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. As Los Angeles had already grown to become the third-largest city in the nation, it received an area code with six clicks, tied with Chicago's 312 as the second-fastest that could be dialed under the original guidelines for area codes after New York City's 212. The first number could not be 0 or 1, the second number was either 0 or 1, and the third digit could not be the same as the second digit. Given the rotary dialing technology used at the time, AT&T wanted to keep the number of rotary pulses or "clicks" to a minimum for large cities.
As a result of California's explosive growth during the second half of the 20th century, 213 has been split several 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). 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.
Despite Southern California's continued rapid growth and the proliferation of cell phones and pagers, 213 is not currently projected to exhaust until 2050. For this reason, with 323 projected to exhaust by 2017, the California Public Utilities Commission has proposed "erasing" the 213/323 boundary and turning 213 into an overlay for all of central Los Angeles, thus bringing 213 back to areas that had used it for more than half a century prior to 1998. It is unknown if remaining 323 numbers will be assignable in the 213 area, or whether 10/11-digit dialing will be required in both the current 213 and 323 areas.
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" by Ludacris featuring 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, 415/628, 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|