Do Only Old People Still Read Newspapers?

A Harris Research / AdWeek poll (via Marketing Charts) in the US puts some data onto a growing trend – the graying print newspaper market.

Among all Americans 43% still read a paper every day, a figure that is higher than I thought it would be.

However once you break it down into age groups a different picture emerges.   Among the over 55s, 2/3 still read their morning (or afternoon) paper.   For 35-44 year olds that’s down to just over a third (36%) while for 18-34 year olds it’s not even a quarter (23%).

I tried to find similar stats for the UK, and even two years ago according to a Parliamentary committee, 45% (so less than half) of the UK population read one of the national papers every day, with readership among 25-34 year olds falling by more compared to 18-24 year olds (40% to 37%).  Meanwhile the decline among the over 65s was only 3%.

In other words both the US and UK stats show that among seniors the daily paper is a habit.   The question obviously is, will it die out with them?

On the RAAK blog, Wessel van Rensburg has put the long term decline of the UK newspaper market into perspective.  In 1951, 48 million people lived in the UK while today there are 60+ million, an increase of 25%.   Yet, even while the population has increased, newspaper circulations have gone down by 30%.

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