Area code 414 is a telephone area code of the North American Numbering Plan for the area around and including the city of Milwaukee in the state of Wisconsin.
The area code was created in October 1947, along with area code 715, as one of the two original area codes assigned to Wisconsin. The numbering plan area (NPA) originally included most of the southern and northeastern parts of Wisconsin, stretching from Lake Michigan to the Minnesota and Iowa borders. 715, then as now, covered the remaining northwestern part.
The numbering plan area was first split in 1955, when much of the western portion, including Madison, received area code 608. This configuration remained in place until July 26, 1997, when the northern half, including Green Bay and the Fox River Valley, became numbering plan area 920.
The creation of 920 was intended as a long-term solution, but within a year 414 was close to exhaustion once again due to the proliferation of cell phones and pagers. In 1998, the North American Numbering Plan Administration assigned area code 262 as a second area code for southeastern Wisconsin. The initial proposal called for 262 to be an overlay for the 414 territory. However, overlays were a new concept at the time, and met with considerable resistance due to the requirement for ten-digit dialing. As a result, effective September 25, 1999, the new area code was implemented as a geographic split, with nearly all of the old 414 territory outside of Milwaukee County transferring to 262.
Today, area code 414 covers all of Milwaukee County, including the city of Milwaukee. It also serves slivers of Waukesha County, including portions of Muskego and Brookfield, as well as the industrial "Ambrosia triangle" which is within the Milwaukee city limits. The Milwaukee portion of Washington County, mostly an industrial area, also stayed in 414 after the split.
Milwaukee is the center of one of the largest toll-free calling zones in the country. No long-distance charges are applied from one portion of the 414 territory to another; portions of the 262 territory, such as Racine, Waukesha, and Menomonee Falls, are a local call to and from Milwaukee as well. Area code 414 is one of only a few urbanized area codes without an overlay; until 2021, this made Milwaukee one of the largest cities where seven-digit dialing was still possible. Under current projections, it will stay that way for the foreseeable future; the latest projections did not list an exhaust date for 414.
Area code 414 has telephone numbers assigned for the central office code 988. 988 has been designated nationwide as a dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which creates a conflict for exchanges that permit seven-digit dialing. This area code is therefore scheduled to transition to ten-digit dialing, mandatory after October 24, 2021.
The area code gained infamy in 1983, when a gang of six Milwaukee-area teenagers, calling themselves The 414s, broke into several high-profile computer systems across the United States and Canada.
The City of Milwaukee started celebrating Milwaukee Day in 2009. It is celebrated on April 14, or 4-14, in honor of Milwaukee's area code.
The Milwaukee Bucks' new arena, Fiserv Forum, was nicknamed the "Four-One-Forum" by fans in an homage to the area code.