Zip codes

(Sep 8, 2008)

Following a previous entry on postcodes, we have been asked how US zip codes can be used for mortality modelling.  Most people in the USA understand the five-digit zip code, for example 20500 in the address for the White House:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

However, a five-digit zip code typically covers thousands of people and is therefore of severely limited use for geodemographic profiling for mortality. What is needed is the nine-digit zip code, also known as "zip plus four".  This is shown below with the same address in standard format for the US Postal Service:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500-0003

A nine-digit zip code covers…

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Tags: zip code, postcodes, zip plus four, geodemographics

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