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About the Project

This table of facts about US mail is from Odlyzko (2000). About half of all mail is currently first class and about half is junk mail. If we assume 5 pages per piece of mail, and digitize it at 15 Kbytes per page, 1998 US mail is about 150 petabytes per year.

Table 1: Statistics about US mail service, from Odlyzko (2000).

Year

Cost
(millions)

Cost/GDP
(percent)

Pieces
(millions)

Mail per Person
1790 0.032 0.02 0.8 0.20
1800 0.214 0.05 3.9 0.73
1810 0.496 0.09 7.7 1.07
1820 1.161 0.18 14.9 1.55
1830 1.933 0.21 29.8 2.32
1840 4.718 0.28 79.9 4.68
1850 5.213 0.20 155.1 6.66
1860 14.87 0.39    
1870 24.00 0.33    
1880 36.54 0.35    
1890 66.26 0.51 4,005 63.7
1900 107.7 0.58 7,130 93.8
1910 230.0 0.65 14,850 161
1920 454.3 0.50    
1930 803.7 0.89 27,887 227
1940 807.6 0.81 27,749 211
1950 2,223 0.78 45,064 299
1960 3,874 0.77 63,675 355
1970 7,876 0.81 84,882 418
1980 19,412 0.70 106,311 469
1990 40,490 0.70 166,301 669
1998 57,778 0.68 197,943 733

© 2000 Regents of the University of California