States and Cities

When citing the names of towns, cities and other places, include the state abbreviation for every state except for Texas. Otherwise, when referencing a state without a town or city name, spell out the full state name.

When addressing letters or mailing labels, use the USPS’s two letter abbreviations (listed in parentheses).

In all other writing, spell out or abbreviate the state, using the following AP guidelines. Be consistent in the style throughout the copy.

Use a comma after the city and after the state.

  • She moved from Portland, Maine, where she served ...
  • The program began in Las Cruces, N.M., where ...
    (Note: do not use the state’s postal abbreviation in a sentence.)
  • The conference took place in Washington, D.C., last month.
    (Note: a comma is used both before and after D.C.)

Alabama: Ala. (AL)
Arizona: Ariz. (AZ)
Arkansas: Ark. (AR)
California: Calif. (CA)
Colorado: Colo. (CO)
Connecticut: Conn. (CT)
Delaware: Del. (DE)
Florida: Fla. (FL)
Georgia: Ga. (GA)
Illinois: Ill. (IL)
Indiana: Ind. (IN)
Kansas: Kan. (KS)
Kentucky: Ky. (KY) Louisiana: La. (LA) Maryland: Md. (MD)
Massachusetts: Mass. (MA)
Michigan: Mich. (MI) Minnesota: Minn. (MN) Mississippi: Miss. (MS) Missouri: Mo. (MO) Montana: Mt. (MT)

Nebraska: Neb. (NE) Nevada: Nev. (NV)
New Hampshire: N.H. (NH)
New Jersey: N.J. (NJ)
New Mexico: N.M. (NM) New York: N.Y. (NY)
North Carolina: N.C. (NC) North Dakota: N.D. (ND) Oklahoma: Okla. (OK) Oregon: Ore. (OR) Pennsylvania: Pa. (PA) Rhode Island: R.I. (RI) South Carolina: S.C. (SC) South Dakota: S.D. (SD)
Tennessee: Tenn. (TN) Vermont: Vt. (VT)
Virginia: Va. (VA) Washington: Wash. (WA) West Virginia: W.V. (WV) Wisconsin: Wis. (WI) Wyoming: Wyo. (WY)


Eight state names — Alaska (AK), Hawaii (HI), Idaho (ID), Iowa (IA), Maine (ME), Ohio (OH), Texas (TX) and Utah (UT) — and District of Columbia (DC) are not abbreviated. (The postal abbreviations are listed in parentheses.)