I am working on a dataset that comes from survey results. The only location identifying information we have from those who took the survey is the first three digits of the U.S. zip code.

How detailed of location information does this give?

  • 1
    Try breaking this down into multiple questions and ask separately.
    – papadoo
    Oct 30 '15 at 20:06

The United States Postal Service maintains ZIP Code boundaries and ZIP3 boundaries. ZIP3's are an amalgamation of ZIP codes that contain those first 3 numbers. There are plenty of ZIP code boundaries available online, dissolving those on the first 3 digits gives you ZIP3 boundaries.

The location is less detailed than ZIP code boundaries, because it is a combination of the finer level ZIP codes.

ZIP3 Map

  • I ran a test--I typed 275 into the ZIP3 Map and not all the corresponding zip codes came out (e.g. 27510 and 27514 didn't show up). Oct 30 '15 at 19:53
  • 1
    Just checked, both of those ZIP codes are in the boundary for 275 when you type that in.
    – Maksim
    Oct 30 '15 at 19:56

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