USA StampYesterday, I happened to stumble upon news that the USPS first class stamp rate was being increased from $0.39 to $0.41.

I thought to myself, didn’t they just increase the rates almost a year ago. So then I went looking and found a great site that tracks the The History of Postage Rates in the United States. In fact, they changed the rate from 37 cents to 39 cents on January 8, 2006, about 486 days ago. On average, they change the rate every 1,534 days. If you start tracking rate changes from 1958, the average time they change the rate is every 975 days, which is about every two and a half years.

The increase from 39 cents to 41 cents is 5.13%, the average increase in stamp prices since 1917 throughout today is 14.54%, but in the past ten years or so the average increase is 5.10%. The increase from 1917 to today is now at 1,266.67%.

Here is chart showing the increase from 1917 throughout today:

United States Postal Services Rates

The average dollar change since 1917 is 1.81 cents.

But in reality, prices have gone down. What would cost $0.03 in 1917 would now cost $0.54 in 2006. So since our stamp price is $0.41, we are actually making out here.

I estimate, the next price increase will be around January 13, 2010. I hope not sooner!

Website Comments


    THEY are doing this again they say becuase in this time and age most people dont use the post office anymore because they have e-mail and faxes and other techniques and the post office is saying they are losing Billions of dollars because of it

  2. WilliamC

    I am actually surprised you failed to touch on the tidbit that they may double the amount based on the size of the envelope now, as well as the increase to 41 cents. Mailing a brochure in a regular sized envelope could cost you 82 cents by their estimations.

  3. Axel

    I am having trouble making the 1,266% increase connection. Maybe I am doing my math wrong, but it seems like the actual increase was 1,366%.

  4. Jamie

    Please adjust your numbers for inflation.

    Assuming a 3% annual inflation (fairly average) 3c in 1917 is worth about as much as 43c today.

  5. Tian Sun


    They are changing now!

    From May 2008 it will be 42 cents for first class mail! sooner than your “Jan. 2010”.

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