Here’s a line graph showing the historic trend of the first class postage stamp rate increase since 1945.
It seems like stamps are rising in cost so much lately. But it’s really been a historic trend since the beginning of the 1970s. That decade saw the cost of stamps have turned the sharp spike upward, and it’s kept a pretty consistent pace. Therefore it’s not so unusual to have stamps increase in price to 42 cents. It’s just keeping in historic trends.
Every decade since the 1970s has seen around eight to ten cents increase in the cost of a stamp. Here’s the specific stats:
1920s: no increase
1930s: no increase
1940s: no increase
1950s: 1 cent increase (from 3 to 4 cents)
1960s: 2 cents increase (from 4 cents to 6)
1970s: 9 cents increase (from 6 cents to 15)
1980s: 10 cents increase (from 15 cents to 25)
1990s: 8 cents increase (from 25 cents to 33)
2000s: 9 cents increase (from 33 cents to 42–so far proposed)
Of course it’s interesting to note that stamps would cost between two and three cents from 1885 to 1957. So 1958 was really the year when stamps would increase in price and never look back.