Postcodes In The United Kingdom
The postal codes used in the United Kingdom are known as postcodes. They are alphanumeric and were introduced by the GPO (Royal Mail) over a 15-year period from 11 October 1959 to 1974. A full postcode is known as a "postcode unit" and usually corresponds to a limited number of addresses or a single large delivery point.
Postcodes have been adopted for a wide range of purposes in addition to aiding the automated sorting of the mail; and are used to calculate insurance premiums, designate destinations in route planning software, form postcode gangs, and are used as the lowest level of aggregation in census enumeration. Postcode data is stored, maintained and periodically updated in the Postcode Address File database, along with the full address data for around 29 million delivery points.
An earlier system of postal districts was implemented in London and other large cities from 1857. In London this system was refined in 1917 to include numbered subdivisions, extending to the other cities in 1934. These earlier districts were later incorporated into the national postcode system.
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