What Are the Abbreviations for the 50 States?


Quick Answer

The abbreviations for the 50 states are two-letter acronyms that relate to the name of the state. They were implemented at the same time the five-digit ZIP code was created. Postal workers thought long city names coupled with long state names would be too much for magazine address labels.

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Full Answer

In 1943, the United States Post Office Department implemented a zoning system to help postal workers deliver mail to its intended destination. When this zoning system failed to produce the desired results, the non-mandatory five-digit system was also implemented to help. Because the new code added to the length of mailing addresses, abbreviations for each state were finally recognized over spelling out the entire state name, and the abbreviations were standardized to avoid confusion.

The state abbreviations are as follows: AL for Alabama, AK for Alaska, AZ for Arizona, AR for Arkansas, CA for California, CO for Colorado, CT for Connecticut, DE for Delaware, FL for Florida, GA for Georgia, HI for Hawaii, ID for Idaho, IL for Illinois, IN for Indiana, IA for Iowa, KS for Kansas, KY for Kentucky, LA for Louisiana, ME for Maine, MD for Maryland, MA for Massachusetts, MI for Michigan, MN for Minnesota, MS for Mississippi, MO for Missouri, MT for Montana, NE for Nebraska, NV for Nevada, NH for New Hampshire, NJ for New Jersey, NM for New Mexico, NY for New York, NC for North Carolina, ND for North Dakota, OH for Ohio, OK for Oklahoma, OR for Oregon, PA for Pennsylvania, RI for Rhode Island, SC for South Carolina, SD for South Dakota, TN for Tennessee, TX for Texas, UT for Utah, VT for Vermont, VA for Virginia, WA for Washington, WV for West Virginia, WI for Wisconsin and WY for Wyoming.

District of Columbia is considered a commonwealth, not a state, and its abbreviation is DC.

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