Why so few members in Southern Hemisphere?

Hi, I’ve been a member of Postcrossing for about 6 months now and have enjoyed receiving a variety of postcards from many different countries, but I have yet to receive anything from countries in the Southern Hemisphere. And while I have enjoyed receiving cards from Eastern & Western Europe and Asia, I would like to receive cards from all around the world, not just from the Northern Hemisphere.

I realize that it’s all random, but still it would be nice to receive something from countries in South America & Africa, as well as Australia, or New Zealand. I looked at the statistics posted for various countries, and looked at a smattering of places and noticed that, for example:

South Africa only has around 1,816 members
Ecuador only has 38 members
Argentina only has 538 members
Australia has only over 6,000 members
New Zealand has around 1,800 members
Brazil has around 7,000 members

Why are the numbers so low for many countries in the Southern Hemisphere? Is there a way to get more members in these countries? Does anyone else think about this? Just curious.


I think the reasons are endless.

As a continent, African users are few due to non avaliability of postcards, high postage fees, or non interest in deltiology.

Australia’s reasons are likely financial as a postcard overseas from Australia is 3 dollars and up to any destination in Europe or America.

Im not sure what the South American countries issues are, butba combination of avaliable cards, postage rate prices, plus transportation issues with each country’s postal service.

Regardless, there are members who are in those countries. It all depends when and if they go on the site. I am sure they are sending cards. However, it maybe the luck of the draw. One day you may be surprised.


Geographically, northern hemisphere has more countries (being 40% land and 60% water ; while in the southern hemisphere it’s 20% land 80% water), which means more population in the north

Also maybe you can see it from economy perspective, northern hemisphere has more developed countries. Postcrossing isn’t a hobby for those who are still struggling with basic needs in many developing and underdeveloped countries

Maybe the culture of sending postcards, greetings cards, mails or just using postal service is dead / dying.
Majority of people I met online (even who live in northern hemisphere like Europe) will shrug and ask what postcrossing is. And when I explain, their reactions mostly are "Do people still do this?"

There are a lot of factors~

Indonesia lies just on the equator and majority of the population lives in Java Island (Southern hemisphere), hope an Indonesian postcrosser (from southern hemisphere part) will draw your address!

As for getting more people into postcrossing, I personally find it hard (in my own experience), because people aren’t that interested anymore to do correspondence like postcrossing/ snail mail. And majority who still do, usually have philatelist background as hobby and collector, while few started from snail mail nostalgia


Of those 6000 only 631 logged in to their account in the last month. Taking it further 413 in the last week.

Only 110 of this logged in during the last month with the number even less for the last week, 53 in total. Also South Africa Post has massive issues and they are often on strike, mail to and from there takes a long time.

2 logged in the last month, none in the last week.

36 in the last month logged in.

174 in the last month, 112 in the last week.

587 last month, 292 in the last week.

All this information can bee seen on the Explore/Search page

The other factor that will affect you is if the Post Offices are exchanging mail between those countries and yours. Up until recently Australia wasn’t exchanging with USA for example

Now to specifically answer your query from an Australian point of view, but does apply with a lot of other countries (northern and southern hemiphere) as well.

Population: Australia only has a population of 26 million, compare that to USA of 327 million.

Internet, many southern hemisphere countries have poor/slow costly internet.

Postage costs are high for a postcard to be sent internationally. $A3.40/$US2.45, compare that to your $US1.30

Time is a large factor, Before covid a postcard took on average 18-21 days to arrive in USA, since covid a lot of our mail has been going by sea, so can take months to arrive.

Of the other countries mentioned population is a large reason why there are not so many members in those countries.


I really don’t give it too much thought to be honest. Over the years, I have received cards from some unique (to me) places. Like Norfolk Island, Costa Rica and maybe an African country or too. But I must say that I am a bit surprised at the responses I have received when people post offers in the Forum looking for hard-to-locate countries. I often have the countries they are looking for (Unwritten). But they decline saying they want the card sent from country of origin. I never understood that.


Shame we don’t get many African countries taking part


A number of posts have covered some of the factors affecting participation.

Some of it may be cultural attitudes around mail & postcards, lack of internet access, cost of mail or Postcrossing not having any visibility in some of those countries.

Postcrossing would have to advertise to reach some of these folks in other countries which is not inexpensive & Postcrossing is a small operation.

But let’s be honest - sending postcards takes disposable income and billions in the world don’t have it right?

“85% of the world live on less than $30 per day, 66% live on less than $10 per day” Global Extreme Poverty - Our World in Data

Even in countries where there is a middle class, the current economic situation with high inflation, high cost of living & high food prices means people are cutting their disposal spending, including spending on postcards & mail.


In the case of my country, the postal service is not always that reliable. The time it takes to receive or send a card is longer in comparison to the average time of countries located in the northern hemisphere. Apart from that, postal culture is close to nonexistent. It is highly difficult, if not impossible, to find stamps, and postcards are not a common part of souvenir shops. From what I know from some friends in South America, the situation is not that different in their respective countries.

As mentioned above, the economical factor also plays a huge role. There are many people struggling to live every day, and buying postcards and paying the mail rates are not feasible options for them.


Australia is a big country but not with a big population. I’m probably overly active in the forums with tags and trades at the moment but I’d say that’s a good place to go as I’m not the only Aussie hanging out there :slightly_smiling_face:
You could also use the swaps & asks section or join an RR like Australia meets the world

I realise it’s just a question as to why there are less southerners but I don’t think it’s too hard to get a postcard from this hemisphere :australia:

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I found that even before Covid etc. the average postcrosser would be lucky to get a card from Oz more than once in a hundred times. As you have only received 56 cards it might be a while yet before one comes your way - but you will get one eventually!

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Concerning South America, just check postal monitor for Ecuadorian postal service and you know why. :frowning: At least it’s a big issue, despite the things @catchycat already mentioned.
It’s been that in Ecuador since the pandemic started. I have friends there and it has gotten worse.


I have had several successful exchanges on the forum with India/Uganda/Brasil.
There are people out there in time.
Dont forget just how big countries such as US and Russia are equivalent of several countries really with diversity in them.
Its surprising how many countries there are in Europe. Enjoy!


Talking about Brazil, I would say it’s due to a cultural factor. Postage costs are pretty reasonable here and our population is around 215,000,000 people, but people in general are not insterested in postcards and some don’t even know they’re still exchanged around the world. I’ve talked about Postcrossing with multiple people and, although they seemed curious, no one was really interested in this hobby. There’re not many postcards available as well, because stores get stuck with their stocks.
Besides that, there’s also a language barrier, but I wouldn’t say it’s the main issue, since I know some Brazilian postcrossers use Google translator to write their cards.


Thanks for your detailed answer! I appreciate your detailed explanations. I just have one another question though. I’ve gone onto the “Explore Countries” page, and I don’t see info on when people last logged in. I see Code, Country Name, Members, Postcards, and Population, but not when people last logged in. For instance, where exactly do you see that only two people from Ecuador logged in last month?

Yes, I agree. I wish more African countries participated in this project.

Thank you so much for providing this information. I really appreciate it.

One possible reason why they decline is probably because most people want to have the postcard, the stamp, and the cancellation all come from the same country. It shows that it made the trip from where it came from.


If you go to the Search page, you can search for members in a particular country/region/city who have logged in last in a variety of time frames.

It’s a useful tool when looking for direct swaps & looking for members who are active.


I think part of the problem in getting people interested in Postcrossing is that we live in an “instant gratification” world now, and you don’t get instant gratification with Postcrossing. You really have to be patient, especially in the beginning. And I don’t think many people want to wait.


Wow. I just went on the Search page. Very cool. Thanks.

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