Why Don’t They Run Out of Social Security Numbers?

I have always wondered about this. Why don’t they run out of Social Security Numbers? Upon hearing this question most people suggest the numbers are reused  when people die.

This is not the case. They don’t recycle social security numbers. Finally, I asked a math teacher and she explained that there are nine numbers and ten combinations for each slot, so there is room for almost a billion possibilities. Upon further research we found that there are currently about 419 million people living in the United States. They probably don’t all have a number, but still that is a lot of people. Upon checking the Social Security Administration there had been 450 million unique SSN’s issued as of 2008.

You can click here for a mathematical breakdown if this has been keeping you up at night too.

In case you aren’t as amused with this topic as me, consider how amazing it is that we live in a time where you can find the answer to so many questions just by searching the internet. Before we would have to go to the library and consult an outdated encyclopedia and now we can just speak or type our question into a smartphone that we keep in our pocket and learn  about anything.

Here is another site with some interesting facts.

Published by Cherrie Ali

I live in Miami and I enjoy writing, traveling, dogs, and geocaching.

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  1. I like to find answers to my own thoughts. This was helpful so my brain can stop asking this about social security #s.
    On the other hand, I got my grandson a tablet at Verizon on sale. While salesperson and I tried to think of an email we went through (not kidding) 20 minutes of trying out different ones, I finally gave up. We could not think of any random collection of numbers or letters that was not used already! We started with his name, Skyler but tried Sky, Schuyler, then just his initials, SHF or “s”or “h” or “f” with numbers added, then went into random combo’s! Just saying the world of email combinations is getting smaller since I got to use my initials plus real last name! 🙂 Happy contemplating and hope we can “do this again!” 🙂


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