US ZIP codes are considered a form of postal codes used for areas across the USA to help accommodate the postal service in tracking down the location of certain addresses and direct mail more efficiently. Some people, mostly old timers, still allude to these ZIP codes as postal codes; however the term ZIP is actually beneficial and stands for something meaningful (zone improvement plan). Founded sometime around 1963, the five-digit arrangement for the US postal ZIP code lists later altered to provide a further four digits succeeding a hyphen. The extra numbers provided in US postal ZIP code lists are simply to assist postal service workers with more efficient distribution.

Despite ZIP codes being initially created for the USPS, quite a few other businesses that offer delivery services utilize them as well.

Assigning ZIP Codes:

The assignment of zip code numbers aren’t quite as simple as you think. In a four or five digit zip code, the beginning number stands for a accumulation of states. In order for mail to be delivered conveniently, the three leading numbers in a zip code correlate to central mail processing facility, whereas the final two digits refer to where the mail is allocated to local post offices.

US ZIP Code Boundaries:

Although ZIP codes generally seem to be topographical in the way that they are organized, they were not initially intended to be this way. Instead, the purpose of a ZIP code was to allow the United States Postal Service to access a method of delivering mail much more conveniently. In many instances, addresses that are located close to one another will be arranged into the same ZIP code, which clearly implies that zip codes are defined by topographical barriers. It can be also stated that some ZIP codes have no connection whatsoever with the geographic location of certain addresses.

At this point in time, there is no official map for ZIP codes that outlines the location of different codes according to the USPS data. The reason for this is that there isn’t always a geographical boundary available to help sort a ZIP code.

Finding Addresses With ZIP Codes and Finding Zip Codes By Address:

If you have a person’s ZIP code, you might be able to track down his or her location. However, that will only work if you have the exact and full ZIP code. Alternatively, entering a person’s address into an online system may allow you to track down his or her ZIP code for the purpose of documentation, or sending mail and packages.

Click here to find zip codes by state.

Click here to find zip codes by address.