A new poll shows that the people you’d least expect to use stamps are the ones who like the U.S. Postal Service most.
By Marina Koren
The United States Postal Service, in an age of email and Amazon Prime, has seen better days. But it hasn’t lost its fans. According to a new Gallup Poll, Americans rate the Postal Service highest of 13 major federal agencies.
Americans like USPS better than the FBI, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NASA, the CIA, and several other federal agencies, including, unsurprisingly, the IRS.
Everyone Gallup surveyed gave USPS high approval ratings, regardless of age and gender. Seventy-three percent of women and 70 percent of men rate the job the service is doing as “excellent or good.” The poll, conducted last week, surveyed 1,020 adults in all 50 states by telephone.
But the most curious finding in the poll is who likes USPS most: 18-to-29-year-olds, the very age group you’d expect to use snail mail least. In that group, 81 percent viewed USPS favorably. In the 50 and older age group, 65 percent viewed it favorably. (Older Americans still appreciate USPS more than they do any other federal government agency.)
So millennials love mail. And they like it just the way it is: a February 2013 Gallup Poll found that young adults were the least supportive of ending Saturday residential mail delivery, which postal officials say could help USPS’s financial problems.
A young fan base could be a very good thing for USPS, according to Gallup’s Steve Ander and Art Swift:
One might expect older Americans to be the age group viewing the service most favorably, at least out of nostalgia. The fact that the opposite is true could mean that the agency has the opportunity to establish itself as a trusted brand with this new generation, putting the baggage of any tarnished image with older Americans behind them.
Does that mean that the Postal Service is … retro? Are stamps cool now? Maybe. Or it means that millennials interact with USPS in different—and more-positive—ways than older Americans do, which leads them to feel supportive of the agency. Gallup again:
…while younger Americans may be mailing and receiving fewer traditional letters, they could be more connected to the Postal Service as a result of e-commerce and receiving goods purchased online. Older Americans are more likely to consume Postal Service goods and services in person and to receive more hard-copy mail such as bills and cards. Receiving packages purchased online may be a more positive customer experience than performing interactions in person at postal locations—thus providing a reason why younger Americans have a more positive view of the Postal Service.
There you have it. The U.S. Postal Service is the Brooklyn of shipping.