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Map of California numbering plan areas (blue) and border states. Area code 213 is shown in red.

Area code 213 is a California telephone area code in the North American Numbering Plan. It contains downtown Los Angeles and its immediate environs, and is an enclave area code, in that it is completely surrounded by area code 323, which serves most of the rest of central Los Angeles. By area, it is one of the smallest area codes in the nation, stretching over only a few square miles.[citation needed]

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HistoryEdit

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. The numbering plan area was extended to the north in 1950, merging the southern portion of the Central Valley, including Bakersfield, from area code 415.[citation needed]

As a result of southern California's rapid expansion during the second half of the 20th century, the plan area 213 was split on numerous occasions. The first area split became necessary in 1951, when most of the southern portion, including Orange County and San Diego, was assigned area code 714. In 1957, 213 was restricted to Los Angeles County, with most of the old 213's northern and 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 US to be split between two area codes (New York City was split between 212 and 718 the 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 was not projected to be exhausted until 2050. As area code 323 was projected to be exhausted in 2017, the California Public Utilities Commission has approved removing the 213/323 boundary by turning 213 and 323 into overlay area codes 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. This change is planned to take effect on August 1, 2017, effectively undoing the 1998 split. Any available 213 numbers may be assigned in the 323 area and vice versa, making 10/11-digit dialing mandatory; until then, Los Angeles is the largest city in the nation where 7-digit dialing is still possible.[1][2][3]

In popular cultureEdit

An American hip-hop supergroup from Long Beach, California consisting of Snoop Dogg, Warren G, and Nate Dogg was called 213, based on the area code.

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.

The Los Angeles Clippers mascot, Chuck the Condor, has the jersey number 213.[4]

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