House Numbering Around The World

Recently, we shared with you how house numbering works here in the United States. When you buy a stylish set of iron house numbers from us, you know those numbers are usually based on the distance from a central baseline or point in your town or city.

The concept of house numbering didn’t really take off until the 18th century in Europe. True to form though, the numbering system is different all across the European continent, and around the world. We’ll look at how a few of our global neighbors do it.

  • In the canal city of Venice, houses are numbered within districts called sestieri. This means that only 6 series exist in the city. Within the cities of Florence and Genoa, numbers for residences are marked in black or blue, while businesses are often assigned red numbers.
  • There are several areas in England, particularly in rural parts, where houses are named but they never receive a number. Intermediate properties usually have a letter attached, such as A, B, and C. Yet some properties have a half number, such as a police station famously located at 20 ½ Camberwell Church Street.
  • Similar to the Venetian sestieri, houses found in South Korea and Japan are located in cities that have numbered zones. The houses inside the zones are numbered according to either the order in which they were built, or clockwise around the block.
  • In Shanghai, a city of high population density, addresses can be numbered by either hao or nong. Hao refers to the numbering of multiple doors, whereas nong identifies a block of buildings.