Postal Facts - U.S. Postal Service
The U.S. Postal Service upholds its promise to deliver the nation’s Election Mail securely and on time, consistent with the organization’s non-partisan public service mission.
46% of the world's mail
Global. The Postal Service processes and delivers 46 percent of the world’s mail and is constantly innovating to make customer experiences better.
service men and women
Honoring service men and women. The Postal Service proudly partners with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide burial flags to families of deceased veterans. In 2021, the Postal Service provided 452,000 flags.
unstaffed Post Office
One of a kind. There is a 24-hour, unstaffed, self-service Post Office in Northern Virginia that allows customers to conduct most shipping and mailing transactions quickly and easily themselves. The Self-Service Post Office provides round-the-clock accessibility to PO Boxes, as well as self-service kiosks and an automated package drop. In 2021, more than 9,000 customers took advantage of this convenient office.
John Prine, singer and songwriter, was a letter carrier in Maywood, IL, 1964-1969.
National Postal Museum Opens
In 1993, the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum opened. This museum is dedicated to the preservation, study and presentation of postal history and philately.
mail pieces processed daily
The Postal Service processed and delivered an average of 425.3M mail pieces daily in 2021.
in the Postal Service
Each day the Postal Service picks up, processes and delivers millions of letters and packages. No single operation in the world comes close to this level of connectivity for so many households and businesses.
The Enhanced Package Processing System (EPPS), sorts 25,000 packages per hour.
delivery unit sorter
The Automated Delivery Unit Sorter (ADUS) automates the sorting of smaller packages - up to 30 pounds - at a rate of 3,400 pieces per hour with a sort accuracy of 99.95 percent.
Located in Maryland, the Bolger Center is a premier leadership development and conference center servicing both Postal Service and external clients.
It is the only hotel in the country featuring an on-site Smithsonian Institution exhibit.
Link, a daily news site for Postal Service employees, is available on any computer with internet access. The content is produced by a team of writers and editors based at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. Additional contributions come from postal employees across the nation.
The site is updated with new articles, photos, graphics and videos each weekday.
The U.S. Postal Service Headquarters building is located in Southwest Washington, D.C., just a few blocks south of the National Mall.
An Act of Congress of March 3, 1863, effective July 1, 1863, provided that free city delivery be established at Post Offices where income from local postage was more than sufficient to pay all expenses of the service. For the first time, Americans had to put street addresses on their letters.
On an autumn day in 1888, a shaggy pup took his first steps toward becoming a postal legend when he crept into the Albany, New York, Post Office. Postal employees allowed him to stay and named him Owney.
On May 7, 1833, 24-year-old Abraham Lincoln was appointed Postmaster of New Salem, Illinois. Lincoln served until the office was closed May 30, 1836.
Ship Ahoy! The JW Westcott is a 45-foot contract mail boat out of Detroit that delivers mail to passing ships on the Detroit River. The JW Westcott has its own ZIP Code — 48222.
with walk-in freezers
The Peach Springs, AZ, Post Office has walk-in freezers for food destined for delivery by mule train to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
No troglodytes here! The Stamp Fulfillment Service facility, located in Kansas City, MO, is located in a limestone cave 150 feet beneath the ground. It is the Postal Service’s only facility located underground.
Mr. ZIP, who has no first name, appeared in many public service announcements and advertisements urging postal customers to use the five-digit ZIP Code that was initiated on July 1, 1963. Within four years of his appearance, eight out of ten Americans knew who Mr. ZIP was and what he stood for.
launched internet site
The Postal Service launched its first public internet site in 1994.
1847 - U.S. postage stamps issued
1775 - Benjamin Franklin appointed first Postmaster General by the Continental Congress
#PostalProud recognizes employees for the work they do every day. It provides individuals at every level of the organization with an opportunity to share why they are proud to be a postal employee. More than 2,500 employees in 372 unique jobs have been recognized since its inception in 2018.
Label Broker. This service is easy! It solves the ever-increasing problem of customers conducting business online and not being able to print shipping labels. With Label Broker, customers can get a shipping label on their mobile device, in the form of a QR code, directly from the merchant.
pounds of batteries
The Postal Service recycled 54,000 pounds of small lead-acid and dry cell batteries, including lithium-ion batteries, which are found in cellphones, laptops, scanners and other small electronics.
gallons of oil recycled
In 2021, the Postal Service recycled 361,000 gallons of used oil — equivalent to saving more than 15 million gallons of crude oil.
bicycle delivery routes
The Postal Service delivers mail by bicycle on 50 routes in Arizona and Florida -- reducing emissions, saving fuel and the carriers can ride a bike all day!
The price of a First-Class postage stamp is a global bargain.
The Postal Service is one of 37 members of the .POST Group. The UPU’s .POST Group, created in 2013, is a trusted internet domain, established exclusively for the global postal sector and sponsored by the UPU.
The Postal Service is a member of the Express Mail Service (EMS) Cooperative. The EMS Cooperative was created by the UPU in 1999 to get the more than 180-member countries to work together to provide EMS – the fastest cross-border international postal product.
The Postal Service is one of 11 members of the Kahala Post Group (KPG).
The Postal Service is one of 25 members of the International Post Corporation (IPC). The IPC is a cooperative association of posts in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
The Postal Service is a member of the Universal Postal Union (UPU).
The Postal Service sends 3.3 million pounds of international, military, and diplomatic mail and packages weekly, using 70 international airlines, composed of 11 US flag carriers and 19 foreign flag carriers, and their affiliates.
International Mail is a $2.2 billion business for the Postal Service.
The Postal Service is worldwide, shipping to many countries and working closely with other posts to improve service and increase its annual share of the international shipping market at the same time.
The Postal Service workforce remains one of the most diverse organizations in the nation. Our pride in serving the American public is a common thread that unites us.
The first female Postmaster General was Megan J. Brennan, Washington, DC, 2015.
African American on stamp
The first African American on a stamp was Booker T. Washington, 1940.
miles driven in 2021
To move mail using surface transportation, the Postal Service drove more than 2.07 billion miles in 2021 — more than 45,000 trips in more than 25,000 box trucks and tractor-trailers daily.
Native American on a stamp
The first Native American on a stamp was Pocahontas, 1907.
Hispanic American on a stamp
The first Hispanic American on a stamp was Adm. David Farragut, 1903.
external email messages
In 2021, the Postal Service email gateway system delivered more than 5 billion external email messages annually to postal customers and business partners. The majority of these were automated messages from Informed Delivery, Click-N-Ship and Package Tracking applications.
African American Inspector
The first known African American postal inspector was Isaac Myers, Baltimore, MD, 1870.
emails blocked monthly
More than 38 million emails received from external senders were blocked monthly in 2021 to ensure the safety of the Postal network.
woman on a stamp
The first American woman on a U.S. postage stamp was Martha Washington, 1902.
African American Carrier
The first known African American mail carrier was James B. Christian, Richmond, VA, 1869.
African American Postmaster
The first known African American Postmaster was James W. Mason, Sunny Side, AR, 1867.
petabytes of storage
The Postal Service has 92.5 petabytes of storage capacity — equivalent to playing more than 234,177 years of songs on an MP3 player, with no repeats.
female mail carrier
The first known female mail carrier was Sarah Black, mail messenger, Charlestown, MD, 1845.
The first known female Postmaster in the United Colonies was Mary Katherine Goddard, Baltimore, MD, 1775.
More information about the Postal Service can be found in The United States Postal Service: An American History at about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/welcome.htm
African American Postmasters
African Americans worked as Postmasters, clerks and carriers beginning in the 1860s — 100 years before the Civil Rights era brought wider opportunity in the American workplace.
Women served as Postmasters in this country more than a century before they won the right to vote.
Hunger Food Drive
Every year, the Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers hold the largest one-day food drive in the nation. In 2021, the food drive was cancelled due to the coronavirus. Customers were encouraged to take food to local food banks and pantries. The program has collected more than 1.7 billion pounds of food since the campaign began in 1993.
Thousands of carriers deliver to homes with dogs every day. The Postal Service promotes safety initiatives and shares prevention tips to protect employees and customers from dog bites. In 2021, 5,448 employees were attacked by dogs while delivering the U.S. Mail.
As one of the few points of human contact for some home-bound customers, letter carriers are particularly attuned to signs that could indicate an accident or illness. If carriers notice something unusual, such as uncollected mail, at an at-risk customer’s home, the employee will alert emergency personnel. Carrier Alert began in 1982.
murals and sculptures
More than 1,400 murals and/or sculptures from President Roosevelt’s New Deal Programs are in our Post Offices around the nation.
The U.S. Postal Service delivers more mail than any other post in the world. The Postal Service serves 163.1 million addresses in the 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.
There are 31,247 Postal Service-managed retail offices. This number does not include contract offices.
Power, MT (59468), built in 2019. This is the first Post Office built using shipping containers.
The Postal Service leased 22,986 properties in 2021.
The Postal Service owns 8,460 properties around the country.
The Postal Service is the original social network, but that doesn't mean we aren't represented on the others. You can find the Postal Service on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Veterans. The Postal Service employs nearly 68,000 military veterans, making it one of the largest employers of veterans in the country. The organization has also issued more than 140 stamps honoring the nation’s military history, including the Service Cross Medals stamps.
The Postal Service uses data not only to ensure its operations run smoothly, but also to help businesses make better use of the mail. Its mission is to provide the right information to the right people in real time using advanced technology.
The Postal Service uses a vast network of people and advanced technologies to collect, process, transport and accurately deliver the nation’s mail in an increasingly digital world.
The Postal Service invests more than $600 million in training its workforce. The organization encourages employees to take advantage of self-paced career development by offering 24,000 online courses and 28 educational partnerships offering discounts towards degree and certification programs.
The Postal Service has a long and storied history of creating new technologies for the American people — enabling faster, more efficient communication and safer, more secure delivery of correspondence and merchandise. For nearly two-and-a-half centuries, it has adapted to meet the evolving needs of its customers.
As an independent establishment of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, the Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund its operations.
With more than 34,000 retail locations, more than 12 million daily visits on usps.com and delivering to 150.4 million residences and 12.8 million businesses at least 6 days a week, the Postal Service is committed to providing a positive customer experience.
Everyone living in the United States and its territories (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and N. Mariana Islands) has access to postal products and services and pays the same for a First-Class Mail postage stamp regardless of the sender’s location.
Patently the best. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued more than 500 patents to the United States Postal Service.
Leaving a mark! The Postal Service has 385 domestic and 1,000 foreign trademark registrations.
The Postal Service owns 1,884 internet domains
We keep running and running. The Postal Service purchased 76,000 vehicle batteries in 2021.
Better to see you with! The Postal Service ordered 527,000 wiper blades in 2021.
The Postal Service moves mail by planes, hovercraft, trains, trucks, cars, boats, ferries, helicopters, subways, bicycles, mules and feet. #WeDeliverForYou
There is a 24-hour, unstaffed, self-service Post Office in Northern Virginia that allows customers to conduct most shipping and mailing transactions quickly and easily themselves. The Self-Service Post Office provides round-the-clock accessibility to PO Boxes, as well as self-service kiosks and an automated package drop.
Post Offices were first required to display the American flag in 1885 to comply with Treasury Department instructions. On Nov. 7, 2019, Post Offices were required to fly the Prisoner of War (POW)-Missing In Action (MIA) flag on the same days that the American flag is flown.
The history of the Postal Service is a large story set on a broad canvas. It is intertwined with the history of America, and it provides a lens from which to observe the evolution of the United States. This story is told beautifully in The United States Postal Service: An American History (also known as Pub. 100).
On time. Every time. The Postal Bulletin, a nationally distributed biweekly publication, serves as a source for official policy, procedure updates and departmental news for all USPS functions. It has never missed a deadline since its inception in 1880.
billion operating revenue
The Postal Service had $77 billion in operating revenue in 2021
billion mail volume
Total mail volume in 2021 was 128.9 billion.
First-Class Mail volume
First-Class Mail volume in 2021 was 50.7 billion pieces.
First-Class single piece
In 2021, the Postal Service recorded 13.9 billion First-Class single piece mail volume.
retail office revenue
In 2021, the Postal Service had $10.5 billion in postal-managed retail office revenue.
The Postal Service has 233,171 delivery routes across the United States in an effort to reach every single person living in the country.
The Eagle Logo, the trade dress of USPS packaging, the Letter Carrier Uniform and the Postal Truck and the following marks are among the many trademarks owned by the United States Postal Service: Click-N-Ship®, Deliver The Win®, EDDM®, ePostage®, Every Door Direct Mail®, Express Mail®, First-Class™, First-Class Mail®, First-Class Package International Service®, Forever®, Global Express Guaranteed®, IMb®, Informed Delivery®, Intelligent Mail®, Label Broker™, Parcel Select®, P.O. Box™, Post Office®, Pony Express®, Postal Inspection Service™, PostalOne!®, Postal Police®, PostalProud®, Priority Mail Express International®, Priority Mail Flat Rate®, Priority Mail International®, Priority: You®, Registered Mail™, Standard Mail®, The Postal Store®, United States Postal Inspection Service®, United States Postal Service®, U.S. Mail®, U.S. Postal Inspector™, U.S. Postal Service®, USPS®, USPS BlueEarth®, USPS Mobile®, USPS Operation Santa®, USPS Tracking®, usps.com®, We are people delivering to people™, ZIP+4® and ZIP Code™. This is not a comprehensive list of all Postal Service trademarks.
Dollar General®, Forest Stewardship Council®, McDonald’s®, National Dog Bite Prevention Week®, Starbucks®, Subway®, Sustainable Forestry Initiative®, The Climate Registry®.
Postal Facts 2022 provides the public with information about the U.S. Postal Service. The facts in this publication may be reproduced for the purpose of stating the fact itself, and in a business, informational or academic context and the like, and in the body of text discussing factual subject matter relevant to the fact being presented. However, these facts may become outdated after publication and seeking the latest information is advised.
Produced by U.S. Postal Service Corporate Communications
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