The Postal Service By The Numbers

Now we may be biased—since there is a good chance that the magazine you are holding in your hands came to you in a parcel delivered by a postal carrier—but we think the USPS is the shit.

Some folks might use words like “indispensable” “lifeblood” of a “thriving” “democracy,” but our Scrabble scores don’t hit those triple word heights like that. We thought it might be easier to show you a bit of what the true blue postal service accomplishes every day. Cliff Clavin, take it away.

Illustrations by Alex Balosie
All facts courtesy of USPS

The USPS delivers 472.1 million pieces of mail a day. On average, the Postal Service processes 19.7 million mailpieces each hour, 327,838 each minute and 5,464 each second.

The Postal Service uses more than 141,900 blue collection boxes and (last we checked at least) if they were placed side-by-side, they would stretch for 58 miles.

Bon voyage. In 2019, more than 6.6 million passport applications were accepted at Post Offices.

Forty-eight percent of the world’s mail volume is handled by the Postal Service.

USPS employees traveled 1.34 billion miles to deliver your mail, equivalent to 53,640 laps around Earth, 5,305 trips to the moon or about 15 trips to the sun. Offer that letter carrier a lemonade next time.

About 500,000 people work for the USPS in career positions.

Doggone it: in 2019, 5,777 dog attacks on postal workers were recorded.

Zero tax dollars used. Not a single tax dollar is used by The Postal Service for operating expenses. It relies only on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Nearly 7,000 carriers deliver mail entirely on foot—the USPS Fleet of Feet. Reducing emissions and saving fuel, mail is delivered by bicycle on select routes in Arizona and Florida.

Priority Mail boxes (which are free to use, by the way) meet Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Forest Stewardship Council certification standards. Means the boxes include 30-percent recycled content and the paper for those boxes comes from well-managed forests.

One of the largest employers of veterans in the country, The Postal Service employs more than 97,000 military veterans.

Regardless of geographic location, for 55 cents, anyone can send a letter to anywhere in the United States.

In 1971, the Postal Inspection Service became one of the first federal law enforcement organizations to hire female agents.

With more than 200 miles of conveyors within postal facilities, the Postal Service is one of the largest material-handling systems in the world for moving mail.