Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Determining a State from an Area Code.

Determining a State from an Area Code

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 6, 2018)

Steve has phone numbers in column A, such as 3035551212, and would like to be able to look at the first three digits (the area code) and return in column B the state with which that area code is associated. He wonders about the best way to accomplish this.

Excel has many functions that make life easier when you are trying to manipulate data. In this case, using the VLOOKUP function to match the area code to the corresponding state is simple.

Before applying a function to retrieve the information you want, you need to create a simple data table that contains the data you want retrieved. In this table, you need to have the area codes and states in their own columns side-by-side, within your worksheet, sorted by area code. For instance, you might put the area codes in column F and the states for those area codes in column G. The area codes and states can be found on a number of websites, or you can create your own table if you prefer.

Once you've got the data into the two columns, select those columns and create a name for the selected range. (How you create a named range has been covered in other issues of ExcelTips.) For example, you might name the range something like StateCodes. This naming, while not strictly necessary, makes using the lookup formula easier.

Assuming that the phone number is in cell A1 and that you would like the state name returned in the column next to the phone number, in cell B1 you would enter:

=VLOOKUP(VALUE(LEFT(A1,3)),StateCodes,2,FALSE)

The VALUE and LEFT functions are used to pull just the first three characters from the phone number. This is then used in the VLOOKUP formula to find the area code in the StateCodes table. Excel returns the name of the state that corresponds with the area code.

Another way that you can pull out the area code (which is essential for the lookup) is to use the FLOOR function, as shown here:

=VLOOKUP(FLOOR(A1/10000000,1),StateCodes,2,FALSE)

Note that this approach requires that the phone number be stored as a number, so it can be divided by 10,000,000.

The approaches discussed here work great, provided that your phone numbers are always in the specified format (3035551212). If your phone numbers have a different format—perhaps one that uses parentheses and dashes—then the formula won't work and will need to be adjusted to look at where the area code really is in the phone number. If you have phone numbers that are not in a single format, then all bets are off and the task of doing the lookup becomes much, much harder.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8063) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Determining a State from an Area Code.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Grabbing the MRU List

Want to use the list of most recently used files in a macro? You can access it easily by using the technique presented in ...

Discover More

Dealing with Large Numbers of Seconds

When adding values to a time to calculate a new time, you may naturally choose to use the TIME function. This can cause ...

Discover More

Ordering Search and Replace

The wildcard searching available in Word is very powerful. Here's how you can use ordering in your search efforts to make ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Adjusting the VLOOKUP Function

The VLOOKUP function is very powerful, but it will only return values that meet a very limited set of criteria. If you ...

Discover More

Looking Up Names when Key Values are Identical

Need to look up some values based upon some key items that may be identical to each other? Depending on the ...

Discover More

Returning Blanks with VLOOKUP

Normally the VLOOKUP function returns a value, and if it can't return a value it returns a zero. Here's how you can use ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one less than 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.