In 1963, the US introduced ZIP codes to accompany state postal codes. State postal codes are the two-letter United states abbreviations that you will most likely come across when sending or receiving mail or providing someone with your address.
Whether you are looking up a specific address to send a holiday card or birthday card or mailing a letter or parcel for business or personal purposes, it is important to know the US postal abbreviations, which will simplify the process of mailing or receiving things and in looking up business and personal addresses. If you would like a downloadable copy of the United States Abbreviations, please scroll to the bottom of the page.
There can be some confusion when it comes to United States abbreviations and US two-letter postal abbreviations, that’s why our table provides them both and covers the different abbreviations for all 50 states.
United states abbreviations are shortened versions of the original state names; for example, California’s abbreviated name is Calif. – most abbreviated states will have a period at the end of them and will usually be three or four letters. The two-letter state abbreviated code for California is CA.
US Postal Abbreviations
The US postal abbreviations are by far the more common of the two, and people will usually use the postal abbreviation for a state when referring to it than the actual name or abbreviation.
When referencing a state on a map of the United States, you will see the two-letter postal abbreviation. US postal abbreviations are more useful than the actual abbreviated name of the state as postal abbreviations have a significant purpose and use.
The postal abbreviations are essential to know and understand for not just mailing, but everyday life and business too. Any information you or somebody associated with your business or profession may need will more than likely require a physical or business address, and knowing the US postal abbreviations will make your life a lot easier. The postal service (USPS) tends to prefer that people use the two-letter state abbreviation rather than writing out the state in full. The acronym can also be used on business cards, letterheads, marketing materials, reports, real estate listings, commercial property listings, contracts, tax documents, and more.
Many people will use, or need to know US state abbreviations quite frequently, and we have provided all the state abbreviations you will need to know of, including each state’s general abbreviations and their important two-letter postal abbreviations. If you are interested in learning about the US minimum wage by state, including a list of all 50 states – check out our page dedicated to this.
US State Initials
The table below includes both types of abbreviations for all 50 US states in alphabetical order. For a printable version, you can download our United States State Abbreviations list that can be used as a handy reference.