Postal code
Overview
 
A postal code is a series of letters and/or digit
Numerical digit
A digit is a symbol used in combinations to represent numbers in positional numeral systems. The name "digit" comes from the fact that the 10 digits of the hands correspond to the 10 symbols of the common base 10 number system, i.e...

s appended to a postal address
Address (geography)
An address is a collection of information, presented in a mostly fixed format, used for describing the location of a building, apartment, or other structure or a plot of land, generally using political boundaries and street names as references, along with other identifiers such as house or...

 for the purpose of sorting mail
Mail
Mail, or post, is a system for transporting letters and other tangible objects: written documents, typically enclosed in envelopes, and also small packages are delivered to destinations around the world. Anything sent through the postal system is called mail or post.In principle, a postal service...

. Once postal codes were introduced, other applications became possible.

In February 2005, 117 of the 190 member countries of the Universal Postal Union
Universal Postal Union
The Universal Postal Union is an international organization that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system. The UPU contains four bodies consisting of the Congress, the Council of Administration , the Postal Operations Council and the...

 had postal code systems. Countries that do not have national systems include Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 and Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

. Although Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and Macau
Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

 are now Special Administrative Regions of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, each maintains its own long-established postal system, which does not utilize postal codes for domestic mail, and no postal codes are assigned to Hong Kong and Macau.
Encyclopedia
A postal code is a series of letters and/or digit
Numerical digit
A digit is a symbol used in combinations to represent numbers in positional numeral systems. The name "digit" comes from the fact that the 10 digits of the hands correspond to the 10 symbols of the common base 10 number system, i.e...

s appended to a postal address
Address (geography)
An address is a collection of information, presented in a mostly fixed format, used for describing the location of a building, apartment, or other structure or a plot of land, generally using political boundaries and street names as references, along with other identifiers such as house or...

 for the purpose of sorting mail
Mail
Mail, or post, is a system for transporting letters and other tangible objects: written documents, typically enclosed in envelopes, and also small packages are delivered to destinations around the world. Anything sent through the postal system is called mail or post.In principle, a postal service...

. Once postal codes were introduced, other applications became possible.

In February 2005, 117 of the 190 member countries of the Universal Postal Union
Universal Postal Union
The Universal Postal Union is an international organization that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system. The UPU contains four bodies consisting of the Congress, the Council of Administration , the Postal Operations Council and the...

 had postal code systems. Countries that do not have national systems include Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 and Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

. Although Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and Macau
Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

 are now Special Administrative Regions of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, each maintains its own long-established postal system, which does not utilize postal codes for domestic mail, and no postal codes are assigned to Hong Kong and Macau. Mail between Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China is treated as international.

Although postal codes are usually assigned to geographical areas, special codes are sometimes assigned to individual addresses or to institutions that receive large volumes of mail, such as government agencies and large commercial companies. One example is the French CEDEX system.

Terms

There are a number of colloquial terms for postal code.

postal code: The general term is used directly in Canada.
postcode: This portmanteau is popular in many English-speaking countries.
ZIP code
ZIP Code
ZIP codes are a system of postal codes used by the United States Postal Service since 1963. The term ZIP, an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan, is properly written in capital letters and was chosen to suggest that the mail travels more efficiently, and therefore more quickly, when senders use the...

: The standard term in the United States and the Philippines; ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan.
PIN code
Postal Index Number
A Postal Index Number or PIN or Pincode is the post office numbering or post code system used by India Post, the Indian postal administration. PIN stands for Postal Index Number and the code is 6 digits long. The PIN was introduced on August 15, 1972.-Structure:There are nine PIN zones in India,...

/ pincode: The standard term in India; PIN is an acronym for
P
ostal Index Number.

History

Postal codes were first introduced in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in December 1932, but the system was abandoned in 1939. The next country to introduce postal codes was Germany in 1941, followed by Argentina in 1958, the United Kingdom in 1959, the United States in 1963 and Switzerland in 1964.

Presentation

Character sets

The characters used in postal codes are
  • The arabic numerals
    Arabic numerals
    Arabic numerals or Hindu numerals or Hindu-Arabic numerals or Indo-Arabic numerals are the ten digits . They are descended from the Hindu-Arabic numeral system developed by Indian mathematicians, in which a sequence of digits such as "975" is read as a numeral...

     "0" to "9"
  • Letters of the Basic Latin alphabet,

Reserved characters

Postal codes in the Netherlands
Postal codes in the Netherlands
Postal codes in the Netherlands, known as postcodes, are alphanumeric, consisting of four digits followed by two uppercase letters. The letters 'F', 'I', 'O', 'Q', 'U' and 'Y' were originally not used for technical reasons, but as almost all existing combinations are now used these letters were...

 originally did not use the letters 'F', 'I', 'O', 'Q', 'U' and 'Y' for technical reasons. But as almost all existing combinations are now used, these letters were allowed for new locations starting 2005. The letter combinations SS, SD and SA are not used for historical reasons.

Postal codes in Canada do not include the letters D, F, I, O, Q, or U, as the OCR equipment used in automated sorting could easily confuse them with other letters and digits. The letters W and Z are used, but are not currently used as the first letter.

Alphanumeric postal codes

Most of the postal code systems are numeric, only a few are alphanumeric (i.e. use both letters and digits). Alphanumeric systems can, given the same number of digits, encode many more locations. They are often more precise, as is the case in the United Kingdom or in the Netherlands, where a postal code corresponds to a street or even a building, meaning the post code and the number of the home/business is all that is needed for accurate delivery. However, there is no a priori reason why numeric postal codes cannot be equally precise, as illustrated by 9- and 11-digit codes in the United States. The independent nations using alphanumeric postal code systems are:
  • Argentina
    Argentina
    Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

     (see table)
  • Brunei
    Brunei
    Brunei , officially the State of Brunei Darussalam or the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace , is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia...

     (see table
    Postal codes in Brunei
    Postal codes in Brunei are alphanumeric, consisting of two letters followed by four digits in the format of YZ0000, where Y denotes the district code, Z denotes the mukim code, the first two digits denote the area or village code, and the last two digits denote the nearest post office code Postal...

    )
  • Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

     (see table)
  • Jamaica
    Jamaica
    Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

     (see postal codes in Jamaica
    Postal codes in Jamaica
    There was a plan to introduce postal codes in Jamaica. On February 12, 2007 it was announced: "POST CODE PROJECT SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY" .The codes were planned to be alphanumeric, in the format: JMAPPNN, where* JM is the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code,...

    )(suspended in 2007 )
  • Malta
    Malta
    Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

     (see table)
  • Netherlands
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

     (see table)
  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

     (see table)
  • Venezuela
    Venezuela
    Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

     (look up at http://www.ipostel.gob.ve/nlinea/codigo_postal.php).

Country code prefixes

Usage of ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are two-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166-1, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , to represent countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest...

 codes was recommended to be used starting in 1994, but they have not become widely used. The European Committee for Standardization
European Committee for Standardization
The European Committee for Standardization or Comité Européen de Normalisation , is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to foster the European economy in global trading, the welfare of European citizens and the environment by providing an efficient infrastructure to interested parties for...

 recommends use of ISO Alpha-2 codes for international postcodes and a UPU guide on international addressing states that "administrations may recommend" the use of ISO Alpha-2 codes.

Andorra, Ecuador, Latvia, Moldova, Slovenia use the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are two-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166-1, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , to represent countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest...

 as prefix in their postal codes.

In some countries (such as those of continental Europe
Continental Europe
Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands....

, where a postcode format of four or five numeric digits is commonly used) the numeric postal code is sometimes prefixed with a country code
Country code
Country codes are short alphabetic or numeric geographical codes developed to represent countries and dependent areas, for use in data processing and communications. Several different systems have been developed to do this. The best known of these is ISO 3166-1...

 to avoid confusion when sending international mail to or from that country. Recommendations by official bodies responsible for postal communications are confusing regarding this practice. For many years, licence plate codes — for instance "D-" for Germany or "F-" for France — were used, although this was not accepted by the Universal Postal Union
Universal Postal Union
The Universal Postal Union is an international organization that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system. The UPU contains four bodies consisting of the Congress, the Council of Administration , the Postal Operations Council and the...

 (UPU).

Placement of the code

Postal services have their own formats and placement rules for postal codes. In most English-speaking countries, the postal code forms the last item of the address, following the city or town name, whereas in most continental European countries it precedes the name of the city or town.

When it follows the city it may be on the same line or on a new line.

In Japan, China, Korea and the Russian Federation, it is written more to the beginning of an address.

Geographic coverage

Postal codes are usually assigned to geographical areas. Sometimes codes are assigned to individual addresses or to institutions that receive large volumes of mail, e.g. government agencies or large commercial companies. One example is the French Cedex system.

Postal zone numbers

Before postal codes as described here were used, large cities were often divided into postal zones or postal districts, usually numbered from 1 upwards within each city. The newer postal code systems often incorporate the old zone numbers, as with London postal district
London postal district
The London postal district is the area in England, currently of , to which mail addressed to the LONDON post town is delivered. The area was initially devised in 1856 and throughout its history has been subject to periodic reorganisation, contraction and division into increasingly smaller postal...

 numbers, for example. Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 still uses postal district numbers in Dublin. In New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, Auckland
Auckland
The Auckland metropolitan area , in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with residents, percent of the country's population. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world...

, Wellington
Wellington
Wellington is the capital city and third most populous urban area of New Zealand, although it is likely to have surpassed Christchurch due to the exodus following the Canterbury Earthquake. It is at the southwestern tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range...

 and Christchurch
Christchurch
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the country's second-largest urban area after Auckland. It lies one third of the way down the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula which itself, since 2006, lies within the formal limits of...

 were divided into postal zones, but these fell into disuse, and have now become redundant as a result of a new postcode system being introduced.

Codes defined along administrative borders

Some postal code system, like the one of Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 and Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

 show an exact agreement with the hierarchy of the administrative country subdivisions.

Format of 6 digit numeric (8 digit alphanumeric) postal codes in Ecuador
Postal codes in Ecuador
Postal codes in Ecuador as introduced in December 2007 are 6 digit numeric using the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 prefix. EC112233 11 = province 22 = canton 33 = parish-External links:* http://portalecuador.ec/module-CodigoPostal.php...

, introduced in December 2007: ECAABBCC
EC - ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are two-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166-1, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , to represent countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest...

 country code
AA - one of the 24 provinces of Ecuador
Provinces of Ecuador
Ecuador is divided into 24 provinces . The provinces of Ecuador and their capitals are:1 Population as per the census carried out on 2001-11-25In addition, there are three areas within Ecuador that are non-delimited...

 (24 of 100 possible codes used = 24%)
BB - one of the 226 cantons of Ecuador
Cantons of Ecuador
The Cantons of Ecuador are the second-level subdivisions of Ecuador, below the provinces. There are 226 cantons in the country, of which three are not in any province. The cantons are further sub-divided into parishes, which are classified as either urban or rural...

 (for AABB 226 of 10000 codes used , i.e. 2.26%. Three cantons are not in any province)
CC - one of the parishes of Ecuador
Parishes of Ecuador
The Parishes of Ecuador are the third-level administrative units of Ecuador. The Cantons of Ecuador are divided into parishes which are similar to municipalities or communes in many countries. There are over 1,500 parishes in Ecuador....

.


Format of 5 digit numeric Postal codes in Costa Rica
Postal codes in Costa Rica
Postal codes in Costa Rica are 5 digit numeric. Introduction began in March 2007. The first digit denotes one of the seven provinces, the 2nd and 3rd refer to the 81 cantons, the 4th and 5th the 473 districts...

, introduced in 2007: ABBCC
A - one of the 7 provinces of Costa Rica
Provinces of Costa Rica
Costa Rica consists of 7 provinces :The provinces are further divided into cantons , which are subdivided into districts .-See also:* ISO 3166-2:CR* Cantons of Costa Rica* Districts of Costa Rica...

 (7 of 10 used, i.e. 70%)
BB - one of the 81 cantons of Costa Rica
Cantons of Costa Rica
This is a list of the cantons of Costa Rica.Cantons are the second-level administrative division of Costa Rica. The country's seven provinces are subdivided into 81 cantons , and these are further subdivided into districts .A unique feature of the cantons is that they are the only administrative...

 (81 of 1000 used, i.e. 8.1%)
CC - one of the districts of Costa Rica
Districts of Costa Rica
| The cantons of Costa Rica are subdivided into 473 districts .-References:...

.

In Costa Rica these codes are also used by the National Institute for Statistics and Census (INSEC).

The first two digits of the postal codes in Turkey correspond to the provinces
Provinces of Turkey
Turkey is divided into 81 provinces, called il in Turkish .A province is administered by an appointed governor , and was formerly termed a "governorate" ....

 and each province has assigned only one number. They are the same for them as in ISO 3166-2:TR
ISO 3166-2:TR
ISO 3166-2:TR is the entry for Turkey in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.Currently for Turkey, ISO 3166-2 codes are...

.

The first two digits of the postal codes in Vietnam indicate a province
Provinces of Vietnam
Vietnam is divided into 58 provinces and five centrally governed cities existing at the same level as provinces ....

. Some provinces have one, other have several two digit numbers assigned. The numbers differ from the number used in ISO 3166-2:VN
ISO 3166-2:VN
ISO 3166-2:VN is the entry for Vietnam in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.Currently for Vietnam, ISO 3166-2 codes are...

.

Codes defined close to administrative borders

In France the numeric code for the departments is used in the first digits of the postal code, except for the two departments in Corsica
Corsica
Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of Italy, southeast of the French mainland, and north of the island of Sardinia....

 that have codes 2A and 2B and use 20 as postal code. Furthermore the codes are only the codes for the department in charge of delivery of the post, so it can be that a location in one department has a postal code starting with the number of a neighbouring department.

Codes defined indirectly to administrative borders

The first digit of the postal codes in the United States defines an area including several states. From the first three digits (with some exceptions), one can deduce the state.

Codes defined independently from administrative borders

The first two digits of the postal codes in Germany
Postal codes in Germany
Germany introduced postal codes on July 25, 1941, in the form of a two-digit system that was applied initially for the parcel service and later for all mail deliveries. This system was replaced in 1962 in West Germany by a four-digit system; three years later East Germany followed with its own...

 define areas independent from administrative regions. The coding space of the first digit is fully used (0-9); that of the first two combined is utilized to 89%, i.e., there are 89 postal zones defined. Zone 11 is non-geographic.

The UK post designed the postal codes in the United Kingdom mostly for efficient distribution. Nevertheless, with time, people associated codes with certain areas, leading certain people wanting or not wanting to have a certain code. See also postcode lottery
Postcode lottery
In the United Kingdom, the term postcode lottery refers to the way the allocation of postcodes, which often bears little relation to local government boundaries, can affect such things as insurance prices...

.

Netherlands

Postal codes in the Netherlands
Postal codes in the Netherlands
Postal codes in the Netherlands, known as postcodes, are alphanumeric, consisting of four digits followed by two uppercase letters. The letters 'F', 'I', 'O', 'Q', 'U' and 'Y' were originally not used for technical reasons, but as almost all existing combinations are now used these letters were...

 are alphanumeric, consisting of four digits followed by a space and two letters (NNNN AA). Adding the house number to the postcode will identify the address, making the street name and town name redundant. For example: 2597 GV 75 will direct a postal delivery to the International School of The Hague.

USA

Other countries allow equally precise coding. For example, in the United States, the delivery point
Delivery point
In a postal system, a delivery point is a single mailbox or other place at which mail is delivered. It differs from a street address, in that each address may in fact have several delivery points, such as an apartment flat, office department, or other room...

 is typically derived from the last two digits of the house number and thus (at least theoretically) allows an unambiguous identification of every address in the country.

UK

For domestic properties the postcode refers to up to 100 properties in contiguous proximity (e.g. a short section of a populous road, or a series of less populous neighbouring roads). The postcode plus the number or name of a property is not always unique, particularly in rural areas. For example GL20 8NX/1 might refer to either 1 Frampton Cottages or 1 Frampton Farm Cottages, roughly half a kilometre apart. The postcode plus the first line of the address, however, is always unique (except where sub-properties occurs).

Structure is alphanumeric with the following six valid permutations, as defined by BS
British Standards
British Standards are the standards produced by BSI Group which is incorporated under a Royal Charter...

 7666:

A9 9AA
A9A 9AA
A99 9AA
AA9 9AA
AA9A 9AA
AA99 9AA

There are always two halves: the separation between outward and inward postcodes is indicated by one space.

The outward postcode covers a unique area and has two parts which may in total be two three or four characters in length. A postcode area of one or two letters, followed by one or two numbers, followed in some parts of London by a letter.

The outward postcode and the leading numeric of the inward postcode in combination forms a postal sector, and this usually corresponds to a couple of thousand properties.

Larger businesses and isolated properties such as farms may have a unique postcode. Extremely large organisations such as larger government offices or bank headquarters may have multiple postcodes for different departments.

There are about 100 postcode areas ranging widely in size from BT which covers the whole of Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 to ZE
ZE postcode area
The ZE postcode area, also known as the Lerwick postcode area, is a group of postcode districts covering the Shetland Islands and Fair Isle in Scotland...

 for Shetland. Postcode areas may also cross national boundaries, such as SY
SY postcode area
The SY postcode area, also known as the Shrewsbury postcode area, is a group of postcode districts primarily around Shrewsbury, but also covering Aberystwyth, Bishop's Castle, Borth, Bow Street, Bucknell, Caersws, Church Stretton, Craven Arms, Ellesmere, Llanbrynmair, Llandinam, Llanfechain,...

 which covers a large, predominantly rural area from Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire, in the West Midlands region of England. Lying on the River Severn, it is a civil parish home to some 70,000 inhabitants, and is the primary settlement and headquarters of Shropshire Council...

 and Ludlow
Ludlow
Ludlow is a market town in Shropshire, England close to the Welsh border and in the Welsh Marches. It lies within a bend of the River Teme, on its eastern bank, forming an area of and centred on a small hill. Atop this hill is the site of Ludlow Castle and the market place...

 in Shropshire
Shropshire
Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes, the county is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. It borders Wales to the west...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, through to the eastern Welsh town of Welshpool
Welshpool
Welshpool is a town in Powys, Wales, or ancient county Montgomeryshire, from the Wales-England border. The town is low-lying on the River Severn; the Welsh language name Y Trallwng literally meaning 'the marshy or sinking land'...

, Powys
Powys
Powys is a local-government county and preserved county in Wales.-Geography:Powys covers the historic counties of Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire, most of Brecknockshire , and a small part of Denbighshire — an area of 5,179 km², making it the largest county in Wales by land area.It is...

 in Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 to the seaside town of Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth is a historic market town, administrative centre and holiday resort within Ceredigion, Wales. Often colloquially known as Aber, it is located at the confluence of the rivers Ystwyth and Rheidol....

, Ceredigion
Ceredigion
Ceredigion is a county and former kingdom in mid-west Wales. As Cardiganshire , it was created in 1282, and was reconstituted as a county under that name in 1996, reverting to Ceredigion a day later...

 on Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

' west coast.

States and overseas territories sharing a postal code system

Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are part of the UK postcode system. They use the scheme AAN NAA, in which the first two letters are a unique code (GY, JE and IM respectively).

Seven British overseas territories use nine postal codes: three for Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha is a British overseas territory and overseas territory of the European Union consisting of the islands of Saint Helena, Ascension Island and the Tristan da Cunha group...

, and one apiece for the others. Note that the former has two ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are two-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166-1, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , to represent countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest...

 country codes, and the British Antarctic Territory has none, so the number of ISO codes is seven.
  • Ascension Island
    Ascension Island
    Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island in the equatorial waters of the South Atlantic Ocean, around from the coast of Africa and from the coast of South America, which is roughly midway between the horn of South America and Africa...

    : ASCN 1ZZ, ISO code: AC
  • British Antarctic Territory
    British Antarctic Territory
    The British Antarctic Territory is a sector of Antarctica claimed by the United Kingdom as one of its 14 British Overseas Territories. It comprises the region south of 60°S latitude and between longitudes and , forming a wedge shape that extends to the South Pole...

    : BIQQ 1ZZ
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
    British Indian Ocean Territory
    The British Indian Ocean Territory or Chagos Islands is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom situated in the Indian Ocean, halfway between Africa and Indonesia...

    : BBND 1ZZ, ISO code: IO
  • Falkland Islands
    Falkland Islands
    The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...

    : FIQQ 1ZZ, ISO code: FK
  • Pitcairn Islands
    Pitcairn Islands
    The Pitcairn Islands , officially named the Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, form a group of four volcanic islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. The islands are a British Overseas Territory and overseas territory of the European Union in the Pacific...

    : PCRN 1ZZ, ISO code: PN
  • Saint Helena
    Saint Helena
    Saint Helena , named after St Helena of Constantinople, is an island of volcanic origin in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha which also includes Ascension Island and the islands of Tristan da Cunha...

     STHL 1ZZ, ISO code: SH
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
    South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
    South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is a British overseas territory and overseas territory of the European Union in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote and inhospitable collection of islands, consisting of South Georgia and a chain of smaller islands, known as the South Sandwich...

    : SIQQ 1ZZ, ISO code: GS
  • Tristan da Cunha
    Tristan da Cunha
    Tristan da Cunha is a remote volcanic group of islands in the south Atlantic Ocean and the main island of that group. It is the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, lying from the nearest land, South Africa, and from South America...

    : TDCU 1ZZ, ISO code: included under SH
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
    Turks and Caicos Islands
    The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory and overseas territory of the European Union consisting of two groups of tropical islands in the Caribbean, the larger Caicos Islands and the smaller Turks Islands, known for tourism and as an offshore financial centre.The Turks and...

    : TKCA 1ZZ, ISO code: TC

Two other British areas have their own systems, and use the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 prefix:
  • Cayman Islands
    Cayman Islands
    The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory and overseas territory of the European Union located in the western Caribbean Sea. The territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman, located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica...

    : KYN-NNNN*
  • British Virgin Islands
    British Virgin Islands
    The Virgin Islands, often called the British Virgin Islands , is a British overseas territory and overseas territory of the European Union, located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. The islands make up part of the Virgin Islands archipelago, the remaining islands constituting the U.S...

    : VGNNNN.


French overseas territories use the five-digit French postal code system, each code starting with the three letter department identifier. Monaco
Monaco
Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

 also uses the French system.

Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, San Marino
San Marino
San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino , is a state situated on the Italian Peninsula on the eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. It is an enclave surrounded by Italy. Its size is just over with an estimated population of over 30,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino...

 and Vatican City
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

 use one system. Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

 and Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 use one system. Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 and the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 base their systems on the codes of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, their ranges not overlapping.

Non-geographic codes

In Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 the special postal code 99999 is for Korvatunturi
Korvatunturi
Korvatunturi is a fell in Lapland. It is located within Urho Kekkonen National Park in the municipality of Savukoski. The Finnish name translates to "Ear Fell"....

, the place where Santa Claus (Joulupukki in Finnish) is said to live.

In Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

 the postal code 2412 is for Julemanden (Santa Claus)

In Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 the amount of mail sent to Santa Claus increased every Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

, up to the point that Canada Post decided to start an official Santa Claus letter-response program in 1983. Approximately one million letters come in to Santa Claus each Christmas, including from outside of Canada, and all of them are answered in the same languages in which they are written. Canada Post introduced a special address for mail to Santa Claus, complete with its own postal code:
SANTA CLAUS
NORTH POLE  H0H 0H0


In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the non-conforming postal code GIR 0AA was used for the National Girobank
Girobank
Girobank was a British public sector financial institution founded in 1968 by the General Post Office. Itstarted life as the National Giro but went through several name changes, becoming National Girobank, then Girobank Plc , before merging into Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank...

 until its closure in 2003.

Formats

  • A = letter
  • N = number
  • CC = ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code

Country Introduced ISO
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are two-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166-1, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , to represent countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest...

Format Note
Afghanistan AF - no codes -
Åland Islands AX NNNNN With Finland, first two numbers are 22.
Albania
Postal codes in Albania
Postal Codes in Albania consist of 4 digits; the first two digits show the branch on a district level located at the center of that administrative level, whereas the second two digits show the postal office offering service to a defined administration unit on a municipality level:-External links:*...

AL NNNN
Algeria
Postal codes in Algeria
In Algeria, the postal codes of province capitals are composed of the province code as in ISO 3166-2:DZ and three zeros, for example: 16000 for Algiers, while the postal codes of other cities, towns, and villages in the province are the provincial code followed by three numerals...

DZ NNNNN First two as in ISO 3166-2:DZ
ISO 3166-2:DZ
ISO 3166-2:DZ is the entry for Algeria in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.Currently for Algeria, ISO 3166-2 codes are...

Andorra
Postal codes in Andorra
Until 2004, Andorra had no post codes, but in that year, in cooperation with the postal administrations of France and Spain, these were finally introduced...

2004 AD CCNNN
Angola AO - no codes -
Argentina 1974, modified 1999 AR 1974-1998 NNNN; From 1999 ANNNNAAA Codigo Postal Argentino (CPA), where A is the province code as in ISO 3166-2:AR
ISO 3166-2:AR
ISO 3166-2:AR is the entry for Argentina in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.Currently for Argentina, ISO 3166-2 codes are...

American Samoa 1963-07-01 AS NNNNN U.S. ZIP codes
Armenia 2006-04-01 AM NNNN
Ascension island AC AAAANAA one code: ASCN 1ZZ UK territory, but not UK postcode
Australia 1967 AU NNNN
Austria
Postal codes in Austria
Postal codes in Austria were introduced in 1966 and consist of four numbers. The first indicates the state:* 1xxx: Vienna* 2xxx: Lower Austria * 3xxx: Lower Austria * 4xxx: Upper Austria...

1966 AT NNNN
Azerbaijan AZ CCNNNN
Bangladesh BD NNNN
Barbados
Postal codes in Barbados
-External links:*...

BB CCNNNNN
Belarus BY NNNNNN
Belgium
Postal codes in Belgium
Postal codes in Belgium are numeric and consist of 4 numbers. The first digit indicates the province...

BE NNNN First number indicates the province. (not completely correct)
Belize BZ - no codes -
Benin BJ - no codes -
Bosnia and Herzegovina BA NNNNN
Brazil
Postal codes in Brazil
Postal codes in Brazil follow a nationwide scheme known as CEP introduced in 1972 as a sequence of five digits...

1972 BR NNNNN Código de Endereçamento Postal (CEP)
Brazil
Postal codes in Brazil
Postal codes in Brazil follow a nationwide scheme known as CEP introduced in 1972 as a sequence of five digits...

1992 BR NNNNNNNN (NNNNN-NNN)
British Indian Ocean Territory IO AAAANAA one code: BIQQ 1ZZ UK territory, but not UK postcode
British Virgin Islands VG CCNNNN
Brunei
Postal codes in Brunei
Postal codes in Brunei are alphanumeric, consisting of two letters followed by four digits in the format of YZ0000, where Y denotes the district code, Z denotes the mukim code, the first two digits denote the area or village code, and the last two digits denote the nearest post office code Postal...

BN AANNNN
Bulgaria 1975 BG NNNN
Cambodia KH NNNNN
Canada 1971–1975 CA ANA NAN The system was gradually introduced starting in April 1971 in Ottawa
Cape Verde CV NNNN The first digit indicates the island.
Chile CL NNNNNNN (NNN-NNNN)
China CN NNNNNN
Colombia
Postal codes in Colombia
Postal codes in Colombia are 6 digit numeric.The first group of two digits are the numbers used by DANE to encode the departments.The second group of two digits in the range of 00 to 89 encode postal zones, where 00 is used for the department capital. In the range of 90 - 99 it has another...

CO NNNNNN First NN = 32 departments
Departments of Colombia
Colombia is an unitary republic formed by thirty-two departments and a Capital District . Each department has a Governor and a Department Assembly , elected by popular vote for a four-year period. The governor cannot be re-elected in consecutive periods...

 
Costa Rica
Postal codes in Costa Rica
Postal codes in Costa Rica are 5 digit numeric. Introduction began in March 2007. The first digit denotes one of the seven provinces, the 2nd and 3rd refer to the 81 cantons, the 4th and 5th the 473 districts...

2007-03 CR NNNNN First codes the provinces, next two the canton, last two the district.
Croatia
Postal codes in Croatia
Postal codes in Croatia are 5 digit numeric. There are 20 two digit zones defined. Zagreb City and Zagreb County have one, each other first level administrative country subdivision, i.e...

HR NNNNN
Cyprus
Postal codes in Cyprus
Four digit post codes were introduced in Cyprus on 1 October 1994. The system is organised around the six administrative districts for local government on the island, with each district allocated a numerical range...

1994-10-01 CY NNNN
Czech Republic
Postal codes in the Czech Republic
Postal codes in the Czech Republic are called PSČ . The acronym is commonly pronounced as a word , rather than separate letters . The system was introduced in former Czechoslovakia in 1973 and the numbers haven't changed since. The postal code consists of five digits, usually written with a space...

1973 CZ NNNNN (NNN NN) with Slovak Republic, Poštovní směrovací číslo (PSČ) - postal routing number
Denmark
Postal codes in Denmark
Danish postal codes have four digits, except for five special purpose 3-digit codes.The self-governed territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands have 4- and 3-digit codes, respectively....

1967-09-20 DK NNNN
Ecuador
Postal codes in Ecuador
Postal codes in Ecuador as introduced in December 2007 are 6 digit numeric using the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 prefix. EC112233 11 = province 22 = canton 33 = parish-External links:* http://portalecuador.ec/module-CodigoPostal.php...

2007-12 EC CCNNNNNN
Egypt EG NNNNN
Estonia EE NNNNN
Falkland Islands FK AAAANAA one code: FIQQ 1ZZ UK territory, but not UK postcode
Faroe Islands
Postal codes in Denmark
Danish postal codes have four digits, except for five special purpose 3-digit codes.The self-governed territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands have 4- and 3-digit codes, respectively....

FO
ISO 3166-2:FO
ISO 3166-2:FO is the entry for the Faroe Islands in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.Currently no ISO 3166-2 codes are...

NNN self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, but not Danish postcode
Finland
Postal codes in Finland
Finland has used five-digit numeric postal codes since 1971. The first two digits designate the municipality or group of municipal small communities where it may be 5; codes ending in 1 are for post office boxes. A corporation receiving large amounts of mail may have its own postal code...

1971 FI NNNNN
France 1972 FR NNNNN First mostly as in ISO 3166-2:FR
ISO 3166-2:FR
ISO 3166-2:FR is the entry for France in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.Currently for France, ISO 3166-2 codes are...

.
Georgia GE NNNN
Germany
Postal codes in Germany
Germany introduced postal codes on July 25, 1941, in the form of a two-digit system that was applied initially for the parcel service and later for all mail deliveries. This system was replaced in 1962 in West Germany by a four-digit system; three years later East Germany followed with its own...

1941-07-25 -- NN Postleitzahl (PLZ)
Germany
Postal codes in Germany
Germany introduced postal codes on July 25, 1941, in the form of a two-digit system that was applied initially for the parcel service and later for all mail deliveries. This system was replaced in 1962 in West Germany by a four-digit system; three years later East Germany followed with its own...

1962 DE NNNN Postleitzahl (PLZ)
Germany
Postal codes in Germany
Germany introduced postal codes on July 25, 1941, in the form of a two-digit system that was applied initially for the parcel service and later for all mail deliveries. This system was replaced in 1962 in West Germany by a four-digit system; three years later East Germany followed with its own...

1993 DE NNNNN Postleitzahl (PLZ)
Greece
Postal codes in Greece
The Greek postal code system is administered by ELTA . Each city street or rural region has a unique five-digit number. The first three digits identify the city, municipality or prefecture...

1983 GR NNNNN
Guam 1963-07-01 GU NNNNN U.S. ZIP codes
Guernsey 1993 GG AAN NAA, AANN NAA UK-format postcode (first two letters are always GY not GG)
Hong Kong HK - no codes -
Hungary
Postal codes in Hungary
Postal codes in Hungary are four digit numeric. The first digit is for the postal region, as listed below :* 1xxx Budapest * 2xxx Szentendre* 3xxx Hatvan* 4xxx Debrecen * 5xxx Szolnok...

HU NNNN
Iceland IS NNN
India 1972-08-15 IN NNNNNN,

NNN NNN
Postal Index Number (PIN)
Indonesia
Postal codes in Indonesia
Postal codes in Indonesia or kodepos in Indonesian language consist of 5 digits.* The first digit indicates the region in which a given post office falls in,* The second and third digits indicate the regency or city ,...

ID NNNNN Kode Pos
Iran IR NNNNN-NNNNN کد پستی
Iraq
Postal codes in Iraq
In 2004 a new postal code system was introduced in Iraq.Iraqi Post has developed a comprehensive Postal Code numbering system that will ensure more efficient mail sorting and accuracy of delivery of your correspondence. The new postal system was rededicated in 2004...

2004 IQ NNNNN
Ireland IE - no codes - Alphanumeric system planned, however no known rollout date
Isle of Man 1993 IM CCN NAA, CCNN NAA UK-format postcode
Israel
Postal codes in Israel
Postal codes in Israel are numeric and consist of five digits. They are assigned from north to south, thus, Metula in the north has 10292 as its postal code, and Eilat in the south was assigned 88xxx. Jerusalem postal codes start with the digit 9, although this does not correspond with its...

IL NNNNN
Italy
Postal codes in Italy
Italian post codes are numeric, consisting of five digits, such as 20121 Milan. Created in 1967, they are commonly known as CAP...

1967 IT NNNNN Codice di Avviamento Postale (CAP)
Japan
Postal codes in Japan
Postal codes in Japan are 7 digit numeric. Format is NNN-NNNN, where N is a number.See also: Japanese addressing system...

1968 JP NNNNNNN (NNN-NNNN)
Jersey 1994 JE CCN NAA UK-format postcode
Kazakhstan KZ NNNNNN Reference:
Latvia
Postal codes in Latvia
Postal codes in Latvia are 4 digit numeric and use a mandatory ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code in front, i.e. the format is “LV-NNNN”.- See also :* ISO 3166-2:LV* Subdivisions of Latvia...

LV CC-NNNN
Liechtenstein 1964 LI NNNN With Switzerland, ordered from west to east
Lithuania
Postal codes in Lithuania
Postal codes in Lithuania since 2005 are 5 digit numeric, ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 prefix is allowed, with that the format is LT-NNNNN.Previous to 2005 it was NNNN, which was the old Soviet NNNNNN format with the first 2 digits dropped.- External links :...

LT NNNNN References: http://www.post.lt/en/?id=421 http://www.post.lt/en/?id=271
Luxembourg
Postal codes in Luxembourg
Postal codes in Luxembourg are entirely numeric and consist of four digits. The first digit indicates the region, however this subdivision of the territory does not correspond exactly to the usual administrative subdivision ....

LU NNNN References: http://www.upu.int/post_code/en/countries/LUX.pdf
Macau MO - no codes -
Malaysia MY NNNNN
Malta
Postal codes in Malta
Postal codes in Malta were first introduced in Malta in 1991. Like those in the United Kingdom and Canada, they are alphanumeric. Until 2007, they consisted of three letters and two digits, written after the name of the locality...

MT AAANNNN (AAA NNNN) Kodiċi Postali
Marshall Islands 1963-07-01 MH NNNNN U.S. ZIP codes
Mexico
Postal codes in Mexico
Postal codes in Mexico are issued by SEPOMEX . They are of five digits and modelled on the US zip code system. The first 2 digits identify a state ; and assignments are done alphabetically by state name, except for codes in the 0xxxx-1xxxx range which identify the delegaciones of Mexico City....

MX NNNNN
Micronesia 1963-07-01 FM NNNNN U.S. ZIP codes
Moldova
Postal codes in Moldova
Moldova's postal codes are alphanumeric, consisting of the letters MD followed by a dash followed by four digits, e.g. Chişinău MD-2001.The first digit refers to a designated postal zone, the rest designate smaller administrative units or districts and streets within the municipal area.See also...

MD CCNNNN (CC-NNNN)
Monaco 1972 MC 980NN Similar to France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, except when sending a letter from abroad, the address must carry the country name.
Montenegro ME NNNNN
Morocco 1997-01-01 MA NNNNN
Netherlands
Postal codes in the Netherlands
Postal codes in the Netherlands, known as postcodes, are alphanumeric, consisting of four digits followed by two uppercase letters. The letters 'F', 'I', 'O', 'Q', 'U' and 'Y' were originally not used for technical reasons, but as almost all existing combinations are now used these letters were...

1977 NL NNNN AA Postcode
New Zealand 2008-06 NZ NNNN Postcode
Nigeria
Postal codes in Nigeria
Postal codes in Nigeria are numeric, consisting of six digits. NIPOST, the Nigerian Postal Service, divides the country into nine regions, which make up the first digit of the code. The second and third digits, combined with the first, are the dispatch district for outgoing sorting...

NI NNNNNN
Northern Mariana Islands 1963-07-01 MP NNNNN U.S. ZIP codes
Norway 1968-03-18 NO NNNN From south to north
Palau 1963-07-01 PW NNNNN U.S. ZIP codes
Panama PA NNNNNN
Pakistan PK NNNNNN
Paraguay PY NNNN
Peru PE Alphanumeric New National Postal Code system to be implemented in February 2011
Philippines PH NNNN
Pitcairn Islands PN AAAANAA one code: PCRN 1ZZ UK territory, but not UK postcode
Poland
Postal codes in Poland
In Poland, postal codes were introduced in 1973. They consist of five digits divided into two groups of two and three digits, with hyphen between them. The whole country has been divided into 10 large areas...

1973 PL NNNNN (NN-NNN)
Portugal
Postal codes in Portugal
The Portuguese postal code is formed by four digits, a hyphen, then three digits, followed by a postal location of up to 25 characters in capitals. This location is the name of the town, sometimes followed by a three-letter abbreviation of the municipality The Portuguese postal code (código...

1976 NNNN
Portugal
Postal codes in Portugal
The Portuguese postal code is formed by four digits, a hyphen, then three digits, followed by a postal location of up to 25 characters in capitals. This location is the name of the town, sometimes followed by a three-letter abbreviation of the municipality The Portuguese postal code (código...

1994 PT NNNN-NNN (NNNN NNN)
Puerto Rico
Postal codes in Puerto Rico
Postal codes in Puerto Rico are part of the 5 digit numeric US ZIP code system.Puerto Rico, a US Territory, uses 006XX for NW PR, 007XX for SE PR, in which XX designates the town or post office & 009XX for the San Juan Metropolitan Area, in which XX designates the area or borough of San Juan. The...

1963-07-01 PR NNNNN U.S. ZIP codes
Romania 2003-05-01 RO NNNNNN
Russia
Postal codes in Russia
Russian Post has a system of postal codes based on the federal subject a place is located in. Each postal code consists of six digits with first three referring to the federal subject or the administrative division with special status. Some larger subjects begin with several three-digit codes...

1971 RU NNNNNN
San Marino SM NNNNN With Italy, uses a five-digit numeric CAP of Emilia Romagna
Serbia
Postal codes in Serbia
Serbian postal codes consist of five digits. The first two digits roughly correspond to the corresponding district; district seat cities usually have 000 as the last three digits, while smaller towns and villages have non-round last three digits....

2005-01-01 RS NNNNN Poshtanski adresni kod (PAK)
Singapore
Postal codes in Singapore
Postal codes in Singapore have consisted of six digits since 1995, replacing the four-digit system introduced in 1979. They are administered by Singapore Post.History of Singapore’s postal code system:...

1950 NN
Singapore
Postal codes in Singapore
Postal codes in Singapore have consisted of six digits since 1995, replacing the four-digit system introduced in 1979. They are administered by Singapore Post.History of Singapore’s postal code system:...

1979 NNNN
Singapore
Postal codes in Singapore
Postal codes in Singapore have consisted of six digits since 1995, replacing the four-digit system introduced in 1979. They are administered by Singapore Post.History of Singapore’s postal code system:...

1995 SG NNNNNN
Slovakia
Postal codes in Slovakia
Postal codes in Slovakia use the old system of Czechoslovakia.The system of PSČ numbers was introduced in former Czechoslovakia in 1973 and the numbers haven't changed since. The postal code consists of five digits, usually written with a space in the form XXX XX. The first digit indicates a...

1973 SK NNNNN (NNN NN) with Czech Republic from west to east, Poštové smerovacie číslo (PSČ) - postal routing number
Slovenia SI CCNNNN (CC-NNNN)
South Africa 1975 ZA NNNN
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands GS AAAANAA one code: SIQQ 1ZZ UK territory, but not UK postcode
South Korea KR NNNNNN (NNN-NNN)
Spain 1976 ES NNNNN First two indicate the province, range 01-52
Sri Lanka
Postal codes in Sri Lanka
Postal codes in Sri Lanka are five digit numeric. They were first introduced in 1997.-Major cities and towns:-Colombo District :-Gampaha District :-Kalutara District :-See also:* ISO 3166-2:LK* Sri Lanka Post...

LK NNNNN Reference: http://mohanjith.net/ZIPLook/
Sweden 1968-05-12 SE NNNNN (NNN NN)
Switzerland 1964 CH NNNN With Liechtenstein, ordered from west to east
Taiwan
Postal codes in Taiwan
The Republic of China government uses postal codes of three + two digits in Taiwan. There are 368 sets of three-digit codes for rural townships, urban townships, county-controlled cities, districts , and the uninhabited island groups of Pratas Islands, Spratly Islands, and Diaoyutai...

TW NNNNN includes some territories administrated by Japan
Thailand
Postal codes in Thailand
Postal codes in Thailand, introduced on 25 February 1982 , have 5 digits.The first two specify the province, the numbers are the same as in ISO 3166-2:TH.The third and fourth digits specify a district ....

1982-02-25 TH NNNNN The first two specify the province, numbers as in ISO 3166-2:TH
ISO 3166-2:TH
ISO 3166-2:TH is the entry for Thailand in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.Currently for Thailand, ISO 3166-2 codes are...

, the third and fourth digits specify a district (amphoe)
Tunisia TN NNNN
Turks and Caicos Islands TC AAAANAA one code: TKCA 1ZZ UK territory, but not UK postcode
Turkey TR NNNNN The first two specify the province as in ISO 3166-2:TR
ISO 3166-2:TR
ISO 3166-2:TR is the entry for Turkey in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.Currently for Turkey, ISO 3166-2 codes are...

Ukraine UA NNNNN
United Kingdom 1959–1974 GB A(A)N(A/N)NAA (A[A]N[A/N] NAA) Postcode, letters before the first number identify a town or district. AN NAA, ANN NAA, ANA NAA, AAN NAA, AANN NAA, AANA NAA. Complex as incorporates early non-systematic postal districts.
United States 1963-07-01 US NNNNN (optionally NNNNN-NNNN or NNNNN-NNNNNN) ZIP code
U.S. Virgin Islands 1963-07-01 VI NNNNN U.S. ZIP codes
Vatican VA NNNNN with Italy, uses a five-digit numeric CAP of Rome
Vietnam VN NNNNNN First two indicate a province
Provinces of Vietnam
Vietnam is divided into 58 provinces and five centrally governed cities existing at the same level as provinces ....


Non-postal uses and economic aspects

While postal codes were introduced to expedite the delivery of mail, they are very useful tools for several other purposes, particularly in countries where codes are very fine-grained and identify just a few addresses. Among uses are:
  • Finding the nearest branch of an organisation to a given address. A computer program uses the postal codes of the target address and the branches to list the closest branches in order of distance as the crow flies
    As the crow flies
    "As the crow flies" or beelining is an idiom for the shortest route between two points; the geodesic distance.An example is the great-circle distance between Key West and Pensacola, at either end of the U.S...

     (or, if used in conjunction with streetmap software, road distance). This can be used by companies to inform potential customers where to go, by job centres to find jobs for job-seekers, to alert people of town planning applications in their area, and a great many other applications.
  • Fine-grained postal codes can be used with satellite navigation systems to navigate to an address by street number and postcode.
  • Geographical sales territories for representatives in the pharmaceutical industry are allocated based on a workload index that is based upon postcode.

Availability

The availability of postal code information has significant economic advantages. In some countries, the postal authorities charge for access to the code database. , the United Kingdom Government is consulting on whether to waive licensing fees for some geographical data sets (to be determined) related to UK postcodes.

See also


:Category:Lists of postal codes
  • Mailing address format by country

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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