List of All 50 US State Abbreviations (2022)

Although technology has made communicating with friends and family easier, there are still occasions where you may want to send a letter the old-fashioned way. To make sure your mail arrives at the correct destination in the United States, you'll need to use the appropriate U.S. state abbreviations. Check out a complete state abbreviations list, traditional abbreviations for each state and when you'd want to use either one.

List of All 50 US State Abbreviations (1) US map of state abbreviations


US State Abbreviations List

These official state abbreviations have all been standardized by the United States Postal Service (USPS). State postal abbreviations are all two letters, and these two letters are always capitalized without any periods. There is also a list of traditional abbreviations used in other contexts. Note that with the traditional state abbreviations, the first letter is capitalized, subsequent letters are lowercase (unless they're abbreviating a new word) and each abbreviation (where the name is not written out in full) ends in a period.

Browse the list of all 50 U.S. state postal abbreviations as well as their traditional abbreviations. A printable list is provided below.

State NameUSPS AbbreviationTraditional Abbreviation
NebraskaNENeb. or Nebr.
New HampshireNHN.H.
New JerseyNJN.J.
New MexicoNMN.Mex.
New YorkNYN.Y.
North CarolinaNCN.C.
North DakotaNDN.Dak.
OregonOROre. or Oreg.
Rhode IslandRIR.I.
South CarolinaSCS.C.
South DakotaSDS.Dak.
TexasTXTex. or Texas
West VirginiaWVW.Va.
WisconsinWIWis. or Wisc.

Did you know? For the most part, these state abbreviations have stayed the same since 1963. One exception is Nebraska, which changed its abbreviation from NB to NE in 1967 to avoid confusion with the Canadian province New Brunswick.

Printable List of US State Abbreviations

If you want to keep a handy resource available for future use, you can download and print this list of USPS state abbreviations.

(Video) 50 States of America & the Abbreviations

List of All 50 US State Abbreviations (2)

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Printable US State Abbreviations Map

If you'd like a quick visual guide to remembering the state abbreviations, check out the map below. Download the map and you can write in the abbreviation on each state and then click on the checkmark to see if you're correct. Print the map for a handy reference sheet.

List of All 50 US State Abbreviations (3)

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US Commonwealths and Territories

The United States has several territories outside of the 50 states in the union. These territories may not be official states, but they still adhere to the same formula of two capital letters for their official abbreviations.

Territory Name

USPS Abbreviation

Traditional Abbreviation

American SamoaASAmer. Samoa
District of ColumbiaDCD.C.
Northern Mariana IslandsMPM.P.
Puerto RicoPRP.R.
Virgin IslandsVIV.I.
(Video) Names of 50 US States with American Accent - American English Pronunciation

Brief History of Postal Abbreviations

These USPS postal abbreviations haven't been around forever. In fact, they've only existed since 1963, just four years after the 50th state (Hawaii) was added to the union. Before that, most states had three to five letters in their abbreviations, such as FLA for Florida and CALIF for California — similar to their traditional abbreviations.

However, on July 1, 1963, the Post Office Department began using five-digit zip codes. The addressing equipment at most post offices only allowed 23 characters, so they needed to shorten the state abbreviations in order to fit the zip codes. That's where the two-digit USPS state abbreviations began.

Using State vs. Traditional Abbreviations

If you're writing a letter or sending anything else through the mail, you should use the USPS state abbreviation. However, style guides such as MLA Style, AP Style or Chicago Manual of Style sometimes prefer traditional abbreviations rather than the USPS abbreviations.


(Video) States Abbreviations Quiz | All 50 States Test

Using USPS State Abbreviations

Here's when you should use USPS state abbreviations:

  • when addressing a letter or item through the United States mail
  • when writing bibliographies or tables in Chicago style
  • in parentheses after writing the full name of a state

Using Traditional State Abbreviations

In other cases, you should use the traditional abbreviations, such as:

  • when describing a person's political party affiliation (for example, D-Miss. or R-Mont.)
  • when naming the location of a news story in the dateline of an article
  • when naming states in a list or table in AP style

If the situation isn't listed here, you should use the entire capitalized state name. One example is when you're writing about a state in running text, such as "I went to Wyoming over the summer." Avoid either state or traditional abbreviations in headlines when possible.

Tips For Remembering State Abbreviations

So why is Tennessee abbreviated as TN instead of TE? Why is the abbreviation for Missouri MO when the word starts with "Mi?" Many postal abbreviations are from older sets of abbreviations, and they never repeat between states. Most state abbreviations follow a pattern for shortening state names.

You can follow these general patterns:

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  • All USPS and traditional abbreviations begin with the first letter of the state's name.
  • The second letter of USPS abbreviations is found within the state's name (usually the second letter, but in some cases, further along in the word).
  • If a state has two words in its name, its postal abbreviation uses the first letter of each word in its abbreviation (for example, NM for New Mexico and WV for West Virginia).
  • Most traditional abbreviations use the first three, four or five letters of the state's name, such as Colorado (Colo.) or Nevada (Nev.)


State Abbreviations That Don't Follow Standard Patterns

However, there are a few states that break the rules or are especially confusing. Some of these states of confusion include:

  • States with five or fewer letters are never abbreviated in traditional abbreviations. These states are Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, and Utah.
  • Alaska and Hawaii are also never abbreviated in traditional abbreviations, although they are abbreviated in USPS abbreviations (AK and HI).
  • Some states, such as Tennessee and Texas, begin with the same letters. Giving either state the abbreviation of TE would be confusing; therefore, Tennessee is TN and Texas is TX.
  • Much of the confusion around state abbreviations comes from the eight states that begin with "M" (Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, and Montana). Of these states, only two follow the first-and-second-letter rule: Massachusetts (MA) and Michigan (MI).
  • States that use the same letters in both USPS and traditional abbreviations are: Georgia (GA and Ga.), Kentucky (KY and Ky.), Louisiana (LA and La.), Maryland (MD and Md.), Missouri (MO and Mo.), Pennsylvania (PA and Pa.), Vermont (VT and Vt.), and Virginia (VA and Va.)
  • States with two words in their names also share USPS and traditional abbreviations, with the exception of New Mexico (NM and N.Mex.), North Dakota (ND and N.Dak.), South Dakota (SD and S.Dak.), and West Virginia (WV and W.Va.)

When all else fails, come up with a memorable mnemonic to help you think of the correct codes. For example, Hawaiians are so friendly that they always say "HI!"


More Interesting States Information

The United States is a fascinating and diverse country, with each state very different from the next. Take a tour around the different regions of the U.S. with several exciting and educational resources.

(Video) The 50 States of America and Their Abbreviations

  • Use a list of USPS street and building abbreviations for further postal reference.
  • Check out some interesting facts about U.S. state capitals from all 50 states.
  • Learn fun facts about Georgia that you may have not known before. And while you're learning about the South, you can find out all about Florida.
  • From the South to the West. Have you ever wanted to know some amazing facts about Hawaii? Or what about these incredible facts about California?
  • Take a look at the largest cities in the U.S. by state. See how they compare to the largest cities in the world.

America the Beautiful

Learning more about the United States of America can bring a new appreciation for the great democratic experiment. Expand your knowledge with these famous American symbols and their histories. Finally, if you're writing about the U.S., check out a list of words that describe the United States.

Jennifer Gunner

Staff Writer


What is the abbreviation of all states? ›

15 more rows

What is a valid 2 letter state code? ›

Two–Letter State and Possession Abbreviations
American SamoaAS
55 more rows

What were old abbreviations for states? ›

Knowing to search Google for both the state and its old fashioned abbreviation, such as Washington OR "Wash." can widen your search possibilities.
Old-Style U. S. State Abbreviations.
CaliforniaCal., Calif.
ColoradoCol., Colo.
45 more rows

How do I convert full state names to abbreviations in Excel? ›

How to Abbreviate State Names in Excel
  1. =VLOOKUP(value, table,index number,[range_lookup])
  2. =VLOOKUP(name,states,2,0)
  3. =VLOOKUP(C5,states,2,0)

How many states are in the United States 50 or 52? ›

States of the U.S.

There are fifty (50) states and Washington D.C.The last two states to join the Union were Alaska (49th) and Hawaii (50th). Both joined in 1959. Washington D.C. is a federal district under the authority of Congress. Local government is run by a mayor and 13 member city council.

What letter is not in any state name? ›

Letter Q is the only letter not used in the US state names. The answer is "Q". It has to be "Q", However, I know of Queens in New York.

What states start with AK? ›

Classification structure
CodeStateAlpha code
47 more rows
May 6, 2019

What are some popular abbreviations? ›

Common text abbreviations
  • ROFL: Rolling on floor laughing.
  • STFU: Shut the *swear word!* up.
  • ICYMI: In case you missed it.
  • TL;DR: Too long, didn't read.
  • LMK: Let me know.
  • NVM: Nevermind.
  • TGIF: Thank goodness it's Friday.
  • TBH: To be honest.
Apr 27, 2020

What state is AE in USA? ›

State Abbreviations Code Table
AEArmed Forces Europe
APArmed Forces Pacific
72 more rows

What does CA stand for? ›

California (US postal abbreviation)

Can you spell out the state on an envelope? ›

Yes! All wording on your envelopes should be spelled out, not abbreviated. Spell out all street names, post office box, apartment and states. The exceptions are titles of names such as Mr and Mrs, Dr, Jr, Sr, and the one state exception is Washington, DC which can be written as DC as opposed to District of Columbia.

When did states stop using 3 letter abbreviations? ›

To make room for the ZIP Code, state names needed to be abbreviated. The Department provided an initial list of abbreviations in June 1963, but many had three or four letters, which was still too long. In October 1963, the Department settled on the current two-letter abbreviations.

When did 2 letter state abbreviations become mandatory? ›

In 1963, the state postal codes were formalized into two character abbreviations.

What is the rule for state abbreviations? ›

In AP style, you use abbreviations for most state names when following a city name (for example, "Scranton, Pa."). In AP style, you always spell out Alaska, Hawaii, and state names with five or fewer letters.

How do you get Excel to AutoFill States? ›

Put the mouse pointer over the bottom right-hand corner of the cell until it's a black plus sign. Click and hold the left mouse button, and drag the plus sign over the cells you want to fill. And the series is filled in for you automatically using the AutoFill feature.

How do I extract abbreviations from a Word document? ›

Use the Acronyms pane in Word
  1. Go to References > Acronyms.
  2. In the Acronyms pane, find the acronyms from your document with their definitions. To see where the acronym definition was found, select Found in a shared file, Found in your email, or Defined by your organization .

Is there a way to abbreviate States in Excel? ›

Note: In the above formula, D2 is the state name which you want to return its relative abbreviation, A2:B51 is the data range you want to look for, the number 2 indicates the column number that your matched value is returned.
Convert full state names to abbreviations with Vlookup function.
State NameAbbrev
49 more rows

What is the 51st state of the United States of America? ›

2000 to Congress to "set forth the process for Puerto Rico to be admitted as a state of the Union", asking for Congress to vote on ratifying Puerto Rico as the 51st state.

Why is Washington DC not a state? ›

So, to compromise, George Washington himself chose a location bordering the Potomac River. The northern Maryland and the southern Virginia would be the two states to cede land for this new capital, which was founded in 1790. So, in short, statehood for D.C. would directly contradict the Constitution.

Why is there 50 stars on the American flag and not 52? ›

There are 50 stars representing the 50 states and there are 13 stripes representing the 13 original colonies.

Which is the only vowel not used in US state? ›

The only letter that doesn't show up in any of the U.S. states names is Q!

What 6 letters dropped from the alphabet? ›

The six that most recently got axed are:
  • Eth (ð) The y in ye actually comes from the letter eth, which slowly merged with y over time. ...
  • Thorn (þ) Thorn is in many ways the counterpart to eth. ...
  • Wynn (ƿ) Wynn was incorporated into our alphabet to represent today's w sound. ...
  • Yogh (ȝ) ...
  • Ash (æ) ...
  • Ethel (œ)
Feb 25, 2017

Is the letter J in any state name? ›

“If you guessed J or Z, though, you were close—and probably don't live in New Jersey or Arizona, since those are the only states that contain J and Z, respectively. There are a couple of other rare letters, too, that only show up twice.

What US state starts with Z? ›

But Q isn't the only rare letter in our state names here in the U.S. The letter Z appears only in the name of one state (Arizona) and X in just two (Texas and New Mexico).

What states start with F? ›

List of states
Name & postal abbs.Water area
33 more rows

Do any states start with B? ›

No states except Alabama and Nebraska have a B in their name, and California and Florida are the only state names that contain F. If X was your guess, you were also close—the rare letter makes an appearance in only New Mexico and Texas.

What does 4 mean in text? ›

"More than Love (see <3)" is the most common definition for <4 on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. <4.

What does BTW mean for a woman? ›

ARCHIVED: What do BTW, FAQ, FYI, IMHO, RTFM, and other acronyms mean?
AFAICAs far as I'm concerned
BRBBe right back
BTDTBeen there, done that
BTWBy the way
BUAGButt-ugly ASCII graphic
50 more rows
Jan 18, 2018

What is the most texted word? ›

Top 50 Most Popular Text Terms
  • TMI - Too Much Information.
  • TTYL - Talk To You Later -or- Type To You Later.
  • TYVM - Thank You Very Much.
  • VBG - Very Big Grin.
  • WEG - Wicked Evil Grin.
  • WTF - What The F***
  • WYWH - Wish You Were Here.
  • XOXO - Hugs and Kisses.

What is AA AE and AP? ›

COUNTRY: “STATE” Field Abbreviation Descriptions for Military Addresses. AE= Armed Forces Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Canada. AP= Armed Forces Pacific. AA= Armed Forces Americas (except Canada)

What does AP stand for? ›

The abbreviation AP stands for Advanced Placement — a series of subject examinations administered by The College Board in cooperation with high schools and colleges across the country.

Where is APO AE 09012 located? ›

ZIP Code Details
Zip Code:09012
State:AE [Armed Forces Europe]
Multi County:No
14 more rows
Aug 1, 2022

What does C mean in front of a date? ›

Often dates will be preceded with a "c." or a "ca." These are abbreviations of the Latin word "circa" which means around, or approximately. We use this before a date to indicate that we do not know exactly when something happened, so c. 400 B.C.E. means approximately 400 years Before the Common Era.

What does AC before a date mean? ›

An encyclopedia entry may begin with circa in the date of birth, for example: "Genghis Khan (c. 1162 – August 18, 1227)". The "c." means that he was born in about 1162, but the exact date is not certain. Sometimes the circa symbol is italicized to show that it is not in the English language.

What is circa short for? ›

Circa (abbreviated c. or ca.) is a word of Latin origin meaning 'approximately'.

How do you address two married doctors? ›

A: If a wife and husband are both doctors, the outer and inner envelopes should be addressed to: "The Doctors Rosenthal." It's that simple! If they're married but have different last names, list both names in alphabetical order on separate lines: "Dr. Rosenthal" followed by "Dr.

How do you address a widowed woman? ›

(most common) Most of the time, you should use the honorific, “Mrs.” (missus), when you're addressing a widow. Use the prefix “Mrs.” and the woman's married name, if she changed her last name to her spouse's.

What does SPO mean in mail? ›

SPO - Serving Post Office.

What US states only have four letters? ›

Of the 50 U.S. states, only three have four letters:
  • Iowa.
  • Ohio.
  • Utah.

What does AK stand for in states? ›

American SamoaASMA
15 more rows

What are the 50 state abbreviations? ›

Browse the list of all 50 U.S. state postal abbreviations as well as their traditional abbreviations.
US State Abbreviations List.
State NameUSPS AbbreviationTraditional Abbreviation
46 more rows

When did states go to 2 letter abbreviations? ›

To make room for the ZIP Code, state names needed to be abbreviated. The Department provided an initial list of abbreviations in June 1963, but many had three or four letters, which was still too long. In October 1963, the Department settled on the current two-letter abbreviations.

What states start with C? ›

  • California.
  • Colorado.
  • Connecticut.

What state is AE in USA? ›

State Abbreviations Code Table
AEArmed Forces Europe
APArmed Forces Pacific
72 more rows


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