Area code 213
Area code 213 is a California telephone area code in the North American Numbering Plan. 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.
Area code 213 was one of the three original area codes assigned to California in 1947. Initially it covered the southern third of the state, from the Central Coast to the Mexican border. Under the original NANPA guidelines for area codes, the first digit could not be 0 or 1, the second digit had to be 0 or 1, and the third digit could not be the same as the second digit. Within these parameters, NANPA tried to give large cities the shortest area codes in hopes of keeping exchange resource contention to a minimum, given the rotary dialing technology in use at the time. As Los Angeles had already grown to become the third-largest city in the United States, it received an area code with six pulses, tied with Chicago's 312 for the second-shortest that could be dialed under NANPA's original guidelines, after New York City's 212. The plan area was extended to the north in 1950, merging the southern portion of the Central Valley, including Bakersfield, from area code 415.
Due to California's explosive growth during the second half of the 20th century, 213 has been split numerous times. The first area split became necessary in 1951, when most of the southern portion was assigned 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).
The 1984 split was intended as a long-term solution. However, within only six years, 213 was already close to exhaustion due to Los Angeles' continued growth and the proliferation of pagers, fax machines and multi-line phones. To solve the problem, in 1991 West Los Angeles and the South Bay became area code 310. Within only six years, 213 was near exhaustion once again for the same reason, with the proliferation of mobile phones creating additional strain. As a result, 213 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|