AK State Abbreviation

Wonder how Alaska got the abbreviation AK? In this post, we’re gonna dig into the history of the AK State Abbreviation, how it’s used (and sometimes misused).

You’ll learn how the AK abbreviation came to be, why it matters, and where you’ll often see it used.


Historical Background of the AK State Abbreviation

Originating from a need for concise written communication, the abbreviation used for the state of Alaska was established due to historical factors.

The abbreviation ‘AK’ was officially adopted in 1963 by the United States Postal Service (USPS). Prior to this, other abbreviations such as ‘Alas.’ or ‘Ala.’ were used informally.

The choice of ‘AK’ as the official abbreviation can be traced back to the early 20th century when the U.S. Army Signal Corps used two-letter codes for states. In this system, ‘AK’ was assigned to Alaska.

This two-letter code gained popularity and was eventually adopted by the USPS. The historical significance of Alaska’s designation as ‘AK’ lies in its association with the U.S. Army Signal Corps and the subsequent adoption by the USPS, which solidified its usage as the official abbreviation for the state.

Common Uses and Misuses of the AK State Abbreviation

Sometimes AK is thought to be the abbreviation for Arkansas instead of Alaska.

In other usage, AK (as in AK-47) stands for “Avtomat Kalashnikova” which was a 1947 Soviet assault rifle.