Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Post Office List: Maps That Explain the Impact

Yesterday, the Postal Service announced that it will be study closing 3,653 Post Offices.  The Washington Post has published a very useful map hat locates all of the Post Offices under study.  

This map shows that the Post Offices on the list are concentrated in certain regions.   Looking at a map of rurality developed by the Department of Agriculture that identifies counties by how rural they are shows what looks like a correlation between the more rural sections of the United States and Post Offices on the list. 

This can be seen by putting the two maps side by side.

Rural America is a prime target for Post Office closures because 1) populations have generally declined over the past few decades and sale of mail products will shrink as population declines; and 2) the non-farm income in rural America is less than in urban America and mail use is related to income. 

The next set of graphs show a graph that reports population growth by county in the past decade and the location of Post Offices being closed.  The graphs appear to suggest that the list may focus on communities that have lost population or have seen growth below the national average..

Doing the comparison on income is not as easy but the following graph of income by county would suggest that a correlation could be found between the income of the county and the location of a Post Office being on the study list.


Drewk86a said...

Wow! The comparison of the Office closings and Income maps really tells the story. The map of closing offices almost mirrors the income map with the greatest concentration of closures in poorer areas.

Would it be possible to do a composite image of the maps superimposed upon one another?

In the Know said...

Wow. That's amazing Drew. There is a correlation between those areas who don't actually buy anything or ship product and post office closings. I suppose in those areas it wouldn't be so difficult to ship the $20 dollars a day in sales to Elmer's Grocery Store. Duh. What the map doesn't show is the location of mailing locations...which is every single mail box in existence. Want stamps?..get them from your rural carrier. Close 90% of all offices and the country wouldn't notice after a couple of years.

Anonymous said...

Gee, In the Know, I'll bet you think chocolate milk comes from brown cows too. And that the rural population uses an outhouse. Rural America buys some of the most expensive items out there. Farming equipment has as price tag of over $300,000 per piece,and there are multipule items needed to feed your face. Oh,and the food you consume needs to be shipped to your local grocer. They don't grow it out back. There is life outside the population centers that you may want to educate yourself on. We go away, you starve and go naked.

Alcove said...

There is a high concentration in Appalachia (PA and WV) which is consistent with low-income.

Alcove said...

We may see some moderation in WV (red state). PA is a blue state.

Alcove said...

my bad: I got it wrong. Now I understand concentration in WV: it was a red state (Republican). Obama has influence bt so does Jim Mille of BoG.