Number of Stamped Cards and Postcards Sent via First-Class Mail, 1926 to 2010


Postal Service-issued cards imprinted with stamps, called “postal cards” prior to 1999 and now “stamped cards,” were first issued in 1873.  Privately manufactured mailing cards, called postcards, were used as early as 1870, but initially required the same postage as a letter.  A special rate for postcards came in 1898.  An Act of February 28, 1925, authorized the Postmaster General to account annually for revenues and costs associated with different types of mail; annual analyses, with detailed estimates of mail volume, are available beginning in 1926.  Presorted postcards have been listed as a separate category since 1977.  (Large-volume mailers presort postcards to qualify for discounted postage rates.)  Since 1997, stamped cards and postcards sent individually by mailers have been counted together as “single-piece cards.” 

Fiscal Year

Stamped Cards

Postcards

 Presorted Postcards

1926

1,323,000,000

206,000,000

 

1927

1,422,000,000

184,000,000

 

1928

1,507,000,000

172,000,000

 

1929

1,417,000,000

283,000,000

 

1930

1,325,000,000

298,000,000

 

1931

1,322,000,000

278,000,000

 

1932

1,188,000,000

260,000,000

 

1933

1,200,000,000

253,000,000

 

1934

1,328,000,000

309,000,000

 

1935

1,495,000,000

295,000,000

 

1936

1,622,000,000

367,000,000

 

1937

1,736,000,000

448,000,000

 

1938

1,877,000,000

468,000,000

 

1939

1,887,000,000

464,000,000

 

1940

1,953,000,000

525,000,000

 

1941

2,107,000,000

633,000,000

 

1942

2,083,000,000

595,000,000

 

1943

--

--

 

1944

1,895,000,000

614,000,000

 

1945

2,093,000,000

612,000,000

 

1946

2,304,000,000

685,000,000

 

1947

2,620,000,000

713,000,000

 

1948

2,828,000,000

773,000,000

 

1949

3,187,000,000

866,000,000

 

1950

3,438,000,000

976,000,000

 

1951

3,434,000,000

1,073,000,000

 

1952

2,898,000,000

1,148,000,000

 

1953

2,206,000,000

1,176,000,000

 

1954

2,077,000,000

1,177,000,000

 

1955

2,120,000,000

1,163,000,000

 

1956

2,049,000,000

1,229,000,000

 

1957

2,080,000,000

1,195,000,000

 

1958

2,101,000,000

1,135,000,000

 

1959

1,746,000,000

1,145,000,000

 

1960

1,502,000,000

1,140,000,000

 

1961

1,356,000,000

1,114,000,000

 

1962

1,324,000,000

1,172,000,000

 

1963

1,307,000,000

1,225,000,000

 

1964

1,226,000,000

1,382,000,000

 

1965

1,095,000,000

1,284,000,000

 

1966

1,058,000,000

1,225,000,000

 

1967

1,078,184,000

1,500,514,000

 

1968

867,491,000

1,494,144,000

 

1969

801,730,000

1,589,858,000

 

1970

798,483,000

1,569,263,000

 

1971

714,304,000

1,709,006,000

 

1972

572,192,000

1,646,070,000

 

1973

605,633,000

1,646,825,000

 

1974

565,994,000

1,728,145,000

 

1975

488,367,000

1,627,228,000

 

1976

495,346,000

1,645,133,000

 

1977

392,390,000

1,562,961,000

393,581,000

1978

343,133,000

1,525,744,000

507,684,000

1979

  333,055,000

1,589,868,000

397,433,000

1980

334,384,000

1,488,934,000

559,131,000

1981

296,851,000

1,563,640,000

595,306,000

1982

348,924,000

1,601,073,000

568,549,000

1983

483,440,000

1,656,390,000

696,777,000

1984

340,442,000

1,799,817,000

710,485,000

1985

347,819,000

2,007,984,000

607,430,000

1986

353,710,000

2,024,326,000

811,496,000

1987

372,667,000

2,119,152,000

838,278,000

1988

506,467,000

2,578,765,000

1,086,563,000

1989

539,415,000

2,434,535,000

1,231,611,000

1990

482,812,000

2,824,264,000

1,590,187,000

1991

497,081,000

2,560,724,000

2,070,419,000

1992

609,834,000

2,506,719,000

1,469,650,000

1993

535,208,000

2,378,412,000

1,401,376,000

1994

437,908,000

2,561,614,000

1,768,583,000

1995

440,529,000

2,576,651,000

1,934,292,000

1996

454,006,000

2,598,099,000

1,956,017,000

Fiscal Year

Stamped Cards and Postcards

Presorted Postcards

1997

3,003,755,000

2,353,333,000

1998

2,971,751,000

2,555,124,000

1999

2,850,770,000

2,442,946,000

2000

2,719,298,000

2,761,407,000

2001

2,653,454,000

2,842,078,000

2002

2,669,202,000

2,798,088,000

2003

2,551,592,000

2,661,507,000

2004

2,525,931,000

2,904,901,000

2005

2,521,714,000

3,107,701,000

2006

2,295,825,000

3,386,571,000

2007

2,141,488,000

3,656,291,000

2008

1,845,860,000

3,555,997,000

2009

1,616,231,000

2,944,297,000

2010

1,436,994,000

2,931,565,000

HISTORIAN
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE
JANUARY 2011