What is a FIPS number? Know more about FIPS codes

For identifying geographic areas in USA there are a lot of different instruments, including FIPS numbers. In this article you will know what it is.

What does FIPS code mean?

FIPS is the abbreviation of the term “Federal Information Processing System” (FIPS), which used to designate a specific county or state. FIPS codes look like the combinations of numbers, which match with exact geographic areas.

By the number of digits in FIPS codes you can determine the level of geography:

  • State-level FIPS codes consist of 2 digits.
  • County-level FIPS codes consist of 5 digits.

FIPS code example

FIPS county codes combination always starts with 2 digits of FIPS state codes (of the state to which the county belongs). Example: county FIPS code of Jackson County is 01071. It means that it is situated in the state with FIPS code 01 i.e in Alabama.

ZIP codes and FIPS codes — what’s difference?

FIPS code is a term that is used in a broader sense than ZIP Codes have. Each county has only one own FIPS code, while containing dozens of ZIP Codes.

By the way, there is a big difference in classification principle:

  • FIPS codes usually appear in alphabet order (within a state if we speak about county FIPS codes). County-level FIPS codes are often (but not always) odd numbers, so that new or changed county names can be fit in their alphabetical sequence slot.
  • ZIP codes are formed in another way. The database is just the list of mail delivery routes that the USPS uses to organize delivery processes.

All FIPS codes by state

State State FIPS code
Alabama 01
Alaska 02
Arizona 04
Arkansas 05
California 06
Colorado 08
Connecticut 09
Delaware 10
District Of Columbia 11
Florida 12
Georgia 13
Hawaii 15
Idaho 16
Illinois 17
Indiana 18
Iowa 19
Kansas 20
Kentucky 21
Louisiana 22
Maine 23
Maryland 24
Massachusetts 25
Michigan 26
Minnesota 27
Mississippi 28
Missouri 29
Montana 30
Nebraska 31
Nevada 32
New Hampshire 33
New Jersey 34
New Mexico 35
New York 36
North Carolina 37
North Dakota 38
Ohio 39
Oklahoma 40
Oregon 41
Pennsylvania 42
Rhode Island 44
South Carolina 45
South Dakota 46
Tennessee 47
Texas 48
Utah 49
Vermont 50
Virginia 51
Washington 53
West Virginia 54
Wisconsin 55
Wyoming 56

 

FIPS codes by county

Unlike state FIPS codes the base of FIPS codes for counties is updated on a regular basis. That’s why we recommend you to look for this information on government web resources if you need it.

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Primary types of ZIP codes | Statuses and meanings
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