What is your ZIP code?

use zip codeWe all know what the telephone prefix numbers refer to. The small numbers start on the East coast of the United States and move across the country to the largest numbers on the West coast and Hawaii. But do you know what your Zip Code stands for, or your Social Security Number?

Zip Codes were begun 50 years ago when the Post Office Department began the Zoning Improvement Plan which became necessary in order to deal with an increase in business mail. It was designed to  sort delivery of the mail to specific locations more quickly.

The majority of mail handled by the USPS is rapidly processed by an automatic system which scans the address on the envelope.  It is then directed to the area to be delivered to according to the ZIP number on the envelope.   Your ZIP code is not a random number.  There is a definite order to the 9 digit code.

The first 3 numbers of your digit code refer to your general regional city.
The next 2 numbers are the delivery area post office or neighborhood.
Four more digits were added in 1983.
The first 2 of those indicates a sector or several blocks.
The last 2 are a segment or one side of a street.

At the present time there are 41,810 total zip codes. 538 of those are military.
The average population per ZIP code is 7,348.
California has the most ZIP codes, 2,602, and Rhode Island the least with 90. (America Samoa has 1.)

There is another number which you can use to track your packages.  That is a 22 digit tracking number.  This number appears on the receipt you get when you send a package from your local Post Office.  If you want to track the package go to the USPS web site and enter that number.  You will get a day by day listing of the journey your package is taking.  If you don’t see the tracking number on your receipt ask the clerk for it.

So, if you want your mail delivered promptly and compently, use all 9 ZIP code numbers. It makes the process much more efficient.

I intended to address the procedure by which Social Security numbers are allotted, but I found that it is very, very complicated, due to the many misuses of the cards. The Social Security Department has made many changes since the beginning issue of the first cards. And even now, it is not a standard process. Please follow the link below to read about the story of the Social Security number. It is quite interesting, but too involved to publish here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_number#Structure