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How to Decipher a Social Security Number

This information isn't really a secret. It just isn't very well known. According to the Social Security Administration, your nine-digit Social Security Number (SSN) is divided into three parts:

1. The first three digits are known as the "area number". Until June 25, 2011, this is generally the State or territory where your SSN was assigned. Thereafter, the number was randomly assigned.

2. The second two numbers are known as the "group numbers". They really do not have any geographical or data significance.

3. The third set of four numbers is simply the numerical sequence of digits 0001 to 9999 issued within each group.

People born in the United States since 1987 may have had their SSN applied for them by the hospital at birth. This does vary by State. By using the first three numbers of anyone's SSN, you can either tell in which State they were born, or at the least, one of the States where they once lived. Try it!

Social Security "Area Code" Number Chart

The first three digits of a Social Security Number correspond to locations as follows:
SSNStateSSNState or Territory
001-003New Hampshire449-467, 627-645Texas
035-039Rhode Island501-502North Dakota
040-049Connecticut503-504South Dakota
050-134New York505-508Nebraska
135-158New Jersey509-515Kansas
223-231, 691-699Virginia521-524, 650-653Colorado
232-236West Virginia525, 585, 648-649New Mexico
232, 237-246, 681-690North Carolina526-527, 600-601, 764-765Arizona
247-251, 654-658South Carolina528-529, 646-647Utah
252-260, 667-675Georgia530, 680Nevada
261-267, 589-595,
303-317Indiana545-573, 602-626California
362-386Michigan575-576, 750-751Hawaii
387-399Wisconsin577-579District of Columbia
400-407Kentucky580Virgin Islands
408-415, 756-763Tennessee580-584, 596-599Puerto Rico
425-428, 587-588,
Mississippi586American Samoa
429-432, 676-679Arkansas586Philippine Islands
433-439, 659-665Louisiana700-728Railroad Board*
440-448Oklahoma729-733Enumeration at Entry

  1. * = 700-728 issuance of these numbers to railroad employees was discontinued July 1, 1963.
  2. If the same area number appears above more than once, it is because certain numbers were transferred from one State to another or that the area number was divided for use amongst certain geographical locations.
  3. Any number beginning with "000", "666", "900-999", has a middle "00", or ends in "0000" will never be a valid SSN.
  4. Effective June 25, 2011, the SSA began a new randomized assignment methodology, called "SSN Randomization", in an effort to extend the longevity of the nine-digit SSN nationwide as well as making the newly assigned SSN's more difficult to reconstruct using public information. Unused area numbers as well as previously unassigned area numbers will now be available in the new randomization system.
  5. Social Security Numbers are never reassigned after someone dies. Despite issuing over 450 million SSN's since 1936, and assigning about 5.5 million new numbers a year, they can still issue new numbers for several generations.
Source: www.socialsecurity.gov. All data is current as of July 4, 2011.

Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed. The information presented is solely intended to assist site visitors in better understanding Social Security Numbers.

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Feel free to contact me to correct any information in this article.

© 2004 Topher
Updated 2012

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