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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.

By using the first three numbers of anyone's SSN, you can often 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
627-645
Texas
004-007Maine468-477Minnesota
008-009Vermont478-485Iowa
010-034Massachusetts486-500Missouri
035-039Rhode Island501-502North Dakota
040-049Connecticut503-504South Dakota
050-134New York505-508Nebraska
135-158New Jersey509-515Kansas
159-211Pennsylvania516-517Montana
212-220Maryland518-519Idaho
221-222Delaware520Wyoming
223-231
691-699
Virginia521-524
650-653
Colorado
232-236West Virginia525, 585
648-649
New Mexico
232
237-246
681-690
North Carolina526-527
600-601
764-765
Arizona
247-251
654-658
South Carolina528-529
646-647
Utah
252-260
667-675
Georgia530, 680Nevada
261-267
589-595
766-772
Florida531-539Washington
268-302Ohio540-544Oregon
303-317Indiana545-573
602-626
California
318-361Illinois574Alaska
362-386Michigan575-576
750-751
Hawaii
387-399Wisconsin577-579District of Columbia
400-407Kentucky580Virgin Islands
408-415
756-763
Tennessee580-584
596-599
Puerto Rico
416-424Alabama586Guam
425-428
587-588
752-755
Mississippi586American Samoa
429-432
676-679
Arkansas586Philippine Islands
433-439
659-665
Louisiana700-728Railroad Board*
440-448Oklahoma729-733Enumeration at Entry
237-246, 587-665, 667-679,
681-699, 750-772
Officially: Not Issued
734-749, 773-899Unknown
000, 666, 900-999Never valid numbers

Important Notes:
  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. Originally, the first three digits were assigned by the geographical region in which the person was residing at the time the number was assigned. "Generally, numbers were assigned beginning in the northeast and moved westward. So people on the east coast had the lowest numbers and those on the west coast had the highest numbers".

  5. Since 1972/1973, when SSA started assigning SSNs and issuing cards centrally from Baltimore, the Area Number assigned has been based on the ZIP code in the mailing address provided on the application for the original Social Security card. The applicant's mailing address does not have to be the same as their place of birth or residence. Prior to 1972/1973, social security numbers were assigned by field offices. Therefore, the Area Number does not necessarily represent the State of residence of the applicant, either prior to 1972/1973 or since.

  6. People born in the United States since 1987 may have had their SSN applied for them by the hospital at birth. This policy varies by State.

  7. 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 for security since randomization makes the newly assigned SSN's more difficult to reconstruct using public information. Unused area numbers previously assigned to states, as well as previously unassigned area numbers, will now be available in the new randomization system.

  8. Numbers in red were originally assigned to these states but were subsequently unassigned come June 2011 and used in the new randomized assignment. Numbers in these "officially" unissued series may still have been issued for applicants in these states prior to randomization.

  9. 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 June 1, 2014.

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.

Since we do not have complete control over the "Ads by Google" appearing on this page, we do not directly endorse their sites or products. Please notify us if you find any of the advertisers to be misleading.
Feel free to contact me to correct any information in this article.

© 2004 Topher
Updated 2014

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