U.S. zip codes were designed in 1963 to tell USPS how to sort your mail — but now they might tell others how you live your life.
Software company Esri's Tapestry Segmentation project has combined U.S. Census demographic data with marketing data to offer a picture how we live — whether you're spending Saturdays in line for the opera or for government assistance, or if you're getting takeout from Chick-fil-A or Whole Foods.
All you have to do is enter your zip code to receive your postal code horoscope. You can also look up zip codes of places you'd like to visit, relocate or expand your business. In an age of big data, there's seemingly no end to what the boundless flows of information can tell us — everything from who we want to sleep with to when we'll discover alien life.
Here's what Esri has to say about a few places in America:
In 89412, the zip code of a rural Nevada town that's so isolated it's the farthest point in the continental U.S. from a McDonald's:
Most of us live in heavily-forested areas of Appalachia, Texas, Arkansas, and other parts of the country. Forestry provides jobs for many of us. We are very conservative politically; religious faith, traditional gender roles, and family history are profound influences. We’re relatively self-sufficient; we grow our own produce and maintain our vehicles…
In 33109, America's richest zip code of Fisher Island, Fla., where the median income is over $1 million:
We’re affluent retirees who live in exclusive communities in warm climates. We worked hard, invested wisely, and now we’re experiencing the payoff. We drive luxury cars or SUVs and donate generously to charities. We contract for home maintenance services so chores don’t interfere with our active social life, trips, golf games and boating….
In 48503, the zip code of Flint, Mich., the U.S. city with the highest murder rate:
We shop for groceries at Walmart supercenters and buy clothes, household items, and sundries at Kmart. We have credit card balances; some have student loans… We play games online and check out dating sites. We trust TV for news and information and we enjoy fast food regularly.
In 99723, the zip code of Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost city in the U.S. that's farther north than the Arctic Circle:
The relative peace of our affluent, family-oriented neighborhoods in the outer suburbs provides welcome relief from our hectic jobs, long commutes, and busy lives with growing children. Any minute we can save is critical, so we’re fans of conveniences such as banking and shopping online and housekeeping services…
Click here to learn more about where you live.