Circulation of daily newspapers has dropped to a 77-year low, a precipitous decline as the industry moves to digital delivery for a growing online audience, a new analysis found.
The Pew Research Center review, released Thursday, found that print newspaper circulation has reached a new low of 34.6 million, 6 million less than papers sold in 1940.
According to Pew Research, the estimated total U.S. daily newspaper circulation (print and digital combined) last year was 35 million for weekday and 38 million for Sunday, both of which fell 8 percent over 2015.
The research found that declines were highest in print circulation, however, with weekday print circulation down 10 percent, and Sunday circulation down 9 percent.
The analysis found digital circulation last year held steady, with weekday down 1 percent and Sunday up 1 percent.
"If the independently produced figures from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal were included in both 2015 and 2016, however, rather than remaining steady, weekday digital circulation would have risen by 11 percent," the research center found.
In a gauge of the digital audience, the analysis found that the top 50 U.S. daily newspapers had an average of roughly 11.7 million monthly unique visitors in the last quarter of 2016 – a 21 percent increase from 2015, similar to the 18 percent rise from 2014-2015.
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