- Newspaper circulation
A newspaper's circulation is the number of copies it distributes on an average day. Circulation is one of the principal factors used to set advertising rates. Circulation is not always the same as copies sold, often called paid circulation, since some newspapers are distributed without cost to the reader. Readership figures are usually higher than circulation figures because of the assumption that a typical copy of the newspaper is read by more than one person.
In many countries, circulations are audited by independent bodies such as the Audit Bureau of Circulations to assure advertisers that a given newspaper does indeed reach the number of people claimed by the publisher.
In many developed countries newspaper circulation is falling due to social and technological changes such as the availability of news on the internet. On the other hand, in some developing countries circulation is increasing as these factors are more than cancelled out by rising incomes, population, and literacy.
World newspapers with the largest circulation
The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) publishes a list of newspapers with the largest circulation. In 2005, China topped the list in term of total newspaper circulation with 93.5 million a day, India came second with 78.8 million, followed by Japan, with 70.4 million; the United States, with 48.3 million; and Germany, with 22.1 million. Around 75 of the 100 best selling newspapers are in Asia and seven out of top ten are Japanese newspapers.
The Japanese Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun and Mainichi Shimbun are still the largest circulated newspapers in the world. The Times of India is the largest circulated English-language daily newspaper in the world, across all formats (Broadsheet, Compact, Berliner and Online). Reference News (參考消息) is the most popular paper in China. The largest circulated newspapers from the United States are the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, the latter having eclipsed the former for a period of years; but according to its own press kit, the circulation of USA Today declined by 3 million in 2009 alone, leaving WSJ on top again.
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the daily circulation of the Soviet newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda exceeded 21,500,000 in 1990, while the Soviet weekly Argumenty i Fakty boasted a circulation of 33,500,000 in 1991.
The Belgian institution CIM (Centre for Information about Media) publishes national circulation figures for all written, audiovisual and web-based media in Belgium. The top ten best selling papers according to their website  are Het Laatste Nieuws, 317,715; Het Nieuwsblad, 245,209; SUD Presse (group of papers focused on community specific content), 147,749; Het Belang van Limburg, 121,428; Le Soir, 113,780; Vers l’avenir, 109,287 (group of papers focused on community specific content); La Dernière Heure, 107,583; De Standaard, 104,758; Het Volk, 77,025 and De Morgen, 73,784.
The most widely read paper in the country is the Toronto Star, which, as of the six-month period ending on March 31, 2007, averaged 634,886 copies sold on Saturday, 436,694 Monday to Friday, and 442,265 on Sunday.  The second most widely read paper is Toronto-based national newspaper The Globe and Mail, which averaged 374,000 copies on Saturdays, and 303,000 Monday to Friday. The most widely read French-language newspaper is Le Journal de Montréal, which averaged 319,899 copies on Saturday, 267,404 Monday to Friday, and 264,733 on Sunday. Unlike in the United States, newspapers in Canada published their biggest and mostly widely read editions on Saturdays.
The 2010 Indian Readership Survey findings shows that the largest read local language newspapers to be Dainik Jagran (with 16.0 million readers) and Dainik Bhaskar (with 13.5 million readers), both published in Hindi. The Times of India is the most widely read English language newspaper (7.3 million), followed by Hindustan Times (3.5 million),, The Hindu (2.1 million). The New Indian Express is another widely-read English language newspaper (1.8 million}. Malayala Manorama newspaper which is published in Malayalam from Kerala, currently has a readership of over 9.9 million (with a circulation base of over 1.8 million copies) has the most circulation in regional languages. The latest entrant in English Newspaper industry The Hans India an English daily from Hyderabad media house limited printed, published and distributed in Andhra Pradesh.
The 2004 circulation figures for the morning and evening editions of Japan's largest newspapers: Yomiuri Shimbun, 14,067,000; The Asahi Shimbun, 12,121,000; Mainichi Shimbun, 5,587,000; Seikyou Shimbun, 5,500,000; Nihon Keizai Shimbun, 4,635,000; Chunichi Shimbun/Tokyo Shimbun,4,512,000; Tokyo Sports, 2,425,000; Sankei Shimbun, 2,757,000; Nikkan Sports, 1,965,000; Hokkaido Shimbun, 1,896,594; Sports Nippon, 1,711,000; The Nikkan Gendai, 1,686,000; Akahata, 1,683,000; Yukan Fuji, 1,559,000; Shizuoka Shimbun, 1,479,000; Sankei Sports, 1,368,000; Hochi Shimbun, 1,354,000; Daily Sports, 999,000.
Best-selling papers as of January, 2011, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, are The Sun, 3,001,822, The Daily Mail, 2,136,568 and the Daily Mirror, 1,194,097.
The heyday of the newspaper industry was the 1940s, but the percentage of Americans reading newspapers began to decline with the increased competition from radio, television and, more recently, the Internet. A growing population helped the absolute circulation numbers continue to increase until the 1970s, where it remained stable until the 1990s, when absolute circulation numbers began declining.
Newspaper circulation numbers are reported to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Best-selling papers as of March 31, 2010 in the U.S.A., according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, are the Wall Street Journal at number one with 2,092,523 copies sold daily (up 0.5% from the previous year, making it the only newspaper in the country that is actually growing in terms or readership); USA Today at number two with 1,826,622 copies sold daily (down 13.8% from the previous year), and The New York Times is third with a circulation of 951,063 (down 8.47% from the previous year. Overall, newspaper circulation is down 8.7% nationally compared to the previous year.
- Magazine circulation
- List of newspapers in the World by circulation
- BPA Worldwide: Media Auditing
- The State of the News Media 2004 form journalism.org [Dead Link 29.12.2010]
- Audit Bureau of Circulations web site
- The Front Pages of the Main Newspapers of the World
- Editor & Publisher Yearbook On-line with circulation statistics
- Searchable database of Canadian newspaper circulation figures from the Canadian Newspaper Association
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