The Top 4 Reasons Why You Should be Mapping Zip Codes (3-digits) Now!

Zip Up Data Analyses Fast with Mapline’s Zip Code Mapping Software 

For many years, the standard 5-digit zip code maps have been popularly used to manage sales performances and delivery routes. However, in recent years, there has been a surge in mapping zip codes for 3-digits. It is often used to analyze bigger territories and larger areas. Mapline’s zip code mapping software successfully assists organizations from different industries to create and organize maps with 3 digit zip codes.

3 Digit Zip Code Map

In order for us to evaluate the many benefits of using ZIP codes for business, first, we may want to  get the idea about 3-digit zip codes.


Long before, the 3 digit zip codes were used to organize and improve the mailing system. “ZIP” stands for “Zone Improvement Plan.” As its name implies, the 3 digit zip codes are used to “zip along” mail deliveries in a faster way. 

When we say 3 digit zip codes,” it literally means the first 3 digits of a 5-digit zip code. Since the US is a big country its states are divided into groups from 0 (Northeast part) to 9 (West part). From these groups, the states are even divided into much smaller groups of geographical areas or a sub-region of the first group. In essence, the first digit represents any of the 10 largest groups of the US. Meanwhile, the second and third digits represent the smaller groups derived from the 10 largest US groups. When combined, the 3 digit zip codes represent a sectional center facility.

This is how the 1st digit of a zip code is assigned:

  • 0 – assigned to CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, Fishers Island, NY, PR, RI, VT, VI,
  • 1 – assigned to DE, the whole NY except for Fisher Island, PA
  • 2 – assigned to DC, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV
  • 3 – assigned to AL, FL, GA, MS, TN
  • 4 – assigned to IN, KY, MI, OH
  • 5 – assigned to IA, MN, MT, ND, SD, WI
  • 6 – assigned to IL, KS, MO, NE
  • 7 – assigned to AR, LA, OK, TX
  • 8 – assigned to AZ, CO, ID, NM, NV, UT, WY
  • 9 – assigned to AK, AS, CA, GU, HI, MH, FM, MP, OR, PW, WA

Currently, there are 929 3-digit ZIP Codes in the USA.

Top 4 Uses of a 3 Digit ZIP Code Map

Business organizations use a 3-digit ZIP Code map on different analyses and situations. But for the purpose of this article, we may want to focus on the map usage of businesses. With Mapline’s ZIP Code Mapping Software, you can further ignite more data and territory insights that fit your analyses. Here are the top uses in business where mapping zip codes of 3-digits are most useful:

(1) Develop Marketing Research and Strategies

Marketing experts use 3 digit ZIP codes and census data to analyze trends in business. They can understand the buying behavior of different demographic groups. The insightful observations can turn into a marketing gem that leads the way into developing products and services that are tailor-fit to the target market. 

(2) Analyze Trends

Mapping zip codes of the first 3-digits with customer data emphasizes trends and patterns in a certain 3-digit area that may not be visible when viewed only in Excel spreadsheets. For instance, a sporting goods store may be presenting their products for a younger market to an area that is being populated mostly by senior citizens. Using advanced tools from Mapline’s ZIP Code mapping software, you can take your trend analysis on a whole new level. Dive deeper into consumer behavior insights as you plot your customer data.

(3) Store Site Selection

A 3 digit ZIP code map helps identify the best locations for businesses. It provides an exceptional visualization of a certain zip code area where the prospect store location may be opening. Does it attract customers? Can it be easily accessed by public transportations? Is the location nar schools, hospitals, or public parks and libraries that the store can cater? How’s the crime rate in the area? Are there risks affecting the flow of the business? Are there rooms for expansion? 

(4) Enhance Delivery Routes

Mapline’s ZIP Code mapping software lets you create customized delivery routes not only for enhanced customer service. Moreso, for maximized delivery performance that wastes minimal time, gas, and effort. Mapline’s advanced route planner does not only allow the users to create routes. It is a one-stop routing platform that enables businesses to do a lot of options. For more customized planning, Mapline enables the business to identify if there are additional drivers required to do the deliveries. You can also build routes based on fleet limits. Divide load sizes and deliveries between drivers to increase delivery efficiency while maintaining the overall balance of business operations. With Mapline, you can do all these and so much more for your delivery routes!

Mapping ZIP Codes of The First 3-Digits Made Simple

Mapping the first 3-digit ZIP Codes with Mapline is so simple! All you need to do is just to choose the territory boundary from Mapline’s repository. Everything is made simple in Mapline yet the results are so powerful! If you have a spreadsheet with geographic data, you can visually uncover patterns and trends with a 3 digit ZIP code map. Follow the steps below:

  1. Create a Mapline account and login.
  2. Click the orange “Add New Items” button.
  3. Select “New Map” on the drop down arrow.
  4. Give your map a name and click “OK.”
  5. Click the “Add” button from the left sidebar.
  6. Select the “Territories” option.
  7. Click “From Mapline’s Repository.”
  8. From the “Territories” select “U.S. ZIP Codes (3 Digits).” Use the search bar for quicker results.
  9. Select how you want your boundaries to be colored in “Fill Color” (Random Colors, Uniform Color, or Custom colors from spreadsheet).
  10. Click “OK.”


Mapline’s advanced territory mapping tools are perfect for a lot of business-related analyses.  Here are some other areas where Mapline can help you with:

Sign up now and experience the many advantages of mapping ZIP codes and utilizing all the powerful tools from Mapline’s ZIP code mapping software.