The world’s biggest selling newspapers

The internet is said to be taking its toll on newspapers, but circulation is still healthy in highly wired countries like Japan and South Korea. Tokyo seems to be the newspaper capital, boasting the two most widely circulated newspapers in the world: Yomiuri Shimbun and Asahi Shimbun.

Tokyo has, in all, four of the 10 most widely circulated newspapers in the world. Two are published from London: the News of the World and the Sun. One is German: the Bild. Two are in China. And the other one is the Times of India.

So why aren't any American newspapers on the top 10 list? It can't be because of the internet. The internet is as widely used in Britain, Japan and South Korea as in America.

The figures in the table below are from the US-based Mondo Newspapers, which covers newspapers around the world.

It shows 49 newspapers in the world have a circulation of more than a million.

Only two of them are American: the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Britain has four: the News of the World, the Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror. Europe has none except the Bild.

Japan has 13, China 12 and so does India. Three of the Indian newspapers are in English: the Times of India, the Hindu and the Hindustan Times. South Korea has three while Thailand and Pakistan have one each. There is none anywhere else.

The New York Times is 53rd on the list with a circulation of more than 950,000. No other American publication is on the list of the world's 100 most widely circulated newspapers. If you look at the list, you will see there is only one from the Middle East – the Egyptian Al-Ahram – and none at all from Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, Australia and the South Pacific.

1Yomiuri Shimbun10,021,000Tokyo, Japan
2Asahi Shimbun8,054,000Tokyo, Japan
3Sichuan Daily8,000,000Chengdu, China
4Mainichi Shimbun3,812,000Tokyo, Japan
5Bild3,548,000Hamburg, Germany
6News of the World3,445,459London, UK
7Cankao Xiaxi3,183,000Beijing, China
8Times of India3,146,000New Delhi, India
9Nihon Keizi Shimbun (The Nikkei)3,053,000Tokyo, Japan
10Sun2,986,000London, UK
11People's Daily2,808,000Beijing, China
12Chunichi Shimbun2,755,000Nagoya, Japan
13Daily Mail2,311,000London, UK
14Chosun Iibo2,300,000Seoul, South Korea
15Tokyo Sports2,230,000Tokyo, Japan
16Sankei Shimbun2,204,000Tokyo, Japan
17Joongang Iibo2,200,000Seoul, South Korea
18Dainik Jagran2,168,000Kanpur, India
19Dong Aibo2,100,000Seoul, South Korea
20Wall Street Journal2,092,523New York, USA
21Nikkon Sports1,868,000Osaka, Japan
22USA Today1,826,622Pulaski, USA
23Yangtse Evening Post1,810,000Nanjing, China
24Sports Nippon1,800,000Osaka, Japan
25Guangzhou Daily1,680,000Guangzhou, China
26Post1,600,000Islamabad, Pakistan
27Yukan Fuji1,559,000Tokyo, Japan
28Malayala Manorama1,514,000Kottayam, India
29Daily Mirror1,494,000London, UK
30Guangzhou Information Times1,480,000Guangzhou, China
31Nanfang City News1,400,000Guangzhou, China
32Sankei Sports1,368,000Tokyo, Japan
33Ananda Bazar Patrika1,277,000Calcutta, India
34Hindu1,272,000Chennai, India
35Amar Ujala1,230,000Agra, India
36Hokkaido Shimbun1,201,000Sapporo, Japan
37Thai Rath1,200,000Bangkok, Thailand
38Yangcheng Evening News1,170,000Guangzhou, China
39Dainik Bhaskar1,147,000Raipur, India
40Hindustan Times1,143,000New Delhi, India
41Hindustan 1,142,000New Delhi, India
42Chutian Metro Daily1,140,000Wuhan, China
43Guangzhou New Express1,132,000Guangzhou, China
44Eenadu1,130,000Andhra, India
45Mathrubhumi1,077,000Kozhikode, India
46Gujarat Samachar1,051,000Ahmedabad, India
47Qilu Evening News1,050,000Jinan, China
48Global Times1,042,000Beijing, China
49Sports Hochi1,015,000Tokyo, Japan
53New York Times951,063New York, USA
57Punjab Kesari902,000New Delhi, India
58Dinakaran901,000Chennai, India
59Al-Ahram900,000Cairo, Egypt
60Bangkok Daily News900,000Bangkok, Thailand
62Deccan Chronicle885,000Hyderabad, India
65Daily Telegraph871,000London, UK
66Daily Thanthi854,000Chennai, India
70Divya Bhaskar840,000Ahmedabad, India
76Rajasthan Patrika804,000Jaipur, India
79Daily Jang800,000Karachi, Pakistan
86Daily Express745,000London, UK
87Sandesh743,000Ahmedabad, India
100Corriere della Sera664,000Milan, Italy

You can see the full list of the world's 100 top newspapers by circulation here.

You could say newspapers are thriving in India because the internet is not as widely used there as in America. True. But what about Britain, South Korea and Japan? They all have plenty of internet users.

The newspaper habit may have something to do with public transport. Commuters on buses and trains can read newspapers unlike motorists. Americans are more likely to drive to work than the Japanese and the British.

But that cannot be the only reason why newspapers are doing better in those countries. The biggest selling British newspapers are the tabloids with plenty of gossip and scandals. Indian newspapers are also juicy reading. They offer all the political gossip and are hyperlocal, says this analyst.

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