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SSN
Social Security Number

The Social Security Number is a number issued by the US government to individuals for taxation, old-age, survivors, and disability benefits, and other purposes. In the US it is an essential unique identifier of individual people. Because of its many uses in financial matters, it is important not to disclose the number of living persons.

SSNs of deceased persons are routinely published by the Social Security Administration with a limited amount of information that may identify the deceased person. The publication is called the Death Index. It is a public record used by financial institutions and other to prevent identity fraud. The Social Security Administration does not provide online access to the Death Index, but sells it on electronic media.

Some genealogical businesses sell access to these records, but others allow free access.

Geographical Correspondence

There is a rough correspondence between the first three digits of a Social Security number and the state in which the number was issued. Apparently this was so that pre-numbered cards could be shipped to Social Security offices in the various states, and for many years, cards were issued immediately to applicants at local offices. Applications are no longer processed this way, but for genealogical purposes the rough correspondence can be a useful rule of thumb.

Note that the correspondence is to the place the card was issued. This may not be where the cardholder was born. For many years it was not common for small children to have Social Security numbers and numbers were not required for school or college attendance, so numbers were not usually acquired until a person was a working adult.

Several states have more than one block of numbers because population changes have exhausted the blocks originally allocated. In some case state Social Security offices have borrowed parts of a block from other (often neighboring states). Railroad employees had a separate retirement plan, so those who were issued cards as railroad workers have blocks of their own, although this practice was discontinued in 1963. Persons who obtained cards upon immigrating may have numbers from particular blocks.

The number-place correlation should not be taken as evidence of anything, but can sometime provide a useful hint.

NumberPlace of Issue
000Not valid
001-003New Hampshire
004-007Maine
008-009Vermont
010-034Massachusetts
035-039Rhode Island
040-049Connecticut
050-134New York
135-158New Jersey
159-211Pennsylvania
212-220Maryland
221-222Delaware
223-231Virginia
232West Virginia,
North Carolina
233-236West Virginia
237-246North Carolina
247-251South Carolina
252-260Georgia
261-267Florida
268-302Ohio
303-317Indiana
318-361Illinois
362-386Michigan
387-399Wisconsin
400-407Kentucky
408-415Tennessee
416-424Alabama
425-428Mississippi
429-432Arkansas
433-439Louisiana
440-448Oklahoma
449-467Texas
468-477Minnesota
478-485Iowa
486-500Missouri
501-502North Dakota
503-504South Dakota
505-508Nebraska
509-515Kansas
516-517Montana
518-519Idaho
520Wyoming
521-524Colorado
525New Mexico
526-527Arizona
528-529Utah
530Nevada
531-539Washington
540-544Oregon
545-573California
574Alaska
575-576Hawaii
577-579District of Columbia
580Virgin Islands
581-584unknown
585New Mexico
586Guam,
American Samoa,
Philippines
587-588Mississippi
589-595Oregon
596-599Puerto Rico
600-601Arizona
602-626California
627-645Oregon
646-647Texas
648-649New Mexico
650-653Colorado
654-658South Carolina
659-665Lousianna
666Not issued
667-675Georgia
676-679New Mexico
680Nevada
681-690North Carolina
691-699Virginia
700-728Railroad
729-733Immigration
734-749unknown
750-751Hawaii
752-755Mississippi
756-763Tennessee
764-765Arizona
766-772Minnesota
773-999unknown