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Blog posts tagged with 'zip code database'

Need to do a Zip code lookup?

Need to do a Zip code lookup?

Need to do a Zip Code Lookup? Everyone needs to do it at least once in a while, with how important Zip Codes are in sending mail, identifying where customers reside, or for data collection matching the right zip code to the right address is essential. Even customers who may be stored in a database from years previous may require a zip code check every once in a while to ensure their zip code has not changed. Of course, it’s best to do this monthly since the USPS makes monthly changes to Zip Code boundaries, or by them adding or deleting Zip Codes, but if incredibly accurate data is not necessary, then quarterly or yearly may be enough.

If you have a small database and need to only look up a few Zip Codes, then we offer a free tool to do so. Simply look up what State you are needing a Zip Code for, and scroll until you find the city of the address you are finding a Zip Code for, you can do so here. If you want to do a reverse Zip Code Lookup, by tying in the Zip Code to find the city, you can do that here.

If you have a larger database and can’t manually do a zip code lookup, then the 5 or 9 digit Zip Code Database will do wonders for saving time. Get basic information about a zip code, or extensive depending on your need. You can also automate the whole process using our API and perform radius searches.

Top Differences between U.S. 5 Digit Zip Code and Zip Plus 4 Database

Top Differences between U.S. 5 Digit Zip Code and Zip Plus 4 Database

You’ve probably had your 5-digit zip code memorized since you were a small child, but you may be surprised to learn that some zip codes require an additional four numbers in order for mail to accurately and quickly arrive. So, when do you need the additional four numbers in your database?

The Zip Plus 4 (9 Digit Zip Code)

While only the 5-digit zip code is needed to deliver mail If you’re a business sending large amounts of mail to customers, or if you need raw data power, a zip plus 4 database may be the right fit for you so you can ensure you have the most information possible.

Its important to note that it is not necessary to include the plus 4 digits in order for a piece of mail to be delivered, and in most instances only a 5-digit database is needed.You can think of the extra four digits as more precise data to pinpoint where a house is located, kind of like a zip code within a zip code. Sometimes the extra four digits represent a apartment complex or a city within a zip code.

While we usually write only a 5-digit zip code on mail, or when looking up a city, the USPS still uses the zip plus 4 code in order to deliver mail. Luckily for us a USPS machine is able to determine the 9-digit zip code from the address listed on the envelope, but it is still used today as a means of quickly sorting mail to precise locations.

Accuracy is Everything

Of course, the most important element of any zip code database is how up-to-date the data is. At we update our database monthly with the latest zip code changes made by the USPS.Each month you can download the current month’s updated database, and know that you are using the best data available.

Everything you need to know about CBSA Codes

Everything you need to know about CBSA Codes

CBSA Codes were introduced in June 2003 by the Executive Branch of the United States under the Office of Management and Budget as a way to determine which areas in the USA had a high-degree of "cohesiveness" or interaction with each other. For example, all the cities and towns around Chicago, IL interact primarily with Chicago - knowing this information helps companies better identify their customers as well as divide sales territories.

For larger metro areas, this database also includes the Metropolitan Division (if any) in which the ZIP code lies.  Not all ZIP Codes have a CBSA code assigned to them such as rural and "middle of nowhere" ZIP Codes.

CBSAs and Metropolitan Divisions are five-digit numeric codes assigned to the 960 metropolitan, micropolitan, and division statistical areas defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a part of the administrative branch of the Federal Government.

USA - CBSA Database. The database includes ZIP Code, County FIPS, CSA Code, CSA Name, CBSA Code, CBSA Name, CBSA Type, Div Code, Div Name. The ZIP Code list is available in the following formats: Microsoft Excel 97 (or later), Microsoft Access 97 & 2000 (or later), comma-separated values, fixed-width format, and tab-delimited format. All formats are included with your purchase, and they can be imported into most databases and spreadsheets.

Zipcodedownload Voted #1 for the 11th year in a Row

Zipcodedownload Voted #1 for the 11th year in a Row

Recently, zipcodedownload was rated the #1 provider for zip code data for the 11th year in a row.  We are proud of our ranking and take great pride in providing our thousands of customers with the best and most accurate zip code database anywhere.  

When we launched 11 years ago we were the first company to provide an accurate, up to date downloadable zip code database.  We expanded our product line over the years to include Canadian postal codes and Mexican zip code databases. 

Most recently, we launched the first zip code api to the public, making it easy for customers to plug into up to data zip code data.  Thousands have taken advantage of this new service to automate their web sites, software and apps.  

As we look forward to the next ten years, we plan to keep your trust and continue to be the #1 provider of zip code data online.  Thank you for your trust!

Three and Four Digit ZIP Codes Appearing in Database

Three and Four Digit ZIP Codes Appearing in Database

Many customers wonder why their data is including three and four digit ZIP codes. Of course, the United States Postal Service does not manufacture cities with only three and four digit ZIP codes. Most customers experience these because they are opening the data up with a program, such as Microsoft Excel, which has a default setting to eliminate zeros preceding a number. For instance, Holtsville, New York has a ZIP code of 00501. Excel will take that file, remove the zeros preceding the “5” and give you “501.”


There are three main ways to remedy this issue:

  1. Instead of downloading the .CSV version of the file from, download the “Excel (97 or later)” version. This has been preformatted to accept leading zeros.
  2. If you download the .CSV file, format the column by selecting the column and right clicking it selecting Format Cells> Number> Special> “Zip Code.”
  3. Follow the same steps in way number two but instead do …> Number> Custom> and under Type enter “00000”.

Either of these three ways are acceptable, however, we strongly recommend that you download the file type specific to the program that you will use.

Will the USPS Go Out of Business?

Will the USPS Go Out of Business?

Fortunately for all of us, the USPS will not be going out of business any time soon. If you are unfamiliar with what the USPS is, it is a separate agency of the U.S. government. Since 1971, the USPS has been funded directly from postage. Before then, taxes helped subsidize the costs. Now, the USPS is expected to compete with private companies such as the UPS and FedEx. Therefore, Congress doesn't provide for any of USPS' operating expenses. As of late however, the USPS has found themselves struggling financially.

Many worry that the USPS will go out of business, however, many changes are being made to the operations of the United States Post office to help mitigate some of their slowly declining losses. These changes include cutting many local post offices, processing centers from around 500 to about 200, and possibly removing Saturday's mail service.

One of the main responsibilities of the USPS is to maintain a steady and current database of ZIP codes. This database is updated monthly and receives its inputs from local post offices on boundary changes, ZIP code additions, and ZIP code subtractions. This database is not only used by the USPS by is also used by every other mailing service in the United States. These services include the Federal Express, United Parcel Service, and DHL.

This information allows us to realize the true importance of the USPS and their contribution to the United States. We can be confident that the USPS will continue to provide ZIP code databases.

Mr Zip and the Zip Code Database

Mr Zip and the Zip Code Database

Drowning in mail and looking for a solution, over seventy years ago the USPS discovered and implemented a system to improve tracking. They started demanding a two-digit number between city and state on the address line of letters and parcels, which was a short-term fix; but the quantity of mail continued expanding. Five-digit codes were introduced within twenty years and made mandatory four years later: the first three digits send each piece of mail to a central sorting facility, where it is sorted according to the last two digits and sent to the appropriate post office for delivery.

As with many big initiatives, there was still the challenge of educating the public and helping them adopt the practice of adding numbers to the end of an address. Introduce Mr. Zip, accompanied by Ethel Merman performing ‘Zip-a-dee-doo-dah’ and bringing a friendly message to one and all. This little cartoon figure was so effective that now 95% of all addresses include the zip code, an amazing statistic. It goes to show you the impression of a marketing campaign in such a basic format for everyone to comprehend and enjoy.

Now, picture yourself trying to manage an ever-growing amount of mail and routing it correctly to millions of frequently-changing addresses every day. The challenge shifted to accuracy of address data, giving way to new solutions to be introduced. The first zip code directories were local, pencil-and-paper, affairs, ineffective, but the best thing available.

That quickly changed with the availability and power of computers, until today there are huge amounts of data accumulated in zip code databases nationally, internationally, for city and state levels and as part of every business or corporation. We can’t communicate without the location information they contain.

The national online zip code database constantly adds, updates, and verifies zip information for every person or business at every location in the country. Canada has a comparable setup; other countries have varying coverage. International corporations have them. To name just a sample, many businesses, hospitals, and educational institutes develop and use zip code directories.

There is a wide scope of capabilities that online databases provide in the zip code world. By accessing information from around the country from so many different sources, changes are quickly synched up and missing information or new addresses are added with ease. This first-time correct delivery gets mail to the right place more quickly and saves millions of dollars every year in the process.

There are zip code maps of all sorts, zip code ‘finder’ software, zip code directories, and online zip code search engines. We’ve come a long way from the Pony Express rider riding hard to deliver his cargo!