Released: October 23, 2012
Who Reads the Most in the US? The Answer Might Surprise You
Is reading on the decline, or could that well worn criticism be wrong after all? According to a new survey released this week, it seems reading–especially among young adults–is still going strong.
The most likely book readers in the United States are high-school students, college-age adults and people in their 30s, with e-book use highest among 30-somethings, according to a survey released by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. The survey covered books in print, in electronic formats and audiobooks.
Seventy-eight percent of Americans had read at least one book in the previous 12 months, with 83 percent among those aged between 16 and 29.
The highest percentage of readers by age was 88 percent, among the 18-24 age group, followed by 86 percent in the 16-17 range. Readers in the 30-39 group were a close third at 84 percent.
The lowest percentage of readers was among people older than 65, at 68 percent.
When it comes to reading e-books, e-book readers like Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble‘s Nook, along with tablets, lag behind other content delivery devices. Among Americans who read e-books, those under 30 are more likely to read them on a cell phone, at 41 percent, or on a computer (55 percent) than on an e-book reader (23 percent) or tablet (16 percent).
Forty-seven percent of younger Americans reportedly read long-form e-content such as books, magazines or newspapers. But the highest e-book use was among people 30 to 39.
The findings were the result of a phone survey of 2,986 people aged 16 and older conducted between November 16 and December 21. The margin of error is 2.2 percentage points.