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Area codes 213 and 323

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

Area codes 213 and 323 are California telephone area codes in the North American Numbering Plan. They contain, roughly, the area of central Los Angeles. 213/323 also includes several gateway cities of the region, including Bell and Huntington Park. Before being reunited in an overlay in 2017, they had been separate area codes since 1998, with 213 containing downtown Los Angeles and its immediately adjoining neighborhoods, with 323 containing the rest of the area.



1998–2017: Separate areasEdit

Area code 213 was one of the three original area codes assigned to California in 1947. It initially 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, 213 has been split on numerous occasions. The first area split became necessary in 1951, when most of the southern and eastern 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 323 area code was created in 1998 as yet another split of 213.[1] After the split, 213 only covered downtown Los Angeles and its immediately adjoining neighborhoods such as Koreatown, Echo Park, and Chinatown. Completely surrounding 213, 323 covered most of the remainder of central Los Angeles, including Hollywood, as well as several neighboring cities, including Bell and Huntington Park.[2]

Since 2017: Overlay codesEdit

Despite Southern California's continued rapid growth and the proliferation of cell phones and pagers, 213 (covering only downtown LA) was not projected to be exhausted until 2050. As 323 was projected to be exhausted by late 2017,[2] the California Public Utilities Commission approved a plan that "erased" the boundary between 213 and 323, converting them into overlay area codes for all of central Los Angeles. Since this change went into full effect on July 8, 2017, telephone companies have been able to assign any available 213 numbers in the former 323 area and vice versa, and customers with 213 or 323 phone numbers have been required to dial the area code even to call other 213 or 323 numbers (10/11-digit dialing).[3][4] This change brings back 213 to areas that had used it for more than half a century prior to 1998.[1]

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.[5]

In the extended version of Horrible Bosses 2, the main characters find out that Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) left his own phone for Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) instead of the untraceable one. Dale (Charlie Day) has the idea of calling Bert anyway so he does not look through it. Kurt and Dale argue about not knowing each other's numbers until Nick (Jason Bateman) intervenes by saying, "I know both of your numbers. Area code 323..." Then Kurt interrupts him by saying that is all he needs to call his phone.


Cities in the 213 and 323 area codes:[1][6]

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit