Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Price of Communication: Historical Costs of First Class Stamps

According to the US Postal Service, the total number of pieces of mail has declined by more than 20% since 2007. While as many as 212 BILLION pieces of mail were handled by the USPS that year, by 2011 that number had dropped to "only" 168 billion pieces of mail processed. It is declines like this that have caused the Postal Service to re-evaluate its operational logistics.

One of the potential options, according to this article by CNN Money is to raise the price of stamps...again. they were recently raised this past January, so a first class letter now costs 46 cents to mail. In the three months ended March 30, the agency lost $1.9 billion -- which actually is less than the $3.2 billion it lost in the same period a year earlier.

According to Wikipedia, an Act of Congress provided for the issuance of stamps on March 3, 1847. The first stamp issue of the U.S. was offered for sale on July 1, 1847, in NYC, with Boston receiving stamps the following day and other cities thereafter.

Here is information from the US Postal Service that shows the increases in stamp costs from those early days until this past January.

Click to Enlarge