Area code 213
Area code 213 is a California telephone area code established by the Bell System in October 1947. Today, it contains downtown Los Angeles and its immediate environs. It is an enclave area code, similar to area code 312 in Chicago and area code 210 in San Antonio, Texas, in that it is completely surrounded by area code 323, which serves most of the rest of central Los Angeles. Geographically speaking, it is one of the smallest area codes in the nation, stretching over only a few square miles.
It was one of California's original three area codes created in October 1947, covering the southern third of the state from the Central Coast to the Mexican border. With the rotary dialing technology available at the time, care was given to keep the number of "clicks" to a minimum for large cities. For this reason, Los Angeles, which had already grown to become the third-largest city in the United States, was assigned a code with six clicks, the second-fastest (tied with 312 in Chicago, with the fastest being 212 in New York City) that could be dialed under the original NANPA guidelines (0 and 1 were not allowed as the first digit, the second digit was either 0 or 1, and the third digit could not be the same as the second digit). It was pushed slightly to the north in 1950, bringing the southern portion of the Central Valley, including Bakersfield, over from area code 415.
Due to California's explosive growth during the second half of the 20th century and the proliferation of pagers, fax machines, multi-line phones and, later, mobile phones, 213 has been split numerous times. The first split came in 1951, when most of the southern portion became area code 714. In 1957, 213 was restricted to Los Angeles County, with most of the old 213's western portion becoming area code 805. In 1984, the San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel Valley became area code 818—thus making Los Angeles one of the first major cities in the nation to be split between two area codes (along with New York, which was split between 212 and 718 that same year). In 1991, West Los Angeles and the South Bay became area code 310. The 213 area code was reduced to its current size in 1998, when practically all of the old 213 territory outside of downtown became area code 323.
In popular culture
Area code 213 is referenced in Warren G and Nate Dogg's song "Regulate", Dr. Dre's "Still D.R.E.", the Electric Six song "I'm the Bomb", LL Cool J's song "Going Back to Cali", Whitney Houston's song "It's Not Right but It's Okay", and Eminem's "Shake That". It is also referenced in "Area Codes" Ludacris ft. Nate Dogg.
- NANPA Area Code Map of California
- California Public Utilities Commission's "Report on the 213 Area Code
|California area codes: 209, 213, 310/424, 323, 408/669, 415, 442/760, 510, 530, 559, 562, 619, 626, 650, 657/714, 661, 707, 747/818, 805, 831, 858, 909, 916, 925, 949, 951|
|West: 323||area code 213||East: 323|