Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Cambridge University Press


The communications sector of an economy comprises a range of technologies, physical media, and institutions/rules that facilitate the storage of information through means other than a society's oral tradition and the transmission of that information over distances beyond the normal reach of human conversation. This chapter provides data on the historical evolution of a disparate range of industries and institutions contributing to the movement and storage of information in the United States over the past two centuries. These include the U.S. Postal Service, the newspaper industry, book publishing, the telegraph, wired and cellular telephone service, radio and television, and the Internet.

Chapter of

Historical Statistics of the United States: Millennium edition


Richard Sutch
Susan B. Carter


This material has been published in Historical Statistics of the United States: Millennium edition edited by Richard Sutch & Susan B. Carter. This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press.

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