The ZIP in ZIP Code stands for Zone Improvement Plan, and it was introduced July 1, 1963, as part of a larger Postal Service Nationwide Improved Mail Service (NIMS) plan to improve the speed of mail delivery.
The United States Postal Service began using two-digit area codes in 1943 in order to define postal zones in larger cities. Beginning in 1967, the ZIP code became progressively mandatory. The word “ZIP” comes from the acronym for “Zone Improvement Plan.” The original ZIP code was composed of 5 digits.
What is the first ZIP Code in the US?
This first-ever ZIP Code was 00601, designating a decent chunk of Puerto Rico as the first Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) in the United States.
What came before ZIP Code?
ZIP codes were introduced in 1963, but they came from more rudimentary codes, called postal zones, that were first implemented in 1943.
What city has the most ZIP codes?
The Most Populated Zip Codes in America
|Rank||ZIP code||Metro area|
|2||11368||New York, New York|
|4||79936||El Paso, TX, Texas|
What city has the lowest ZIP Code?
The lowest ZIP Code number is 00501, unique for the Internal Revenue Service in Holtsville, NY.
Who had the first ZIP code?
The first ZIP code ever given out was 00601, given to Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. It was the first zone established by the Zone Improvement Plan. The next was 01001, given to Agawam in Massachusetts. Due to its number, this is sometimes misattributed as the first ZIP code.
When did Chicago start using ZIP codes?
So, in 1920, the Chicago superintendent of general delivery numbered the city’s existing 48 postal districts and asked people to begin adding the postal station numbers to their mail.
Who invented the ZIP code?
Bentley Hahn: The Man Who Invented the 5-Digit ZIP Code.
What is the wealthiest zip code in the United States?
Stay on Track to Meet Your Financial Goals, Even as Markets Fluctuate
What is the weirdest zip code?
Fishers Island, NY – 06390
That’s strange. Their mail comes via Connecticut.
Which zip code has the smallest population?
The Tiniest: 11109 (map)
A two-block area across the East River from Manhattan, this ZIP code in Long Island City is among the smallest in the country — at a tenth of one square mile. It boasts 1,400 people in that area, though, pushing its residents-per-square mile rate to the top of the list, according to Esri.
Which states have only one area code?
Twelve states have only one area code. Besides Montana, they’re Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.
What is the poorest zip code in America?
10 poorest zip codes in America
- Zip code: 15929 │ East Wheatfield, Pennsylvania.
- Zip code: 97414 │ Broadbent, Oregon.
- Zip code: 44503 │ Youngstown, Ohio.
- Zip code: 86029 │ Sun Valley, Arizona.
- Zip code: 16501 │ Erie, Pennsylvania.
- Zip code: 62523 │ Decatur, Illinois.
- Zip code: 44702 │ Canton, Ohio.
What zip code is 00001?
While there isn’t a coveted 00001 zip code hiding out anywhere in the U.S. (if there was we’d hope it was for the mailroom at the White House), there is most definitely a lowest number in use. Alas, the lowest zip code isn’t a single digit or in possession of the Supreme Court or other such group.
When did the US Postal Service begin using zip codes?
Zip codes went into effect on July 1, 1963. ZIP stood for Zone Improvement Plan. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN GENUINE AND ORIGINAL ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES AT BARGAIN BASEMENT PRICES CLICK HERE: items/complete-catalog/list.htm
The Untold Story of the ZIP Code
1st of April, 2013 (Report Number RARC-WP-13-006) The Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) Code was launched by the United States Postal Service in 1963 as a means of making mail sorting procedures faster and later automated.However, the breakthrough produced unimaginable socio-economic advantages as an organizing and enabling instrument.While the ZIP Code is utilized by a multitude of businesses, including the insurance and real estate industries, it also serves to encourage community and identity representation by providing a standardized code.
- The initial establishment of the ZIP Code, as well as the Postal Service’s ongoing maintenance and updating of this asset, have resulted in these huge social advantages.
- This study investigates additional improvements that may be made to the ZIP Code to make it more robust in the digital era.
- It is specifically examined in this research how combining the precision of geocodes with the contextual, widespread use of ZIP Codes might be advantageous.
It is possible that adding geocodes to ZIP Codes may make it easier to reconfigure delivery routes, link the vast amount of Postal Service address information to mapping tools, and better coordinate government spending to meet public requirements.Another improvement being considered is the integration of demographic information with the ZIP Code.Combined with smaller mailing groupings, this might be used to boost the perceived value of mail for both the sender and the recipient.
A historical analysis of the ZIP Code is also included to uncover any lessons that may be applied to the present day.During this investigation, it was discovered that the ZIP Code’s unforeseen external advantages happened as a result of the Post Office Department taking the initiative and experimenting with a set of actions to secure the adoption and success of the invention.After the Post Office Department launched the Mr.ZIP campaign, which raised public knowledge of the idea, it is possible that the ZIP Code may be accepted despite some opposition from stakeholders.Finally, the Office of Inspector General, in collaboration with IBM, has begun developing a methodology for determining the societal value of the ZIP Code system.According to the estimates, the ZIP Code contributes around $10 billion to the economy each year.
- This calculation also demonstrates that the value of the ZIP Code to external businesses far outweighs the value of the ZIP Code to the United States Postal Service.
- Read the Entire Report
Research Guides: This Month in Business History: ZIP Code Introduced
For those who are curious about what the ZIP Code has to do with business, the following quotation from a 1988 article in the Chicago Tribune provides an excellent explanation: ″What began out as a geographical unit has evolved into a fundamental unit of demography,″ said Lin Andrews, general manager of Wunderman Worldwide’s San Francisco office, which bills itself as the world’s largest direct-mail marketing agency.According to Andrews, the ancient adage ″you are what you eat″ has been replaced with the phrase ″you are where you live.″ Marketing specialists such as Andrews can identify customer interests and lifestyles in ways that make Madison Avenue salivate by employing a system that assigns every household in America into one of around 38,000 ZIP codes and combines that information with census data.This type of thorough information is particularly beneficial to the booming direct marketing businesses in the United States.
- According to industry estimates, direct marketers earned an estimated $135 billion in 1986, and in doing so, they were able to reach practically every household in the United States through the mailbox.
- Every year, they send out billions of pieces of ″junk mail,″ which are catalogues and advertisements sent by direct mail.
History & Development
The ZIP code stands for Zone Improvement Plan, and it was first used on July 1, 1963, as part of a larger Postal Service Nationwide Improved Mail Service (NIMS) initiative to speed up mail delivery.The ZIP code was created as part of a larger Postal Service Nationwide Improved Mail Service (NIMS) initiative to improve the speed of mail delivery.Letters were routed through around 17 sorting stations under the previous system; the new method, which would make use of modern, more mechanical processes, would be far less time-consuming.
- Each of the digits that made up the ZIP code represented a different symbol or meaning.
- In its 1963 annual report, the United States Postal Service said the following: It is defined as follows: ″A five-digit ZIP number is a structured code in which the first digit identifies one of ten broad geographic areas of the United States and the second digit denotes a State, an area of geography within a highly populous State, or two or more less populous states.″ The third digit designates a main destination place within a State, which may be a large metropolitan post office or a major mail concentration point (Sectional Center) in a less populous area, depending on the situation..
- Five hundred fifty-three of these Sectional Centers have been recognized throughout the United States of America.
″The final two digits indicate either a postal delivery unit within a bigger city post office or an independent post office served by a Sectional Center.″″ 2 Those of you who recall a period before ZIP codes may be aware that the concept of employing codes was not wholly novel at the time.The United States Postal Service established zones for 124 urban locations in 1943.
However, as the country’s population and volume of mail expanded over time, the previous system became increasingly inefficient and inefficient.According to the 1963 annual report, the previous system had expanded to include 109 zoned cities as well as around 600 smaller communities with designated local zones.It is possible that remnants of the previous system will exist in some locations.Using the above example, ″Mail formerly addressed to Washington 18, District of Columbia, and then correctly addressed, carried the ZIP Code 20018.″ 3 When completely deployed, the new system was intended to reduce the number of times an item was handled, hence shortening processing and delivery times for customers.To get this new system up and running, the first groups targeted were government organizations and major bulk mailers such as magazine distributors and publishers.Individual correspondence was accepted more slowly than group correspondence.
- Many individuals didn’t even use the new ZIP code at first, and the majority of their mail was still delivered in the same amount of time as it had been.
- As the number of people who used the code increased, mail utilizing the code was given priority, and that mail was delivered considerably more quickly.
- In spite of the fact that not everyone was thrilled about the system, the Postal Service thought that by the system’s second anniversary, people would be more accustomed to using it.
- It would be impossible to get the entire advantage of the system unless and until everyone began to use it consistently.
- Despite the fact that many individuals were not enthused, it appears that other people were.
- While individual use of the new ZIP code was very modest, some small towns had as much as 50% of their inhabitants utilize it in the first year.
4 In October 1964, the Christian Science Monitor published a story on how a little southern community was finally able to add house numbers after receiving their ZIP code.On June 1, 1965, the United States Postal Service created a unified national postal code directory, which replaced the 52 different State and territory directories.This made it easier for consumers to discover the codes for the mail they were sending.
Even while the most visible aspect of NIMS was the introduction of the ZIP code, it also involved research and development (and eventually the use of optical scanners) in order to improve efficiency.Before it was feasible to employ scanners, it was necessary to introduce and establish a strong presence of ZIP codes.In 1963, the United States Postal Service stated that ″widespread adoption of the ZIP Code is intended to pave the way for a seamless transition to mail sorting by automated optical scanning equipment, which is currently under development.″ 5 According to the 1965 annual report, a deal had been signed for six optical readers, each of which was capable of reading and sorting ZIP-coded addresses at a pace of around 36,000 per hour.The Postal Laboratory appears to have been the site of three independent companies each working on their own reader, all of which were to be tested there.
Each had to be able to ″find, recognize, and read numerics in all common machine-imprinted typefaces on envelopes as well as send sorting instructions to a letter sorting machine,″ according to the requirements.6
Advertising this new number
- As with any new product or service, the Post Office needed to market.
- One of the numerous initiatives centred around Christmas and informing youngsters that Santa’s ZIP code had changed to 99701 from 99701.
- Another notable event was the debut of Mr.
- ZIP, the orange-skinned mail carrier symbol: ″Mr.
- ZIP entered the ranks of well-known public personalities throughout the course of the year.
- ″ With the help of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company and its advertising firm, Cunningham & Walsh, and in collaboration with the Department’s information office, the jovial cartoon figure bloomed into a new emblem of Postal Service and mailer cooperation.
- During the year, a significant amount of work was devoted to the development and distribution of a package of materials in preparation for the July 1 debut of ZIP Code.
- Aiming to emphasize community participation and participation in decision-making, the ZIP Code program incorporated every mode of communication and, for the first time, channeled all of the Department’s resources – which were previously made available to other government agencies and charitable organizations – into a single Post Office program.
- With appearances on radio and television by Miss Ethel Merman, as well as letters from children to Santa Claus at his North Poll ZIP Code address, Mr.
- ZIP captured the interest and enthusiasm of a significant portion of the postal public.″ 7 The following jingle, performed by Ethel Merman to the tune of ″Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,″ may perhaps be remembered or heard: ″Welcome to ZIP code, learn it now.″ Send your message the old-fashioned way, using five digits.
- Your return address should include the ZIP code as a time-saving measure to lessen the workload.″ However, even though the code was created in 1963, there was still a need to promote several years after it was first implemented.
As reported in their 1967 annual report, more than 1,000 newspapers and major magazines published public service advertising developed by the Wunderman, Ricotta & Kline agency under the auspices of the Advertising Council and distributed by the Advertising Council.Advertisements were also broadcast on radio and television, as well as on buses and other public transportation systems.There were also promotional advertisements produced by several high-circulation publications such as Vogue, Time and Reader’s Digest.In 1966, there was a nationwide ZIP Code Week in October, as well as a film, ″ZIP Code,″ which starred Mr.Zip and the Swinging Six singing group and was nominated for a silver medal at the International Film & Television Festival in the same year.By the end of the 1960s, the ZIP code had been widely used.
However, no adjustments were made to the ZIP code because the ZIP+4 code was adopted in 1983.Who knows what the ZIP code will become in the future.
Business catches on
- Even while current marketers recognize the importance of employing the ZIP code for demographic research, business leaders recognized early on that the ZIP code may give an alternate means for them to define market segments to target.
- Even the unanticipated commercial applications of the ZIP code were mentioned in the 1967 Annual Report: ″Mr.
- ZIP has been offered a broad range of nonpostal positions throughout the course of the past year.
- In recent years, the geographic areas represented by ZIP Codes have piqued the interest of industry, which has discovered that they frequently define markets more accurately than political bodies.
- Farmers’ ZIP Codes are used extensively by the California Council of Growers when providing planting advice to them.
- The codes are used by an Ohio gas company to determine the concentrations of investor groups.
- Meter readers’ routes in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, are organized by ZIP Code regions, much as sales routes in many parts of the country are divided by geographic region.
- Several insurance firms assign accident report and claims investigators based on the codes that they get from the government.
- The Kentucky Health Department requires the ZIP codes of patients in order to trace the source, concentration, and transmission of infectious illnesses in the state of Kentucky.
- Some military reserve forces assign new recruits to training locations that are close to their residences based on their ZIP code.
- ″As a result of the increasing interest in the coding system by marketing, transportation, and research companies, a cooperative study with the Bureau of the Census is ongoing to develop techniques for making census data available via ZIP Codes.″ 8 Today, numerous databases, such as ReferenceUSA, Hoover’s Relationship Manager, SimplyMap, and others, employ the ZIP code as a mechanism to filter results based on location, and the ZIP code is one of the most used.
Government entities also create and publish statistics based on ZIP code, which they may be found here.In particular, the Census Bureau was anticipated by the United States Postal Service in its yearly report from 1967 to the present day.Individual tax returns are used to generate data by ZIP code, which are also produced by the IRS.While smaller divisions such as Census tracts and block groups might be difficult to identify for new users, ZIP codes are well-known integers that are simple to comprehend.Alternatively, while looking at their market inside a city, it is possible that someone may want to utilize ZIP codes rather than other political or geographic designations because they may not be as important as ZIP codes.If you have any more queries, please do not hesitate to contact a librarian.
Where Did Zip Codes Come From?
- The enormously successful Fox Television program Beverly Hills 90210, which aired in the 1990s, featured the escapades of a group of teenagers who lived in the wealthiest zip code in Southern California at the time.
- It’s telling that the numbers in the show’s title didn’t need to be explained at any point.
- We have come to accept the notion that different zip codes have different sorts of people living in them.
- What caused this to occur?
- Initially introduced on July 1, 1963, the zip code was promoted as a means of expediting the circulation of mail across a wide continent.
- However, it was later found to be ineffective.
- Gregory Smith, a geographer, claims that the zip code, which is an abbreviation for Zoning Improvement Program, had its origins during World War II.
- After their usual postal deliverymen were sent away to fight in the war, their substitutes were given a system of codes to identify addresses, because they were unlikely to have the institutional memory for places that regular mail deliverymen had acquired.
- Following World War II, a flourishing American economy resulted in a postal service that was overburdened.
- Smith discovered that, although 30 billion pieces of mail were carried each year during the Great Depression, it had increased to more than 80 billion by the 1960s.
- Luce Publishing, the publisher of Time and Life magazines, sent out 750 million pieces of mail every year, all of which was addressed to the country’s 33,000 post offices at the time of the publication.
In order to cope with the volume, postal officials in the United States attempted to replicate a West German coding system.Mail delivery was transformed away from obsolete railroad schedules and into the modern world of truck and airline transportation, with many sorting stations being relocated from city depots to facilities near highways and airports as a result of the introduction of zip codes.Not everyone was pleased with the outcome.Some people viewed the zip code as depersonalizing and technocratic, because it relied on a numbers system rather than the names of known counties and states, which they perceived as depersonalizing.A commenter in the New Yorker writes: ″We have been assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the government’s apparent aim to cleanly do away with the bother of neighborhoods, towns, cities and even states.″ Smith cites this commentator.Nonetheless, by 1967, zip codes were used to identify 65 percent of all mail delivered.
Soon after, new applications for zip codes began to develop, some of which were less than appetizing.Insurance firms and banks utilized those five digits to categorize people and decide who was creditworthy, just as they used them to categorize people.The discovery that zip codes segregated communities and, as a result, were a godsend for marketers, who were able to tailor their products to certain types of customers.The zip code, according to marketing expert Dik Warren Twedt, outperformed other designations such as counties, which, because of their different compositions, were too wide to effectively segment a specific target population.While zip codes were beneficial to businesses in terms of targeting audiences and improving post office efficiency, they were never a moneymaker for the United States Postal Service, which was forced to bear the costs of implementing a change that had widespread benefits for the wider economy as well as the postal public.
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- Written by Gregory Smith Vol.
- 29 (1967), pp.
- 97-109, in Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers, Vol.
- 29 (1967).
- The University of Hawaii Press is located in Honolulu, Hawaii.
- Submitted by: Dik Volume 32, Number 3 (July 1968), pages 71-73 in the Warren Twedt Journal of Marketing (Warren Twedt, 1968).
- A marketing publication published by Sage Publications, Inc.
- on behalf of the American Marketing Association
ZIP Codes: A History
Because of the adoption of ZIP codes in 1963, mail has been zipping along its route since that time. However, this hasn’t always been the case. Let’s take a look at how ZIP codes got their start and how they’ve evolved through time.
The prehistory of the ZIP code
- During the early years of the United States Postal Service, mailing addresses were not strictly controlled.
- It’s possible that you included the recipient’s street address, as well as the city and state, but you wouldn’t have noticed a ZIP code on the envelope.
- Mail was manually sorted, and delivery depended on the knowledge of the recipient’s location at the time of delivery.
- It was a significant improvement over the colonial era, when people relied on friends and merchants to convey communications, but it was still not ideal.
- Postal districts are established.
- After 1940, there was a major growth in the use of the postal system, and attempts were undertaken to streamline the sorting and delivery process.
- Postal districts for large cities were established in 1943 as a result of World War II.
- Each district was allocated a one- or two-digit number, which recipients were required to provide between the city name and the state name when sending mail.
- This was beneficial, but the growing amount of mail quickly necessitated the implementation of automated systems.
The ZIP code is born
- The United States Postal Service (USPS) boosted efficiency in 1961 when it implemented the Nationwide Improved Mail Service system.
- The National Institute of Manufacturing Standards (NIMS) defined the physical dimensions of envelopes and the form limits of packages, making automation practicable.
- When Postmaster General Edward Day received a suggestion for changes in postal district codes from Philadelphia Postal Inspector Robert Moon, he immediately implemented it by establishing the Zone Improvement Plan (also known as ZIP codes).
- It was proposed that the two-digit city coding system be replaced with a five-digit system that contained three digits for the overall geographical region followed by the two-digit city district code, rather than the previous two-digit system.
- When mailing a letter, you would now include the ZIP code at the end of the address, after the state where the letter is being sent.
Mr. ZIP takes the campaign national
- Day took a cue from the difficulties faced by telephone companies when they attempted to introduce area codes and started a public awareness campaign prior to the implementation of area codes.
- Using the cartoon figure Mr.
- ZIP as a symbol, the new ZIP codes were intended to provide faster service while also increasing accuracy.
- ZIP’s efforts were successful, with acceptance of the concept reaching 90 percent and public use reaching 83 percent by 1969.
Today’s 9-digit ZIP code
- The ZIP+4 system, introduced by the United States Postal Service in 1983, greatly increased the use of ZIP codes.
- Everyone’s ZIP code was given four numbers under this new nine-digit system, which identified the side of the street where a particular address was to be found or, in the case of some extremely high-rise structures, the portion of the building where the addressee was situated.
- Mail carriers will be able to deliver your mail more promptly as a result of the comprehensive sorting that has been enabled.
- Would you like to learn more about effective letter delivery?
- To learn more about how you can send mail online in five minutes or less, visit myMailHouse.com.
Where Was the First Zip Code Issued?
- However, ZIP Codes were not always a part of our regular everyday lives in the United States, and they were not always used to identify locations.
- As a matter of fact, you may be surprised to learn (in a matter of seconds) how relatively new ZIP Codes are in the broad scheme of things – and why they were formed in the first place.
- These days, with ZIP Codes serving as such a critical component of our contemporary postal system, it’s difficult to picture what it would be like to send a package, parcel, or piece of mail without include a ZIP Code.
- The fact is that we are all so accustomed to include these types of identifiers anywhere on our address labels that taking them out – or perhaps not including them at all – feels entirely and utterly alien.
- You’ll know a lot more about the history of the ZIP Code (and what an interesting history it has), how ZIP Codes are assigned, if there are any special ZIP Codes, and a bunch of other little factoids about this crucial part of the mailing system that might come in handy during a trivia night contest.
- So read on for more inside information about the ZIP Code.
- Are you ready to dive right in?
- Let’s get this party started!
What is a Zip Code?
- Despite the fact that the United States Postal Service (in one form or another) has been carrying mail to addresses all throughout the country since before America was even a country, our ZIP Code system wasn’t officially established until the 1960s, when it was first implemented.
- But we’ll get into it a little more in-depth in a second or two.
- First and first, it’s critical to understand what a ZIP Code is and why it’s such a vital aspect of today’s postal delivery system.
- After a postal worker saw how difficult it was to identify different goods, parcels, and envelopes throughout our vast country with any real efficiency in the early 1940s, he came up with the idea of creating a ZIP Code, also known as a Zoning Improvement Plan Code.
- In 1944, a postal worker by the name of Robert Moon, a Philadelphia-based Postal Inspector, came up with the concept of a national three-digit code that could be used to assign different locations throughout the country – initially attached to major cities and the rural areas surrounding them – to a three-digit code.
- This was precisely around the time of the conclusion of World War II, when the United States Postal Service was dealing with a massive influx of mail.
- Meanwhile, troops were returning home and constructing homes left and right – with new addresses sprouting up all over the country – and expansionism was firmly entrenched in the United States of America.
- As a result of all of this mail clogging up the old system of delivering pieces of mail where they needed to go with any real speed, the United States Postal Service (USPS) chose to employ a method that was similar to the one described by Mr.
- Moon in 1944.
- Although the United States Postal Service originally intended to use a three-digit system, they ultimately settled on a two-digit local zone number, which they subsequently combined with the three-digit system to create the five-digit system that we know (and love) today.
- Initial postal codes were two digits in length (for example, the number 16 for Minneapolis), and postal workers were in charge of the rest of the heavy lifting, such as determining exactly where a certain piece of mail was intended to go.
Where Was the First Zip Code Issued?
- Contrary to popular belief, Adjuntas in Puerto Rico received the honor of having the world’s first ZIP Code – or, more specifically, the world’s first five-digit ZIP Code – ever used by the United States Postal Service.
- Due to the fact that the ZIP Code system was completely adopted and implemented in 1963, and since the zone maps prepared by the United States depicted Puerto Rico as the ″first″ section of the United States, with the map traveling from right to left throughout the nation, this was the case.
- The first ZIP Code in the United States was 00601, and it designated a significant portion of Puerto Rico as the first Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) in the country.
- As previously said, the ZIP Codes continued to increase in number as they moved from the East Coast to the West Coast, with ZIP Codes such as 01001 being assigned to Agawam, Massachusetts, and 90210 being assigned to Beverly Hills, California, to name a few examples.
- Interestingly enough, the lowest ZIP Code number now in use by the United States Postal Service is 00501, which is assigned to the Internal Revenue Service in Holtsville, New York.
- The ZIP Code with the highest number in the United States Postal Service system is 9950, and that ZIP Code was assigned to Ketchikan, Alaska – which is the westernmost place according to the Zone Improvement Plan mapping scheme, at any rate – in the United States.
How Are Zip Codes Assigned?
- Undoubtedly, one of the most crucial things to understand is that ZIP Codes are not issued or allocated by any precise border that can be found on a typical United States map.
- There is a common misconception among those who believe that ZIP Codes are issued by state, or that differing state and town borders aid in the division and designation of various ZIP Code numbers that are associated with distinct locales.
- That is not at all how the situation is now unfolding.
- Instead, ZIP Codes have been divided down and allocated in accordance with the Zone Improvement Plan, which was formed by the United States Postal Service in order to better distinguish distinct delivery routes inside their own internal systems, rather than the previous approach.
- This is something that many people are astonished to hear, since they did not realize that the entire ZIP Code system was designed to increase overall mailing efficiency and delivery time.
- But when you start comparing different ZIP Codes on a map, it becomes a lot easier to understand – for example, comparing the ZIP Codes for Christian County, Kentucky and Montgomery County, Tennessee (which are both 42223) or the ZIP Codes for Lake County, Oregon and Modoc County, California (both 97635) – it becomes a lot clearer.
- Only regional centers of the United States postal system, how different postal routes are assembled, and how the United States Postal Service (USPS) has opted to better break up and construct distinct delivery routes across the board are included in the drawing of the boundaries.
- This is how you wind up with the United States Navy having ZIP Codes that begin with 095, for example, all throughout the country (and in foreign countries) and all having the same ZIP Code.
- Once you realize that state boundaries are not a decisive factor in how these ZIP Codes were assigned (in fact, they are just incidental to the process), the entire ZIP Code map becomes much easier to comprehend moving forward.
What’s the Zip Code +4 System?
- While the original ZIP Code platform did wonders for making mail delivery a whole lot easier and a whole lot more efficient in the 1960s, the United States Postal Service (USPS) decided in 1983 (20 years after adopting the five digit ZIP Code) to enhance the system even more.
- The United States Postal Service (USPS) decided in 1983 to add a fourth digit to the end of its ZIP Code designations, giving these ZIP Codes a complete nine character code and allowing for even faster delivery times.
- With these additional four digits, it is now possible to define separate delivery segments along various streets, different city blocks, and even in various apartment groups – which is very useful if one or more neighborhoods receives a large volume of mail that must be delivered.
- Another thing to note is that none of this has anything to do with geographical boundaries or anything else of the kind.
- The odds are fairly likely that if you have two apartment buildings directly close to one another in downtown Boston, and both of them get massive amounts of mail on a daily basis, each of them will have its own +4 ZIP Code designation.
- Although they are physically adjacent to one another and may have consecutive street addresses, the chances of them having consecutive +4 ZIP Code designations (even though they are physically adjacent to one another and may have consecutive street addresses) are slim to none if the apartment building on the left was built in the 1990s and the apartment building on the right was built in the 2000s.
Are There Any Special Zip Codes Out There?
- In addition to the renowned 90210 code for Beverly Hills, which was named after the same television show that we discussed previously, there are a number of other unusual ZIP Codes to consider.
- Additionally, we said before that the IRS has exclusive use of the lowest ZIP Code designation in the country, but you might be interesting to hear that just two persons in the country have their own ZIP Code as well.
- Neither the President of the United States nor the First Lady of the United States of America have their own unique ZIP Code designations that they – and only them – may use to their advantage.
- In addition to the President’s ZIP Code (20500–0001), the First Lady’s ZIP Code (20500–0002) is also available.
- Those ZIP Codes are ″branches″ of the ZIP Code for the White House (20500), and there are a number of additional +4 ZIP Code designations for other branches, offices, and pieces of the White House that have been added on top of that.
- Smoky Bear, the mascot of the United States Forest Service, is the only other ″person″ who has been assigned their own ZIP Code.
- In response to his growing popularity and a large advertising campaign launched in order to fight back against forest fires, Smoky began receiving a massive volume of mail in the form of fan letters.
- Smoky’s daily mail volume increased to such an extent that he was assigned the ZIP Code 20252, which he has retained to this day (despite the fact that it was briefly deactivated/decommissioned in the early 1990s).
- An additional highly intriguing ZIP Code to look into is that of Conyngham, Pennsylvania, which is located in the state of Pennsylvania.
- There are 2000 people who reside in this town, which uses the ZIP Code 18219, yet they are bordered on all sides by the Pennsylvania town of Sugarloaf, which uses the ZIP Code 18249, which has the ZIP Code 18249.
- In fact, it is the only spot in the United States where one ZIP Code is completely encapsulated within another ZIP Code!
Other Interesting Facts You (Probably) Never Knew About Zip Codes
- According to the USPS Zone Improvement Plan, as we discussed previously, the ZIP Code is made up of numbers that correlate to a range of various designations inside the ZIP Code.
- First and foremost, the code represents the National Area regional code, with the second digits indicating the Sectional Center or the largest regional post office as a subset of the first digit.
- After the first five digits, the remaining two digits of the ZIP Code are directly associated with either associated post offices or the actual delivery region.
- The first two digits of these additions to the ZIP Code are especially for streets that serve large buildings, which is why they are included in the +4 ZIP Code expansion.
- The second and third codes refer to the side of the street on which the building is located and the exact floor on which the address is located, respectively.
Choose a Modern Approach to Receiving Mail – US Global Mail
- Although utilizing ZIP Codes is an important aspect of how we send packages, parcels, and other pieces of mail through the United States Postal Service, wouldn’t it be nice to have a more current method for getting your mail as well?
- It is at this point that US Global Mail comes into action.
- Customers of US Global Mail benefit from physical street addresses, mail scanning and mail forwarding solutions, as well as package receiving services (and much more) from the moment they sign up for an account with one of the most innovative, well-respected, and trusted independent mail services in the United States.
- Those interested in learning a little bit more about all that US Global Postal has to offer, as well as how this contemporary mail service can make their lives a little bit simpler and a lot more comfortable, can visit their website.
- There’s a good reason why thousands of individuals have made the decision to stop utilizing the United States Postal Service or third-party mail acceptance services and instead to take advantage of everything US Global Mail has to offer.
Postal Zones Came Before Zip Codes
- Although the Quick and DirtyZIP codes were first used in 1963, they were derived from more primitive codes known as postal zones, which were originally used in 1943.
- Yesterday, we discussed ZIP codes and I added some background information by stating that they were first established in the United States in 1963, which is correct; however, two individuals wrote in to inform me that previous codes, known as postal zones were originally presented in 1943.
- For example, Barbara Hughes of Vancouver, Washington, shared a memory from her childhood: ″Before there were ZIP codes, the postal code for East Cleveland was ’12’; thus, we put our address as East Cleveland, 12, Ohio.″ Cleveland Heights was the nearby town, and its postal address was Cleveland Heights, Ohio (21st Street).
- Assume that…’evolved’ into the concept of ZIP codes.
- Addresses were written in the following format: CITY, POSTAL CODE, STATE.
- When ZIP codes were first issued…
- the numbers denoted a wide region that was gradually narrowed down to a more concentrated, local area.
- ‘441’ was assigned to the region of northeastern Ohio.
- The ZIP codes for East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights were changed as a result, and they are now 44112 and 44121 respectively.
- The ZIP codes were created as a result of the existing postal system that was already in existence.
- Not only that, but addresses were now required to be typed in the format CITY, STATE, ZIP CODE, rather than the previous one.
Of order to avoid being sandwiched between the city and state in an address, the ZIP code was designed to appear as the very last item.″ Sue Hatfield-Green weighed in with a tale about Dellwood, Missouri that was identical to the one above.According to her, Dellwood’s postal zone was 36, and the address would have been written as Dellwood 36, Missouri.However, following the introduction of ZIP codes, the address became 63136, with a code that was relocated from the middle to the end.It was World War II, according to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, that led to the establishment of postal zones in the first place in 1943.Along with increased mail volume, the post office was bringing on a large number of new and inexperienced employees to replace those who had left to serve in the war.The numerical city codes made it simpler for all of these new employees to keep up with and sort the mail efficiently.
Although postal zones were not universally implemented, they were widely used and accepted without much opposition in the early twentieth century (I suppose because everyone wanted to support the war effort in whatever way they could).Postal zones weren’t as widely used as ZIP codes are now, therefore they were less common.According to the Smithsonian Institution, postal zones were only employed in 124 of the nation’s biggest metropolitan centers.And, given that ZIP codes were derived from postal zones, I believe this explains why the acronym ZIP stands for ″Zone Improvement Plan″ (ZIP).Instead of specifying a small region, such as a town, the new five-digit ZIP code allows sorters to begin with the first number, which represents a group of states, move on to the second and third numbers, which represent a smaller area within that region, and THEN move on to the small regional area such as a town.
With the introduction of a ZIP code, postal zones and zone improvement plans might be improved significantly.Thank you to Sue and Barbara for providing me the extra information that was both intriguing and useful!The photo is courtesy of Shutterstock.
The Most Populated Zip Codes in America – 24/7 Wall St.
- United States has roughly 327.2 million inhabitants, more than any other country in the Western Hemisphere and the third largest in the world, behind China and India.
- Despite having a large population, the United States does not appear to be very congested.
- The United States has one of the world’s lowest population densities, with a total land area of nearly 3.7 million square miles.
- But Americans are not fairly distributed around the country, and many of us have less elbow room than one might expect.
- A recent analysis from the United States Census Bureau found that rural regions cover more than 97 percent of the nation’s geographic area yet only include 19 percent of the nation’s total human population.
- This implies that the rest of the population, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the total, lives on barely 3 percent of the land area.
- 24/7 Tempo analyzed demographic data from roughly 33,000 ZIP codes throughout the United States to determine which ZIP codes were the most densely inhabited in the country.
- Every ZIP code on this list is a component of a large metropolitan region, as indicated by the asterisk.
- More than half of them are concentrated in New York or Los Angeles, the only two American cities to be included in the top 33 megacities in the world.
- The allure of living in a city cannot be denied, even if it is not for everyone who does not enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life.
- A city’s proximity to jobs, entertainment, and culture makes it a more appealing option than other surroundings.
Some of these ZIP codes are extremely desirable locations to reside since they are located within the most desirable city to live in each state in which they are located.
|Rank||ZIP code||Population||Pop. density (per sq. mile)||Metro area|
|2||11368||114,647||41,767||New York, New York|
|4||79936||111,918||4,155||El Paso, TX, Texas|
|5||90011||108,051||24,240||Los Angeles, California|
|6||11385||106,598||27,288||New York, New York|
|7||90650||106,404||10,759||Los Angeles, California|
|9||91331||105,696||11,712||Los Angeles, California|
|11||90201||102,878||17,059||Los Angeles, California|
|12||10467||102,718||41,479||New York, New York|
|13||11226||102,585||78,799||New York, New York|
|14||11211||101,560||39,215||New York, New York|
|15||11236||100,633||26,113||New York, New York|
|16||11220||100,412||55,610||New York, New York|
|18||8701||99,467||3,775||New York, New Jersey|
|19||11208||99,145||27,446||New York, New York|
|20||11234||97,741||11,630||New York, New York|
|21||90250||97,371||13,920||Los Angeles, California|
|22||11373||96,353||66,155||New York, New York|
|23||91342||96,177||1,664||Los Angeles, California|
|24||90805||96,069||12,692||Los Angeles, California|
|27||90280||95,420||12,922||Los Angeles, California|
|29||90044||94,680||17,477||Los Angeles, California|
|30||10456||94,667||85,017||New York, New York|
|32||10025||94,382||125,798||New York, New York|
|34||11214||94,283||40,563||New York, New York|
|36||11219||93,979||62,227||New York, New York|
|37||94565||93,549||2,803||San Francisco, California|
|40||11207||92,580||34,963||New York, New York|
|41||92683||91,758||8,983||Los Angeles, California|
|44||92704||90,525||11,926||Los Angeles, California|
|45||11230||90,257||46,961||New York, New York|
|46||10314||89,960||6,240||New York, New York|
|47||11377||89,688||35,324||New York, New York|
Lowest ZIP Code number – U.S. Postal Facts
- The Internal Revenue Service in Holtsville, New York, has the lowest ZIP Code number in the US, 00501, which is unique.
- Trademarks Trademarks Trademarks The United States Postal Service has a large number of trademarks, including the Eagle Logo, the trade dress of USPS packaging, the Letter Carrier Uniform, the Postal Truck, and the following marks: Forever®, Global Express Guaranteed®, IMb®, Informed Delivery®, Intelligent Mail®, Label BrokerTM, Parcel Select®, Post Office®, Pony Express®, Postal Inspection ServiceTM, PostalOne!®, PostalPolice®, PostalProud®, Priority Mail Express International®, Priority Mail Flat Rate®, Priority Mail International Service®, Priority Mail Intenational Service®, Priority Mail International Service®, Priority Mail International Service, Priority We are people delivering to peopleTM, ZIP+4®, and ZIP CodeTM, among other things.
- This is not an exhaustive list of all trademarks owned by the United States Postal Service.
- Trademarks that are not associated with the United States Postal Service Dollar General®, Forest Stewardship Council®, McDonald’s®, National Dog Bite Prevention Week®, Starbucks®, Subway®, Sustainable Forestry Initiative®, and The Climate Registry® are just a few of the companies who have lent their support to this cause.
- Postal Facts 2022 is a website that gives information on the United States Postal Service to the general public.
- Unless otherwise stated, the facts included in this publication may be reproduced solely for the purpose of expressing the fact in its entirety, as well as in a business, informational, or academic context, and in the body of text discussing factual subject matter related to the fact being presented.
- However, these data may become out of date after they have been published, thus it is recommended that you acquire the most recent information.
- Produced by Corporate Communications for the United States Postal Service 2022 is the year in question.
- The United States Postal Service retains ownership of all intellectual property rights.
- All rights retained by the United States Postal Service from 2016 through 2022.
4 of the Oldest ZIP Codes Around the World – A History
- ZIP codes are used to differentiate postal zones in order to make sorting and delivery of mail more efficient.
- Postal zones existed prior to the establishment of ZIP codes, which merely took up the mantle and refined the designations as populations expanded and mail distribution became more extensive.
- The year 1943 is frequently stated as the year in which the ZIP code was first used in the United States.
- However, some versions pre-date it, making the earliest ZIP codes or zone codes historical necessity rather than merely contemporary conveniences, rather than simply modern conveniences.
- Continue reading for an in-depth look at the world’s earliest ZIP codes, their origins, and the reasons they were employed.
- Year:1983 The location is the United States.
- Event:ZIP codes have been extended by four digits to improve readability.
- Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
- During the period 1963 to 1983, ZIP codes were only five digits in length.
- The same method worked flawlessly for residences or structures on city streets or in downtown areas.
- However, because of the imprecise nature of the five-digit method, even more exact addresses resulted in longer letter delivery times than before.
- This is one of the reasons why ZIP+4 was implemented.
- People who live in dense groups of flats, who have distinct PO boxes, or who live on very packed city blocks, for example, may be further distinguished by a ZIP code utilizing the +4 system, which would allow them to be identified more precisely.
- This increases the code’s length by four digits in order to improve the efficiency of mail sorting and delivery.
- This add-on allows the character readers at the post office to scan an address and immediately recognize the +4 code, allowing them to save time.
- It categorizes mail according to the 11 digits that a ZIP code now contains in total – five for the ZIP code, four for the delivery point, and two more to differentiate the delivery point – and organizes the mail appropriately.
Every post office box has a +4 ZIP code to make it easier for mail carriers to deliver packages.People, on the other hand, have opposed the uniformity of the +4 system on their own delivery, and as a result, it is rarely listed.However, the +4 code is not necessary when designating a delivery address, and the post office determined that it could not be strengthened due to technical limitations.However, every post office box is still theoretically equipped with one, and companies frequently rely on them, particularly in rented office buildings, to guarantee that their supplies are delivered on schedule.WHAT IF I TOLD YOU?Add-ons or +4 digits can take on a variety of shapes and sizes.
There are several possibilities: the final four digits of the box number, a zero plus the last three digits, or a smaller box number with enough zeroes preceding it to form a total of four numbers.Because there is no rule for ZIP+4 codes, each one must be searched up independently, for example, using the ZIP Code Lookup feature on the United States Postal Service’s website (which is available for free).
00691 – The First 5-Digit ZIP Code
- Year:1963 Adjuntas is a municipality in the province of Puerto Rico.
- The United States of America creates the first standardized ZIP code.
- Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
- Because of the ″baby boom,″ or postwar population boom, urban growth in the United States had reached such a point that the post office needed major reform to keep up with the pace of the times by 1963.
- With nearly double the amount of mail sent in the United States between 1943 and 1963 came the discovery of flaws in the post office’s sorting and distribution system.
- As a result, the internal advisors to the post office recommended that the Zone Improvement Plan be developed (ZIP).
- According to this plan, the entire United States was divided into separate delivery regions, each of which had a unique number.
- These five-digit regional codes were the forerunners of the modern ZIP code format.
- The first 2-3 digits indicated mail carriers which states the letter was headed to.
- Large population areas like New York and San Francisco began with greater double-digit numbers whereas lesser population concentrations in the mid-West had just 5 digits.
- Adjuntas, Puerto Rico received the honor of having the world’s first ZIP code, which was 00601.
The Zone Improvement Plan designated it as the first zone to be established.The following number was 01001, which was assigned to Agawam in Massachusetts.This ZIP code is sometimes mistakenly referred to as the first ZIP code because of its numerical designation.However, it was simply the starting point for zone separation in the continental United States after Puerto Rico had been divided into regions.By 1966, 50 percent of Americans used ZIP codes and never turned back.By 1969, this number jumped to 83 percent .
WHAT IF I TOLD YOU?At first, people didn’t approve of ZIP codes.According to U.S.Postal Service historian Jennifer Lynch, there was a feeling of depersonalization among the populace, that ZIP codes were turning them into cogs in a machine.To address these concerns, the post office created a marketing campaign centered on Mr.
ZIP or “Zippy.” He was designed by a letter carrier’s son, Howard Wilcox, to encourage mailers, especially of older generations, to include ZIP codes.Technically, including ZIP codes isn’t required, which meant that stubborn older mailers represented a financial burden to the post office, which was obligated to deliver mail, even at First Class speeds, regardless of whether there was a ZIP code on it.Mr.ZIP encouraged children to always use ZIP on their letters in the hope that their parents and grandparents would ease into it.Apparently, it worked.
1-2 Digit ZIP Codes
- Year:1943 The location is the United States.
- Wartime postal zones make it simpler to transport mail during the conflict history as a source of imagery Despite the fact that local post offices had experimented with the notion as early as the 1920s, the United States did not have a ZIP code system in 1943.
- However, World War II ultimately made this a necessity, resulting in the establishment of what we now refer to as the ZIP code system.
- Because the draft and enrollment rates were so high during the war, many male mail clerks were forced to leave the nation in order to fight for their country in Europe.
- Thus, many post offices lost their experienced mail sorters and couriers who were familiar with the territory they were responsible for delivering mail.
- Consequently, mail sorting in this nation was completely disrupted for a period of time.
- Because of the population density of the nation’s largest cities, the Post Office Department, as it was known back then, recognized that the status quo would not suffice.
- They did so in order to create something akin to the postcode system used in England: ″postal zones.″ These were one- or two-digit numbers that were followed by the name of the city in question.
- In order to assist young, often inexperienced postal clerks who were filling in for their more experienced colleagues, a shortcut was created to assist them with difficult mail sorting and delivery challenges.
- This zone system was in operation in major American population centers for several decades before it was replaced with a more modern one.
- This post office’s use of postal zones during World War II achieved its goal and laid the framework for subsequent implementation of an uniform ZIP code system, which we are all familiar with today.
WHAT IF I TOLD YOU?When the postal zones were established in the United States, the postal clerks were unable to cope with the annual amount of 20 million pieces of mail received by the country.Consider how difficult it must have been during the peak of the post office’s operations in 2006, when the agency delivered more than 213 billion pieces of mail in a single year.
- Year:1858 London, England is the location of this event.
- The first city-wide postal zones were established at this time.
- Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
- The history of the ZIP code began in London in 1858, with the creation of the first ZIP code.
- The recipient’s name, street address, and house number were all that was required of letter addresses prior to the introduction of postcodes (also known as ZIP codes in the United Kingdom).
- When towns were tiny, this strategy worked well.
- However, the rapid growth of urban populations in the mid-1800s necessitated the implementation of postal reforms.
- An ex-English teacher by the name of Sir Rowland Hill was commissioned by the post office to come up with a better sorting method in order to make it easier to sort mail.
- He came up with the idea of dividing London into bigger ″postcodes″ in order to deliver mail to its broad regio