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Tuesday, July 9, 2013
ZIP CODES TURN 50 / 92104 MAP & STATS
Each dot represents an active U.S. ZIP Code
GUEST BLOG—By Matt
Stiles, U.S. Census Bureau--July marks the 50th anniversary of the Zone
Improvement Plan, the network of ZIP codes we use for everything from mail
delivery to credit card security.
The U.S. Postal Service began using the five-digit codes on
July 1, 1963, hoping they would improve the efficiency and speed of mail
sorting. Since then, the codes have assumed a role in the identities of many
Americans, helping to define where they live or work.
In recognition of the anniversary (and because we are
geeky), we've examined the list of more than 40,000 ZIP codes. Here are nine
worth noting, based on data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and Esri, a
leading geographic software company:
The One With The Most
This New York City ZIP code includes the Chelsea
neighborhood in Manhattan and, according to the Census Bureau, contains more
businesses than any other in the U.S.: 7,227. Those businesses employ more than
136,000 people. The national average number of businesses in a ZIP code, by
contrast, is 188.
The Coolest — In The
This ZIP code covers posh Beverly Hills, Calif., and was
also the title of a popular teen TV drama series in the 1990s. Brenda and
Brandon Walsh moving to "Beverly Hills, 90209" just doesn't have the
same ring to it.
The Most Spacious:
This rural area in Tonopah, Nev., has the largest ZIP code
in the lower 48 states. At 10,000 square miles, it's a little larger than the
state of Maryland. The area experienced a boom in the early part of the 20th
century after silver was discovered there. It sits about halfway between Las
Vegas and Reno, Nev.
The Most Populous:
The population in this El Paso ZIP code exceeds 114,000,
according to the Census Bureau's "zip code tabulation area" database,
which contains population and demographic statistics. That's more than any
other ZIP code. In many cities, ZIP codes cover small areas. But El Paso's
includes large, residential neighborhoods on the city's east side. Next on the
most-populous list is 60629 in Chicago.
The Tiniest: 11109
A two-block area across the East River from Manhattan, this
ZIP code in Long Island City is among the smallest in the country — at a tenth
of one square mile. It boasts 1,400 people in that area, though, pushing its
residents-per-square mile rate to the top of the list, according to Esri.
92104 demographics show a remarkably diverse population
Among The Most
Diverse in U.S.: 95834
This North Sacramento, Calif., ZIP code is among the most
diverse in the country, Business Insider reported last year. Race and ethnic groups
are more evenly distributed here than in most places, meaning residents are
more likely to encounter people who are different. The population broke down
along these lines: Asian, 20.4 percent; black, 15.8 percent; Hispanic, 27.4
percent; white, 29.2 percent; and multiracial, 5.2 percent. See other diverse
Among The Least
Diverse: 38639 and 02562
The population in 38639 (Jonestown, Miss.) is 99 percent
black. The reverse is true in 02562 (Sagamore Beach, Mass.), where 99 percent
of the population is white.
The One With The Big
Residents and political action committees in this Las Vegas
ZIP code spent more money in the latest election cycle than they did anywhere
else — $96 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a
nonpartisan watchdog group. The 89109 ZIP includes many of the city's marquee
casinos, and it's likely that much of the campaign funds came from one source:
Casino executive Sheldon Adelson. Perhaps the biggest donor in American
politics, he vowed last year to spend as much as $100 million to defeat President
Source: Matt Stiles is
data editor on NPR News Applications team. Follow him on Twitter at @stiles.