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Postal Facts 2006

Key Facts

We deliver to every household and business in the United States. Every American has access to our products and services and pays the same postage rate for First-Class® Mail service regardless of geographic location. We:

  • Deliver 212 billion pieces of mail to over 144 million s, businesses and Post Office boxes in virtually every state, city, and town in the country, including Puerto Rico, Guam, the American Virgin Islands and American Samoa.
  • Handle more than 44% of the world's card and letter mail volume — delivering more mail to more addresses and to a larger geographic area than any other postal service in the world.
  • Serve over 7.5 million customers daily at more than 37,000 Post Offices™. And 1,450 of our Post Offices now stay open later.
  • Provide stamps at:
    • More than 27,800 vending machines
    • Nearly 25,400 commercial retail outlets
    • Nearly 15,300 banking and credit union ATMs
    • 2,500 Automated Postal Centers®
  • Have an annual operating revenue of nearly $70 billion.
  • Employ more than 700,000 career employees, who communicate with each other on the world's largest intranet.
  • Pay more than $2 billion in salaries and benefits every 2 weeks.

Did You Know?

  • According to the Cable & Telecommunications Association, 70% of consumers prefer to receive advertisements and promotions via the U.S. Mail.
  • We move mail using most means of transportation: planes, trains, trucks, cars, boats, bicycles, and even mules.
  • When fuel costs rise just one cent, our costs increase $8 million.
  • About 14% of the nation's population moves every year, generating more than 45 million address changes.
  • In 2005, we accepted 4.7 million passport applications — 65% of the total processed by the Department of State.

We receive no tax dollars from the federal government for our operations. We are a self-supporting agency, using the revenue from the sales of postage and postage-related products to pay expenses.

24/7 Access — Quick, Easy, Convenient

Most postal products and services available inside a Post Office are now available online at

  • The Postal Service Web site is one of the most popular government sites, with more than 800,000 people a day visiting
  • The Postal Store ( features postage stamps and stationery, philatelic collectibles and other gift items. In 2005, stamp sales on the Postal Store exceeded $135 million.

And, at your desktop Post Office you can:

  • Order stamps and stamp-related products
  • Order Priority Mail® and Express Mail® boxes and labels at no cost
  • Create and pay for mailing labels with electronic postage with Click-N-Ship®
  • Request free package pick-up by your letter carrier

Look up:

  • ZIP Codes™
  • Post Office locations within a close proximity to a specific address
  • Postage rates

Manage your mail:

  • Change your address
  • Hold your mail while you go on vacation
  • Forward your mail to a temporary location
  • Request that a package you missed be redelivered
  • Get Delivery Confirmation™

Make your own mail:

  • Create customized newsletters, greeting cards, postcards, and flyers and have them mailed the next business day
  • Send a gift card from a variety of retailers
  • Find the resources you need to create a direct mail campaign

The five most utilized areas on our website: (in order of popularity)

  1. Track and Confirm
  2. ZIP Code Lookup
  3. Rate Calculator
  4. Post Office Locator
  5. Click-N-Ship

We're Part of the Community

The U.S. Postal Service® is the most visible and personal of all federal agencies. People know they can trust us. Postal employees are members of the communities they serve and they make significant contributions.

In 2005, 400 employees were recognized as heroes — by risking their own lives to save the lives of the customers they serve.

Semipostal stamps raise money to support worthy causes:

  • As of January 2006, The Breast Cancer Research stamp has raised $48.9 million
  • The Heroes semipostal stamp, sold from June 2002 through December 2004, raised $10.6 million to assist families of emergency relief personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty on 9/11/01
  • As of January 2006, The Stop Family Violence stamp has raised $1.8 million to help victims of these tragedies

Employees pledged nearly $39 million in 2005 to their favorite charities through the Combined Federal Campaign.

Since 1993, the National Association of Letter Carriers has sponsored the nation's largest 1-day food drive. In 2005, a record 71.3 million pounds of food was collected nationwide.

This year, National Dog Bite Prevention Week will be held May 21-27 to build awareness concerning animal attacks.

Working with ADVO to reunite families, the "Have You Seen Me" detached direct-mail card highlights the power of the mail — 138 missing children have been found and returned to their s (as of 12/05).

The U. S. Postal Inspection Service is one of the oldest federal law enforcement agencies. In 2005, the Inspection Service launched "Operation Dialing for Dollars" to shut down fraudulent telemarketers targeting older Americans. The operation resulted in 64 arrests and 64 convictions.

The Postal Service is a recognized leader in efforts to make the world a safer and cleaner place by protecting the environment. We:

  • Generate over $8.5 million in revenue through recycling and waste prevention programs.
  • Recycle 1 million tons of wastepaper, cardboard, plastics, cans and other materials annually.
  • Operate the world's largest fleet of alternative fuel vehicles — more than 30,000 of them — that use clean fuels such as ethanol and electricity.
  • Use recycled products to produce postage stamps and mailing products.

Mail is Big Business

Correspondence & transactions — $36 billion

Business advertising — $18.9 billion

Expedited delivery — $5.5 billion

Publications delivery — $2.2 billion

Standard package delivery — $2.2 billion

International mail — $1.8 billion

The Postal Service is the core of the nation's $900 billion mailing industry, which employs nine million people.

Online at our 24/7 Post Office, you can do most everything you can at your local Post Office.

The U.S. Postal Service is viewed by the American public as the most trusted organization for privacy among all 70 federal departments, agencies, bureaus and other entities examined in the 2006 privacy trust survey conducted by Ponemon Institute.