Lil' Buddy's Blog: Soon, TEN Telephone Area Codes in Chicago! Can You Believe It?

Real Estate Agent with Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL


Buddy Waits by his Cell Phone - November, 2007Hey, you dogs!    Looks like I'll have to do a bit of re-programming on my new red cell phone, shown here.

You see, the City of Chicago is getting another new Area Code - 872 - effective November 7, 2009.  That's the TENTH area code covering the Chicago Metro Area, and the THIRD within the City of Chicago itself! 

See Wailin Wong's story in August 11th edition of The Chicago Tribune for more details. 

The new 872 Area Code joins the venerable, memorable 312 Area Code, which now covers the downtown area and a few close-in neighborhoods only, and 773, the code for the rest of the city.  The last new area code for the Chicago was introduced in 1996. 

Due to mass assignment of phone numbers here in Chicago, the 773 area code was exhausted of available phone numbers last month, in July.

Don't worry, you dogs! 

The new 872 Chicago Area Code will be an Overlay Number.  You and your designated humans will still be able to procure a familiar 773 or 312 area code on that new cell phone or home land line number for the foreseeable future.  But the new area code offers another option, and might become mandatory should phone numbers in the older area codes become all used up.

And here is one more complicating factor:  After the new area code is established, those calling in Chicago to another Chicago phone number will have to dial that number PRECEDED BY THE APPLICABLE AREA CODE, in every instance!   No more seven-digit dials from one part of the city to the other - everyone will now be required to dial an area code every time they call in-town!

Note the 11-digit dialing requirement has been the norm in most Chicago Suburbs for over three years now.  Now, the city gets their turn, I guess!

(You know, I'm beginning to envy my friend Angus, a two-year-old male Boxer, living in Suburban Oklahoma City OK.  In these more rural environs, he still has to dial only seven digits all over town - and everybody down in Edmond OK has the same area code!)

And, the telephone company assures all of us dogs - the cost of a call to the new 872 Chicago Area Code will remain the same - no toll calls here.  For now, I guess!

Why the need for the new Chicago Area Code, you might bark out?

Quite simply, the growth of cell phones over the last 13 years has been nearly exponential.  Back in '96, in what truly was the last century, only 44 Million humans across the U.S. had a cell phone.  Today, nearly every human, and the majority of dogs, own at least one - 270 Million Cell Phone Handsets in circulation, last count!

Even though cell phone companies can no longer reserve extra-large blocks of 10,000 numbers in any area code for their prospective cell customers (the preservable number has been reduced in recent years has been cut to only 1,000 per area code per cell phone provider), numbers are still going quickly.  

But, get this, you dogs - with the new Area Code 872, there will be a total of 94 Million Available Phone Numbers across the State of IL - seven times the total state human population!

The 872 Chicago Area Code joins other Metro Chicago Area Codes introduced in recent years.  Area Code 331 was an overlay code for the established 630 Area Code, covering the Western Suburbs of Chicago.  The 224 Area Code was added to ease stress on the Northwest Suburban Area Code 847.  And, last year, Area Code 779 was added to supplement phone number availability in the South, Far West, and Distant Northwest Suburbs in the older 815 Area Code.

Confused yet?  I sure am - my lil' paws are raised up on my head, so I don't get a migraine!

So, for the record, here's a summary of Area Codes in use in the Chicago Metro Area - not including Downstate IL -

312 - Downtown Chicago and Close-In Neighborhoods

773 - Outlying Neighborhoods within the City of Chicago

872 - Chicago Outlying Neighborhoods Overlay Code, Effective November 7, 2009

708 - Close-In Chicago Western Suburbs

630 - More Distant Western Chicago Suburbs

331 - Distant Western Chicago Suburbs Overlay Code

847 - Northwest Chicago Suburbs

224 - Northwest Chicago Suburbs Overlay Code

815 - South, Far West, and Far Northwest Chicago Suburbs and Exurbs, Extending to Rockford IL (90 Miles NW of Downtown Chicago)

779 - Overlay Code for the Existing 815 Area

I have a hunch my Oklahoma friend, Angus the Boxer, would be too confused with all these numbers, and would plan to hide out near Oklahoma City for the foreseeable future!

Have a great weekend, you dogs!  Don't bark at anyone I wouldn't bark at! 

But if you do, don't forget to dial the correct Area Code!

See my post this evening via




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Al Dobbs
ADD Real Estate - North Chicago, IL

I have yet to see a 331 number. I thought it was crazy back in the day when I had to dial that four numbers just to talk to someone across  the street. Now punching in all the numbers is almost second nature.

Aug 14, 2009 03:36 PM #1
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Dean Moss

Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team
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