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U.S. stamp prices are rising, but still a bargain compared with other countries

April 15, 2024

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Americans who are frustrated with the ever rising cost of postage may be surprised to learn that mailing a first-class letter costs significantly less in the U.S. than in other parts of the world.

The U.S. Postal Service — which has already raised the price of stamps twice this year, bringing the cost of sending first-class mail to 73 cents — tried to cushion word of the latest increase by noting that postage costs at home “remain among the most affordable in the world.”

It’s a safe assumption that the Postal Regulatory Commission will approve the sixth price hike since January 2021, with the five-cent increase then schedule to take effect on July 14. Still, folks may not realize what a relative bargain postage in the U.S. is, at least when compared to mailing costs around the world.

The U.S. ranks No. 5 in a listing of postage costs in a list of 30 countries, according to the USPS’ Office of Inspector General. The agency found that the cost of a stamp in the U.S. had risen a total of 26% — from 36 cents to 50 cents — over a five-year period from June 2018 to June 2023 — far less, on average, than in the other countries it looked at.

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