In 1963 the Post Office Department introduced and vigorously promoted the use of the Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) Code. The code was originally intended to allow mail sorting methods to be automated but ended up creating unimagined socio-economic benefits as an organizing and enabling device.
ZIP codes were introduced in 1963, but they came from more rudimentary codes, called postal zones, that were first implemented in 1943.
When did ZIP codes start being used in the US?
Zones like Detroit 10 for example were implemented in 124 U.S. cities by the U.S. Postal Service in May 1943, about 20 years before Zoning Improvement Plan (ZIP) Codes were introduced, which was on 1 July 1963. Where can I find a zip code finder to look up zip codes?
When did the United States postal service introduce the four-digit ZIP code?
Just over a half-century ago, in 1963, the United States Postal Service introduced its five-digit ZIP code system to make mail more efficient, but it was an updated idea on something the postal service began during World War II. By 1983, the U.S. Postal Service would try to introduce the four-digit ZIP code add-on, but it wouldn’t go well.
When were non-mandatory ZIP codes introduced?
Non-mandatory ZIP codes were introduced to the United States in 1963. Robert Moon, a postal inspector with the United States Postal Service, proposed the ZIP code system as early as 1944.
Where do postal codes come from?
Postal codes are used by countries around the world, and one of the first places they occurred was in the United Kingdom where London had divided the city up into 10 postal zones by the 1860s. In fact, the U.S.’s city code was in use in places by the 1920s but wasn’t nationalized until World War II.
Where was the first ZIP Code issued 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.
Do all US addresses have zip codes?
As you can see from the map, not everywhere in the US is assigned a ZIP code. Remote and especially rural areas of the country do not have enough deliverable addresses to create a mail route. Without mail delivery, a ZIP is not needed.
Who created zip codes?
Bentley Hahn: The Man Who Invented the 5-Digit ZIP Code.
When did we start using area codes?
The three-digit area code traces to 1947, when the North American Numbering Plan was created by AT&T, seeking to update a hodge-podge system that had included four- and five-digit phone numbers. Ever since, a 10-digit number has permitted automated routing of long-distance calls, gradually endingthe need for operators.
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.
How long will a letter take from ZIP code to ZIP code?
Standard Mail Delivery Time From Zip Code To Zip Code
Generally speaking, standard mail takes around 3 to 4 days for it to be delivered, priority mail takes 1 to 3 days, and priority express mail takes 1 to 2 days.
Does everybody have a ZIP code?
ZIP code is used in the U.S. while other countries use other terms such as post code. For example Ireland uses Eircode, while India uses PIN (postal index number.) Most countries have Postal Codes, the term Zip is only used in the USA. No.
Does everyone have the same ZIP code?
When looking at postal codes around the world, there are cases where two different cities are served by the same postal code. For example, the zip code 94608 in California is used for both Emeryville and parts of Oakland.
How did they decide ZIP codes?
As of 1963, zip codes’ numbers are determined by a few factors: the area, the regional postal facility and the local zone. The first number of the five-digit code signifies the region which the address is located in, a number that grows from the east coast to the west.
Where was the ZIP Code invented?
Robert A. Moon, a career postal employee who in 1963 won a 20-year fight for what was to become the ZIP code, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Leesburg, FL, 34748. He is the undisputed father of the first three digits in the code.
When did area codes start in MD?
According to the North American Numbering Plan, the organization that manages area codes and offers “area code relief,” 301 was Maryland’s first — created in 1947 — and among the first in the nation. In 1991, the state added a second area code, 410.
When did Ontario start using area codes?
The first two area codes ever to be used in southern Ontario are 416 and 613, which were introduced in 1947. In 1993, the additional area code of 905 was introduced to serve the area surrounding Toronto. In 2001, the 289 area code was introduced and in 2013 the 365 area code was brought into circulation.
When did ZIP codes start having 16 numbers?
The United States Post Office Department (USPOD) implemented postal zones for many large cities in 1943. The ’16’ is the number of the postal zone in the specific city. By the early 1960s, a more organized system was needed, and non-mandatory five-digit ZIP Codes were introduced nationwide on July 1, 1963.
Did you know postal zones were created during WWII?
POSTAL ZONES – You may have noticed that many addresses during the period between 1943 and 1963 had a one or two digit number following the city name. These numbers were postal zones. It may surprise you to learn that postal zones were instituted in 1943 during WWII.
When did the 5 digit ZIP code come out?
In 1983, an extended ZIP+4 code was introduced; it included the five digits of the ZIP Code, followed by a hyphen and four digits that designated a more specific location.
Are Nine-Digit ZIP Codes Required in the USA?
- Just over half a century ago, in 1963, the United States Postal Service established its five-digit ZIP code system to improve the efficiency of mail delivery.
- However, it was an upgraded version of a concept that had been in use since World War II.
- By 1983, the United States Postal Service would attempt to implement the four-digit ZIP code addition, but it would fail miserably.
- These are just a few of the factors that contribute to the United States ZIP code system being an interesting rabbit hole to explore.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)
Nope. It is not necessary to include the additional four-digit ZIP code. You are not required to use a ZIP code, but doing so will expedite the delivery of your mail. So, if you have one, take use of it.
Brief History of ZIP Codes
- Yes, the five-digit ZIP code was first used in 1963, however it was preceded by the city code at the time of its introduction.
- A large number of mail employees went to serve in the World War II military, prompting the creation of the ZIP code, which stands for ″Zone Improvement Plan,″ in 1943.
- The ZIP code was the starting point for an ambitious effort to make mail delivery more efficient.
- City codes were adopted in 124 of America’s largest cities to make it simpler to sort mail by hand and send it to the correct delivery catchment regions.
- Consequently, you may have noticed an address that said ″New York City 4, NY,″ which provided the sorters with a specific neighborhood in New York City so that they could send it along to the appropriate sorters.
- In 1943, the United States had a population of 136 million people, and by 1963, the population had increased to 189 million people residing in the United States.
- As a result of the tremendous rise in population, there was an influx of mail, which is when a proposal from postal supervisor Robert Moon in 1944 resulted in an invention that propelled the United States Postal Service to new heights of efficiency.
- However, Mr.
- Moon’s notion reflected just the first three digits of the ZIP code — the remaining two digits were the creation of a team that worked on the idea for a number of months.
So What’s in a Number?
- You may certainly have a ZIP code that is exclusive to your city, but if you have a distinguishable enough location or address, you might also have your own ZIP code. ZIP codes are all about narrowing down a delivery location, and if a business or individual receives a significant amount of mail, a dedicated ZIP code may be worthwhile from the standpoint of the United States Postal Service. You can submit an application for a four-digit ZIP code addition through the United States Postal Service website. But how does the ZIP code function in and of itself? ZIP codes in the same geographic area tend to begin in the same way, therefore the numbers must represent something, right? Yes, without a doubt! If you live in one of the most well-known ZIP codes in the United States – say, the renowned 90210 – the digits in your ZIP code might tell you a lot about your neighborhood. In the mailing code’s first number, 9 is the ″national area,″ which is defined as the entire country. In addition to the West Coast and Pacific, this number includes Guam and American Samoa as well as other locations. For example, the numbers 900 to 961 are all situated in California
- The next two numbers, 02, indicate that this is the post office for a major city. Compton, Culver City, Venice, Marina Del Rey, and a few additional neighborhoods are covered by the zip code ″02″ in Los Angeles.
- Last two digits, 10: This indicates the location of the associated post office or delivery region. Among the routes that service Culver City are those numbers 90230, 90231, 90232, and 90233, among others.
The Four-Digit ZIP Explained
- These final four digits, which are officially known as the ″ZIP+4 code,″ complete a sorting system that may mean the difference between landing your dart on the dartboard and striking the bull’s-eye. The sixth and seventh digits are as follows: The term refers to a certain street or huge structure, such as an apartment complex with 400 flats that receives a great amount of mail.
- They determine which side of the street the address is on, as well as the floor of the enormous structure identified by the preceding two numbers, and they are the most important.
Nice to Have, Not Needed
- The four-digit ZIP code was introduced in 1983 to assist the postal service in sorting mail more quickly.
- The concept of adding additional labor to their address didn’t sit well with most Americans, and the majority of them never bothered to utilize the code.
- It is said that you may bring a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink, according to an ancient rural saying.
- As a result, the United States Postal Service ceased attempting to convert a wary public, and today, a four-digit ZIP code is a pleasant to have but is not needed.
- That being said, if you have the extra digits available, make use of them!
- They truly will make a difference in how quickly your letter gets to its destination.
- Consider the five-digit ZIP code as if you were told you had to travel to Fenway Stadium but didn’t know which section you needed to go to.
- The four-digit add-on is analogous to receiving a ticket to a baseball game, which indicates which section and seat you’ll be sitting in.
But That’s What Addresses Do…
- Both yes and no.
- Despite the fact that addresses are convenient, sorting them still takes a little longer than sorting numbers.
- Furthermore, there are so many names that are similar – Maple Court, Maple Lane, Maple Street – that instead of needing the use of one’s brainpower to distinguish between them, the extra four-digit code accomplishes so with ease.
- Consider all of the individual letters that are received each day — consider how much time each of those ″split-second″ sortings may save over the course of an eight-hour workday or a year.
- Fortunately, computers and sorting technologies were developing at the same time that the four-digit code was being introduced.
- As a result, while it would have been ideal if the American populace had embraced the code, technology stepped in and assisted in achieving the same effect.
And Yet, It’s Not Needed?
Yes, you are correct. You are no longer need to supply the four-digit ″ZIP+4″ code unless you choose to do so because technology has taken care of that for you. But there’s more: You’re not even required to include the ZIP code itself, but failing to do so will cause your letter to be delivered more slowly.
How the “National” Code Works
- Something unique about the ZIP code’s first number is that it’s quite useful for determining the approximate geographical location of a given ZIP code.
- As for the first digit, the code ranges from 0 to 9, with the ″0″ zone corresponding to the northeastern-most portion of the country, which is effectively New England.
- The ″1″ represents the states of New York and Pennsylvania.
- After there, it’s down the coast for codes ″2″ and ″3,″ which will take you down to Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and the neighboring states, among other destinations.
- The American Midwest states are represented by the numbers ″4″ through ″6.″ Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana are among the states whose zip codes begin with the number ″7.″ The Pacific Coast is represented by the ″9″ codes, which implies that Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, and New Mexico are represented by the ″8″ codes.
- In the United Kingdom, postal codes were originally used in the 1860s, when London was divided into 10 postal zones.
- Postal codes are now used by nations all over the globe, and one of the first places they appeared was in the United Kingdom.
- In truth, the United States’ municipal code had been in use in certain areas by the 1920s, but it wasn’t officially adopted nationwide until after World War II.
When did post office start using zip codes?
The Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) Code was developed by the Post Office Department in 1963, and it has been actively pushed since then.
What did the post office use before zip codes?
ZIP codes were initially used in 1963, although they were derived from more primitive codes known as postal zones, which were first used in 1943 and were adopted in 1963.
How long have zip codes been around?
Contrary to popular belief, zip codes are a far more recent occurrence than you might expect. However, they are just 52 years old—a idea that was first suggested during World War II and first implemented on a formal basis in 1963.
What was the first ZIP code in the United States?
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.
Why are ZIP codes 9 digits?
A ZIP Code of nine digits is composed of two parts. The first portion consists of the first five digits of the zip code, which specifies the post office or delivery region where the package is to be delivered. The United States Postal Service (USPS) relies on all nine digits of complete zip codes to efficiently sort mail.
Are ZIP codes meaningless?
With his ″birthday wish″ girlfriend, Newman joked that the answer to understanding ZIP codes is to realize they are completely worthless in the first place. When the United States Postal Service was understaffed during World War II, the first postal codes were created as a sorting mechanism to assist them carry mail more effectively.
Is ZIP code and postal code the same?
Although the two codes serve basically the same purpose, the word Zip code is more often used in the United States, while the phrase Postal Code is more commonly used in other nations.
What is a zip code of United States?
Cities and zip codes in the United States that are valid
|Arizona (AZ)||Phoenix||85001 thru 85055|
|Arkansas (AR)||Little Rock||72201 thru 72217|
|California (CA)||Sacramento Los Angeles Beverly Hills||94203 thru 94209 90001 thru 90089 90209 thru 90213|
|Colorado (CO)||Denver||80201 thru 80239|
What is the zip code for UK?
Or Find the place
Who created the zip code?
Robert Moon is widely regarded as the inventor of the ZIP Code; he made his idea in 1944 while working as a postal inspector for the United States Postal Service. The post office only gives Moon the first three digits of the ZIP Code, which are used to indicate the sectional center facility (SCF) or ″sec center.″ The rest of the ZIP Code is ignored.
What zip code is 00001?
It is one of more than 42,000 five-digit ZIP Codes in the United States, and it belongs to the city of New York. In the state of Alaska, ZIP code 00001 is situated in the Dillingham Census Area in the city of Dillingham.
Is there any Ordinal sense to zip codes?
B) Do ZIP codes make any logical sense in the traditional sense? Yes, since the number of ZIP codes increases as you move from east to west.
Is 11111 a valid ZIP code?
A zip code like 11111, for example, is theoretically a legal zip code, but it does not exist in the real world. The same may be said for a postal code such as a1a a1a (valid but not real).
What zip code is 54321?
|USA usa zip code,postal code:||54321|
|State/Province or City:||Västra Götaland|
|State/Province or City Abbreviation or Code:||O|
|State/Province or City:||Tibro|
Is there a zip code 00000?
For countries that do not utilize zip codes, you can try to push the address through by typing ″00000″ as a substitute postal code instead of the one that is being rejected. Because this fictitious postal code does not exist, using it should not cause any problems.
When did postal zones and zip codes start
|POSTAL ZONES – You may have noticed that many addresses during the period between 1943 and 1963 had a one or two digit number following the city name. These numbers were postal zones. It may surprise you to learn that postal zones were instituted in 1943 during WWII. They were necessary because many postal clerks had gone into the service and the new inexperienced postal clerks were having trouble sorting the mail. The zone system was put in place to make things easier. ZIP CODES – By 1963, most of first-class mail in the United States was generated by a small number of large-volume mailers, so The Post Office Department devised a plan to speed handling and delivery of letter mail. By this time most businesses had automated mailing systems that could easily handle the 5 digits that would allow mailings to bypass as many as six mail-handling steps. 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 WHOLESALE BARGAIN BASEMENT PRICES CLICK THE LINK BELOW|
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.
How Are ZIP Codes Assigned?
- I’ve always been curious in how ZIP codes were distributed around the United States – what’s the reasoning for my Portland, Oregon address having a ZIP code that begins with 9, whereas New York addresses begin with 1?
- Well, the internet is plenty with sites that can assist you in determining ZIP codes.
- To begin, there’s Ben Fry’s zipdecode, an interactive web site that allows you to key in a ZIP code and then watch the map narrow down as it searches for that code on the web.
- (Experience it for yourself – it’s entertaining and enlightening.) It’s also possible to examine the reasoning behind the countrywide arrangement of ZIP codes by using this interactive map – start by typing a 0, then press backspace, then write 1, and so forth.
- Starting with numbers 1 through 9, the ZIP codes are shown in a grid format from northeast to west.
- Also worth a look is Robert Kosara’s US ZIPScribble Map, which connects the various numerical zones in the United States using colorful scribbles to form a network.
- (Special thanks to Geo Lounge for providing these pointers.
- The ZIP code system is explained in full on a fantastic article on Wikipedia, which includes information on its history and logic.
- Make sure to check out the fantastic pop culture area if you want to learn some interesting ZIP code facts.
- Finally, here are a few ZIP codes that I thought were interesting: And what about the tiny fellow in the photo above, who is urging us to utilize ZIP codes?
- He’s known as Mr.
ZIP!Check out this All Things Considered report (which was actually an April Fools’ hoax) on ‘Vanity’ ZIP codes for a little light entertainment.
Tips on ZIPs – Part II: The History US Postal Codes
- If you can recall a period when mailing a letter cost less than a nickel, you might not have realized that ZIP codes were initially established in the 1960s with the advent of new automated address reading devices.
- As a result of rapid post-war growth across the country, an increase in the volume of mail (which doubled between 1942 and 1962 from 33 billion to 66 billion pieces annually 1), and the introduction of new ″space age″ technology to assist in sorting mail, the United States Postal Service launched a campaign to educate the public about its new Zonal Improvement Plan (ZIP) codes and to encourage people to include the 5-digit code after their addresses at the end of their addresses.
- As a result, this individual was created…
- ZIP was the first cartoon spokesperson to inform the country about how ZIP codes helped to speed up the mail sending and delivery process, using the slogan ″Mail Moves the Country, and ZIP Code Moves the Mail!″ Mr.
- ZIP was the first cartoon spokesperson to inform the country about how ZIP codes helped to speed up the mail sending and delivery process.
- To begin with, the initial postal zoning system had been devised during World War II, and it assigned 2-digit designations to the biggest metro regions around the country.
- It was then enlarged with the introduction of the 5-digit number in 1963, became obligatory in 1967, and extended to the ZIP+4 format in 1983, which is now the foundation of what we know as the ZIP code system.
- At the time of their implementation, the 2-digit state abbreviations were also implemented in order to make room on the address labels for the new codes to be introduced.
- Consider this collection of ancient abbreviations that had stayed mostly unchanged for about 90 years before it was compiled.
- ZIP codes today are made up of five digits: the first three digits identify the sectional center facility (regional sorting facility), and the final two digits identify the location of your nearest post office.
The +4 are not required, but they are used to identify subsections of a bigger region, particular city blocks, individual PO Boxes, and other special delivery instances under certain circumstances.Across the country, the first digit rises as ″zones″ advance from east to west, starting at 0 in New England and ending at 9 in California.However, we must caution you that this is pretty much the closest thing there is to a ″official″ map of these divisional ZIP code zones available on the internet!Keep an eye out for our next post, in which we’ll explain why ZIP codes are so difficult to map and why there isn’t actually such a thing as a ZIP code border.
In addition, if you missed Part I of this series, make sure to go back and have a look at it.There’s a fantastic ZIP Code music video that should not be missed at any cost.
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.
About US ZIP Codes
- US ZIP codes are a form of postal code that is used in the United States to aid in the efficient routing of mail by the United States Postal Service (USPS) and other organizations.
- On the map above, you can see ZIP codes that are close to me.
- ZIP codes are still referred to as ″US postal codes″ by certain people.
- ZIP is an acronym that stands for Zone Improvement Plan.
- A ZIP+4 code is formed by adding an additional four digits after a dash after the first five digits of the basic format, which was originally adopted in 1963.
- The additional four digits allow the United States Postal Service to more accurately categorize mail for delivery.
- ZIP codes were initially designed for the United States Postal Service (USPS), but they are now used by many other shipping firms, including the United Parcel Service (UPS), Federal Express (FedEx), DHL, and others, for sorting parcels and estimating the time and cost of transporting a product (the shipping rate).
Types of Zip Codes
- A single high-volume address that is unique (for example, 20505 for the CIA in Washington, DC)
- Only a PO Box (for example, 22313 for the PO Boxes in Alexandria, Virginia)
- Armed forces
- standard (all of the other ZIP codes)
Assignment of ZIP codes and Mail Sorting
- The first number of a ZIP code in the United States often denotes a group of states in the United States.
- The map of the first digit of zip codes shown above illustrates that they are assigned in the sequence shown above, starting with the north east and working our way west.
- The first three digits of a ZIP code are used to establish the location of the central mail processing facility, also known as a sectional center facility or ″sec center,″ which is responsible for sorting and processing mail.
- All mail containing the same first three digits is sent to the same second center, where it is sorted according to the last two digits and dispersed to local post offices in the same order.
- The sec centers are not available to the general population and perform the majority of their sorting at night.
- As you can see from the map of the first three digits of zip codes, the digits following the first are also frequently allocated from east to west, as can be seen in the table of the first three digits of zip codes.
- The number 0 is closer to white on the map, while the number 9 is considerably more vibrant.
- Despite the fact that there are a few outliers, it is simple to follow the gradient across each of the zones (such as the southwest tip of Georgia which uses 39XXX like central Mississippi).
- Although the ZIP+4 code is not essential, it does assist the post office in sorting mail in an extra manner.
- A ZIP+4 code may equate to a city block, a group of residences, or a single high-volume receiver, depending on the situation.
- Every PO Box number corresponds to a distinct ZIP+4 code, which is another prevalent practice.
Multiple PO Box numbers are often combined into the same ZIP+4 code by utilizing the last few digits of the PO Box number.This is known as grouping.However, because this procedure is not a general norm, the ZIP+4 code must still be sought up for each individual PO Box.
Places in the US so Remote, They Don’t Have a ZIP
- As you can see from the map, ZIP codes are not issued to every location in the United States.
- There are not enough deliverable addresses in remote and particularly rural sections of the nation to support the creation of a mail route.
- A ZIP code is not required if there is no postal delivery.
- In terms of getting away from civilization, these locations are some of the most isolated spots in the whole country if you choose to do so.
USA ZIP Code Boundaries
- Despite the fact that ZIP codes appear to be of a geographical character, this was not their original use.
- They are meant to consolidate mail in order to help the United States Postal Service to carry mail more effectively.
- It is common for ZIP codes to span numerous states in order to improve the efficiency of mail routing and delivery.
- In the majority of situations, addresses that are in close proximity to one another are put together in the same ZIP code, giving the impression that ZIP codes are defined by a distinct geographic border.
- Some ZIP codes, on the other hand, have nothing to do with geographical places.
- For example, the United States Navy uses a single ZIP code for all of its mail.
- When ZIP codes appear to be spatially clustered, a distinct contour surrounding the ZIP code cannot always be drawn since ZIP codes are only given to a point of delivery and not the intervals between delivery locations.
- It is possible that ZIP codes may not be set or that their borders will be unclear in regions where there is no regular postal route or no mail service.
US ZIP Code Map
- According to the most recent USPS data, there is no official ZIP code map.
- The primary problem has already been discussed: there isn’t always a clearly defined geographic limit for a ZIP code.
- No official or completely accurate map of a ZIP code can be produced by the Census Bureau or other commercial services, but many of them will attempt to interpolate data to construct polygons (shapes formed by straight lines) to show the approximate region covered by a ZIP code.
- All ZIP code maps on this site are based on the ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) defined by the United States Census Bureau in 2010 (or later) and explained in greater detail further down this page.
- They offer an extremely accurate representation of the geographic region covered by a ZIP code.
- When you look at our maps, you will quickly see that there are some border concerns.
- When a ZIP code is not assigned to a location (as is the case in much of Nevada and Utah), it is because there are few, if any, addresses to which the mail may be delivered.
- It is important to note that if an address is located on the same street as a ZIP code border on a map, you should search for the entire street address to ascertain the ZIP code rather than depending on the map.
ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs)
- The United States Census Bureau created the tabulation regions for ZIP code numbers in the 1950s.
- Their objective is to provide statistical information on geographical areas that are recognizable to the majority of residents.
- ZCTAs, on the other hand, are not precisely the same as ZIP codes.
- Because of the difficulties in exactly defining the geographic region encompassed by a ZIP code, as previously stated.
- To account for some of the problems associated with assigning a geographic area to a ZIP code, ZCTAs were created in order to more accurately identify a geographical region.
- ZCTAs are also not updated on a regular basis like ZIP codes are.
- In general, they are updated once every ten years in order to coincide with the United States Census.
- The Census allocates an area to a ZCTA based on the number of census blocks in the area (the smallest geographic unit used by the census).
- Consider the image on the right, which depicts a city block that corresponds to a normal census block.
- All four sides are bordered by sections of city streets, each with its own name and address, which surround the entire area.
- The problem is that census blocks are usually often divided down the center of the street, which is problematic.
ZIP codes seldom do this since it would necessitate two postal workers carrying mail to that street – one for each side of the street – which would be prohibitively expensive.A postal carrier may deliver to three sides of the block using one ZIP code in this example, while another mail carrier may deliver to the other street using a different ZIP code.As a result, because the census block is the area that has been exactly measured, the Census Bureau will allocate the whole block to a single ZCTA (in this example, 21044).It is nearly always necessary to split ZIP codes when getting extremely exact (typically a matter of meters, not miles).
Census block borders towards the boundary of a ZIP code almost always result in this situation.It is possible to get insight into the demographics of a ZIP code by using the information published by the Census Bureau.For example, have a look at our ZIP code rankings.
Matching ZIP Codes with States, Counties, and Cities
- Keep in mind that ZIP codes were created to make mail delivery more convenient.
- Their limits were not drawn in accordance with existing boundaries, such as those of cities, counties, or even states.
- Whenever it is more cost-effective for a mail carrier to drive over a state border to deliver mail, the ZIP code ″boundary″ will be extended across state boundaries.
- ZIP codes often do not cross state boundaries, although there are several that do (65733, 71749, and 73949 are good examples).
- Our comprehensive list of ZIP codes that cross state boundaries is accessible as part of our comprehensive list of ZIP codes in the United States.
- If you’re trying to assign a ZIP code to a certain county (up to 25 percent of ZIP codes cross county boundaries), congressional district, metro region (with time zone and area code), or other specific location, things get much more difficult.
- The margins of the boundaries frequently overlap with one another.
- For the purposes of our free zip code database by county downloads, we will typically provide either the most frequent region for the ZIP code or numerous regions if more than one region exists in the ZIP code for the purposes of our free zip code database by county downloads.
- The assignment for cities is a little more difficult to figure out.
- The United States Postal Service (USPS) does not always utilize the city in which the ZIP code is situated.
- The assignment of cities to ZIP codes is done on a more broad scale.
The name of the city is typically the same as the name of the main post office.For example, practically all ZIP codes in St.Louis County, Missouri, are labeled as being in the city of Saint Louis, despite the fact that they are more appropriately defined as being in the name of a smaller city in which they are located.More information on matching ZIP codes to cities and counties may be found here.
Popular ZIP Searches
Papers of H. Bentley Hahn: The Man Who Invented the 5-Digit ZIP Code – The JFK Library Archives: An Inside Look
- (This article was first published on our old blog on May 15, 2015.) Lauren Wallace, a former graduate student intern, contributed to this article (Simmons College GSLIS) With great pleasure, we announce that the H.
- Bentley Hahn Personal Papers have been entirely digitized and are now available on our website.
- At Simmons College, I completed a final capstone internship as part of my Masters degree in Library and Information Science and Archives Management.
- The digitization of the H.
- Bentley Hahn Personal Papers was part of that project.
- It was exhilarating and hard at the same time to put into practice the abilities I had gained throughout my degree.
- When I started scanning this collection, one of the things that struck me was how simple a program that we now take for granted was, and how it profoundly transformed the United States Postal Service.
- Considering the history of the ZIP Code and the Mr.
- ZIP marketing campaign, we may have a better understanding of the fast evolving postal system.
- Through my research into H.
- Bentley Hahn’s documents, I was able to uncover a little slice of history that I would have otherwise missed, and I am thrilled to be able to share it with others.
Hahn, Sr.was born on March 14, 1910, in Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas.He served as a pilot in the United States Air Force from 1942 and 1946.After returning to the United States, Hahn worked as a postal inspector for the United States Postal Service Department.
What he is most remembered for is the job he did while serving in this capacity.Magazine and circular mail bundles in the United States were averaged at 43 million pieces per week in 1961, amounting to around 30 billion bundles per year on average.While dealing with the loss of many skilled personnel from World War II, the United States Postal Service lacked the resources to improve the specialized training required to manage the volume of mail being received at the time.
- With the growth of mass mail marketing campaigns and magazine distribution, the United States Postal Service was looking for ways to better handle the geometrically expanding volume of mail it was receiving.
- The Inspector in Charge, C.
Garner, received a report from Hahn in 1953, titled ″Proposed Reorganization of the Field Postal Service,″ after spending six years evaluating the operations of the field postal service.The report proposed a solution to the developing mail problem, which Garner accepted.This suggestion would subsequently be incorporated into the ″Zone Improvement Plan,″ which established the five-digit ZIP Code in the United States.
- Robert A.
- Moon was the one who came up with a technique for dividing the country into around 900 geographical sections, and he was the one who came up with the first three digits of the ZIP code.
- Eventually, H.
- Bentley Hahn gave the fourth and fifth digits, which allowed for much more precision in identifying geographic locations than previously possible.
- The five-digit ZIP code concept was introduced to the public on November 28, 1962, and it was put into effect on July 1, 1963, according to the United States Postal Service.
- (Below) Hahn’s presentation, including the first three slides and the transcript of ″Technical Explanation of the Post Office Department’s Proposed ‘Zip Code’ Program for the Postal System,″ may be seen here.
Following the formal announcement by the Postmaster General in November 1962, the presentation was made to the audience.You can see the remainder of the presentation slides by clicking here.The remainder of the speech may be found here.With the ZIP Code design, a hierarchical structure was established based on national area, sub-region, post office, and delivery station locations.Using the ZIP Code 02125 for the John F.Kennedy Presidential Library as an example, the region is zero, the sub-region is two, the post office is one, and the delivery station is twenty-five.
- As discovered in testing locations, the new ZIP Code simplified the sorting process by eliminating the need for delivery stages and by maximizing the use of electronic data processing equipment in the pre-sorting of incoming mail.
- In the end, this method resulted in a reduction in both cost and delivery time.
- In order to ensure the successful implementation of the new scheme, the United States Postal Service set out to develop an effective mass marketing campaign.
However, due to the short period of time between the program’s official public announcement and its anticipated implementation, the regional and local post offices were tasked with the bulk of the campaign’s efforts, with some receiving only two months notice prior to the program’s scheduled implementation on July 1, 1963.It was necessary to use regional and local post offices in order to reach this lofty aim of inundating the community with information in order to achieve success.It was ordered by the United States Postal Service that the campaign notify citizens on how to use the ZIP Code, when the campaign would begin, and why the change was essential.Local post offices were tasked with advertising and informing their inhabitants in a short amount of time, despite the fact that they had a ″tremendous job to undertake and a very little length of time in which to do it.″ Soon after, regional postmasters began to report success stories, with just a few minor concerns that needed to be rectified.Despite these difficulties, the United States Postal Service believed the ZIP Code to be a tremendous accomplishment.Some counties saved as much as $10,000 a year by reducing delivery times to as little as 48 hours in some regions and streamlining the sorting process without cutting back on employees or shutting local post offices, according to the study.
- Following is a selection of the reports received by the Postal Service immediately after the installation of the ZIP Code system: Postmasters around the region noted that, while there were some difficulties in implementing the new system, it was a generally successful endeavor.
- Almost 52 years later, the system is still in place and has continued to evolve in response to a variety of developments, including technological improvements.
- HBHPP-001-004-p0002 HBHPP-001-012-p0003 HBHPP-001-025-p0004 HBHPP-001-025-p0004 HBHPP-001-032-p0001 HBHPP-001-032-p0014 HBHPP-001-012-p0001
Now You Need an Area Code Just to Call Your Neighbors (Published 2001)
Look at the article in its original context, which was published on May 7, 2001, Section A, Page 1 of the newspaper.Reprints are available for purchase.Home delivery and digital members are the only ones who may take advantage of this special perk.The use of technology is intended to make life simpler, yet even the most basic act of making a phone call is getting more difficult.A paucity of telephone numbers, referred to as ″number depletion″ in the business, has prompted authorities to issue area codes at an alarming rate to meet the demand.
There have been 344 area codes introduced around the country since 1995, an increase of 138 from the previous year.Between 1984 and 1994, the country made do with only nine new residents.New area codes are frequently interspersed among existing ones in particularly densely populated locations, such as the metropolitan areas of New York and Boston.
As a result, one of the subtle ironies of the Information Age has been created.In spite of the fact that customers are benefiting from increased communication alternatives, an increasing number of them are now required to dial 10 or 11 digits instead of the normal seven when making a local telephone connection – sometimes even while dialing inside the same area code.The experience, according to Miguel Segovia, a graduate student at the Harvard Divinity School, is ″very confusing.″ In the meantime, I’m getting the unpleasant impression that my life is being clogged with numbers.
- Regulators and phone companies are in favor of dialing the additional numbers because they want to avoid having to modify their equipment.
- They also point out that by include the area code in local calls, they are able to continue to employ a numbering system that has been in place since 1947.
- However, opponents argue that the country faces the possibility of yet another number scarcity within a decade, which might result in a complete overhaul of the system, perhaps leading in even more numbers to dial.
- Several customers have inquired as to why the United States has not followed the example of certain European and Asian countries, which have solved number fatigue by simply adding one more digit to seven-digit local numbers.
- For example, the original phone number for the Tate Gallery in London was +44 (0)887-8008.
Callers in downtown London may now reach the Tate Modern by dialing 7887-8008.In contrast, in Manhattan, where the 646 and 917 area codes have joined the time-honored 212, it is not uncommon for someone who lives within a block of the Metropolitan Museum of Art