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Survey: Daily Newspaper Readership

Who reads newspapers in the United States? Do people read print versions, or has readership migrated to online versions? How has this changed over time? In its "State of the News Media 2016" report, Pew Research released results about the demographics of daily newspaper readership:

Percent of Adults Reading Daily Newspapers
Age Group 1999 2007 2015
18 - 24 42 33 16
25 - 34 44 34 17
35 - 44 54 43 21
45 - 54 63 53 28
55 - 64 69 59 38
65+ 72 66 50

Source: Pew Research Center - Daily Readership By Age - June, 2016

Percent of Adults Reading Daily Newspapers
Education Level 1999 2007 2015
High School Graduate 54 46 27
Some College 59 50 31
College Graduate 63 53 31
Some Post Graduate 68 59 38
Post Graduate Degree 60 62 39

Source: Pew Research Center - Daily Readership By Education Level - June, 2016

Percent of Adults Reading Daily Newspapers
Ethnic Group 1999 2007 2015
White 58 49 31
Black/African-American 51 42 27
Asian 51 41 22
Spanish/Hispanic Origin 39 31 18
Other 52 43 22

Source: Pew Research Center - Daily Readership By Ethnic Group - June, 2016

About overall newspaper readership, 51 percent read the print version exclusively, 5 percent read the desktop version only, another 5 percent 5% read only the mobile version, and about 7 percent read both the mobile and desktop versions.

However, some readers are subscribers and some aren't. The latter group reads newspaper articles at other sites:

"... looking at newspaper subscribers as the only readers of newspaper content misses an important part of the story. The share of newspaper readers who report reading a newspaper in digital form, or who have digital subscriptions, is not the same as the share of Americans more broadly who come across individual stories hosted on a newspaper’s website as they surf the web. The findings reported above are based on survey questions asked of individuals who self-reported reading a newspaper online or in print in the past 30 days. However, it does not include everyone who lands upon a newspaper website while searching for news information or following a link from an email or social networking post. These consumers of individual bits of information may not remember having read a newspaper, or have even realized that they did. (We have found that most people who read an article on a website do not read any other articles on that site in a given month, suggesting that this kind of incidental readership is common.) Indeed, as revealed in the digital audience section below, when it comes to all newspaper website visitors – not just subscribers – the newspapers analyzed all had more digital traffic than print subscribers."

The "State of the News Media 2016" report also includes information about cable news, local TV news, network news, online news, alternative weeklies, podcasts, and more.


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