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United States: List of State Abbreviations and Capitals
At the time of Independence, only thirteen states were a part of the now United States of America. The states have grown up to fifty, and the country has progressed, too. Know the state capitals and the postal abbreviations for the American states through this article.
Facts About the United States
The United States comprises fifty constituent states and one district. Located in the North American continent, the country gained independence from the rule of Great Britain in 1776. At that time, it had only 13 states. Between the 19th and 20th century, the United States expanded across the North American continent by including 37 new states and acquiring a number of overseas territories. Washington, D.C. is the capital, and New York is the largest city.
The Postal Service of the United States mainly uses the abbreviations of American states. They help to process the mail quickly with the help of automated equipment, such as OCR (Optical Character Recognition). These two-letter, no-period, state abbreviations — recommended by the U.S. Postal Service — should always be used where a ZIP code follows. They can also be used in any context where abbreviations are appropriate. Take a look at the states, their postal abbreviations, their capitals, and the largest city in each state.
States of USA
|State and State Abbreviation||Capital City of State||Largest City in State|
|Alabama – AL||Montgomery||Birmingham|
|Alaska – AK||Juneau||Anchorage|
|Arizona – AZ||Phoenix||Phoenix|
|Arkansas – AR||Little Rock||Little Rock|
|California – CA||Sacramento||Los Angeles|
|Colorado – CO||Denver||Denver|
|Connecticut – CT||Hartford||Bridgeport|
|Delaware – DE||Dover||Wilmington|
|Florida – FL||Tallahassee||Jacksonville|
|Georgia – GA||Atlanta||Atlanta|
|Hawaii – HI||Honolulu||Honolulu|
|Idaho – ID||Boise||Boise|
|Illinois – IL||Springfield||Chicago|
|Indiana – IN||Indianapolis||Indianapolis|
|Iowa – IA||Des Moines||Des Moines|
|Kansas – KS||Topeka||Wichita|
|Kentucky – KY||Frankfort||Louisville|
|Louisiana – LA||Baton Rouge||New Orleans|
|Maine – ME||Augusta||Portland|
|Maryland – MD||Annapolis||Baltimore|
|Massachusetts – MA||Boston||Boston|
|Michigan – MI||Lansing||Detroit|
|Minnesota – MN||St. Paul||Minneapolis|
|Mississippi – MS||Jackson||Jackson|
|Missouri – MO||Jefferson City||Kansas City|
|Montana – MT||Helena||Billings|
|Nebraska – NE||Lincoln||Omaha|
|Nevada – NV||Carson City||Las Vegas|
|New Hampshire – NH||Concord||Manchester|
|New Jersey – NJ||Trenton||Newark|
|New Mexico – NM||Santa Fe||Albuquerque|
|New York – NY||Albany||New York City|
|North Carolina – NC||Raleigh||Charlotte|
|North Dakota – ND||Bismarck||Fargo|
|Ohio – OH||Columbus||Columbus|
|Oklahoma – OK||Oklahoma City||Oklahoma City|
|Oregon – OR||Salem||Portland|
|Pennsylvania – PA||Harrisburg||Philadelphia|
|Rhode Island – RI||Providence||Providence|
|South Carolina – SC||Columbia||Columbia|
|South Dakota – SD||Pierre||Sioux Falls|
|Tennessee – TN||Nashville||Memphis|
|Texas – TX||Austin||Houston|
|Utah – UT||Salt Lake City||Salt Lake City|
|Vermont – VT||Montpelier||Burlington|
|Virginia – VA||Richmond||Virginia Beach|
|Washington – WA||Olympia||Seattle|
|West Virginia – WV||Charleston||Charleston|
|Wisconsin – WI||Madison||Milwaukee|
|Wyoming – WY||Cheyenne||Cheyenne|
Unincorporated territory is a legal term used in the United States law. It connotes an area controlled by the government of the United States. However, this area is not a part of the United States proper. These territories were created to govern newly acquired land while the borders were still evolving. Currently, American Samoa, Guam, United States Virgin Islands, and ten other territories are under the US possession. However, the other ten are uninhabited.
The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), and the Republic of Palau are the associated states of the United States. These states are sovereign in nature, but have entered into a Compact of Free Association (COFA). This Compact was renewed in 2004 for a period of 20 years.
Commonwealth, in the context of insular areas, is an organized but unincorporated dependent territory of the United States. Currently, the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico are the two United States insular areas classified with the status of commonwealth.
The District of Columbia is the only federal district of USA. Washington was a separate municipality within this district until 1871. Later, an Act of Congress was passed to merge the district and the city into an entity. That is how the city of Washington came to be known as Washington, D.C., where DC stands for District of Columbia.
|Commonwealth/Territory and Abbreviation||Capital City of State||Largest City in State|
|American Samoa – AS||Pago Pago||Tafuna|
|District of Columbia – DC||Washington, D.C.||Washington, D.C.|
|Federated States of Micronesia – FM||Palikir||Weno|
|Guam – GU||Hagåtña||Dededo|
|Marshall Islands – MH||Majuro||Majuro|
|Northern Mariana Islands – MP||Saipan||Saipan|
|Palau – PW||Ngerulmud||Koror|
|Puerto Rico – PR||San Juan||San Juan|
|Virgin Islands – VI||Charlotte Amalie||Charlotte Amalie|
When one state invades the territory of another state with the intention of holding the territory at least temporarily, it is called military occupation. This invasion occurs without the volition of the actual sovereignty of the occupied country. Here is a list of postal abbreviations of Military States of the United States of America.
|Military States of the United States||Abbreviations|
|Armed Forces Africa||AE|
|Armed Forces Americas||AA|
|Armed Forces Canada||AE|
|Armed Forces Europe||AE|
|Armed Forces Middle East||AE|
|Armed Forces Pacific||AP|
Usage of the State Abbreviations
- Abbreviations should not be used when the names of the states of US stand alone in written matter.
- There should always be a comma between the name of the city and the abbreviation of the state.
- There should also be another comma after the abbreviation if the sentence does not end at that point.
- Use the two-letter Postal Service abbreviations only with full addresses, which include a ZIP code.
- Do not use any periods after, or in-between the abbreviations, unless it is a full stop.
- Use them only in uppercase letters, with no space between the letters.
- Postal abbreviations for states should be used only in lists and tabular material, address blocks, and forms.