s age from the opening of the first MacDonalds store.

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If you believe the birth of the United States should be counted from when the Golden Arches first spanned this wide brown land and the first crunch of a McDonald’s french fry being hastily gobbled down by a satisfied customer was rang out across the carpark, then the United States is 67 years old as the first McDonalds opened it’s doors on April 15, 1955, in San Bernadino, California and has continued its march forward ever since.

In Summary

The age of the United States can be measured in many different ways, but the generally accepted consensus is that the United States of America is 246-years-old (and counting).


How old is America now 2022? ›

The Declaration of Independence was 1776, which makes the United States 246 years old in 2022.

How old would America be? ›

In 2021, America will celebrate its 246th birthday as independence was achieved from Great Britain following the Revolutionary War. The founding fathers signed this declaration on July 4, 1776.

How old is the US government? ›

Written in 1787, ratified in 1788, and in operation since 1789, the United States Constitution is the world's longest surviving written charter of government. Its first three words – “We The People” – affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens.

How old is the USA as in 2020? ›

How Old is America? If we start to count from the date when the Declaration of Independence was adopted (July 4, 1776) by the United States of America, it is going to complete 245 years in the year 2020.

When did America start? ›

What was U.S. called before 1776? ›

On September 9, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted a new name for what had been called the "United Colonies.” The moniker United States of America has remained since then as a symbol of freedom and independence.

How long is US history? ›

The exam, divided into two sections, is three hours and fifteen minutes long. Section I is 1 hour and 45 minutes long and consists of 55 multiple-choice questions and four short-answer questions.
AP U.S. History: What is Tested.
SectionNumber of QuestionsTime
1Part A: 55 Multiple-choice questions – 40%55 minutes
4 more rows
3 Jun 2021

How did America become America? ›

While the colonies may have established it, “America” was given a name long before. America is named after Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer who set forth the then revolutionary concept that the lands that Christopher Columbus sailed to in 1492 were part of a separate continent.

What 4th of July means? ›

On July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.

What is America the best at? ›

Aerospace and aviation. The USA is the world leader in space exploration, aerospace and aviation, hands down. The nation reaffirmed its top spot with the recent SpaceX rocket launch, which was the first ever commercialised space flight.

Is the US a country? ›

The United States of America is the world's third largest country in size and nearly the third largest in terms of population. Located in North America, the country is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean.

How old is China country? ›

Amongst the oldest nations in the World, the next on the list is China as it has been known to exist for over 3500 years. The Shang Dynasty ruled in China in 17th century B.C to 11th century B.C. This is considered as the longest-ruling period for any dynasty. Modern China came into existence around 220B.

Whats the youngest country? ›

South Sudan declared its independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011, making it the youngest country in the world. The country is located in East Africa and is bordered Ethiopia, Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and Kenya.

What's the youngest country? ›

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011 after years of civil war, but violence continues to ravage the world's newest country.

How old is the USA in 2021? ›

How old is America today? As of 2021, the United States of America is 245 years old.

Who was first in America? ›

In the 1970s, college students in archaeology such as myself learned that the first human beings to arrive in North America had come over a land bridge from Asia and Siberia approximately 13,000 to 13,500 years ago. These people, the first North Americans, were known collectively as Clovis people.

Who lived in the US first? ›

Up until the 1970s, these first Americans had a name: the Clovis peoples. They get their name from an ancient settlement discovered near Clovis, New Mexico, dated to over 11,000 years ago. And DNA suggests they are the direct ancestors of nearly 80 percent of all indigenous people in the Americas.

What was America before 1492? ›

Before 1492, modern-day Mexico, most of Central America, and the southwestern United States comprised an area now known as Meso or Middle America.

What is America's nickname? ›

On September 7, 1813, the United States gets its nickname, Uncle Sam. The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812.

Who founded America? ›

Explorer Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) is known for his 1492 'discovery' of the New World of the Americas on board his ship Santa Maria.

Who Ruled USA? ›

The Thirteen Colonies began a rebellion against British rule in 1775 and proclaimed their independence in 1776 as the United States of America.

How long has America been at war? ›

The US has been at war 225 out of 243 years since 1776 - The Transnational.

What does America lead the world in? ›

The USA is the world's foremost economic and military power, with global interests and an unmatched global reach. America's gross domestic product accounts for close to a quarter of the world total, and its military budget is reckoned to be almost as much as the rest of the world's defence spending put together.

How long is the AP World exam? ›

AP World History Exam Overview

The AP World History: Modern exam takes 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete and is composed of: a multiple-choice, short answer, and free response section.

What was America called before? ›

Answer and Explanation: Two names that America could have received before the arrival of the Europeans were Zuania (of Caribbean origin) and Abya-Yala (used by the Kuna people of Panama).

How was America named? ›

The LOC.GOV Wise Guide : How Did America Get Its Name? America is named after Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer who set forth the then revolutionary concept that the lands that Christopher Columbus sailed to in 1492 were part of a separate continent.

How did America get rich? ›

The integration of far-flung settlements required new technologies — steam engines, canals and railroads — setting the country on a natural course to industrial development. In sum, slavery and conquest created the foundation upon which the U.S. economy grew.

What is July known for? ›

July is named after Roman dictator Julius Caesar (100 B.C.–44 B.C.).
The Month of July
  • July 1 is Canada Day, a Canadian federal holiday that celebrates the creation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.
  • July 3 brings the start of the hot and sultry Dog Days of Summer! ...
  • July 4 is Independence Day (U.S.).

Why do we celebrate July 4th instead of July 2nd? ›

The Continental Congress declared American independence on July 2, even though the final wording of the Declaration of Independence had yet to be approved. That approval came two days later, which is why American independence is celebrated on July 4.

Who ruled America before independence? ›

In the early 1600s, the British king began establishing colonies in America. By the 1700s, most of the settlements had formed into 13 British colonies: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.

Which country is No 1 in world? ›

United States. The United States of America is a North American nation that is the world's most dominant economic and military power.

Who is stronger Russia or USA? ›

In short, Russia is ranked 2nd out of 140 in military strength while the US is ranked 1st. As per the army population, Russia has 142,320,790 soldiers while The US has 334,998,398 soldiers. The available manpower is 69,737,187 with Russia and 147,399,295 with the United States.

Is the US number 1 in anything? ›

The U.S. economy is the world's largest in terms of gross domestic product, and also the most technologically powerful.

What is America famous for? ›

Well known for its history, its film industry, its music industry and its dozens of unique and historic monuments, the United States is one of the greatest cultural, political and economic powers in the world.

Are there 50 or 52 states in the United States? ›

There are fifty (50) states and Washington D.C.The last two states to join the Union were Alaska (49th) and Hawaii (50th). Both joined in 1959. Washington D.C. is a federal district under the authority of Congress. Local government is run by a mayor and 13 member city council.

What is the best country to live in? ›

  • Sweden. #1 in Quality of Life. #5 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Denmark. #2 in Quality of Life. #10 in Best Countries Overall. ...
  • Canada. #3 in Quality of Life. ...
  • Switzerland. #4 in Quality of Life. ...
  • Norway. #5 in Quality of Life. ...
  • Finland. #6 in Quality of Life. ...
  • Germany. #7 in Quality of Life. ...
  • Netherlands. #8 in Quality of Life.

Is Japan the oldest country? ›

Japan is arguably the oldest country in the world. Dating back to 660 BCE, the nation was founded by Emperor Jimmu, and is at least 2,600 years old.

What are the 7 oldest countries in the world? ›

7 oldest countries in the world
  • Japan – 660 BCE. Although often disputed, 660 BCE is said to be the year when Japan came into existence. ...
  • China – 221 BCE. ...
  • San Marino – 301 CE. ...
  • France – 843 CE. ...
  • Hungary – 1000 CE. ...
  • Egypt – 3500 BC. ...
  • Greece – 3000 BC.

What is the oldest nation? ›

By many accounts, the Republic of San Marino, one of the world's smallest countries, is also the world's oldest country.

How old is Mexico today? ›

From the stone cities of the Maya to the might of the Aztecs, from its conquest by Spain to its rise as a modern nation, Mexico boasts a rich history and cultural heritage spanning more than 10,000 years.

How many 90 year olds are there in the US? ›

The nation's 90-and-older population nearly tripled over the past three decades, reaching 1.9 million in 2010, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau and supported by the National Institute on Aging. Over the next four decades, this population is projected to more than quadruple.

What is US Population 2022? ›

As our nation prepares to ring in the new year, the U.S. Census Bureau projects the United States population will be 332,403,650 on Jan. 1, 2022. This represents a 0.21% increase in population or an additional 706,899 people since New Year's Day 2021.

How many people in the US are 94 years old? ›

Population 65 Years and Over by Age, 1990, 2000, and 2010
85 to 89 years2,060,2473,620,459
90 to 94 years769,4811,448,366
95 years and over250,437424,608
8 more rows

Who named Mexico? ›

“Mexico” is a word first used by the Aztecs in their original nahuatl language. The indigenous tribe founded a city called Tenochtitlan in the valley now occupied by the modern Mexico City.

How many Mexicans are Mexican? ›

Total population
c. 137.2 million Mexican diaspora: c. 12 million 1.9% of the world's population
Regions with significant populations
Mexico 126,014,024
United States31,798,258
46 more rows

Who was in Mexico first? ›

The Olmecs, Mexico's first known society, settled on the Gulf Coast near what is now Veracruz.

Is 65 old for a woman? ›

Some authors define the age from 65 to 74 as pre-old age, while those aged over 75 are considered old. Similarly, one study differentiates the young-old from 60 to 69, the middle old from 70 to 79, and very old 80 years of age and older.

How rare is it to live to 80? ›

Finally, children born today will live longer than any other generation. About 2/3 will live past 80, and 1/3 past 90. Almost one in ten girls born now will live past 100.

How rare is it to live to 100? ›

Only a fraction of a percent of people are 100 or older

The current life expectancy is 75.6 for women and 70.8 for men. Out of the 7.8 billion people in the world, they are only about 316,600 — or 0.004% — centenarians living today, Iscovich reports.

What is the world population for 2022? ›

The global population is projected to reach 8 billion on 15 November 2022, and India is projected to surpass China as the world's most populous country in 2023, according to World Population Prospects 2022, released today on World Population Day.

What is 1% of the American population? ›

The United States has 325 million people—in 160 million households, as viewed by the Internal Revenue Service. That means 1.6 million households fall into the 1 percent category.

How many girls are there in the world in 2022? ›

5,081,333,771 persons between 15 and 64 years old ( 2,569,398,787 males / 2,511,954,917 females) 590,141,646 persons above 64 years old ( 261,787,349 males / 328,342,163 females)

How can I live past 90? ›

As it turned out, five specific lifestyle choices make a big difference in living to 90: not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, good blood pressure control, regular exercise, and avoiding diabetes.

How rare is it to live to 90? ›

At the end of the study, about 16 percent of the men and about 34 percent of the women survived to the age of 90.

How many 100 year olds are there? ›



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