Released: February 14, 2013
Most Approve of Ending Saturday Mail Delivery
Wide Racial Gap in Views of Postal Service Decision
A majority of Americans (54%) approve of the U.S. Postal Service’s recent decision to halt Saturday delivery of letters, while 32% disapprove of the decision. The planned end of Saturday mail delivery is a rare government decision that garners bipartisan support – 58% of independents approve of the action, as do 57% of Republicans and 51% of Democrats.
Most Americans say they have heard or read at least a little about the Postal Service’s announcement that they plan to stop Saturday delivery of letters to address budget shortfalls. Majorities of those who have heard a lot (67%) or a little (56%) about the action approve of it.
But those who have heard nothing at all about the decision – 16% of the public – disapprove of stopping Saturday mail delivery by more than two-to-one (60% disapprove vs. 25% approve).
The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Feb. 7-10 among 1,004 adults, finds that blacks are the only major demographic group in which a majority (55%) opposes the Postal Service decision to halt Saturday delivery. Whites approve of the decision by more than two-to-one (61% to 26%).
Fewer blacks than whites have heard about the Postal Service’s announcement that it is stopping Saturday deliveries because of budget problems. Nearly three-in-ten blacks (29%) say they heard nothing at all about the announcement, compared with 12% of whites.
People younger than 30 are far less aware of the Postal Service announcement than older people – 42% of those 18-to-29 heard nothing at all about it, compared with just 10% of those 30 and older. Those under 30 also are the only age group in which a majority does not support the decision (38% approve).
Among the third of Americans (34%) who seldom or never use the mail for personal letters, 61% approve of the decision to end Saturday delivery and just 21% disapprove. Opinion is more evenly divided among the 40% who send or receive personal letters weekly or more: 50% approve of the decision while 44% disapprove.