How do you read a Social Security number?


Quick Answer

A Social Security number is divided into three parts: area number, group number and serial number, according to the Social Security Administration website. The only number that provides specific information is the area number, which is linked to geographical region.

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Full Answer

Prior to 1972, the area number correlated with the applicant's state of residence. Since then, the number is assigned based on the zip code of the applicant's mailing address, which is not necessarily the applicant's residence. According to Social Security Numerology, it is a myth that the Social Security group number identifies the individual's race. The group number ranges from 01 to 99 and is assigned based on an even/odd scheme, as explained on the SSA website.

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