A World Without the Post Office


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A World Without the Post Office

The U.S. Postal Service, one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the U.S.
Constitution, has seen better days. After a plan by the post office to end most Saturday mail delivery,
a proposed federal budget mandated six-day delivery, despite post office officials’ contention that the
independent federal agency needs to trim costs. With steadily declining revenue, the specter of a world
without the U.S. Postal Service becomes more plausible each year.

The Size and Reach of the Post Office:


Postal Service-managed retail offices


Vehicles, one of the largest civilian fleets in the world

1.3 billion

Miles driven each year by letter carriers and truck drivers


World’s mail volume handled by the Postal Service

8 million



Pieces of mail processed every day

$65 billion

2012 revenue

$1.8 billion

Salaries and benefits paid every two weeks

423 million

Annual visits to

5.7 million

Passport applications accepted every year


Tax dollars received for operations

152 million

Total delivery points

Blame It on Gmail? Mail Volume Falls

With easy, free access to email, and thus email marketing, the demand for mail has fallen over the past

2 in 3

Americans have access to email; that is expected to rise to 72% by 2017

More Than Mail: Our Love Affair With Stamps

The fare for sending a letter—the stamp—is a huge part of U.S. culture. We celebrate with holiday-
themed stamps; we raise money with charity stamps; and we collect old stamps, well, because they’re


Stamps sold slightly above the cost of a regular stamp, semi-postal stamps raise funds for causes
identified by Congress.

Commemorative Stamps

The post office has released dozens of commemorative stamps over the years, whether related to
music, entertainment or Americana. Here are the most collected commemorative stamps.


U.S. Postal Service