Difference between ZIP Code and Postal Code

Last Updated on October 25, 2019 by Ope Quadri

Sending a parcel abroad or within your country of residence or filling an online form to receive a parcel? You’re likely to see a space for a code, so what’s the difference between ZIP code and postal code?

While ZIP codes are mainly 5-digit in the United States, Postal codes of major cities, towns and cities in Nigeria are 6-digit.

Difference between ZIP Code and Postal Code

For instance, if you’re signing up on PayPal, you will require to input your zip/postal code.

See some of the zip codes for US cities below:

  • 05751 is Killington, Vermont (VT) ZIP code
  • 20001 thru 20020 is for Washington, District of Columbia (DC).
  • 30301 thru 30381 is for Atlanta, Georgia (GA).

Does Canada use ZIP code or postal code?

Canada and USA have lots of thing in common, but it uses Postal code like most of the other countries.

The Canadian postal code is “a six-character string that forms part of a postal address in Canada. Like British, Irish and Dutch postcodes, Canada’s postal codes are alphanumeric.

For instance, M1R0E9 is for Toronto

Meaning of ZIP?

The acronym ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan which is a 5-digit code that identifies a specific geographic delivery area.

It can represent an area within a state (an area that may or may not cross county boundaries), an area that crosses state boundaries (an unusual condition), or a single building or company that has a very high mail volume.

It applies exclusively for use in the United States of America (USA).

What is Postal Code?

In Nigeria, Postal code is a series of letters or digits allocated to the geographical area for the purpose of easy sorting of mail.

For instance, if you’re searching for Abia Postal Code, you could find something like 440231 for Amuzukwu, 440234 for Umuahia Urban I area etc.

How to fill an online form that requests ZIP code

If come across any online form which requires ZIP code, simply fill in your postal code, and vice versa depending what the term you use for such code in your country.

For Nigerians, never fill 234 as your ZIP code or postal code. 234 is Nigeria’s international dialling code.


What’s the difference between Zip Code and Postal?


The two codes are essentially the same in their usage and for the same purpose, however, USA, use the term Zip code while Postal Code is commonly used in Nigeria, Ghana, and many other countries around the world.

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