According to the census so far, 42% of postcrossers love to see posts about statistics on the blog… so here we are, reporting for statistician duty to give you an overview of last year in numbers! 👷 If you’re like us, you might want to open 2020's stats post on a new tab, to compare the values for the 2 years.
Ok, so first things first, the number of postcards received in 2021:
5,289,716 postcards received
26.94 days (average) and 18.12 (median) travel time
Average travel times are slightly faster than the previous year, but the median (a better calculation that doesn’t put as much emphasis on the outliers) is worse… and that is a little surprising to us as we expected both metrics to be lower by now. We hoped that postal services would have had enough time and pandemic experience at this point to sort things out between them, find alternative ways to ship mail, or just close routes temporarily until stuff has been fixed. 😩 Sigh.
25,774,489,281 kms (or 16,015,520,179 miles) of total distance traveled
This number is almost 4 billion more than last year, which is to be expected since we had quite a bit more postcards received as well.
19,929 kms (or 12383 miles) was the longest distance traveled by a postcard
The postcard doing this very very long trip was NZ-224513, which started its journey in Te Awamutu, Waikato, New Zealand and traveled all the way around the world to Cuevas de San Marcos, in Andalusia, Spain, arriving 32 days later! Pretty cool to think that a postcard connected these 2 places which are so far apart that they’re almost perfect antipodes. For comparison, the average distance a Postcrossing postcard traveled in 2021 was 4873 kms (or 3028 miles).
1,269,834 postcards were sent from Germany 🇩🇪
Once again, our enthusiastic German members have surpassed all the expectations and broke their previous record of 1,004,831 postcards sent in a year! This was also the year in which they crossed into Postcard IDs with 8 digits — the first country to do so in Postcrossing. 😊 Here are the top 20 countries and territories, by number of postcards sent:
|8||🇬🇧 United Kingdom||141,261|
The number of “Postcards sent” is a little counterintuitive, so I’ll explain a bit: this is the number of postcards sent from these countries which were registered in 2021. That means that there are some postcards in there that were sent in 2020 and registered in 2021, and there are also many postcards requested in 2021 that are not counted in this statistic (those are still traveling and will likely be registered over the next few weeks/months). Limiting this number to a certain timeframe and sticking to it makes it easier to compare with previous years though, so we’re going with it.
Although some countries have moved up and down the ranking, the countries in the top 20 are more or less the same as last year, with the only difference being Ukraine entering the list and Hong Kong leaving it.
What about top senders?
Sidolix sent the most postcards (registered in 2021)
We’re not sure how these top members do it, but these numbers are super impressive… If you send a lot of postcards every year, maybe come share your secrets with us in the comments below!
Åland Islands sent the most postcards per capita
Looking at number of postcards per capita, the Åland Islands still reign supreme! Here’s a look at other countries and territories in the top 20:
|Ranking||Country/Territory||Postcards per capita|
|1||🇦🇽 Åland Islands||98.9854|
|18||🇭🇰 Hong Kong||5.1353|
Note that the number represents postcards sent per 1,000 inhabitants, and only countries with more than 10 members are featured. Not many changes in the list, but Macao and Liechtenstein are newcomers to the top 20!
October 1, 2021 was the day in which more postcards were sent
No surprises there, right? Postcrossers sent more than 60,000 postcards on World Postcard Day this year, waaaaay above what we would consider a “normal” day in Postcrossing. The next best day of the year is the kick off of the December campaign on December 1st, with about 20,000 postcards sent. Apart from these 2 days, a lot of the days with most postcards getting sent seem to happen around March.
While we were looking at these numbers, we thought it would also be cool to look at the day with most postcards received…
December 30, 2021 was the day in which more postcards were received
A total of 21,225 postcards were registered in this day, though we confess we have no idea why this day in particular. 🤷♀️ Maybe there was some backlog of mail that got stuck somewhere because of the holiday season, and got delivered just as the year ended?
And that’s it for this year’s roundup of statistics! What do you think? Were you surprised by some of these numbers, or are there perhaps other stats that you’d be interested to hear about? Please do share them on the comments!
PS: We know it’s always frustrating when your country is not featured in a top ranking… so we published the full country rankings on this forum post.
PS2: Speaking of statistics, the second annual census is about to close, so make sure you submit your replies if you haven’t done so yet. You’ll find the link to it on the email we’ve sent some weeks ago.