List of U.S. state abbreviations

Last updated

Several sets of codes and abbreviations are used to represent the political divisions of the United States for postal addresses, data processing, general abbreviations, and other purposes.



This table includes abbreviations for three independent nations related to the United States through Compacts of Free Association, and other comparable postal abbreviations, including those now obsolete.

Codes and abbreviations for U.S. states, federal district, territories, and other regions
    ISO ISO 3166 codes (2-letter, 3-letter, and 3-digit codes from ISO 3166-1; 2+2-letter codes from ISO 3166-2)
    ANSI2-letter and 2-digit codes from the ANSI standard INCITS 38:2009 (supersedes FIPS 5-2)
    USPS2-letter codes used by the United States Postal Service
    USCG2-letter codes used by the United States Coast Guard (red text shows differences between ANSI and USCG)
    GPOOlder variable-length official US Government Printing Office abbreviations
    APAbbreviations from the AP Stylebook (red text shows differences between GPO and AP)
Name and status of region ISO ANSI USPS USCG GPO AP Other
Flag of the United States.svg  United States of America Federal state US
Flag of Alabama.svg  Alabama State US-ALAL01ALALAla.Ala.
Flag of Alaska.svg  Alaska StateUS-AKAK02AKAKAlaskaAlaskaAlas.
Flag of Arizona.svg  Arizona StateUS-AZAZ04AZAZAriz.Ariz.Az.
Flag of Arkansas.svg  Arkansas StateUS-ARAR05ARARArk.Ark.
Flag of California.svg  California StateUS-CACA06CACFCalif.Calif.Ca., Cal.
Flag of Colorado.svg  Colorado StateUS-COCO08COCLColo.Colo.Col.
Flag of Connecticut.svg  Connecticut StateUS-CTCT09CTCTConn.Conn.Ct.
Flag of Delaware.svg  Delaware StateUS-DEDE10DEDLDel.Del.De.
Flag of Washington, D.C..svg  District of Columbia Federal district US-DCDC11DCDCD.C.D.C.Wash. D.C.
Flag of Florida.svg  Florida StateUS-FLFL12FLFLFla.Fla.Fl., Flor.
Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg  Georgia StateUS-GAGA13GAGAGa.Ga.Geo.
Flag of Hawaii.svg  Hawaii StateUS-HIHI15HIHAHawaiiHawaiiH.I.
Flag of Idaho.svg  Idaho StateUS-IDID16IDIDIdahoIdahoId., Ida.
Flag of Illinois.svg  Illinois StateUS-ILIL17ILILIll.Ill.Il., Ills., Ill's
Flag of Indiana.svg  Indiana StateUS-ININ18ININInd.Ind.In.
Flag of Iowa.svg  Iowa StateUS-IAIA19IAIAIowaIowaIa., Ioa. [lower-alpha 1]
Flag of Kansas.svg  Kansas StateUS-KSKS20KSKAKans.Kan.Ks., Ka.
Flag of Kentucky.svg  Kentucky State ("Commonwealth")US-KYKY21KYKYKy.Ky.Ken., Kent. [lower-alpha 2]
Flag of Louisiana.svg  Louisiana StateUS-LALA22LALALa.La.
Flag of Maine.svg  Maine StateUS-MEME23MEMEMaineMaineMe.
Flag of Maryland.svg  Maryland StateUS-MDMD24MDMDMd.Md.Mar., Mary.
Flag of Massachusetts.svg  Massachusetts State ("Commonwealth")US-MAMA25MAMSMass.Mass.
Flag of Michigan.svg  Michigan StateUS-MIMI26MIMCMich.Mich.
Flag of Minnesota.svg  Minnesota StateUS-MNMN27MNMNMinn.Minn.Mn.
Flag of Mississippi.svg  Mississippi StateUS-MSMS28MSMIMiss.Miss.
Flag of Missouri.svg  Missouri StateUS-MOMO29MOMOMo.Mo.
Flag of Montana.svg  Montana StateUS-MTMT30MTMTMont.Mont.
Flag of Nebraska.svg  Nebraska StateUS-NENE31NENBNebr.Neb.
Flag of Nevada.svg  Nevada StateUS-NVNV32NVNVNev.Nev.Nv.
Flag of New Hampshire.svg  New Hampshire StateUS-NHNH33NHNHN.H.N.H.
Flag of New Jersey.svg  New Jersey StateUS-NJNJ34NJNJN.J.N.J.N.Jersey
Flag of New Mexico.svg  New Mexico StateUS-NMNM35NMNMN. Mex.N.M.New M.
Flag of New York.svg  New York StateUS-NYNY36NYNYN.Y.N.Y.N. York
Flag of North Carolina.svg  North Carolina StateUS-NCNC37NCNCN.C.N.C.N. Car.
Flag of North Dakota.svg  North Dakota StateUS-NDND38NDNDN. Dak.N.D.NoDak
Flag of Ohio.svg  Ohio StateUS-OHOH39OHOHOhioOhioOh.
Flag of Oklahoma.svg  Oklahoma StateUS-OKOK40OKOKOkla.Okla.Ok.
Flag of Oregon.svg  Oregon StateUS-OROR41OROROreg.Ore.Or.
Flag of Pennsylvania.svg  Pennsylvania State ("Commonwealth")US-PAPA42PAPAPa.Pa.Penn., Penna.
Flag of Rhode Island.svg  Rhode Island StateUS-RIRI44RIRIR.I.R.I.R.I. &  P.P., R. Isl.
Flag of South Carolina.svg  South Carolina StateUS-SCSC45SCSCS.C.S.C.S. Car.
Flag of South Dakota.svg  South Dakota StateUS-SDSD46SDSDS. Dak.S.D.SoDak
Flag of Tennessee.svg  Tennessee StateUS-TNTN47TNTNTenn.Tenn.
Flag of Texas.svg  Texas StateUS-TXTX48TXTXTex.TexasTx.
Flag of Utah.svg  Utah StateUS-UTUT49UTUTUtahUtahUt.
Flag of Vermont.svg  Vermont StateUS-VTVT50VTVTVt.Vt.
Flag of Virginia.svg  Virginia State ("Commonwealth")US-VAVA51VAVAVa.Va.Virg.
Flag of Washington.svg  Washington StateUS-WAWA53WAWNWash.Wash.Wa., Wn. [1]
Flag of West Virginia.svg  West Virginia StateUS-WVWV54WVWVW. Va.W.Va.W.V., W. Virg.
Flag of Wisconsin.svg  Wisconsin StateUS-WIWI55WIWSWis.Wis.Wi., Wisc.
Flag of Wyoming.svg  Wyoming StateUS-WYWY56WYWYWyo.Wyo.Wy.
Flag of American Samoa.svg  American Samoa Insular area (Territory)AS
Flag of Guam.svg  Guam Insular area (Territory)GU
Flag of the Northern Mariana Islands.svg  Northern Mariana Islands Insular area (Commonwealth)MP
Flag of Puerto Rico.svg  Puerto Rico Insular area (Commonwealth)PR
Flag of the United States Virgin Islands.svg  U.S. Virgin Islands Insular area (Territory)VI
U.S. Minor Outlying Islands Insular areasUM
    Baker Island    islandUM-8181XB [3]
    Howland Island    islandUM-8484XH [3]
    Jarvis Island    islandUM-8686XQ [3]
    Johnston Atoll    atollUM-6767XU [3]
    Kingman Reef    atollUM-8989XM [3]
    Midway Islands    atollUM-7171QM [3]
    Navassa Island    islandUM-7676XV [3]
    Palmyra Atoll [lower-alpha 3]    atoll [lower-alpha 3] UM-9595XL [3]
    Wake Island    atollUM-7979QW [3]
Flag of Federated States of Micronesia.svg  Micronesia Freely associated state FM
Flag of the Marshall Islands.svg  Marshall Islands Freely associated stateMH
Flag of Palau.svg  Palau Freely associated statePW
U.S. Armed ForcesAmericas [lower-alpha 4] US military mail code AA
U.S. Armed Forces – Europe [lower-alpha 5] US military mail codeAE
U.S. Armed Forces – Pacific [lower-alpha 6] US military mail codeAP
Flag of the Northern Mariana Islands.svg  Northern Mariana Islands Obsolete postal code [lower-alpha 7] CM
Flag of Panama Canal Zone.svg Panama Canal Zone Obsolete postal codePZ
Flag of Nebraska.svg  Nebraska Obsolete postal code [lower-alpha 8] NB
Flag of the Philippines (navy blue).svg Philippine Islands Obsolete postal codePH
Flag of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.svg Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands Obsolete postal codePC


As early as October 1831, the United States Post Office recognized common abbreviations for states and territories. However, they only accepted these abbreviations because of their popularity, preferring that patrons spell names out in full to avoid confusion. [5]

The traditional abbreviations for U.S. states and territories, widely used in mailing addresses prior to the introduction of two-letter U.S. postal abbreviations, are still commonly used for other purposes (such as legal citation), and are still recognized (though discouraged) by the Postal Service. [6]

Modern two-letter abbreviated codes for the states and territories originated in October 1963, with the issuance of Publication 59: Abbreviations for Use with ZIP Code, three months after the Post Office introduced ZIP codes in July 1963. The purpose, rather than to standardize state abbreviations per se, was to make room in a line of no more than 23 characters for the city, the state, and the ZIP code. [5]

Since 1963, only one state abbreviation has changed. Originally Nebraska was "NB"; but, in November 1969, the Post Office changed it to "NE" to avoid confusion with New Brunswick in Canada. [5]

The two-letter postal abbreviation system is complicated by the fact that several state names begin with the same letter (e.g., eight state names begin with M and eight begin with N, four "New" and two "North"). To avoid duplications, some abbreviations are not intuitive.

Prior to 1987, when the U.S. Secretary of Commerce approved the two-letter codes for use in government documents, [7] the United States Government Printing Office (GPO) suggested its own set of abbreviations, with some states left unabbreviated. Today, the GPO supports United States Postal Service standard. [8]

Current use of traditional abbreviations

The Associated Press Stylebook, the usage guide for most United States newspapers, counsels the use of abbreviations for most state names, when appended to a city name (for example, "Santa Ana, Calif."). AP suggests spelling out the names of Alaska, Hawaii, and all states with five or fewer letters; and, unlike the old GPO recommendations, AP suggests spelling out the names of all non-state territories, with the exception of the District of Columbia (D.C.). Legal citation manuals, such as The Bluebook and The ALWD Citation Manual , typically use these "traditional abbreviations" or variants thereof.

Codes for states and territories

ISO standard 3166

ANSI standard INCITS 38:2009

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) established alphabetic and numeric codes for each state and outlying areas in ANSI standard INCITS 38:2009. ANSI standard INCITS 38:2009 replaced the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) standards FIPS 5-2, FIPS 6-4, and FIPS 10-4. The ANSI alphabetic state code is the same as the USPS state code except for U.S. Minor Outlying Islands, which have an ANSI code "UM" but no USPS code—and U.S. Military Mail locations, which have USPS codes ("AA", "AE", "AP") but no ANSI code.

Postal codes

WashingtonOregonCaliforniaHawaiiAlaskaIdahoVermontNew HampshireMassachusettsRhode IslandConnecticutNew JerseyDelawareMarylandD.C.MontanaNorth DakotaSouth DakotaNevadaUtahArizonaWyomingColoradoNew MexicoNebraskaKansasOklahomaTexasMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMichiganWisconsinIllinoisIndianaOhioWest VirginiaKentuckyTennesseeMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaNorth CarolinaVirginiaMarylandMarylandDistrict of ColumbiaDelawareNew YorkPennsylvaniaNew JerseyConnecticutRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireVermontMaineList of U.S. state abbreviations
List of U.S. state abbreviations

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has established a set of uppercase abbreviations to help process mail with optical character recognition and other automated equipment. [9] There are also official USPS abbreviations for other parts of the address, such as street designators (street, avenue, road, etc.).

These postal abbreviations are distinguished from traditional abbreviations such as Calif., Fla., or Tex. The Associated Press Stylebook states that in contexts other than mailing addresses, the traditional state abbreviations should be used. [10] However, the Chicago Manual of Style now recommends use of the uppercase two-letter abbreviations, with the traditional forms as an option. [11]

The postal abbreviation is the same as the ISO 3166-2 subdivision code for each of the fifty states.

These codes do not overlap with the 13 Canadian subnational postal abbreviations. The code for Nebraska changed from NB to NE in November 1969 to avoid a conflict with New Brunswick. [5] Canada likewise chose MB for Manitoba to prevent conflict with either Massachusetts (MA), Michigan (MI), Minnesota (MN), Missouri (MO), or Montana (MT).

Coast Guard vessel prefixes

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) uses a set of two-letter prefixes for vessel numbers; [12] 39 states and the District of Columbia have the same USPS and USCG abbreviations. USCG prefixes have also been established for five outlying territories; all are the same as the USPS abbreviations except the Mariana Islands. The twelve cases where USPS and USCG abbreviations differ are listed below and marked in red in the table above.

Mis-matches between USPS and USCG codes
CaliforniaColoradoDelawareHawaiiKansasMichiganMississippiMassachusettsNebraskaWashingtonWisconsinMariana Islands

See also


  1. "Ioa." or (more typically) "IOA" found in Iowa post office cancellations from the 1870s.
  2. Not to be confused with Kent, England
  3. 1 2 The Palmyra Atoll is an unorganized incorporated territory of the United States that was previously a part of the Territory of Hawaii.
  4. The U.S. Armed Forces – Americas include the Caribbean Sea and exclude the United States, Canada, and Greenland.
  5. The U.S. Armed Forces – Europe include the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, Canada, Greenland, Africa, and Southwest Asia.
  6. The U.S. Armed Forces – Pacific include the Indian Ocean, Oceania, and Asia except Southwest Asia.
  7. Former USPS code "CM" for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is now obsolete; it was changed to MP in 1988 to match ISO 3166-1.
  8. Former USPS code "NB" for Nebraska is now obsolete; it was changed to NE in November 1969 to avoid confusion with New Brunswick, Canada.

Related Research Articles

Country code alphabetic or numeric geographical codes that represent countries and dependent areas

Country codes are short alphabetic or numeric geographical codes (geocodes) developed to represent countries and dependent areas, for use in data processing and communications. Several different systems have been developed to do this. The term country code frequently refers to ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 or international dialing codes, the E.164 country calling codes.

Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) are publicly announced standards developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology for use in computer systems by non-military American government agencies and government contractors.

ISO 3166 is a standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that defines codes for the names of countries, dependent territories, special areas of geographical interest, and their principal subdivisions. The official name of the standard is Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions.

Postal code series of letters and digits for sorting mail

A postal code is a series of letters or digits or both, sometimes including spaces or punctuation, included in a postal address for the purpose of sorting mail.

ZIP Code Numeric postal code used in the United States

A ZIP Code is a postal code used by the United States Postal Service (USPS). Introduced in 1963, the basic format consists of five digits. In 1983, an extended ZIP+4 code was introduced; it includes the five digits of the ZIP Code, followed by a hyphen and four digits that designate a more specific location.

FIPS state codes were numeric and two-letter alphabetic codes defined in U.S. Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 5-2 to identify U.S. states and certain other associated areas. The standard superseded FIPS PUB 5-1 on May 28, 1987, and was superseded on September 2, 2008, by ANSI standard INCITS 38:2009.

ISO 3166-2:CA is the entry for Canada in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.

ISO 3166-2:US is the entry for the United States in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in I 3166-1.

ISO 3166-1 is part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and defines codes for the names of countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest. The official name of the standard is Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions – Part 1: Country codes. It defines three sets of country codes:

ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 two-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166-1

ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are two-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166-1, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), to represent countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest. They are the most widely used of the country codes published by ISO, and are used most prominently for the Internet's country code top-level domains. They are also used as country identifiers extending the postal code when appropriate within the international postal system for paper mail, and has replaced the previous one consisting one-letter codes. They were first included as part of the ISO 3166 standard in its first edition in 1974.

These are data codes for Switzerland.

Geographic Names Information System geographical database

The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is a database that contains name and locative information about more than two million physical and cultural features located throughout the United States of America and its territories. It is a type of gazetteer. GNIS was developed by the United States Geological Survey in cooperation with the United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN) to promote the standardization of feature names.

An address is a collection of information, presented in a mostly fixed format, used to give the location of a building, apartment, or other structure or a plot of land, generally using political boundaries and street names as references, along with other identifiers such as house or apartment numbers and organization name. Some addresses also contain special codes, such as a postal code, to make identification easier and aid in the routing of mail.

Canadian provincial and territorial postal abbreviations are used by Canada Post in a code system consisting of two capital letters, to represent the 13 provinces and territories on addressed mail. These abbreviations allow automated sorting.

Geolocation identification of the real-world geographic location of an object

Geolocation is the identification or estimation of the real-world geographic location of an object, such as a radar source, mobile phone, or Internet-connected computer terminal. In its simplest form, geolocation involves the generation of a set of geographic coordinates and is closely related to the use of positioning systems, but its usefulness is enhanced by the use of these coordinates to determine a meaningful location, such as a street address.

ISO 3166-2:UM is the entry for the United States Minor Outlying Islands in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.


  1. "search on WN". Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  2. "Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands". Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes Standard". NSG Standards Registry. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  4. "Philippine diplomats will now use PH or PHL instead of RP". GMA News. October 28, 2010. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  5. 1 2 3 4 USPS Postal History: State Abbreviations Accessed November 7, 2011.
  6. "USPS Postal News, "It's Okay to Say 'I Don't Know,' So Long As You Find Out!" January 9, 2009". January 9, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  7. Hawes, Kristi G. (May 28, 1987). "Information Technology Laboratory". NIST. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  8. U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual, 30th Edition Accessed April 21, 2009.
  9. United States Postal Service Publication 28 - Postal Addressing Standards. Accessed February 4, 2007.
  10. State Abbreviations
  11. Major Rule Changes in The Chicago Manual of Style, Fifteenth Edition Accessed May 23, 2009
  12. 33 C.F.R. 173 , App. A