MA is the official state abbreviation for Massachusetts, but this isn’t without its confusion! Many people from the United States and other places around the world often get confused when it comes to the abbreviation MA. This is due to there being 3 states with the first two letters “MA”, Massachusetts, Maine, and Maryland.
On July 1, 1963, the US Post Office Department introduced the five-digit ZIP Code, this was a result of most addressing equipment only being able to accommodate a maximum of 23 letters, which includes spacing.
The Post Office Department comprised an initial list of abbreviations in June 1963, however, many had three or four letters, which was still too long, so in October 1963, the Department settled on the current two-letter abbreviations you see today.
Since this date, only one change has been made to the 50 state abbreviations, in 1969, at the request of the Canadian postal administration, the Nebraska abbreviation changed from NB to NE, to avoid confusion with New Brunswick in Canada.
Although there has only been one change to the abbreviations list since the beginning, many believe there should be more as confusion still arises when trying to decipher which abbreviation belongs to which state.
MA Stands for what State?
With Maine, Maryland, and Massachusetts all sharing the same opening two letters at the beginning of their name, it is hard to figure out what the abbreviation might be. So, we can confirm that the state is Massachusetts!
Unfortunately, there is no clear method when it comes to figuring out what state has the abbreviation for MA for yourself without referring to an abbreviations table or finding a helpful page on the topic. Massachusetts isn’t the only state to fall victim to this either, with understandable abbreviation confusion coming from states such as;
- Alabama and Alaska.
- Arizona and Arkansas.
- Colorado and Connecticut.
- Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, and Missouri. (which state is MI out of these?)
- Nebraska and Nevada.
- Tennessee and Texas.
There regrettably seems to be no patterns to pick up on, for example, you may think that the state which is alphabetically higher up on the table to the other would take the first two letters as the state abbreviation which seems to happen more often than not. However, this is not the case as Maine is ME and Massachusetts is MA.
When you are posting documents, packages, or products for work, or just sending someone something personal, you will need to know what the abbreviation is for the state in which you are sending the goods. The importance of understanding state abbreviations is massive in any circumstance.