Area code 218 is part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) of the public switched telephone network for the northern part of the US state of Minnesota. It is one of Minnesota's original two codes, although its geographical area has been modified since inception. By area, the region is the largest area code in Minnesota, covering roughly the northern half of the state. It includes the cities of Duluth, Hibbing, Brainerd, Bemidji, Fergus Falls, and Moorhead.
According to a 1947 map of the NANP, the 218 region was originally r-shaped and covered about two-thirds of Minnesota. Area code 612 covered the remaining southeastern portion. In 1954, the shape of 218 was modified to coincide approximately with its current shape when the original southwestern portion of 218 was combined with the southern portion of 612 to form area code 507, which stretched across the southern fifth of Minnesota. A small change in the 1990s brought the Northwest Angle into the 218 area after being 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 covers 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. This means that several numbers in North Dakota's 701 aren't available for use.
Under present projections, northern Minnesota will not need another area code until mid-2028 at the earliest. Despite the proliferation of cell phones and pagers, particularly in Duluth and Fargo-Moorhead, 218 is nowhere near exhaustion.
|Minnesota area codes: 218, 320, 507, 612, 651, 763, 952|
|North: 204, 807|
|West: 701||218||East: 534, 715, Lake Superior|
|Manitoba area codes: 204, 431|
|Ontario area codes: 226/519/548, 249/705, 289/365/905, 343/613, 416/437/647, 807|
|Wisconsin area codes: 262, 414, 534/715, 608, 920|
|North Dakota area codes: 701|