October 11, 2012

Number of Americans Who Read Print Newspapers Continues Decline

23%

The percent of Americans who say they read a print newspaper the previous day continues to drop, falling 18 points over the last decade to 23%.

While Americans enjoy reading as much as ever – 51% say they enjoy reading a lot, little changed over the past two decades – a declining proportion gets news or reads other material on paper on a typical day. Many readers are now shifting to digital platforms to read the papers.

Only 29% now say they read a newspaper yesterday – with just 23% reading a print newspaper. Over the past decade, the percentage reading a print newspaper the previous day has fallen by 18 points (from 41% to 23%). Somewhat more (38%) say they regularly read a daily newspaper, although this percentage also has declined, from 54% in 2004. Figures for newspaper readership may not include some people who read newspaper content on sites that aggregate news content, such as Google News or Yahoo News.

Over the past decade, there have been smaller declines in the percentages of Americans reading a magazine or book in print (six points and four points, respectively) than for newspapers.

Substantial percentages of the regular readers of leading newspapers now read them digitally. Currently, 55% of regular New York Times readers say they read the paper mostly on a computer or mobile device, as do 48% of regular USA Today and 44% of Wall Street Journal readers. Read More