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Why Is There A +1 In Front Of Phone Numbers? – Quick Guide  

Phone Numbers 

Ever wondered why there’s a “+1” sitting smugly before certain phone numbers? Curiosity piqued, isn’t it?

This simple symbol carries a world of information in the realm of telecommunications. Join us as we decode the mystery behind this tiny but mighty character.

In a hurry? We care about your time, so here’s a quick answer to the question you’re looking for!

The “+1” prefix in front of phone numbers indicates the country code for the United States and Canada. When dialing internationally, each country is identified by a unique code. For example, the United Kingdom’s code is “+44” and Australia’s is “+61”. The “+1” simply signifies you’re dialing a number in the US or Canada.

What Does a +1 Mean in Front of a Phone Number?   

If there is a +1 before a phone number, it indicates the country code of the person calling you. Since there are many phone numbers globally, these country codes make it easier to identify what part of the world you’re receiving a call from.

The U.S.A., Canada, the Caribbean, and some U.S.U.S. territories in the Pacific all share the +1 dial code. The +1 code only extends to some North American countries starting from Mexico and far into the south.  

The ‘+’ symbol signifies an international dialing format peculiar to all countries. For example, the U.K.U.K. has ‘+44’ as their international dial code, while Spain has ‘+34’ before the actual phone numbers for the subscriber.

Having a country dial code means before you can complete an international call from any other region to America, you must insert the +1 code to enable the proper routing of the telecommunication lines involved.  

What Is the Purpose of a Country Code in a Phone Number?  

Phone Numbers 

Early 1960s international calling codes. Africa uses 2, Europe 2, and the U.S.U.S. 1.   

Typically, international telephone routing systems use country codes, allowing people on various continents and countries to converse with one another.

You must use a phone number to connect the communication stream between you and the person you want to reach.  

Global phone communication is an extensive and complex system. Therefore, phone codes must be unique to create distinct codes for users.   

A subscriber’s number capable of handling global phone communication requires country codes, area codes, and a seven-digit number.

The U.S. uses 11-digit phone numbers. It has a 1-digit country code, 3-digit area code, and 7-digit phone number.   

Country Codes Regulation  

The 1865-founded global telecommunications body in Switzerland manages country codes. Allows all countries that connect to international telecommunication lines and networks to properly connect calls back and forth to the people spread across the rest of the globe.  

The International Telecommunication Union to connect telegraph lines. After the onset of telephone communication, which replaced telegraphs, the I.T.U. She gained control of the transition and moderation of phone lines.  

The International Telecommunication Union also generated the International Subscriber Dialing.

The subscriber dialing system allows individual communication between two or more subscribers without involving an operator whose job is to connect phone calls.

In other words, this system enables contact with persons in other countries through direct telecommunication.  

When Should You Use Country Codes?  

Knowing country codes is worth your time if you often make international phone calls. But what is more impressive is learning when to use these dialing codes. When do you need to add a country code when making a phone call?  

Regardless of location, you must use the country code as long as you are trying to communicate with someone living in an area with a different area code.

The telecommunication system can quickly route and connect your phone call.  

However, thanks to technology, you can dial only the area code and phone number while the system automatically corrects the number format. 

How You Can Use Country Codes  

Phone Numbers 

It may seem unfamiliar if you have never had to put a call through to another country before. You should add the exit code to make a phone call between countries.

If you do not include an exit code, the system will assume you are placing a call within the same country.  

First, you must dial the exit code to use a country code. For U.S.A. and Canada, the exit code is 011.

After which, dial the country code and then the seven-digit numbers or the various numbers used in some countries.

Putting all of these together will make it a very long phone number. However, it will enable the system to connect the call.  

Let’s see another example. For instance, you will not need an exit code when you place a call between the U.S.U.S. and Canada.

A country code will still be required, but not an exit code, and this is because the call is within the +1 country code region.  

What Are Area Codes?  

We know you might start to mix up country codes with area codes, and here is a brief explanation.  

The N.A.N.P. divides the country into N.P.A.s (Numbering Plan Areas), each with its unique 3-digit phone number prefix encrypted using an exponential function.

In other words, area codes are 3-digit numbers that show a specific telephone service in a geographic zone.

Combining an area code and the phone number is a destination routing direction in a public switched telephone network (PSTN).  

Why Does North America Use +1 in Front of a Phone Number? 

 Phone Number

You will discover the country code +1 in North America in front of a phone number because in the same telecommunications region as the U.S.A.

Also, smartphones bought in that region retain the country code taken to other continents and countries. In such situations, the user may need to unlock the phone to allow it to recognize other country codes.

North American developers designated their area as +1, which has stayed the same since then. And sometimes, their phones retain the regulation.  

How to Find the Right Country Code  

When you want to make an international call, search for the region’s country and exit codes.

However, if you need help getting the country code of the area you want to place a call, click here for a comprehensive list.  

After following the directions we have given you above, you will be fine when you need to call any number in the world on the international system. 

Remember that some countries do not connect their lines to global systems. Some locations or numbers can be private or unattainable from specific dialer sites.  

The whole system is quite complex, but as long as you know the number you want to call, then there’s a high probability that you can reach that subscriber if you use the correct country code.  

How You Can Remove +1 From Your Contacts Phone Number  

Sometimes, you may want to remove the +1 country code from phone numbers on your contact list. Follow the outlined steps.  

  • Go to your phone and open the contacts app
  • Go to your call settings  
  • uncheck add country code or show location  

Please note this process may vary among different smartphones. So, you can search for country code from settings to find the option to remove +1 from your saved phone contacts.  

You can also remove them manually by physically editing the contacts one after the other. However, this may be time-consuming and exhausting if you have a long contact list.   


Using a country code while making a call means adding the recipient’s international dialing code to communicate with them across the miles. The +1 indicates that the phone number is in a global dialing format.

‘1’ means you’re calling a subscriber in the U.S.A., Canada, and other Caribbean nations. When dialing numbers outside America, enter ‘+1’ before the 10-digit U.S.A. number.  

You can remove country codes from the beginning of your contact phone number by physically editing the contacts one after the other or editing them by going to the phone’s settings.

Finally, please check the link in the article to know the country codes for different countries.

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