Question: Are Social Security numbers assigned randomly or is there a system involved?

Answer: Contrary to popular belief, social security numbers are not issued randomly. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses an interesting system of assignment.

First three digits: These are issued by State. The numbers increase from east to west states. New Hampshire starts area numbers from 001 to 003, while Hawaii uses numbers beginning with 575 to 576. Massachusetts residents get numbers 010 to 034.

Second two digits: These are called a Group Number, which act like chapters in a book. Group numbers range from 01 to 99. Instead of being issued in chronological order, a complex system of even verses odd number issuance exists.

Third four digits: Finally, the last four digits are called Serial Numbers, issued in numerical order from 0001 to 9999. Not wanting to label anyone a zero, the serial number 0000 is never used.

Fun facts: The SSA assigned ten fake social security numbers for use in show business (987-65-4320 to 4329). Like television, where fake telephone numbers begin with the digits “555,” these social security numbers belong to nobody and are used for entertainment or advertisements.

This article was originally published in the Lowell Sun and is for informational purposes only and not to be relied on as legal advice, in any manner.