Household diary

The Household Diary Study (HDS) is a multi-year research study funded by the United States Postal Service. The study surveys a representative sample of over 5,200 households each year (on a government fiscal year basis) to provide a comprehensive and continuous description of the mail originating and destinating in American households.

The study has been ongoing since 1987 and the findings are reported in a report titled "The Household Diary Study". Householders volunteering to participate in the survey are first administered a recruitment questionnaire and then asked to keep a week-long record or "diary" of the mail sent from and received at their residences. Information gathered includes mail class and contents, mail flow between mailing sectors (Household-to-Household, Household-to-Nonhousehold, Nonhousehold-to-Household and Nonhousehold-to-Nonhousehold) and by industry. In addition, the report provides information on household attitudes toward the mail as well as household demographics.

Reports are available on the website of the Postal Regulatory Commission.


If you have any questions about the Household Diary Study, please send them to