List of newspapers in the United Kingdom by circulation

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This is a list of the newspapers in the United Kingdom by average circulation.

In the early nineteenth century, newspapers circulations were small. The leading newspaper at the start of the century was the Morning Post, which sold around 4,000 copies per day, twice the sales of its nearest rival. As production methods improved, print runs increased, and newspapers were sold at lower prices. By 1828, the Morning Herald was selling the most copies, but it was soon overtaken by The Times.[1]

Public houses would typically take in one or two papers for their customers to read, and through this method, by the 1850s the newspaper of the licensed trade, the Morning Advertiser, had the second highest circulation. Sales of The Times were around 40,000,[2] and it had around 80% of the entire daily newspaper market,[3] but Sunday papers were more popular, some boasting sales of more than 100,000.[2] Later in the century, the Daily News came to prominence, selling 150,000 copies a day in the 1870s,[1] while by 1890, the Daily Telegraph had a circulation of 300,000. Sunday newspaper sales also grew rapidly, with Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper being the first to sell one million copies an issue.[2]

The press was changed by the introduction of halfpenny papers. The first national halfpenny paper was the Daily Mail,[1] followed by the Daily Express and the Daily Mirror, which became the first weekday paper to sell one million copies in around 1911. Circulation continued to increase, reaching a peak in the mid-1950s;[2] sales of the News of the World reached a peak of more than 8,000,000 in 1950.[4] Since the 1950s, there has been a gradual decline in newspaper sales.[2]

Daily newspapers[edit]

Circulations 2010 to present[edit]

Figures shown are average circulations for January of each year. Only newspapers with circulations of more than 100,000 copies per day in January 2012 are listed. Regardless of immediate source, all figures originate from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Title 2014[5] 2013[6] 2012[7] 2011[8] 2010[9][10]
The Sun 2,213,659 2,409,811 2,582,301 3,001,822 3,006,565
Daily Mail 1,780,565 1,863,151 1,945,496 2,136,568 2,120,347
Daily Mirror 992,256 1,058,488 1,102,810 1,194,097 1,218,425
Evening Standard TBA 695,645[11] 699,368[12] 704,008[13] 601,960[14]
Daily Telegraph 544,546 555,817 578,774 651,184 691,128
Daily Express 500,473 529,648 577,543 639,875 674,640
Daily Star 489,067 535,957 617,082 734,311 779,376
The Times 384,304 399,339 397,549 457,250 508,250
i 298,266 293,946 264,432 133,472 N/A
Financial Times 234,193 275,375 316,493 383,067 390,315
Daily Record 227,639 251,535 291,825 306,872 323,831
The Guardian 207,958 204,440 215,988 279,308 302,285
The Independent 66,576 76,802 105,160 185,035 185,815

Circulations 2000-2009[edit]

Figures shown are average circulations for January of each year. Only newspapers with circulations of more than 100,000 copies per day in January 2009 are listed. Regardless of immediate source, all figures originate from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Title 2009[15][16] 2008[17] 2007[18] 2006[19] 2005[19] 2004[20] 2003[21] 2002[22] 2001 2000
The Sun 3,146,006 3,209,766 3,217,844 3,319,337 3,382,509 3,410,701 3,578,506 3,502,923 3,636,561[23] 3,557,336[23]
Daily Mail 2,200,398 2,313,908 2,354,028 2,389,011 2,409,121 2,485,210 2,518,544 2,489,264 2,479,768[24] 2,353,915[24]
Daily Mirror 1,366,891 1,512,599 1,621,000 1,727,672 1,748,327 1,919,125 2,071,059 2,164,576 2,149,422[25] 2,270,543[25]
Daily Telegraph 783,210 890,086 911,454 917,943 920,745 914,981 946,697 1,013,653 1,022,263[26] 1,039,749[26]
Daily Star 768,534 722,969 773,637 820,070 861,825 901,879 835,343 706,554 543,807[27] 502,647[27]
Daily Express 736,340 752,699 771,325 849,001 949,238 956,649 983,391 991,560 979,042[28] 1,050,846[28]
The Times 617,483 633,718 670,054 685,081 686,327 660,713 671,340 711,295 734,220[29] 726,349[29]
Financial Times 426,676 452,448 439,104 441,840 422,519 422,543 431,875 475,475 478,161[30] 435,478[30]
The Guardian 358,844 378,394 384,070 394,913 376,816 383,157 409,568 411,386 410,152[31] 401,560[31]
Daily Record 354,302[32] 393,788[32] 418,628 451,932 471,708 503,077 520,540 584,290 603,914[33] 626,646[33]
Evening Standard 237,403[34] 294,823 276,562 337,080 350,671 395,090[35] 424,177[35] 410,104[35] 432,661[35] 440,287[35]
The Independent 215,504 250,641 263,503 258,387 257,100 248,876 221,926 224,655 223,645[36] 222,106[36]

Circulation 1950–1999[edit]

Figures shown are average circulations for each year. Figures originate from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Title 1997[37] 1992[38] 1987[39] 1980[40] 1976[39] 1966[40] 1961[39] 1956[41]
The Sun 3,877,097 3,570,562 3,993,000 3,741,000 3,708,000 1,238,000 N/A N/A
Daily Mirror 2,442,078 2,900,000[42] 3,123,000 3,625,000 3,851,000 5,123,000 4,561,000 4,649,696
Daily Mail 2,344,183 1,675,453 1,759,000 1,948,000 1,755,000 2,318,000 2,610,000 2,071,708
Daily Express 1,241,336 1,524,786 1,697,000 2,194,000 2,594,000 3,978,000 4,328,000 4,042,334
Daily Telegraph 1,129,777 1,038,138 1,147,000 1,439,000 1,308,000 1,353,000 1,248,000 1,075,460
The Times 821,000 386,258 442,000 297,000 310,000 282,000 253,000 220,716
Daily Star 729,991 805,793 1,289,000 1,034,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Daily Record 703,090 755,026[43] 732,000
The Guardian 428,010 429,062 494,000 377,000 306,000 281,000 245,000 163,585
Financial Times 326,516 290,204 280,000 197,000 174,000 152,000 132,000 80,518
The Independent 288,182 389,523 293,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Press and Journal 105,076[44]
Glasgow Herald 104,844[43] 121,297[43]
Today N/A 533,177 350,000[45] N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Daily Herald N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1,394,000 1,693,997
Daily Sketch N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 857,000 981,000 1,123,855
Daily Worker N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 60,000
News Chronicle N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1,442,438

Circulation before 1950[edit]

Figures shown are average circulations for each year. Figures from after 1931 originate from the Audit Bureau of Circulations; those from 1852 and 1838 originate from stamp duty returns.

Title 1947[39] 1939[46] 1930[46] 1921[46] 1863[47] 1852[48] 1838[49]
Daily Express 3,855,000 2,546,000 1,693,000 579,000 N/A N/A N/A
Daily Mirror 3,702,000 1,571,000 1,071,000 1,003,000 N/A N/A N/A
Daily Herald 2,134,000 1,850,000 1,082,000 211,000 N/A N/A N/A
Daily Mail 2,076,000 1,533,000 1,845,000 1,533,000 N/A N/A N/A
News Chronicle 1,623,000 1,571,000 1,400,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Daily Telegraph 1,015,000 737,000 90,000 180,000 120,000 N/A N/A
Daily Sketch 772,000 750,000 1,013,000 835,000 N/A N/A N/A
The Times 268,000 204,000 187,000 113,000 40,000 42,384 11,660
Manchester Guardian 126,000 3,173
Daily Worker 118,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Financial Times 71,000 N/A N/A N/A
Morning Advertiser 30,000[50] 20,000 7,124 5,000
Daily Chronicle N/A N/A N/A 661,000 N/A N/A N/A
Daily News N/A N/A N/A 300,000 5,000 3,938 N/A
Morning Post N/A N/A N/A 50,000 2,673 2,800
Morning Star N/A N/A N/A N/A 20,000 N/A N/A
Morning Herald N/A N/A N/A N/A 2,000 4,112 6,150
North British Daily Advertiser N/A N/A N/A N/A 2,458
Morning Chronicle N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 2,283 6,630
Liverpool Mercury N/A N/A N/A N/A 2,019

Sunday newspapers[edit]

Circulation since 2010[edit]

Figures shown are average circulations for January of each year. Only newspapers with circulations of more than 100,000 copies in January 2010 are listed. Regardless of immediate source, all figures originate from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Title 2014[51] 2013[6] 2012[52] 2011[8] 2010[9][10]
The Sun on Sunday 1,800,830 2,010,826 N/A N/A N/A
The Mail on Sunday 1,586,979 1,715,707 1,882,469 1,958,083 2,048,008
Sunday Mirror 948,754 1,039,150 1,594,293 1,092,816 1,124,620
The Sunday Times 817,642 885,612 939,395 1,039,371 1,144,929
Sunday Express 430,601 471,625 567,800 550,269 585,023
The Sunday Telegraph 429,285 435,036 461,280 527,742 602,306
The People 374,820 429,167 701,246 500,866 532,975
Daily Star Sunday 310,063 345,885 599,078 316,712 358,814
Sunday Mail 256,052 283,861 376,898 366,325 395,126
Sunday Post TBA 242,555 291,623 317,896 337,398
The Observer 225,474 225,194 253,022 314,164 354,565
Independent on Sunday 101,284 114,308 124,428 152,561 153,975
News of the World N/A N/A N/A 2,789,560 2,984,469

Circulation 2000-2009[edit]

Figures shown are average circulations for January of each year. Only newspapers with circulations of more than 100,000 copies in January 2009 are listed. Regardless of immediate source, all figures originate from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Title 2009[53][54] 2008[18] 2007[18] 2006[19] 2005[19] 2004[55] 2003[56] 2002[57] 2001 2000
News of the World 3,031,025 3,264,676 3,426,719 3,789,176 3,823,317 3,845,373 3,971,998 4,086,621 4,026,288[58] 4,139,793[58]
The Mail on Sunday 2,134,809 2,330,366 2,303,472 2,404,511 2,446,465 2,364,156 2,388,416 2,342,860 2,373,007[59] 2,323,720[59]
Sunday Mirror 1,244,007 1,366,922 1,460,928 1,574,054 1,652,375 1,674,454 1,724,940 1,845,860 1,831,572[60] 2,008,961[60]
The Sunday Times 1,198,984 1,231,374 1,288,421 1,375,153 1,375,982 1,370,051 1,410,539 1,405,430 1,416,080[61] 1,373,900[61]
Sunday Express 646,971 704,436 790,068 877,101 976,055 930,001 976,346 834,999 879,622[62] 974,310[62]
The Sunday Telegraph 633,639 659,841 682,739 692,107 695,522 751,038 784,069 796,840[63] 822,931[63]
The People 594,552 669,362 761,595 895,275 1,001,389 1,055,810 1,189,812 1,389,778 1,489,260[64] 1,613,113[64]
Daily Star Sunday 359,533 382,288 378,224 439,067 459,933 556,743 510,995 N/A N/A N/A
Sunday Mail 442,103[32] 487,975 514,287 547,405 585,657 605,743 628,742 692,366 708,484[65] 751,084[65]
The Observer 427,867 444,951 444,186 542,075 446,818 459,804 465,984 449,806 440,090[66] 416,460[66]
Sunday Post 366,275[32] 412,037 437,224 451,530[67] 481,767[67] 514,181[67] 547,256[67] 581,218[67] 612,562[67] 655,634[67]
Independent on Sunday 178,798 236,500 247,829 241,414 206,527 206,087 220,028 231,869 250,462[68] 248,630[68]
Sunday Business N/A N/A N/A N/A 204,910[69] 306,683 N/A N/A N/A N/A

Circulation in the 20th century[edit]

Figures shown are average circulations for each year. Figures originate from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Title 1997[37] 1987[39] 1980[40] 1976[39] 1966[40] 1961[39] 1956[41] 1947[39] 1935[70]
News of the World 4,620,415 5,360,000 4,335,000 5,138,000 6,152,000 6,643,000 7,493,463 7,890,000 3,350,000
Sunday Mirror 2,424,000 2,953,000 3,831,000 4,101,000 5,219,000 5,306,000 5,624,010 4,006,000 2,250,000
The Mail on Sunday 2,322,423 1,919,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
The People 2,001,978 2,743,000 3,847,000 4,094,000 5,560,000 5,450,000 4,948,215 4,670,000 3,000,000
The Sunday Times 1,449,113 1,314,000 1,424,000 1,382,000 1,363,000 967,000 618,540 568,000 215,000
Sunday Express 1,261,690 2,033,000 3,045,000 3,451,000 4,181,000 4,457,000 3,331,127 2,577,000 1,096,000
The Sunday Telegraph 983,253 693,000 1,017,000 759,000 650,000 688,000 N/A N/A N/A
Sunday Mail 818,081[44] 567,728[50] 250,000
Sunday Post 791,100[44] 312,000
The Observer 498,086 722,000 973,000 670,000 881,000 715,000 601,042 384,000 215,000
Independent on Sunday 311,321 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Scotland on Sunday 113,516[44] N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Reynolds News N/A N/A N/A N/A 216,000 310,000 516,445 720,000 400,000
Sunday Dispatch N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 2,420,159 2,061,000 936,000
Sunday Graphic N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 2,420,159 1,185,000 900,000
Empire News N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 2,550,308 2,033,177[50] 1,535,000
Sunday Chronicle N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1,178,000 830,000
Sunday Referee N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 215,000

Circulation in the 19th century[edit]

Figures shown are average circulations for each year. Figures originate from stamp duty returns.

Title 1863[47] 1853[48] 1838[49]
Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper 500,000 N/A N/A
Weekly Times 200,000 65,420 N/A
News of the World 150,000 69,296 N/A
Reynold's Weekly 100,000 30,035 N/A
Illustrated London News 82,331 N/A
Weekly Dispatch 35,420 51,570
Bell's Life in London 27,200 20,000
Sunday Times 8,500 13,365
Weekly Chronicle N/A N/A 32,327
Bell's Weekly Messenger N/A N/A 17,274

Regional newspapers[edit]

Figures shown are average circulations for each year. Figures originate from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Title 2011[71] 1994[72] 1980[40] 1956[41] 1948[73] 1945[72] 1939[73]
Express & Star (Wolverhampton) 113,174 217,000 149,000
Manchester Evening News 90,973 214,000 331,000 250,000
Liverpool Echo 85,463 173,000 236,000 284,000
Shropshire Star 55,606 97,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Newcastle Evening Chronicle 52,486 121,000 190,000
Glasgow Evening Times 52,400 148,000 295,515 293,000
Leicester Mercury 51,150 122,000 100,000
The Sentinel (Staffordshire) 50,792 99,000 72,000
Evening Express (Aberdeen) 47,849 70,000 114,700 67,000 104,322
Birmingham Mail 47,217 200,000 296,259 200,000
The Irish News 43,647
Hull Daily Mail 43,523 94,000 95,000
The News (Portsmouth) 41,442 80,000 81,000
Evening Gazette (Teesside) 40,546 70,000 69,000
South Wales Evening Post (Newport) 40,149 70,000 47,000
Edinburgh Evening News 39,947 92,000 129,000
Yorkshire Post 39,698 151,524 79,912
Bristol Evening Post 38,344 93,000 110,000 109,000
The Star (Sheffield) 37,255 105,000 156,000
Yorkshire Evening Post 36,512 114,000 250,877 204,000 185,519
Nottingham Post 35,361 113,000 90,000
Coventry Telegraph 34,359 85,000 50,000
Sunderland Echo 32,771 62,000 57,000
South Wales Echo (Cardiff) 32,754 82,000 132,000
Derby Telegraph 32,356 67,000 46,000
Southern Daily Echo (Southampton) 31,964 64,000 60,000
Echo (Southend) 30,108 55,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
The Argus (Brighton) 29,949 68,000 42,000
The Herald (Plymouth) 29,709 58,000 62,000
Bournemouth Daily Echo 26,818 50,000 45,000
Telegraph & Argus (Bradford) 26,766 63,000 103,000
The Press (York) 25,989 50,000 44,000
Lancashire Evening Post 23,183 68,000 88,000
Bolton News 21,940 46,000 65,000
Evening Standard (London) 662,608 780,820 384,419
Evening News (London) N/A N/A 1,121,195 1,652,646 837,638
Liverpool Post N/A N/A N/A 382,169 236,986
The Star (London) N/A N/A N/A 926,884 1,081,812 488,419
Manchester Evening Chronicle N/A N/A N/A 224,000
Glasgow Evening Citizen N/A N/A N/A 144,000
Birmingham Evening Despatch N/A N/A N/A 138,000
Yorkshire Evening News N/A N/A N/A 122,000
Glasgow Evening News N/A N/A N/A 99,000
Liverpool Evening Express N/A N/A N/A 89,000
St Helens Reporter 27,000 23,000 22,000 60,000

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Cambridge History of English and American Literature: Volume XIV - The Victorian Age, Part Two
  2. ^ a b c d e John B. Thomson, Ideology and Modern Culture
  3. ^ Robert L. Bishop, "The Decline of National Newspapers in the UK", International Communication Gazette 1983: 31, p.206
  4. ^ "Sundays get a roasting", Press Gazette, 11 May 2001
  5. ^ "ABCs: National daily newspaper circulation January 2014", The Guardian, 14 February 2014
  6. ^ a b "UK national newspaper sales: Relatively strong performances from Sun and Mirror", Press Gazette, 8 February 2013
  7. ^ "First official figures give The Sun Sunday 3.2m circ", Press Gazette, 9 March 2012
  8. ^ a b Oliver Luft, "ABC: i debuts with daily circulation of 133,472 in January", Press Gazette, 11 February 2011
  9. ^ a b "ABCs: Sun back over 3m but Star is only climber", Press Gazette, 12 February 2010
  10. ^ a b Oliver Luft, "ABC: Telegraph drops below 700,000", Press Gazette, 12 February 2010
  11. ^ "Regional Publications Certificate of Circulation: London Evening Standard: January 2013", Audit Bureau of Circulations
  12. ^ "Regional Publications Certificate of Circulation: London Evening Standard: January 2012", Audit Bureau of Circulations
  13. ^ "London Evening Standard Certificate of Circulation", Audit Bureau of Circulations
  14. ^ Daily Paid & Free, Newspaper Society
  15. ^ Paul McNally, "January ABCs: Daily Star is lone riser after price cut", Press Gazette, 6 February 2009
  16. ^ Oliver Luft, "ABC bulks probe: National sales figures revised", Press Gazette, 14 August 2009
  17. ^ "January ABCs: Sun sales back above three million", Press Gazette, 8 February 2008
  18. ^ a b c "Multi Platform Monthly Report: January 2008", Audit Bureau of Circulations
  19. ^ a b c d Dominic Ponsford, "January ABCs: Observer up 21 per cent following relaunch to 542,000 sales", Press Gazette, 17 February 2006
  20. ^ "National daily newspaper circulations: January 2004", Media Guardian
  21. ^ "National daily newspaper circulations: January 2003", Media Guardian, 12 February 2003
  22. ^ "National daily newspaper circulations: January 2002", Media Guardian, 11 February 2002
  23. ^ a b The Sun, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  24. ^ a b Daily Mail, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  25. ^ a b Daily Mirror, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  26. ^ a b The Daily Telegraph, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  27. ^ a b Daily Star, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  28. ^ a b Daily Express, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  29. ^ a b The Times, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  30. ^ a b Financial Times, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  31. ^ a b The Guardian, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  32. ^ a b c d Owen Amos, "January ABCs: Scotland's best performance is 9.3% fall", Press Gazette, 6 February 2009
  33. ^ a b Daily Record, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  34. ^ Dominic Ponsford, "January ABCs: Standard losing sales at rate of 14.5%", Press Gazette, 6 February 2009
  35. ^ a b c d e Evening Standard, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  36. ^ a b The Independent, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  37. ^ a b John Frain, Introduction to Marketing, p.372
  38. ^ Ivor Crewe, Brian Gosschalk, Political Communications, p.172
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h Justin Fisher, D. T. Denver and John Benyon, Central Debates in British Politics, p.197
  40. ^ a b c d e United Newspapers PLC and Fleet Holdings PLC, Monopolies and Mergers Commission (1985), pp.5–16
  41. ^ a b c Tony Shaw, Eden, Suez and the Mass Media, p.197
  42. ^ Crewe and Gosschalk give a figure of 3,660,756 for the Mirror and Record combined. This is an approximate figure found by subtracting the Record circulation given by Seawright and rounding to the nearest 100,000.
  43. ^ a b c David Seawright, An Important Matter of Principle, p.183
  44. ^ a b c d D. T. Denver, Hugh Bochel, Scotland decides, p.79
  45. ^ Andreas H. Jucker, Social Stylistics, p.47
  46. ^ a b c James Curran et al., Impacts and Influences, p.29
  47. ^ a b Samuel Rhoads and Enoch Lewis, Friends' Review, p.603
  48. ^ a b William Turner Coggeshall, The Newspaper Record, pp.87–89. Figures for newspapers published outside London are calculated from annual sales assuming 312 issues per year.
  49. ^ a b The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Difussion of Useful Knowledge, pp.195
  50. ^ a b c Viscount Camrose, British Newspapers and their Controllers
  51. ^ "ABCs: National Sunday newspaper circulation January 2014", The Guardian, 14 February 2014
  52. ^ http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=48913&c=1
  53. ^ Owen Amos, "January ABCs: Sindy slumps 25% with drops all round", Press Gazette, 6 February 2009
  54. ^ Oliver Luft, "ABC bulks probe: National sales figures revised", Press Gazette, 14 August 2009
  55. ^ "National Sunday newspaper circulations: January 2004", Media Guardian
  56. ^ "National Sunday newspaper circulation January 2003", Media Guardian, 12 February 2003
  57. ^ "National newspaper circulation: Sundays: January 2002", Media Guardian, 11 February 2002
  58. ^ a b News of the World, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  59. ^ a b The Mail on Sunday, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  60. ^ a b Sunday Mirror, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  61. ^ a b The Sunday Times, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  62. ^ a b Sunday Express, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  63. ^ a b The Sunday Telegraph, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  64. ^ a b The People, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  65. ^ a b Sunday Mail, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  66. ^ a b The Observer, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  67. ^ a b c d e f g Sunday Post, Audit Bureau of Circulations. Note that circulation figures for the Sunday Post before October 2006 were given biannually; the figure given is that for the first half of the year in each case.
  68. ^ a b Independent on Sunday, Audit Bureau of Circulations
  69. ^ "National Sunday newspaper circulation January 2005, Media Guardian
  70. ^ The Political Quarterly 1935, pp.112–113
  71. ^ Andrew Pugh, "Regional ABCs: circulation falls on 83 of 86 dailies", Press Gazette, 31 August 2011
  72. ^ a b Colin Seymour-Ure, The British Press and Broadcasting since 1945, pp.274-276
  73. ^ a b ABC Net Sales 1939-1948