State Abbreviations Map
Click the above link for a large State Abbreviations map, an ideal picture for a fast reference guide or for kids homework and school projects.
Purpose of the State Abbreviations
The Purpose of the State Abbreviations was introduced to make room for ZIP codes in the address. There was no attempt to standardize the format for determining the state abbreviations.
How State Abbreviations are Determined / Configured
The configuration of some of the 50 State Abbreviations are confusing as the initials or acronyms chosen for the abbreviations are not to a standard format. It's easy to confuse the state abbreviation or postal code 'AL' for Alaska when in fact it's the abbreviation for Alabama! The simple rule of taking the first two letters of the state therefore wouldn't always work.
How State Abbreviations are Determined
|The first rule is that no two states can have the same abbreviations.
|The second, easy to remember rule to the two digit codes, is that if there are two words in the state's name just take the first letter of each (SD, WV, NY etc.).
|Other configurations of state abbreviations use the first two letters of the state name (FL, CA etc.)
|If this isn't possible, the first and last letter of the state name is taken for the abbreviations (CT, IA etc.)
Things get even more confusing as some state abbreviations such as Nevada (that's abbreviated as NV) is determined from the first and last letter of the old abbreviation (which is why we have included the old AP abbreviations in our alphabetical list.)
Missouri (MO) is a confusing historical anomaly. The confusion arose due to both Mississippi and Missouri beginning with 'Miss' and ending with the letter 'I'. The abbreviation for Missouri ended up as 'MO' as the letter 'O' is the most distinct letter in the name
How State Abbreviations are Determined - List of State Abbreviations
This page provides a complete list of State Abbreviations in alphabetical order. Our article List of State Abbreviations provides details of which states are determined by the 'First Two Letters', the 'First and Last Letter', the 'Initial Letter of 2 words' and those determined by the 'First and Last Letter of the Old Abbreviation'.
State Abbreviations - Play the State Abbreviations Game!
As there isn't a standard format to the 50 State Abbreviations we are left with memorizing them! We have therefore developed a State Abbreviations Game to play. It's a totally free, multiple choice online quiz game with no downloads required. So have some fun when you're learning!
AP State Abbreviations - Old State Abbreviations
The two letter, no-period state abbreviations recommended by the U.S. Postal Service should always be used where a ZIP code follows. However some people prefer to use the older style of the AP State Abbreviations or old state abbreviations. Professional journalists and communicators in business commonly write in Associated Press (AP) style of abbreviations. And as some two digit state codes are determined from the first and last letter of the old abbreviations we have included them in the proper and complete list of State Abbreviations in alphabetical order.
State Abbreviations Changes - Nebraska
There has only been one change of state abbreviations since 1963. Originally the abbreviation for Nebraska was 'NB' this was changed to 'NE' by the Post Office in November 1969 to avoid confusion with the 'NB' two digit code used for New Brunswick in Canada.
Individual State Abbreviations
There are additional facts and information about each of the 50 states of America to accompany the list of State Abbreviations - just click one of the links on your left or a picture of one of the State Maps below.
State Abbreviations in Alphabetical Order
The following list provides the State Abbreviations in alphabetical order.