Your Social Security Number Gives Away What State You Are From

Birth certificate and social security card

Your Social Security Number Gives Away What State You Are From

It’s a nine-digit number issued to you shortly after your birth that follows you (in nearly all your dealings) throughout your life within the United States. The Social Security Number (SSN) was first created in 1936 and had a single intended purpose: to track how much U.S. workers earn at their jobs. This information allows for the determination of Social Security benefits (calculated based on income). Since 1936, the use of Social Security numbers has evolved and is now considered more of a universal identifier. This numerical assignment is now a hub for all your personal information. 

The initial reason for the SSN’s creation remains its primary purpose. At the time, the government intended for a unique identifier to go out to tens of millions of U.S. workers to ensure proper reporting. But the infrastructure for such a task would take some serious effort. Initially, there were insufficient funds for the task. But President Franklin D. Roosevelt found a workaround and eventually, the Social Security Board was formed to decide how to craft the identifier.

After some back and forth, it was decided that the SSN prefix would be a geographical numerical sequence, that the two central numbers would identify a group, and that the four digits at the tail end would be a serial number. This nine-digit number would have to be assigned and provided to each individual, but initially, the Board was concerned that paper would be much too flimsy. There was some talk of using a metal card to create a durable form of identification. 

Ultimately, however, the Board decided on a standard design that they would go on to change approximately 50 times over the years. Although there are different variations today, they are all valid (as it would have been a cost-prohibitive effort to update all with the release of each new design). Today, new and replacement cards issued are equipped with counterfeit-resistant features. To get one in 1936, Americans had to supply several details about themselves, including their name, address, current employer, employer address, age, date of birth, place of birth, sex, color, and signature.

Today, there is still an application process required for obtaining a SSN card, but it’s a bit different. There’s a paper version that can be dropped off or mailed in. For people aged 12 or older, an in-person interview is required as well. For babies, parents have the option to follow through with the “Enumeration at Birth” (EAB) process, which helps streamline the application process. Noncitizens have a similar process called “Enumeration at Entry” (EaE) that they can follow to obtain permanent residence in the country.

To compile this list of Social Security number prefixes, 24/7 Tempo reviewed government websites like SSA.gov, which not only lists the prefixes by state but also explains the meaning of Social Security numbers, breaks down their inception, and explains the methods by which they’re obtained. (Here’s your guide to understanding Social Security, with benefits and strategies explained.)

SSN Prefix: 001-003

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Autumn road in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in autumn.

  • State: New Hampshire

SSN Prefix: 004-007

Augusta Maine
Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: Maine

SSN Prefix: 008-009

Colorful aerial view of Waterbury Reservoir near in Waterbury Vermont during the fall.
Source: John Couture / Shutterstock.com

  • State: Vermont

SSN Prefix: 010-034

Source: Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/ Shutterstock

  • State: Massachusetts

SSN Prefix: 035-039

Rhode Island
Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: Rhode Island

SSN Prefix: 040-049

Source: Public domain / Wikimedia Commons

  • State: Connecticut

SSN Prefix: 050-134

Source: Eloi_Omella / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: New York

SSN Prefix: 135-158

Source: GCShutter / Getty Images

Aerial view of a dense residential district

  • State: New Jersey

SSN Prefix: 159-211

Cannons and monuments in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Source: Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

  • State: Pennsylvania

SSN Prefix: 212-220

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: Maryland

SSN Prefix: 211-222

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: Delaware

SSN Prefix: 223-231

Source: ferrantraite / E+ via Getty Images

  • State: Virginia

SSN Prefix: 232, 237-246

Source: pawel.gaul / E+ via Getty Images

  • State: North Carolina

SSN Prefix: 232-236

West Virginia
Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: West Virginia

SSN Prefix: 247-251

Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: South Carolina

SSN Prefix: 252-260

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: Georgia

SSN Prefix: 261-267

Source: AlanFalcony / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: Florida (Also 589-595)

SSN Prefix: 268-302

Source: Cory Woodruff / Shutterstock

  • State: Ohio

SSN Prefix: 303-317

Source: Jamie Squire / Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 23: Juan Pablo Montoya of Columbia, driver of the #2 Team Penske Chevrolet Dallara, celebrates after crossing the finish line to win the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 23, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

  • State: Indiana

SSN Prefix: 318-361

Source: Scott Olson / Getty Images

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 17: Visitors look over Georges Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte at the Art Institute of Chicago on September 17, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. The museum, which draws around1.5 million visitors a year, has been named the best museum in the world by TripAdvisor. The museum has nearly 1 million square feet of exhibit space and 300,000 pieces of art in its permanent collection. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • State: Illinois

SSN Prefix: 362-386

Detroit Michigan
Source: pawel.gaul / E+ via Getty Images


  • State: Michigan

SSN Prefix: 387-399

Source: marchello74 / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: Wisconsin

SSN Prefix: 400-407

Source: Andy Lyons / Getty Images

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 03: California Chrome #5, ridden by Victor Espinoza, leads the field out of the fourth turn enroute to winning the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

  • State: Kentucky

SSN Prefix: 408-415

Source: Rolf_52 / Shutterstock.com

  • State: Tennessee

SSN Prefix: 416-424

Source: Chris Graythen / Getty Images

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 12: Fans of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide display their body paint during the game with the Louisiana State University Tigers on November 12, 2005 at at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. LSU defeated Alabama 16-13 in overtime. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

  • State: Alabama

SSN Prefix: 425-428

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: Mississippi (also 587-588)

SSN Prefix: 429-432

Little Rock
Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: Arkansas

SSN Prefix: 433-439

Source: Chris Graythen / Getty Images

NEW ORLEANS - FEBRUARY 20: Floats in the Rex parade roll along St. Charles avenue on Mardi Gras Day, February 20, 2007 in New Orleans, Louisiana. This is the second Mardi Gras celebration since Hurricane Katrina devasted the Gulf Coast region. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

  • State: Louisiana

SSN Prefix: 440-448

Oklahoma City
Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: Oklahoma

SSN Prefix: 449-467

An abandoned old barn with the symbol of Texas painted on the roof sits in a rural area of the state, framed by farmland.
Source: Joe Belanger / Shutterstock.com

  • State: Texas

SSN Prefix: 468-477

Source: jimkruger / E+ via Getty Images

  • State: Minnesota

SSN Prefix: 478-485

Source: pabradyphoto / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: Iowa

SSN Prefix: 486-500

Source: f11photo / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: Missouri

SSN Prefix: 501-502

Source: Jacob Boomsma / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: North Dakota

SSN Prefix: 503-504

Source: JJM Photography / Shutterstock.com

  • State: South Dakota

SSN Prefix: 505-508

Source: ChrisBoswell / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: Nebraska

SSN Prefix: 509-515

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

  • State: Kansas

SSN Prefix: 516-517

Big Sky Montana side country skier with Rocky on the background.
Source: alexfe / Shutterstock.com

  • State: Montana

SSN Prefix: 518-519

Western Cattle Ranch Photography Idaho
Source: Rockin BS Photography / Shutterstock.com

  • State: Idaho

SSN Prefix: 520

Source: anthony heflin / Shutterstock

  • State: Wyoming

SSN Prefix: 521-524

Source: Wisanu Boonrawd / Shutterstock

  • State: Colorado

SSN Prefix: 525-526

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

  • State: New Mexico (also 585)

SSN Prefix: 526-527

Source: Brent Coulter / Shutterstock

  • State: Arizona (Also 600-601, designated)

SSN Prefix: 528-529

Source: NikonShutterman / Getty Images

Salt Lake City, Utah, taken during the day.

  • State: Utah

SSN Prefix: 530

Source: travelview / Shutterstock.com

  • State: Nevada

SSN Prefix: 531-539

Source: halbergman / E+ via Getty Images

  • State: Washington

SSN Prefix: 540-544

Oregon's Thor's Well
Source: Mike Trachtenberg / Shutterstock.com

  • State: Oregon

SSN Prefix: 545-573

Source: Walter Cicchetti / Shutterstock.com

  • State: California (Also 602-626, designated)

SSN Prefix: 574

Alaska whale watching boat excursion. Inside passage mountain range landscape luxury travel cruise concept.
Source: Maridav / Shutterstock.com

  • State: Alaska

SSN Prefix: 575-576

Source: YinYang / Getty Images

A beautiful Hawaiian Hula dancer dancing on the beach of the tropical Hawaiian islands. She is wearing a traditional Hula dance dress with a lei and a head dress. Photographed in vertical format with copy space in Kauai, Hawaii.

  • State: Hawaii

(Find out how Social Security is calculated.)

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