It’s that time of year when a lot of the world gears up for a visit from the big man in red, but how does he do it? What are the key stats? Well, we’ve had the brightest sparks at ClickSend Towers™ (and there’s a few 🤓) do the research, crunch the data and whip it up into information we can all understand. Hopefully.

Let’s first take a look at….

Santa’s TAM (Total Addressable Market)

There are approximately 2.2 billion children in the world, that’s the total market. For various reasons Santa does not serve them all, he serves around 19%. So his TAM is around 418,000,000 but that’s only if all those kids have been good. So let’s say 10% haven’t been good so he should be serving around 376,200,000 kids.

Graphic showing Santa's total addressable market

Santa’s Delivery Locations and Coverage

We know the big man offers free international delivery for those good kids, but how many houses does he deliver to? Well, let’s just say the average household has 3 kids so if we divide our 376,200,000 good kids by 3 we get 125,400,000. So Santa has to visit 125,400,000 homes in 24 hours (31 hours actually but we’ll get to that in a bit).

Graphic showing the amount of houses for Santa to visit

Does Santa Deliver Faster than Amazon Prime?

At the moment, yes (notice we say at the moment). Let’s assume Santa distributes gifts from 5 pm to midnight, or for 7 hours. Due to the Earth’s rotation, there is an overall time difference of 24 hours between different time zones, so we can therefore say that Santa has 31 hours to finish his work (assuming he logically travels east to west).

So Santa has a 31-hour delivery window for 125+ million homes, which means he visits:

  • 4,045,161 homes per hour, or
  • 1,124 homes per second, or
  • 1.12 homes every millisecond

And within that 1 millisecond Santa has to park his sleigh, look for the right gifts, climb down the sleigh and down the chimney, binge on snacks, fill the stockings, come up again and rush to his next stop. What a legend.

Santa's tasks in one millisecond graphic

So how fast is Santa traveling then to achieve all this? Good question.

The surface area of the Earth is 510 065 600 square kilometres and let’s assume that his 125+ million stops are evenly distributed around the globe (let’s ASSUME) so it’s about 4kms per household. The total kilometres covered during his full delivery schedule would be around 510,072,000 kms. To cover that distance in his 31-hour window he would be traveling at:

  • 16,453,729 kms per hour, or
  • 4,570 kms per second

So Santa’s traveling at over 13,000 times the speed of sound. Solid effort.

Graphic with Santa with a jetpack and calculations of his speed

What’s Santa’s Payload?

It’s fair to say Santa’s sleigh (hey, that rhymes!) is carrying a decent payload, but what would it be? Okay, assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set (let’s say 1kg), the sleigh is carrying over 376 million kilograms, not counting Santa himself who we reckon is pushing upwards of 180 kgs (sorry Santa).

So what’s pulling all this payload around at 13,000 times the speed of sound? Flying reindeer of course. Now let’s look a little bit into them.

To date, no known species of flying reindeer have been classified, but there are currently 300,000 odd species of unclassified organisms (admittedly mostly insects and germs). So we can’t rule out that Santa and perhaps a small band of people in the North Pole are the only breeders of flying reindeer. There was also this photo taken in the 1960s with what looks like a flying reindeer in the top left. It still to this day causes much speculation within scientific circles.

Image of reindeer in the wild
The only known photo of a flying reindeer. Potentially.

Flying reindeer exist otherwise how does Santa get his payload pulled around? Let’s just not ask how they fly without wings…… Anyhoo, we know there are 12 of them pulling Santa’s sleigh so that means on average each individual flying reindeer has a pulling power of 31,350,000 kgs. That’s outstanding.

Infographic with sleigh and distorted reindeer on two legs

In conclusion

Santa defies our laws of physics, but that’s a good thing.

So there you have it. The stats that matter for the big red man. He’s super-fast, he’s super-efficient and he’s super-reliable.

Sounds a lot like ClickSend BOOM, BOOM!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at ClickSend.