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Majority of international online population regularly reads books

Over half of the international online population (59%) reads from a book “at least once a week”, according to our recently released report featuring survey results from 17 countries.  Just under a third (30%) of those surveyed read daily, with China leading the way for the percentage of its population who are regular readers.

Russia (59%) and Spain (57%) rank behind China (70%) for the percentage of their online population that reads “at least once a week”.  When we combine results for everyday readers, and those who read “every day or most days”, China leads again at 36% with Spain and the UK following closely behind at 32% each.

Regular readers more likely to come from high income households

Those living in high income households read books more often than those in low income households, with over a third (35%) saying that they read regularly “every (day) or most days”.  In low income households, a quarter of people (24%) are daily readers, and one out of ten claim that they ‘never’ read books, which is triple the percentage reported for high income households.

“The value of these findings for the book industry lies in combining this self-reported data with analysis of actual sales across different markets and insights from our retail and consumer panels”, says Mathias Giloth, Managing Director of GfK Entertainment. “With this multi-layered approach, we help our clients to fine-tune their audience segmentation and identify customer potential, both globally and at country-specific level.”

Regular readers by gender

Women are more likely to be avid book readers than men, with 32% reading daily, compared to 27% of men from the international online population.  The gender gap between regular book readers is widest in the Netherlands and Spain, followed by Canada and Germany.

Leading nations for non-readers

The Netherlands, along with South Korea, both registered as countries with the highest percentage of their online population who report never reading books, at 16% each.  Belgium (14%) and Canada, France and Japan (11%) have the next highest proportion of non-readers.

About the study

We conducted the online survey with over 22,000 consumers aged 15 or older across 17 countries. Fieldwork was completed in summer 2016. Data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online 3 population aged 15+ in each market. Countries covered are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, UK and USA.

Download the full findings from our complimentary report
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