Introduction to Postal Facts

United States Postal Service - March 14, 2024

The United States Postal Service has a storied history, familiar to many. It began with the Second Continental Congress and Benjamin Franklin in 1775. It continued when the U.S. Constitution empowered Congress to establish Post Offices and post roads in 1787. Congress exercised those powers with the passage of the Post Office Act of 1792, which made postal services a permanent fixture of the federal government.

The act included provisions to facilitate freedom of the press, ensure the privacy of personal correspondence, and expand the nation’s physical infrastructure, all vital to the nation’s growth and prosperity. These principles and objectives endure. While email, the internet and social channels have forever altered information-gathering habits, postal correspondence remains a highly secure and resilient form of communication, providing the American people with a delivery infrastructure vital to national security.

The Postal Service’s status is unique: It is an independent agency of the executive branch, yet it is required to operate like a business. It generally does not receive tax revenues to support its operations and must compete for customers. The success of the Postal Service depends on a culture of operational precision, world-class performance, outstanding service and innovation.

The Postal Service retains the largest physical and logistical infrastructure of any non-military government institution, providing an indispensable foundation supporting an ever-changing and evolving nationwide communication network.

The Postal Service delivers more mail and packages than any other post in the world. We serve nearly 167 million addresses in this country — covering every state, city and town. Everyone living in the United States and its territories has access to postal products and services and pays the same for a First-Class Mail postage stamp, regardless of location.

We make the connections with friends and families and businesses and customers. We deliver to every community in America, from the biggest cities to the smallest villages. This is our public service mandate — to bind the nation together by providing secure, reliable, affordable delivery of mail and packages. It’s what we do!