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616 was created in 1947 as one of the original area codes. It originally covered the western half of the Lower Peninsula, as well as the Upper Peninsula. It was the largest area code east of the Mississippi River that didn't cover an entire state. In 1961, the Upper Peninsula split off as area code 906. In 1999, the northwestern Lower Peninsula became area code 231, reducing 616 to cover West Michigan.
The 1999 split was intended to be a long-term solution for the region, but within two years 616 was already running out of numbers due to the proliferation of cell phones and pagers. In 2002, the lower third of the old 616 territory, including Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, became area code 269.
|Michigan area codes: 231, 248, 269, 313, 517, 586, 616, 734, 810, 906, 947, 989|
|West: Lake Michigan, 262, 414||area code 616||East: 517, 989|
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