How Many Phone Numbers are there in the World?

By John Adebimitan

Have you ever looked at people glued to their mobile phones all around you and wondered how many phone numbers there are in the world?  The answer to this question isn’t so straightforward because of factors that influence these numbers daily.

How Many Phone Numbers are there in the World?

There are about 7 billion mobile phones in the world according to statista.com, thus there should be at least that many phone numbers, and including landlines and other special numbers, there are about 8 billion phone numbers with China, India, and Indonesia leading respectively. You should also keep in mind that these are only active ones. Moreover, some phones are double sim activated and let you use two SIM cards at the same time.

So, when you think of how many phone numbers are there in the world, you can’t say, because there are so many variables, but it should be over 8 billion according to statista.com.  A mobile phone is owned by 62.9 percent of the world’s population.

How Many Phone Numbers are there Per Area Code?

The answer to this is dependent on where you are in the world. While it might be difficult to know exactly how many phone numbers are there in the world, the number of phone numbers per area code can still be determined. There are theoretically 9,999,999 options if you’re talking about the American numbering system with an area code plus seven digits. Certain number combinations, on the other hand, would be excluded. For example, the subscriber number is unlikely, to begin with, 0, therefore 1,000,000 possibilities are ruled out. Other number combinations, such as 1234567, 9876543, and so on, are also possible.

Normal phone numbers are denoted by the letters NXX-XXXX (ie: 555-1234) where N represents any digit from 2 to 9, while X represents any digit from 0 to 9. There are 792 prefixes or “NXX” codes for each area code which means there are 10,000 potential numbers for each NXX. As a result, each area code has a potential capacity of 7,920,000 phone numbers. Although, in practice, not all of the phone numbers are used because carriers require test numbers and other codes.

Read also: Getting “This Phone Number Cannot Be Used for Verification”? Best Options

How Many 10-digit Phone Numbers are Possible?

There are 10 billion possible numbers. Let’s start with the most basic scenario. You have 10n potential phone numbers if you consider an n-digit phone number. Why? This is because you have the numbers 0 through 9, or ten possible possibilities if you have a one-digit number.

If you have a two-digit phone number, the first digit can be any number from 0 to 9; for each of those, there is a second digit that can be any number from 0 to 9, giving you a total of ten possible numbers (a hundred possible numbers).

Then, if you have a three-digit phone number, the first and second digits each have 100 possible values, and the third digit has ten, giving you a total of 1000 possible numbers.

So, after we reach the tenth digit, we have a total of 1010 numbers to choose from. What is the value of 1010? It’s 10’000’000’000, or 10 billion, as many people refer to it.

How Many Phone Numbers are there in the UK?

In the UK, there are currently around 95 million numbers assigned to mobile phone providers while there are about 33 million numbers for fixed-line according to statista.com as of December 2021, and the desire to recycle old numbers means that new numbers are being added to the ever-growing number.

Read also: How to Lookup and Find Someone’s Name by Cell Phone Number For Free

How Many Phone Numbers are there in the US?

There are 293 valid area codes in the United States, according to allareacodes.com. This puts the total number of possible phone numbers at 2.93 billion right now, because, In the United States, there are 10,000,000,000 (10 billion) potential digits for each space in a 10-digit phone number. However, keep in mind that new area codes are added as needed so it changes often.

The only entities that know how many active numbers they have are telecom service providers. In a procedure known as Numbering Resource Utilization Forecasting, all service providers report this to the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) twice a year (NRUF). The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) aggregates the data and produces a report after receiving these reports from NANPA. The detailed data is never disclosed since it is considered competitively sensitive.

Conclusion

To recap, how many phone numbers are there in the world? There is no definite number for this but it is estimated to be about 8 billion phone numbers, although there could be changes as often as the population grows or more people can afford phones.

About The Author