Thirty-four years ago, daily newspaper circulation in the U.S. peaked at 63,340,000. Last year, daily circulation was just 30,948,419. That represents a 51 percent decline.
The decline is especially dramatic when you consider the population growth over the past 34 years. In 1984, there were 85,290,000 households in the U.S. By 2017, that number had grown to 126,244,000.
So, despite a 48 percent increase in household growth since 1984, newspaper circulation is half what it used to be.
Today, the number of daily newspapers in circulation equals just 24 percent of the number of households. In 1984, circulation reached 74 percent of the household total. If you go back a generation earlier, there were more daily newspapers than households in 1968 (62.5 million daily papers in circulation to 60.8 million homes).
The number of newsroom employees has fallen from 74,410 in 2006 to 39,210 in 2017.
1. Pew Research Center, "Newspapers Fact Sheet," June 13, 2018.
2. United States Census Bureau, "Historical Households Tables," accessed June 19, 2018.
Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics, and technology. Columns published on Ballotpedia reflect the views of the author.
Scott Rasmussen is founder and president of the Rasmussen Media Group. He is the author of "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System," "In Search of Self-Governance," and "The People’s Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt." Read more reports from Scott Rasmussen — Click Here Now.
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