Have you ever wondered what area code is for? Or why it exists? Area codes are the unique telephone numbers assigned to each geographic area in the United States. These codes are necessary for telephone communications and help route calls correctly.
Area codes were first introduced in 1923, and since then, they’ve evolved along with the telecommunications landscape. Learn more about area codes and their history in this blog post.
What does an Area Code consist of?
An area code is a geographic identifier for telephone numbers in the United States and Canada. The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) assigns area codes on a first-come, first-served basis. Area codes are associated with one or more telephone service providers within a given local service area.
How are Area Codes determined?
Area codes are determined by the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NAPA). The NAPA is a government organization establishing phone numbering plans for the United States and Canada. In most cases, a single area code covers a large geographic area. However, there are some areas where two area codes are needed. For example, the Seattle area has 206 and 253.
Why do Area Codes exist?
Area codes exist to make telephone calls across large geographical areas more efficient. For example, if someone in Detroit wants to call someone in Chicago, they must first dial 1-800-555-1212. However, if the two people are in the same area code (313), they could dial 3-1-13 and be connected without having to dial any other numbers.
914 area code
The 914 area code is located in the New York City metropolitan area. It was created on December 8, 1991, from the merger of the 212 and 718 regions. As of March 1, 2013, there were 1,011,763 numbers in use in this area code.
310 area code
Area code 310 is located in southern California. It covers the communities of Pasadena, Altadena, and Monrovia. The 310 area code also includes parts of Los Angeles County, including the cities of Glendale, Burbank, and Hollywood.
860 area code
Area code 860 is the area code for use in the state of California. As of October 1, 2013, it comprised portions of Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties. Area code 805 was created as an overlay for area code 860 to prevent congestion on the telephone network.
201 area code
Area code 201 covers most of the western half of Massachusetts, including the cities of Boston and Worcester. The eastern half of the state is in area code 857.
617 area code
Area Code 617 is located in the northeast region of the United States. It covers most of New York state and parts of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The area code was created on March 1, 1959.
862 area code
Area code 862 is the area code for the state of Kentucky. It was created on September 15, 1997. The 862 area code is split between two primary counties: Breathitt and Harlan. AT&T provides the majority of telephone service within this area.
917 area code
Area code 917 covers the eastern portion of Orange County, California. It is served by area codes 760 and 857. This area was formerly part of 916, split in May of 1998. Area code 917 is one of the newest area codes in California, having been created on May 25, 1998.
203 area code
Area code 203 is located in the state of Massachusetts and covers most of the metropolitan area of Boston. The northern half of the area code, including the city of Cambridge, falls within the 410 area code.
929 area code
The 929 area code covers parts of southwestern Oregon, northwestern California, and southern Nevada. The area code was created in 1947 when the Pacific Telesis Company (now Qwest) needed to create a new telephone numbering plan for its newly acquired territories. It originally consisted of the entire state of Oregon.
Over time, the 929 area code was split up among several different areas. In 1993, it was divided between southeastern Oregon and northwestern California; in 1994, it was split between southern Oregon and Nevada; and in 2002, it was divided between eastern Oregon and California. Today, the 929 area code serves over 1.2 million people.
628 area code
The area code 628 covers a wide swath of the country, from Los Angeles in the west to Syracuse in the east. It also includes parts of Nevada and Arizona. Area code 628 was initially created as an overlay for area code 213 in 1999 when California began requiring new phone numbers to have nine digits. The overlap between these two areas makes it difficult for people in one part of the district to reach someone in the other.
737 area code
Area codes were first introduced in the early 1960s, replacing the existing 10-digit telephone numbers. Area codes are divided into Northern, Central, and Southern. The corresponding phone numbers are also assigned to these areas.
There are currently ten area codes in the United States: 727, 302, 404, 610, 612, 613, 614, 717, and 843.
346 area code
Area code 346 is a telephone area code in the U.S. state of New York. It covers most of the Hudson Valley and Catskill regions and parts of Westchester County and Rockland County. It serves the functions of Albany, Binghamton, Kingston, and Utica.
857 area code
Area code 857 is an area code for southwestern Louisiana and northern Mississippi. This area served by area code 857 includes the cities of Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, and Shreveport.
539 area code
The 539 area code covers much of central North Carolina. It includes the cities of Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem.
872 area code
Area Code 872 is located in the eastern part of California. The area code was formed on November 1, 1991.
507 area code
Area code 507 covers the Hudson Valley region of New York state. This area is home to some of the state’s most rural and scenic places. Area code 507 also includes parts of upstate New York.
469 area code
Area code 469 is located in the southwestern corner of Missouri. It covers most of the Bootheel region, including some rural areas and several big cities, including Kansas City and St. Louis. Area code 469 was created in 1997 as a split from area 573.
650 area code
The 650 area code is a regional code covering most of the state of California. It was established on October 20, 1985, as an overlay for the 213 area code. Most of central and southern California are covered by this number, including the major population centers of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Fresno.
628 area code
The 628 area code is located in the southwestern part of the United States. It covers five states: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Utah. Area code 628 was created on November 15, 2001.
917 area code
Area code 917 is located in northeastern New Jersey. The 917 area code was created on November 1, 1947. As of the census of 2000, there were 208,136 people, 79,865 households, and 54,533 families residing in the area code. The population density was 659 people per square mile (253/km²). There were 84,272 housing units at an average density of 267 per square mile (103/km²). The racial makeup of the area code was 82.15% White, 7.76% African American, 0.26% Native American, 2.02% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 4.92% from other races, and 1.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.37% of the population.
As we move into the 21st century, cell phone use has become increasingly commonplace. With that comes the need to know how to find and dial area codes correctly. Area code information is included in most phonebooks, so it’s not too hard to figure out what it is. Look for the table with all the area codes and find your own number.