US - street numbers

I know you didn’t ask about Canada, but I wanted to mention that in Vancouver, the numbers go to the next hundred in each block. So, one block will have 600’s, the next will have 700’s, and so on. You’ll find numbers in the thousands along streets that go east-west, especially as they move away from Main St., both heading east and west.

I love that system because it’s easy to figure out where places are. If you need to go to, say, 700 West Broadway, you know it will be 7 blocks away from Main St.


In the cities a long street is divided by “blocks” the 100 block, the next block would be the 200 block and so forth. This is so normal for me. I find it easier for directions. Also easier to think if I am on the 100 block and the store I want is 502, then I already know I have to walk five blocks to get there.

My street starts at 401. Hmm, I wonder why!!! My little cul de sac only has seven houses.

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As others have mentioned, streets are numbered starting from an arbitrary central point, and then the numbers increase the farther North, South, East, and West you are from that center. In my city, Avenues go North-South, and Streets go East-West.

When I lived in a small town, my address had 2, 3, or 4 digits. Now I’m in a large city my address is 6 digits.

In my hometown, the last two digits indicate the house number, and the first one or two indicate the block number. Additionally, house numbers on the north side of the street end with an odd number, and those on the south side with an even number.
For example, with my house number (961), one can tell that my house is on the 9th block from the city center, and on the north side of the street.
Urban addresses usually have three or four digits, while rural ones usually have five. I don’t know the methodology there.

On a related note, this reminds me of part of my trip from hell to India. We arrived at the Chennai airport very late at night, giving the hotel’s street address to the taxi driver. A frustrating evening was had by all when the driver arrived at what he thought was the correct address, with no sign of any hotel nearby. There weren’t too many people to ask at that very late hour, but eventually we were told that the numbering system starts over again beyond the city limits, where are hotel was actually located just beyond there.

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I also live in rural United States. Growing up, addresses were like you said. Route 4 Box 256 was mine to be exact. They introduced “fire numbers” I want to say in the early 2000s(?) to lessen confusion for firefighters, police, etc. The same house I grew up in now has a number that is 5 digits long.


I live in a rural town. My house number is 125. The houses on either side are 117 and 131. I know it has something to do with lot number and acreage between houses, but I couldn’t tell you what.