Area code 606

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Approximate service area of Area Code 606 is in red.

Area code 606 is a telephone area code serving the easternmost part of the state of Kentucky. It covers Ashland, Hazard, Manchester, Somerset, London, Corbin, Paintsville, Pikeville, Maysville and other parts of eastern Kentucky. Most of its service area lies within the Kentucky region known as the Eastern Mountain Coal Fields.

It was created in 1954 as a split from area code 502, and originally covered the eastern half of Kentucky, from the Lexington area to the West Virginia border. Notably, it was one of the first three area codes with "0" as the middle digit that wasn't assigned to an entire state; the others were area code 507 in Minnesota and area code 607 in New York.

In 1999, most of the northwestern portion of the old 606 territory, including Lexington and Northern Kentucky, split off as area code 859. Conventional wisdom suggested that Lexington and Northern Kentucky should have kept 606. Lexington was by far the largest city in the old area code, and together with Northern Kentucky accounted for almost two-thirds of its population. However, the rural portion of 606 is one of the poorest areas of the nation; 16 of the poorest counties in the nation by median income are in 606. The Kentucky Public Service Commission and BellSouth (now part of AT&T), the dominant carrier in the area at the time, decided to let the rural portion retain 606 in order to spare residents and businesses in this notoriously impoverished area the expense and burden of having to change their numbers.

The 859 split left 606 as one of the most thinly populated area codes in the country. It is not currently projected to exhaust until 2029.

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Kentucky area codes: 270/364, 502, 606, 859
North: 937, 740
West: 859, 270/364 area code 606 East: 304/681, 276
South: 423
Ohio area codes: 216, 220, 234, 330, 419, 440, 513, 567, 614, 740, 937
Tennessee area codes: 423, 615, 731, 865, 901, 931
Virginia area codes: 276, 434, 540, 571, 703, 757, 804
West Virginia area codes: 304/681