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Postcrossing Blog

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

Posts tagged "statistics"

On last month’s poll results, Maria (aka Maria_Castro) from Portugal suggested we asked everyone’s opinion about the postal services in their country… admittedly a very subjective (and perhaps touchy) topic. Still, we thought it would be interesting to get a feeling of the national reputation of postal operators. Which ones stood out? And would their domestic image match the perception we have of them from abroad?

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Overall, the results are pretty heartwarming! The vast majority of postcrossers think their post offices are doing a good job, with a fair amount going as far as saying they’re excellent.

But since the question was about each national post office, the important analysis comes on a country basis. So how do these results compare on a national level? To find out, we had a closer look at the results from countries with more than 50 votes (for more accurate results):

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The results more or less reflect the general trend described above, with a few exceptions.

For instance, Italy pops out immediately as the country with the highest number of unhappy postcrossers (80% rate their postal service as poor or fair)… which I confess is a bit of a surprise. Is it the stamp prices? Or perhaps problems in the mail delivery? Maybe some local postcrossers can enlighten us in the comments! Other postal operators with mediocre results were Brazil, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Sweden (around 60% on the same metric).

On the happy side of the spectrum, Japan's Post has an extraordinary reputation: 74% of Japanese postcrossers think their post office is doing an excellent job and further 23% consider it good, with less than 3% in the remaining categories. Pretty impressive!

Other Asian countries follow closely behind, with South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan all having roughly 90% happy customers (rating either excellent or good). In Europe, Switzerland has the most content postcrossers, also with over 90% satisfaction, with Austria, Germany and Latvia trailing closely.

Please keep in mind that the answers to this kind of “perception survey” are always subjective… so remember to take the results with a grain of salt. That said, what influenced your vote? And if you were in charge of your country’s postal operator, what would you change?

PS – Any statisticians in the house? 😅  If you’d like give us a hand in future polls, let us know!

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I remember writing my first postcard: I was seven, spending the summer vacations of first grade by the sea with my family. That year, my dad decided to delegate the holiday postcard writing to me, since I had just learned how to write and had “such a nice handwriting”. Honoured, I took the task very seriously, drafting a short text to tell my grandparents about all the sandcastles my brother and I had built, how many ice-creams we had eaten… and how much we missed them. I did my best calligraphy and was very mindful of the small space as my dad dictated each line of the address. The sense of pride as I arrived weeks later in my grandma’s home to see the postcard proudly displayed on the fireplace mantle was huge. 😊

So I wondered… is this a common experience? On average, how old are people when they write their first postcard ever? To find out, we decided to do a poll! Over 13000 of you responded, and here are the results:

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Like me, the majority of postcrossers seems to have had their first postcard-sending experience earlier on, when they were 10 or younger, with progressively less people in each of the following age groups. That seems logical, as postcards are quite a neat way of practicing writing for the little ones and to get them excited about mail.

But we all know that some countries have more of a mail culture than others, so we were curious to discover how these statistics differed around the world. Let’s have a closer look at the countries with more than 50 votes (for more reliable results):

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Interesting! Seems like there’s a clear start 'em young trend in Europe, where the majority of people write their first postcard in their primary school years. Finland takes the cake, with 77% of members writing their first postcard before their 11th birthday — which isn’t very surprising, given the fact that they were always the country with more postcrossers per capita! Switzerland, Netherlands and Germany are close behind, all with more than 70% of postcrossers also sending their first postcards early on.

Shifting to Asia, Japan’s numbers seem to be similar as those in Europe, but they are the outliers of the region. People in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and India share the experience of writing the first postcard in their teenage years… and on the other end of the spectrum, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are the latest starters of the group, with the majority of people writing their first postcard when they’re already adults.

So… what do you think? Were these results in line with what you expected for your country? And if you remember writing your first postcard ever, who was it addressed to? 🙂

PS: We’re always looking for new ideas for polls! If you thought of something cool to ask postcrossers (and that would fit in a poll), let us know in the comments below.

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Some years ago on Postcrossing’s fourth anniversary, we asked members to send us photos of themselves mailing their postcards, and compiled the results on an emotional video that still has me reaching for the tissues every time I see it.

At the time, we noticed something interesting: our simple request for “a photo of you mailing your postcards” produced a variety of different results. Most were photos with all shapes and colours of street mailboxes, but there were also lots of photos taken inside or just outside post offices, and some even featuring home mailboxes… At the time, we hadn’t even realised that in some places, mail carriers doing their rounds also picked up outgoing letters and postcards from people’s home mailboxes, if they found something there!

Since then, we’ve wondered… how are postcards usually mailed around the world? We’ve certainly noticed that street mailboxes or post offices are harder to find in some countries than others, but being geeks, we wanted to see the data. Over 10,000 of you responded to this question last week, so here are the results:

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Overall, things look more or less divided: while the majority seems to be mailing their postcards from a post office (either at the counter or at the mailbox there), an equally large percentage of postcrossers send their mail from street mailboxes. What happens if we look deeper into the data though, country by country?

Here is the detailed graph, showing only countries with more than 50 votes (for more reliable results):

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The results were a lot less predictable than we expected! A few countries stand out:

  • In Turkey, Brazil and Slovakia the majority of mail is posted from the post office counter. Are mailboxes hard to find? Or do people perhaps not trust that they’re emptied regularly? 🤔
  • The country who loves post offices the most seems to be Indonesia though — 97% of postcards are usually sent from there!
  • On the other side of the spectrum, 90% of mail from the Netherlands is posted from street mailboxes. We assume this has to do with the replacement of so many post offices with “service points” inside other shops.
  • And the USA seems to be one of the few countries where mail is regularly picked up by mail carriers. It sounds quite convenient, and we wonder why other countries don’t seem to have caught on to this practice…

We’d love to hear from you all on these statistics. Were the results in line with what you expected from your experience in your own country? Why, or why not?

Also, some people responded the poll with “Other”, which we always include to cover all the options we didn’t think about. We find it intriguing though… if you voted “Other”, what does that mean in your country?

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Thirteen months ago, we published a ranking of how popular Postcrossing was in a given country, based on the number of postcrossers for every 100,000 inhabitants.

It’s been a while since then, so we thought it was time to compile some fresh statistics, and check if there were any noticeable differences. Here is the updated ranking:

Ranking
(current)
CountryPostcrossers
(per 100,000 inhabitants)
Previous ranking
(in Dec. 2010)
1Finland2751
2Lithuania164 3
3Belarus161 8
4Netherlands1574
5Estonia1542
6Taiwan1426
7Latvia987
8Macao915
9Hong Kong66 19
10Åland Islands56 >50
11Czech Republic55 15
12Poland54 16
13Iceland509
14Singapore4311
15Portugal4310
16Ukraine39 35
17Germany3817
18Slovenia3513
19Guernsey3112
20New Zealand3014
21Russia30 29
22Luxembourg2820
23Belgium23 26
24Switzerland22 25
25Austria21 28
26Australia2018
27Canada1724
28Norway1623
29Jersey1527
30Malta1521
31Ireland13 33
32U.S.A.1331
33United Kingdom1332
34Hungary1034
35Croatia1030
36Slovakia10 38
37Malaysia9 40
38Brunei937
39Spain9 44
40Sweden936
41Guam8 >50
42Moldova8 49
43Thailand739
44France742
45Montenegro643
46Korea (South)6 >50
47Bulgaria6 48
48Turkey647
49Denmark645
50Israel5 >50

What do you know? Finland is still leading the ranking by a mile! :) New-comers to the table include the Åland Islands, Guam, South Korea and Israel. Please note that in the case of the Åland Islands, the ranking is skewed, as their population is about 26,000 inhabitants.

On the fast-climbers side, Hong Kong jumped 10 places (from 19th to 9th) but the most surprising climb comes from Ukraine, which rose from 35th place to 16th! Well done!

Are there other statistics you would be curious to see here? Let us know!

PS: Like the last time, to calculate the data above we took into account only countries with more than 10 members and excluded countries which were too small or of which we did not have any relevant population data.

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Some time ago, Pebbles84 sent us this suggestion for a blog post:

“How about an overview of how country distribution has changed over the years? I’m a member for over 2 years, and it seems things have changed quite a lot. It would be nice to see in which countries Postcrossing has grown a lot, and how the amount of members has changed.”

If you’ve been a member for a long time, you probably have noticed that Postcrossing’s popularity in certain countries changes over time. Sometimes, a news report or a blurb on a popular website will catapult the project to stardom, raising the number of signups in that city or country.

Members that have been here since the beginning might remember a time when every other card seemed to be traveling to Portugal, Brazil or Finland, or how rare Asian countries once were. These days, there are definitely more users from Russia or Taiwan on the site – countries come and go in waves.

Being data geeks, we were curious to see what the member distribution looked like plotted in a graph, and so we crunched some numbers and did the math.

You can explore the results on the interactive chart below:

Isn’t it interesting? You can see when Postcrossing started to become popular in some countries, or how others have lost their prominent rank. Also, the “Other” category is growing, meaning that the pool of countries is becoming increasingly diverse.

Keep in mind however, that the countries that have the most users are not always the ones that send more postcards! If you’re curious, you can check out the current number of members per country and postcards sent per country on our Explore Countries page!

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