MILWAUKEE -- Almost three-quarters of U.S. adults, or nearly 171 million people, read a newspaper -- print or online -- during the past week, according to a new study by Scarborough Research.
The audience ratings measurement service for the newspaper industry examined newspaper readership in its recently released Scarborough USA+Study. That study captures media patterns and other consumer behaviors of adults across the country. The data analysis indicates that newspapers are still read in print or online by a critical mass of adults in the U.S. on a daily and weekly basis.
"While our data does show that print newspaper readership is slowly declining, it also illustrates that reports about the pending death of the newspaper industry are not supported by audience data," said Gary Meo, Scarborough Research's senior vice president of print and digital media services. "Given the fragmentation of media choices, printed newspapers are holding onto their audiences relatively well, and this is refreshing news."
The analysis of Scarborough audience data not only indicated that newspapers are being read by a majority of adults in print and online, but also that these audiences are made up of educated, affluent readers. It found that:
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-- 79 percent of adults employed in white-collar positions read a newspaper in print or online.
-- 82 percent of adults with household incomes of $100,000 or more read a newspaper in print or online.
-- 84 percent of adults who are college graduates or who have advanced degrees read a printed newspaper in print or online.
The Scarborough comes just weeks after numbers from the industry's Audit Bureau of Circulations found that many major newspapers around the country reported significant declines in circulation.