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.

1 Yomiuri Shimbun 10,021,000 Tokyo, Japan
2 Asahi Shimbun 8,054,000 Tokyo, Japan
3 Sichuan Daily 8,000,000 Chengdu, China
4 Mainichi Shimbun 3,812,000 Tokyo, Japan
5 Bild 3,548,000 Hamburg, Germany
6 News of the World 3,445,459 London, UK
7 Cankao Xiaxi 3,183,000 Beijing, China
8 Times of India 3,146,000 New Delhi, India
9 Nihon Keizi Shimbun (The Nikkei) 3,053,000 Tokyo, Japan
10 Sun 2,986,000 London, UK
11 People's Daily 2,808,000 Beijing, China
12 Chunichi Shimbun 2,755,000 Nagoya, Japan
13 Daily Mail 2,311,000 London, UK
14 Chosun Iibo 2,300,000 Seoul, South Korea
15 Tokyo Sports 2,230,000 Tokyo, Japan
16 Sankei Shimbun 2,204,000 Tokyo, Japan
17 Joongang Iibo 2,200,000 Seoul, South Korea
18 Dainik Jagran 2,168,000 Kanpur, India
19 Dong Aibo 2,100,000 Seoul, South Korea
20 Wall Street Journal 2,092,523 New York, USA
21 Nikkon Sports 1,868,000 Osaka, Japan
22 USA Today 1,826,622 Pulaski, USA
23 Yangtse Evening Post 1,810,000 Nanjing, China
24 Sports Nippon 1,800,000 Osaka, Japan
25 Guangzhou Daily 1,680,000 Guangzhou, China
26 Post 1,600,000 Islamabad, Pakistan
27 Yukan Fuji 1,559,000 Tokyo, Japan
28 Malayala Manorama 1,514,000 Kottayam, India
29 Daily Mirror 1,494,000 London, UK
30 Guangzhou Information Times 1,480,000 Guangzhou, China
31 Nanfang City News 1,400,000 Guangzhou, China
32 Sankei Sports 1,368,000 Tokyo, Japan
33 Ananda Bazar Patrika 1,277,000 Calcutta, India
34 Hindu 1,272,000 Chennai, India
35 Amar Ujala 1,230,000 Agra, India
36 Hokkaido Shimbun 1,201,000 Sapporo, Japan
37 Thai Rath 1,200,000 Bangkok, Thailand
38 Yangcheng Evening News 1,170,000 Guangzhou, China
39 Dainik Bhaskar 1,147,000 Raipur, India
40 Hindustan Times 1,143,000 New Delhi, India
41 Hindustan  1,142,000 New Delhi, India
42 Chutian Metro Daily 1,140,000 Wuhan, China
43 Guangzhou New Express 1,132,000 Guangzhou, China
44 Eenadu 1,130,000 Andhra, India
45 Mathrubhumi 1,077,000 Kozhikode, India
46 Gujarat Samachar 1,051,000 Ahmedabad, India
47 Qilu Evening News 1,050,000 Jinan, China
48 Global Times 1,042,000 Beijing, China
49 Sports Hochi 1,015,000 Tokyo, Japan
53 New York Times 951,063 New York, USA
57 Punjab Kesari 902,000 New Delhi, India
58 Dinakaran 901,000 Chennai, India
59 Al-Ahram 900,000 Cairo, Egypt
60 Bangkok Daily News 900,000 Bangkok, Thailand
62 Deccan Chronicle 885,000 Hyderabad, India
65 Daily Telegraph 871,000 London, UK
66 Daily Thanthi 854,000 Chennai, India
70 Divya Bhaskar 840,000 Ahmedabad, India
76 Rajasthan Patrika 804,000 Jaipur, India
79 Daily Jang 800,000 Karachi, Pakistan
86 Daily Express 745,000 London, UK
87 Sandesh 743,000 Ahmedabad, India
100 Corriere della Sera 664,000 Milan, 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.