Area Codes in the USA – Is There Any Logic?


Area codes in the USA: when you have a look at them, the first thing that comes to your mind is the question if there is any logic or any system behind the area codes assignment. It would sound strange, but yes. It is, or instead, it was logical. But to understand what is behind the area coding system, let us check some facts from the past.

The area coding system was introduced in 1940 and was developed to simplify calling from one location to another. However, it was not until 1947, when the system started being used widely. At that time, just 86 codes existed in USA. While nowadays, the number grew for more than 300 area codes. They are divided into two main groups:

  • Assigned to a particular geographic area;
  • Not assigned to a specific geographical area.

The codes were given based on something inquisitive. The more people lived in the area, the lowest numbers the system used to have. However, it doesn’t matter how strange it looks; there were absolutely practical reasons for it. You remember, of course, that smartphones appeared much later.

And at that time, people used good old phones with discs. So, to dial code with big numbers, one would need much more time. And now, just imagine how it was when a lot of people were dialing while this problem was not so acute in the areas where the population density was significantly lower.

usa area codes
USA area codes

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Where Is the Logic Now?

Well, things have changed now. Of course, if you check the area code 954 in Florida, based on the mentioned principle, you would believe that it is somewhere in a remote village. But when you check more carefully, you will see that this logic doesn’t work anymore.

The reason behind it is simple. Since then, in USA populated areas have grown immensely. New codes were added, but it is clear that it was impossible to comply with the initial area codes assigning principles. Moreover, phoning technologies were changing, as well. With time, the technical need to assign a code with lower numbers to a more densely populated area was eliminated.

Since then, many things have changed. Now, on any website that provides the information about area codes, you can check not only area code for a particular location, but to see whether it is for a mobile number or a landline. Some resources even show the telecom provider and the date when the code was assigned.

All in all, area codes are a phenomenon that really makes our life more organized and definitely much more straightforward. Do not forget, though, that even though area codes were developed to simplify our lives, they are essential.

For example, two households may have the same phone number but different area codes, and be located in a completely different part of the country. Hence, area codes are a crucial part of any phone number and should be respected if you want to get through to the needed person.


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