Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

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Back in the beginning of 2018, I wrote a post about the site’s statistics in 2017. I meant to do one of those posts every year… but seem to have forgotten about it last year. Sorry, everyone! So, without further ado, here are some of the Postcrossing statistics for the year of 2019.

5,100,682 postcards received

For a few years now, we seem to have stabilized at around 5 million postcards exchanged per year, which is pretty neat and puts us on track to celebrating 60 million postcards in late 2020. Who’s looking forward to that party? 🎉

25.44 days (average) and 16.94 days (median) travel time

Do you still remember the difference between an average (or mean) and a median? To calculate the average of a set of values, you sum all the values in your set and divide them by the total number of items in that set. This is great if your values are more or less well distributed, but outliers (both large and small) tend to disproportionately distort the end result.

Enter the median, which can be roughly described as the “middle” value of a data set. If you put all the travel times in a looong ordered line, 17 days would be the value in the centre of this distribution. This is a more reliable value to determine how many days most postcards travel before reaching their destination. Some will be quicker, some will be slower, but on the whole, postcards seem to travel somewhere around 17 days. This number hasn’t changed much over the years.

26,836,704,573 kms (or 16,675,555,116 miles) of total traveled distance

That’s enough to go to Neptune and back 3 times! That number is so gigantic, it sure makes me happy that postage is no longer calculated according to the distance traveled

19,993 km (or 12,423 miles) was the longest distance traveled by a postcard

That’s CN-2803565, exchanged between jessicastier in Xian, Shaanxi and LalyVillablanca in… Wait, can you try to guess which country that postcard traveled to, without looking? Which country is most likely to be the antipodes of a city in central China? 🤔 To check whether you’ve guessed correctly, have a look at the postcard’s page.

964,324 postcards were sent from Germany 🇩🇪

No surprise here, Germany continues to be the most active country in Postcrossing with over 964K postcards sent from there. Here are the other countries and territories in the top 20:

RankingCountryPostcards sent
1🇩🇪 Germany964,324
2🇺🇸 U.S.A. 631,917
3🇷🇺 Russia600,844
4🇳🇱 Netherlands243,805
5🇫🇮 Finland 219,883
6🇨🇳 China206,578
7🇹🇼 Taiwan184,779
8🇧🇾 Belarus141,269
9🇯🇵 Japan135,628
10🇨🇿 Czechia135,115
11🇫🇷 France115,193
12🇬🇧 United Kingdom113,527
13🇵🇱 Poland89,051
14🇨🇦 Canada84,649
15🇭🇰 Hong Kong55,600
16🇧🇪 Belgium54,741
17🇱🇹 Lithuania48,795
18🇦🇹 Austria47,863
19🇦🇺 Australia47,293
20🇨🇭 Switzerland45,741

Sidolix sent the most postcards

That was close though! Once more, well done to our fleißig German members. To be fair, it’s easy to be an enthusiastic postcrosser in Germany, where postage is still reasonable and postcard shops are plentiful in most places.

RankingPostcrosserCountrySent
1Sidolix🇩🇪 Germany2,512
2uttia4a🇩🇪 Germany2,511
3hepman🇩🇪 Germany2,407
4ned44440🇮🇪 Ireland2,398
5Antje321🇩🇪 Germany2,374
6Matin🇩🇪 Germany2,365
7tullipan🇩🇪 Germany2,365
8Willi🇩🇪 Germany2,316
9Silke45🇩🇪 Germany2,312
10rosenbusch🇩🇪 Germany2,310
11Kekel🇩🇪 Germany2,264
12DJHK🇩🇪 Germany2,230
13Rehus🇩🇪 Germany2,207
14Emillio🇨🇿 Czechia2,205
15Bock🇦🇹 Austria2,194
16elbe🇩🇪 Germany2,192
17bas31🇨🇿 Czechia2,182
18TimSarah🇩🇪 Germany2,171
19ho-modellfan🇩🇪 Germany2,169
20Rosenquarz🇩🇪 Germany2,150

710 meetups organized in 54 different countries

Soooo many of you organized meetings to celebrate Postcrossing with other members of the community in 2019 — from Italy to Oman, Singapore to Iran, Seychelles or Isle of Man, postcrossers got together in all continents except Antarctica. Hurray!


And that’s it for last year! If you’re hungry for more numbers, Postcrossing has a group of pages dedicated to statistics where you can find more data to explore.

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Some years ago, we published a different ranking for postcrossers, one that focused on the concentration of postcrossers per 100,000 habitants in the different countries. Essentially, this ranking answers the question: where are you more likely to find a postcrosser in the street?

Things have changed since the last time we’ve compiled these statistics over five years ago, so we thought it was time for an updated ranking. Paulo ran the numbers and here it is:

Ranking
(current)
CountryPostcrossers
(per 100,000 inhabitants)
Previous ranking
(in Feb. 2013)
Previous ranking
(in Dec. 2010)
1🇫🇮 Finland38211
2🇹🇼 Taiwan37166
3🇧🇾 Belarus30438
4🇱🇹 Lithuania29423
5🇳🇱 Netherlands23044
6🇨🇿 Czechia1941115
7🇪🇪 Estonia18752
8🇱🇻 Latvia16377
9🇭🇰 Hong Kong134919
10🇦🇽 Åland Islands12010>50
11🇲🇴 Macao11985
12🇬🇬 Guernsey1061912
13🇵🇱 Poland841216
14🇮🇸 Iceland70139
15🇵🇹 Portugal661510
16🇷🇺 Russia642129
17🇩🇪 Germany621717
18🇸🇬 Singapore591411
19🇸🇮 Slovenia581813
20🇺🇦 Ukraine571635
21🇱🇺 Luxembourg452220
22🇳🇿 New Zealand442014
23🇧🇪 Belgium422326
24🇸🇰 Slovakia413638
25🇨🇭 Switzerland382425
26🇦🇹 Austria342528
27🇮🇲 Isle of Man31>50>50
28🇯🇪 Jersey312927
29🇦🇺 Australia292618
30🇨🇦 Canada272724
31🇲🇹 Malta263021
32🇮🇪 Ireland253133
33🇳🇴 Norway252823
34🇬🇺 Guam2341>50
35🇬🇧 United Kingdom233332
36🇧🇲 Bermuda23>50>50
37🇫🇴 Faroe Islands22>50>50
38🇭🇺 Hungary223434
39🇫🇷 France224442
40🇺🇸 USA213231
41🇧🇬 Bulgaria194748
42🇲🇩 Moldova184249
43🇲🇾 Malaysia183740
44🇭🇷 Croatia173530
45🇦🇩 Andorra17>50>50
46🇸🇪 Sweden164036
47🇧🇳 Brunei163837
48🇪🇸 Spain153944
49🇹🇷 Turkey134847
50🇲🇪 Montenegro114543

But first, some disclaimers: some countries or territories on this list don’t have 100,000 habitants (eg. islands), so the number of postcrossers per capita there can be a bit misleading. And as with the last time, to calculate the data above we took into account only countries with more than 10 members and excluded countries for which we did not have reliable population data.

As expected, some things have stayed the same, and some have changed. Finland is still the place with more postcrossers per capita, although Taiwan is slowly making its way up to the top of the chart. Czech Republic is the only new country in the top-10, with a very impressive jump to 6th place.

Some newcomers to this ranking include the Isle of Man, Andorra, Bermuda and the Faroe Islands, all of which now have more than 10 members. Hurray!

From those countries which were already on this ranking, Slovakia climbed an impressive 12 places (from 36 to 24) and Guernsey and Guam both went up 7 places (from 19 to 12 for the former and 41 to 34 for the latter). Other countries that moved up significantly include Russia, France and Bulgaria.

The biggest slides down the ranking happened in Brunei (38 to 47), Spain (39 to 48), Croatia (35 to 44), the USA (from 32 to 40) and Malaysia (from 37 to 43).

And apart from Finland, Germany is the only other country that has maintained the exact same position over the past 8 years, with a firm grasp on 17th place in the ranking. 😊

Curious for more data? Check out the Explore countries page for all the numbers!

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April Fool!!!

April 2nd update: Sorry guys, just kidding! We’re not really changing from postcards to letters… we love postcards! But I’ve always wanted to do an April Fools’ prank and this year was the year I finally convinced Paulo to go along with it! 😜

Over the years, we’ve heard from many postcrossers on how they wished they could write a bit more on their postcards. Some people are able to use very thin pens and make their handwriting extra small… but often this is not enough for the more talkative members with plenty of stories to share. Communication should be encouraged as it is at the heart of Postcrossing, so in order to give these wordy members an outlet for their creativity, Postcrossing is henceforth changing its format from postcards to letters!.

Aren’t letters great? Plenty of space for the local news, the weather report, a lengthy update on affairs of the heart, or this month’s writing prompt on your favourite breakfast!

It feels good to expand beyond the constraints of the normal 10×15cm rectangle and just write to our heart’s content. Any message that fits on a postcard will also fit inside a letter anyway, so don’t let the extra space intimidate you — you can write as much or as little as you’d like, or even include a drawing to help you fill out the space.

Let’s put all that delightful writing paper to work — it’s time to write, write, write!

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For the second post in this series about Postcrossing’s statistics, we wanted to find out when does more postcard registering activity happen on the project. Intuitively, we know most postcrossers probably register their postcards later in the day, when they’re back home after work or school… but when exactly? And in which day of the week is most mail delivered?

To find out, Paulo chose all the postcards registered last year, adjusted their registering times to each recipient’s local timezone and then compiled the numbers, putting them together in a graph. Here is the result, showing the total number of postcards registered in each day of the week in 2017:

Postcards registered per day

As one would imagine, many more postcards are registered between Monday and Friday than on weekends. Wednesday wins by a narrow margin, with a total of almost 900,000 postcards registered! Tuesday comes as a close second, while Monday is remarkably quiet in comparison. This is to be expected though, as many postal operators stop working during the weekend, and mail is only processed after they reopen.

Predictably, Sunday is the slowest day in Postcrossing, with a total of less than half a million postcards registered. As a curiosity, did you know that 2017 had 53 Sundays and just 52 of the each of the other days? Since there are 365 days in a year, there’s always an extra day to account for… but even with that extra Sunday, things were still quiet on the last day of the weekend.

Since we had our hands in the data, we decided to find out how these totals were distributed throughout the day! To do this, we summed the number of postcards registered in each hour of each day for the whole year, and then plotted this heatmap:

Postcards registered per hour

It’s easy to spot the red frenzy of activity, right? Despite Wednesday generally being the day with the highest number of registered postcards, the registering peak actually happened on Tuesday nights last year, with a cumulative total of 75,155 postcards registered between 8 and 9pm.

In contrast, the slowest time in Postcrossing in the whole year was on Mondays between 4 and 5am, with less than 1000 postcards registered in those early Monday hours throughout the whole year.

Do these statistics reflect your experience too, or were you perhaps surprised by them? Let us know in the comments!

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Ten years ago today, Paulo launched a fresh version of the website, which included cool features such as avatars, maps, the inactive state, the little ticker on the frontpage that shows what’s happening now… aaaaaand this blog too! 🎉

Although the Postcrossing blog is but a small part of the website, it’s something that we’re particularly proud of. Through it, we share news and interesting stories, introduce members and their creative endeavours, talk about mail and stationery, celebrate milestones… and we also hear back from you on the comments, which is the best part!

Ten years of existence is definitely something worth celebrating, so today we’re digging the archives for some of our favourite posts and series.

Looking at tags on the blog’s Archive page, it’s easy to spot that our longest series of posts have featured spotlight interviews, in which we ask a few questions to members of the community. We’ve talked with 113 postcrossers so far, who have showed us their mailboxes, their mail carriers and their favourite postcards. We’ve talked to many other postcrossers too, about the wonderful meetups they’ve organised, their quirky postcard walls and nice friendship stories they’ve experienced because of the project.

We’ve also collaborated with museums, libraries, schools, charities and post offices — all of which we’re quite proud of.

Ten years later, we’re still fond of researching the history of post offices and postcards and finding out about other cool projects that use mail. And one of our favourite parts is coming accross cool new artists and stationery makers.

And last, but not least, the Little Mail Carriers were introduced to the blog back in 2010 and are very dear to our heart. They’ve traveled around the world several times over, reporting their adventures and showing us the beauty and charms of the places where mail travels to. Who knows where will they pop up next?

Here’s to another 10 years of bringing you nice stories from the Postcrossing community and the world of mail! 😊

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