Area code 213
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North American area code 213 is a Californian telephone area code which 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, and stretched 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 expanded 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 burgeoning population 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.
The area code historically has been associated with Southern California and Los Angeles. Area code 213 is referenced in Warren G and Nate Dogg's song "Regulate", Dr. Dre's "Still D.R.E.", and the Electric Six song "I'm the Bomb."
See also 
- NANPA Area Code Map of California
- California Public Utilities Commission's "Report on the 213 Area Code
- List of exchanges from AreaCodeDownload.com, 213 Area Code
- List of exchanges on Fonefinder.net
|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|