The way a state acquires new area codes can tell you a lot about how its population changes over time. Georgia got its first area code (404) in 1947, the same year that most states gained their first area codes. Georgia received its second area code (912) in 1954. Today, the state has nine area codes.
On the surface, having nine area codes doesn’t seem like anything special. After all, Georgia has nearly 10 million residents, making it the eight largest state by population. The state’s area codes get more interesting when you look at the geographic areas that they serve.
Four of Georgia’s area codes (404, 470, 678, and 770) serve the Atlanta metropolitan area. That might seem like an awful lot of area codes for one city, but it makes more sense when you realize that the metro has a population of 5.7 million people. Perhaps even more interesting is that 404, the state’s original area code, has become completely surrounded by 770. As more people moved to Atlanta over the decades, it needed more area codes to accommodate the growing population.
The number of residents living in southern Georgia hasn’t grown nearly as quickly as the number in Atlanta. The smaller population means that the 912 area code that originally served the area hasn’t been split as many times as the 404 code assigned to Atlanta.
You can learn more about the history of Georgia’s population and area codes by reading this infographic published by CheckThem. Area codes might not seem interesting at first. The more you learn about them, though, the more they reveal about a state’s history.