We have a soft spot for statistics and we know many of you do as well, so here comes the yearly post with some juicy stats about Postcrossing. These were compiled by Paulo, with data from the whole 2020. Shall we have a look?
4,513,545 postcards received
That’s about half a million postcards fewer than the previous year, which is understandable considering the year we’ve just had. In fact, looking at the graph of postcards sent per month last year, you can clearly see the “pandemic dip” in April.
Things have slowly gotten better since then though, and we saw a lot of new members on the site in the following months, as people settled into their new routines and started to explore new hobbies they could do from home.
28.27 days (average) and 17.67 days (median) travel time
No surprise that things were a bit slower last year! With thousands of flights cancelled and postal services scrambling to find alternative routes to send mail abroad, postcards spent more days on the road. Some even crossed continents in ships or trains!
These numbers are calculated for the whole year though… How do the numbers look like on a weekly basis?
Things got a little delayed mid-2020, with postcards taking a few days longer to arrive on average, but the situation seems to have somewhat recovered in the meantime.
21,954,937,005 kms or (13,642,165,382 miles) of total traveled distance
Quite a bit less than last year, but to be expected with less postcards traveling, closed borders and cancelled flights. Many postal services have restricted their deliveries to nearby countries, where connections were easier to ensure and so, on average, postcards traveled to closer destinations last year. 26% of all postal routes remain closed at the moment, but things have slowly been improving with more and more connections being re-opened every week.
Here’s how far postcards traveled, per week:
The average travel distance was 4,864.23 kms (or 3,022.49 miles) per postcard — around 7.5% less distance than in 2019.
19,974 kms or (12,411 miles) was the longest distance traveled by a postcard
Postcard ES-622789 traveled between the town of Espasante in northern Spain and Christchurch in New Zealand — just a few kilometers short of its true antipodal point!
1,004,831 postcards sent from Germany
Postcrossers in Germany broke their 2019 record and sent even more postcards in 2020, reaching the 1 million postcards/year threshold! This enthusiasm also led them to add one more digit to their postcard IDs — postcard DE-10000000 was registered just yesterday. 🎉
Here are the countries in the top 20:
|7||🇬🇧 United Kingdom||118,436|
|20||🇭🇰 Hong Kong||34,279|
Same countries as last year in that list, with some shuffling around. Germany, USA, Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK managed to increase their total of sent postcards, but the remaining countries all sent less cards throughout last year.
DJHK sent the most postcards (registered in 2020)
Åland Islands sent the most postcards per capita
We thought it would be cool to do a different kind of ranking with 2020's data, to give less populous countries and territories a chance to be featured. Here are postcards sent per 1000 inhabitants, for countries with more than 10 members:
|Ranking||Country/Territory||Postcards per capita|
|1||🇦🇽 Åland Islands||80.38|
|12||🇮🇲 Isle of Man||6.74|
|19||🇭🇰 Hong Kong||4.79|
It’s interesting to see smaller countries and islands thrown into the mix! Here’s a previous similar ranking we did some years ago.
October 1, 2020 was the day in which more postcards were sent
No surprises there — World Postcard Day was a huge hit, with a little more than 40,000 postcards received which were sent on that day. The following 3 best days of the year all happened in February, with around 16,000 postcards being sent.
And that’s it for last year’s statistics! I know you’re all eager to read about the census results as well, but it’ll still take us some time to parse those 30,000 or so replies… 😅 We’ll post about it here on the blog once we have some insights to share!