Pakistan has 10th Highest Newspaper Ciruclation in the World

Posted on December 2, 2010
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Books, Media Matters
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Owais Mughal

According to the latest edition of the trivia book  Top 10 of Everything 2011 by Russell Ash, Pakistan has the 10th highest newspaper circulation in the world!

We may not think of ourselves as newspaper reading people, but seems like newspapers do sell!

There are several interesting records in the book, but the one that caught my attention was the top 10 list of countries with the highest circulation of newspapers. I’ve always heard that newspaper circulation has been pathetic in Pakistan but the numbers quoted in this book and taken from surveys of UNESCO put Pakistan at number 10 in the world in terms of the highest circulation of newspapers.

Following is the list of Top 10 countries with highest newspaper circulation. The numbers written infront of country names give the average daily circulation of newspapers in these countries according to the cited UNESCO numbers.

1. China – 96, 704,000
2. India – 79,243,139
3. Japan – 70,446,000
4. USA – 57,357,000
5. Germany – 22,100,000
6. UK – 17,375,000
7. Russia – 13,280,000
8. France – 9,890,365
9. Italy – 8,017,000
10. Pakistan – 7,817,958

22 Comments on “Pakistan has 10th Highest Newspaper Ciruclation in the World”

  1. Lubna says:
    December 2nd, 2010 10:35 pm

    Interesting. I would not have expected that given how low the literacy levels are.

  2. ASAD says:
    December 2nd, 2010 10:53 pm

    Its the large population base that does the trick.

  3. Samdani says:
    December 2nd, 2010 11:30 pm

    Interesting. But it used to be that newspaper circulation numbers in Pakistan used to be exaggerated and over-stated. I wonder if that is still so.

  4. Faraz says:
    December 2nd, 2010 11:38 pm

    that’s really surprise me where illiterate 70%.
    Faraz from Chicago usa

  5. Janeeta says:
    December 3rd, 2010 12:53 am

    Considering the low literacy rates in Pakistan, this definitely comes as a surprise

  6. Sohaib says:
    December 3rd, 2010 2:01 am

    Well; We’ll always be a surprising Nation…Not far we’ll surprise Positively enough to be greeted.

  7. Umair Mirza says:
    December 3rd, 2010 2:27 am

    a lil maths will help here. we need to compare it with the population

  8. Umair says:
    December 3rd, 2010 2:50 am

    take this. only 6.75 % of Indians and 4.2% Pakistanis read news papers ! i took India’s population as 1173108000 (2010 est) and Pakistan 185000000

  9. JJ says:
    December 3rd, 2010 7:04 am

    Why did the POST end circulation? It was the only or loudest dissenting voice in Pakistan against US interference. Thus, maybe the POST was forced to close.

  10. Naan Haleem says:
    December 3rd, 2010 7:09 am

    Umair’s calculation is pretty close but interpretation is incorrect. You see, a household having 4 or 5 family members will buy only one news paper for the whole family so the number of newspaper readers will be much more than (in multiples of) newspaper circulation. Nonetheless, following is a list of 10 countries mentioned in the post in the order of circulation-as-a-percentage-of-population.

    1. Japan – 55.3%
    2. UK – 28.02%
    3. Germany – 27.02%
    4. USA – 18.45%
    5. France – 15.11%
    6. Italy – 13.26%
    7. Russia – 9.36%
    8. China – 7.21%
    9. India – 6.65%
    10. Pakistan – 4.57%

    As per 2009 UNDP report, India has 66% literacy rate while Pakistan is lagging behind with 54.2% and both are ranked 149th and 163rd respectively in a list of 180 countries. This low ranking may be the major factor contributing to low ratio of newspaper to population.

    Another interesting fact is that India holds the record for most widely circulated English daily. The Times of India has a circulation of 4.2 million, while The Sun of UK (a tabloid) sells less than 3 million copies.

  11. adeel naqvi says:
    December 3rd, 2010 7:16 am

    what is the daily circulation of english newspapers in pakistan?

  12. Gifts Pakistan says:
    December 3rd, 2010 8:49 am

    That is really amazing.

  13. Owais Mughal says:
    December 3rd, 2010 11:31 am

    Thanks for all the comments guys. As I wrote above, I was a little bit surprised to see Pk at number 10 – and that is one of the reasons I shared the post here – becasue somehow we were always told that newspaper circulation is very bad in Pk.

    Naan Haleem and Umair have good points that the ranking also corresponds to high population of the country. After all Pk is 6th most populous country in the world and newspaper circulation number corresponds to only 4.5% of population.

    Naan Haleem’s calculation of 55% population of Japan getting newspapers is also very interesting. Thanks.

  14. Hassan says:
    December 4th, 2010 11:23 am

    Very nice find. Actually I am not surprised everyone is always talking news in Pakistan and even ‘illiterate’ Pakistanis “see” the newspaper everyday at tea shops and khokhas. We are a newspaper people!

  15. Schajee says:
    December 4th, 2010 10:13 pm

    There is a perfectly good explanation for this unusually high printing of newspaper… we need something to bring the bread home in, lay them out in cupboards, wash windows, and some other uses that slip my mind.

  16. saad says:
    December 5th, 2010 12:12 pm

    Well I think the number of newspaper readers in pakistan is quite high. I live in Europe and I know that in countries like France and Germany free newspapers are circulated in the morning and in evening. So high circulation of newspapers is not astonishing. Most of the people who get these papers in the subways for instance dont really read them and just throw these away while leaving the subway train. On the contrary in Pakistan there are no free papers and if you add to that very low per capita income factor, you realise that Pakistanis are actually more motivated and curious to know what is happening around them.
    I dont know if there are free papers in USA, China or Japan. Can anyone inform me about that.

  17. uz says:
    December 5th, 2010 4:15 pm

    haha @ Schajee

    I read the article and then read your comment. Now it makes perfect sense why the circulation is so high.

  18. Owais Mughal says:
    December 6th, 2010 3:27 pm

    @schajee. your comment made me smile. There has to be some truth to it. No one can also deny the popularity of ‘filmi safha’. I believe they also add to the circulation of newspaper. I knew a person who had adorned his whole bedroom wall with ‘filmi safhaat’ from Urdu newspapers.

  19. Naan Haleem says:
    December 7th, 2010 8:57 am

    Japanese publishers are accused of Oshigami – exaggerating the circulation.

  20. salman501 says:
    December 8th, 2010 9:18 am

    Incredible for a country with a literacy rate of around 60%

  21. Owais Mughal says:
    December 9th, 2010 10:40 pm

    I want to bring to our reader’s attention this photo by Raja Islam posted at Karachi Metroblog. It shows how English newspaper is sold at a higher return than Urdu newspaper as packing material.

  22. namal says:
    December 18th, 2010 11:25 am

    good.Everyone should read newspapers for awareness,knowledge and to analyze everyday incidents

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