Citizens and permanent residents of the United States are issued a Social Security number by the Social Security Administration. Your Social Security number – or SSN, for short – is a nine-digit unique identifier that is used for a number of purposes. The most common way that this number is used is for tracking citizens and residents for Social Security purposes. However, your Social Security number can also be used for taxation, applying for credit, and other purposes.
As mentioned, the SSN consists of nine numbers. These numbers are broken into three parts. The first three numbers are the area number. Until 2011, this number corresponded with the state or territory in which the number was assigned. However, after 2011, numbers were assigned at random.
The next set of numbers consists of two digits. This set is known as group numbers and does not relate to geographical location.
Finally, the last set of numbers consists of four digits. This is a number that goes in order from 0001 to 9999.
Any Social Security number issued prior to 2011 can be evaluated to determine where the number was issued. To learn where a Social Security number was issued, look at the area number – the first three digits. Then, match these numbers with the following. Note that some states may appear on this list more than once.