Philadelphia is a melting pot of many things: of different cultures, different professions, and different classes. Yet, there’s a huge jumbled mess of something not often acknowledged by its residents:
If you’ve really hit it off with a special someone at Center City Sips or at your local quizzo night, then you might’ve noticed their area code while taking down that number. It’s probably different than your friends’ area codes or even your own. There are approximately seven different area codes swirling around Philadelphia-based mobile phones. You know where the 215 area code is located, but it goes much deeper than that.
This map shows the rough breakdown of the Philadelphia region’s area codes by location:
So there’s a good chance you’ve encountered at least half of these. You probably also regularly see numbers that aren’t listed here.
We plan on getting into all of that by creating a personality profile for each of these area codes. Trust me, especially in Philadelphia, area codes can tell you a lot about the person.
So use these profiles the next time you exchange numbers on a dating app or are meeting someone to pick up something from Philly Craigslist.
This is your guide to Philadelphia area codes:
215 Area Code
You’re the OG Philadelphian, and nobody can tell you different. You run up the steps of the Art Museum using two cheesesteaks as arm weights every morning. Hell, you were probably the lovechild of Ben Franklin’s 2 am “You up?” text to Betsy Ross (note: this is not historical fact. Colonial Philadelphians didn’t have 215 area codes or mobile phones).
The 215 area code is the Philly area code of all other area codes. It’s entirely specific to the city and has been since 1947. Way before all those other codes came in and tried acting native, you were resting silently on a throne of soft pretzels and Eagles memorabilia.
267 Area Code
You’re legit, we’ll give you that. You’re like Rocky Balboa’s chill niece, or the Philly Phanatic’s longtime Facebook friend.
Some shop owner in the Italian Market knows you by name, and you’ve gone to dinner with Doug Pederson’s distant cousin, but something about you is a little off. We saw you tripping over the lyrics to “Dreams and Nightmares”. We asked you where the best spot to get a cheesesteak is and you casually said Geno’s, like it’s something you don’t have to defend.
267 is the only other area code specific to the city. Due to the rapid growth of the city’s residents in the ’90s, another area code needed to be established. In July 1997, 267 was created as the city’s second area code. So yeah, like I said, you’re legit. But it’s still not the 215 area code, though.
484 and 610 Area Codes
You’re not authentic Philly.
You might wear a pair of Sperry’s with your Vineyard Vines T-shirt as you get “totally wasted” with your bros in Center City. You probably forced your parents to pay tuition to attend a shitty Philly public school because the suburban high schools were corny, which they were, just to be clear. You say you love the “urban feel” of the city, but you’re too afraid to take the Broad Street Line so you UberBLACK to your Rittenhouse apartment, which your dad still helps finance.
Ok look that was a dramatization, and you might be feeling upset if you have one of these area codes, but I’ll let the facts be facts:
These area codes refer to Southeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania, but not the city itself. They cover Allentown, Bethlehem, Reading, Delaware Valley, Delaware County, and the Main Line. Under no circumstances do you get consideration as a true Philadelphian. Get you another area code.
856 and 609 Area Codes
Let’s be clear, you’re from South Jersey, not Philly.
C’mon, say it with me, spell it out: J-E-R-S-E-Y. I don’t want to see a single “Free Meek” post on Instagram or Twitter. I’ll get nauseous if I peep the Philly skyline as your Facebook cover pic. I’ll be disgusted if you attend Penn State and start telling everyone you’re from Philly because “it’s only like five miles away.”
Well, that’s a long five miles separated by a gigantic river called the Delaware and you can stay on your side. You guys have strip mall culture, Morey’s Piers, and the iconic Jersey Shore series, and we have, well, we have a lot.
These area codes cover South and Central Jersey. They’re two of the five area codes that Jersey has overall.
908 Area Code
Once again, congratulations, you’re from Jersey, but this time North Jersey. If you’re even trying to claim that you’re from Philly, it wouldn’t make sense for two reasons.
Well, for one, you’re not. Then, two, you guys have New York City resting on your shoulder. If you’re going to try and leech your identity from a metropolis, pick New York. 908 is the area code covering North Jersey, except for the regions immediately outside of NYC, which are the 862 and 973 area codes.
302 Area Code
You work in Wilmington and occasionally commute to Philly for a drink with friends, or maybe to watch a Flyers game. You live a pretty normal life out in Delaware doing whatever people in Delaware are up to. (Seriously, though, what the hell are people in Delaware up to?) Hopefully, you wouldn’t make the mistake of repping the city, but if you did, then you’re obviously mistaken.
302 is the only area code for the entire state of Delaware, which seems appropriate.
You just moved to Philly from California about a month ago. So, you’re technically a resident despite still toting a Cali area code, which is honestly kind of exotic and cool.
When you’re not hysterically crying trying to adjust to the East Atlantic hell weather, you’re probably enjoying what the city has to offer. I’d say you’re exempt from any chastisement, seeing as you’re now a resident, but just to be safe: don’t start running around, screaming that you’re a native. Give it some time. One year and a thousand “jawns” later, you’ll have enough street cred to actually rep the city.
But until then, just don’t.