Area code 612
Area code 612 is part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) of the public switched telephone network for the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota and a few surrounding areas such as Fort Snelling, St. Anthony and Richfield. By geographical area, it is the smallest area code in the state of Minnesota. However, like every single metropolitan area code in the United States, the region used to be much larger, accounting for the entire Twin Cities region and a wide area surrounding it. The Twin Cities metro calling area (612, most of area codes 651, 952, and 763, plus parts of area codes 320 and 507 in addition to 612) is the largest geographic toll-free calling zone in the United States.
A 1947 map of the NANP showed the region defined as roughly one third of the area of Minnesota, with the separating line extending westward from Duluth to the center of the state, then down through the center. The rest of the state consisted of area code 218, which formed an r-shaped region around the 612 area code.
In 1954, the state was divided into three area codes. Part of the southern portion of the previous 612 territory, including Rochester and Mankato, was combined with the southwestern portion of 218 to form the new area code 507. The 612 area code was rotated out to reach the western edge of the state, stretching from border to border from Wisconsin to South Dakota. It still included the Twin Cities, but no longer extended far to the north. The 218 region was reshaped more square, covering roughly the northern half of the state. This configuration remained in place for 42 years.
In 1996, almost all of the old 612 territory outside of the Twin Cities became area code 320. The 612 region was roughly split in half two years later in 1998, mostly following the Mississippi river. The area west of the Mississippi, including Minneapolis, retained the old code, while most of the area east of the Mississippi—including St. Paul—gaining the new area code 651. The most recent split occurred in 2000, when the 612 code shrank to its current size in a three-way split. Area code 763 was created to include the northwest suburbs, and area code 952 began to be used for the southwest suburbs. The area code splits in the Twin Cities are unusual because they split along municipal, rather than central office, boundaries. This led to a sizeable number of exchanges being divided between two area codes, and a few being divided between three.
The eastern half of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus, in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights, is a notable exception to the regional numbering plan. Because of an integrated phone system linking both campuses, the Falcon Heights campus remained in 612 after the 1998 split.
Cities and communities within area code 612
- "Commentary about the area code split". 2003-10-28. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
|Minnesota area codes: 218, 320, 507, 612, 651, 763, 952|
|West: 763, 952||612||East: 651|