Area code 201

From Academic Kids

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201.JPG
Map of area code 201
201 is the area code for Hudson and Bergen Counties (and part of Essex and Passaic Counties) in New Jersey. It is overlaid with area code 551.

The 201 area code was the first area code to be assigned in the United States; this took place in 1951. Until 1963, it was the only area code serving New Jersey. That year, the state split the area code, with the southern portion of the state becoming area code 609.

Area code 201 served the northern, most populous counties in the state: Essex, Bergen, Hudson, Union, Morris, Passaic, Middlesex, Warren, and Sussex counties. New Jersey's southern counties, including the Jersey Shore, as well as the Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware suburbs (in New Jersey) were served by 609.

As the shore region of New Jersey grew during the 1980s, the northeastern section of the state lost sizeable chunks of its population due to the decline of New Jersey's major cities, including Newark, Paterson, Clifton, and Elizabeth. In 1991, area code 908 split off from 201; it primarily serves the shore and central regions of the state, including Trenton and Elizabeth. (However, this geographic area code split effectively cut 11 New Jersey towns in half, with one-half having the old area code and the other half having the new.) The northernmost counties continued to use 201, while the southern Pine Barrens area kept 609.

During the mid 1990s, businesses began to flourish once again in the northern region of New Jersey, while cell phones and internet dial-up connections proliferated. In response to the pressure for the addition of more telephone numbers, New Jersey added more area codes, going from three to six. In 1997, Essex and Passaic Counties, home to Newark and Paterson respectively (the state's first and third-largest cities), as well as the more rural northwestern counties of New Jersey, Warren and Sussex, were broken away from area code 201, forming the new area code, 973. Hudson County and Bergen County, the state's two northeastern counties (as well as being two of the state's most densely populated counties) and the closest two counties to New York City, became the last remaining counties in the state to be served by area code 201.

As Hudson and Bergen Counties developed further, and even more telephone numbers were demanded, it was debated whether 201 should split again, or if an overlay area code should be added instead. The latter option was chosen, to avoid the costs and frustration associated with splitting an area code. However, with the implementation of the overlay area code, 10-digit dialing became mandatory. Area code 551 was created in 2001, along with area codes 862 and 848 which overlay area codes 973 and 732 respectively.

See also




North: 845
West: 862/973
area code 201/551 East: 212/646, 347/718, 914, 917
South: 347/718, 917
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