Area code 218

A map of Minnesota area codes

Area code 218 is a telephone area code in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) for the northern part of the U.S. state of Minnesota. It is assigned to the largest of Minnesota's original two numbering plan areas (NPAs), although its geographical boundaries have been modified since inception. It comprises roughly the northern half of the state, and includes the cities of Duluth, Hibbing, Brainerd, Bemidji, Fergus Falls, and Moorhead.


Numbering plan area 218 before 1954

In the initial 1947 map of the North American Numbering Plan, area code 218 was conceived as a lower-case r-shaped area in the northern and western two-thirds of Minnesota. The southeastern portion, including the Twin Cities, was located in area code 612.

As the implementation of the new telephone numbering plan proceeded, the Minnesota area code boundaries were redrawn in 1954 to avoid cutting across major toll traffic routes out of the Twin Cities. This resulted in three area codes, with 218 covering the northern band of the state, 612 covering the central band, and the new area code 507 forming a southern band. The southern portion of the old 218 (Worthington, Marshall, and Pipestone), was merged with the southern portion of 612 to form the new 507, which ran along the entire length of the Iowa border. 612 was rotated to stretch from the Wisconsin border to the South Dakota border, absorbing a slice of the old 218 (St. Cloud, Alexandria, Appleton). 218 was pushed into east-central Minnesota, absorbing the old 612's eastern portion and taking on roughly its present shape.

A small change in the 1990s brought the Northwest Angle into the 218 area code; that region had previously been part of Bell Canada's Clearwater Bay exchange in area code 807.

Because of the low population density in northern Minnesota, the region was unaffected when the 612 area was subdivided in 1996. The resulting area code 320, the former western portion of 612, runs the length of the southern border with 218, and the 612 area code has been reduced in size so much that it now just includes the city of Minneapolis and a few nearby suburbs.

The western portion of 218, generally everything from Brainerd westward, shares a LATA with the eastern half of North Dakota, including Fargo and Grand Forks.

Exhaust Projections by the NANP Administrator estimate that northern Minnesota will not need another area code until about 2028.[1]

Prior to October 2021, area code 218 had telephone numbers assigned for the central office code 988. In 2020, 988 was designated nationwide as a dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which created a conflict for exchanges that permit seven-digit dialing. This area code was therefore scheduled to transition to ten-digit dialing by October 24, 2021.[2]

Service area[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2021-2 NRUF and NPA Exhaust Analysis" (PDF). October 2021. Retrieved April 11, 2023.
  2. ^ "Transition to 10-digit dialing (for 988 as 3-digit access to National Suicide Prevention Hotline)" (PDF). North American Numbering Plan Administrator. January 8, 2021. Retrieved March 9, 2021.

External links[edit]

Minnesota area codes: 218, 320, 507, 612, 651, 763, 952
North: 204, 807
West: 701 218 East: 534, 715, Lake Superior
South: 320
Manitoba area codes: 204, 431
Ontario area codes: 226/519/548, 249/705, 289/365/742/905, 343/613, 416/437/647, 807
Wisconsin area codes: 262, 414, 534/715, 608, 920
North Dakota area codes: 701

47°18′N 93°56′W / 47.300°N 93.933°W / 47.300; -93.933