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Public library usage in England 2005-2019, by area

From 2005 to 2019, the share of individuals that reported visiting a public library in England decreased overall. Especially, the public library attendance dropped significantly in rural areas. Over the period considered, the percentage of respondents from rural areas claiming to have visited a public library at least once in the year previous to the survey decreased from 47.1 percent to 29.8 percent.

Share of respondents that visited a public library in England from 2005 to 2019, by urban and rural area

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Release date

September 2020


United Kingdom (England)

Survey time period

2005 to 2019

Number of respondents

7,502 respondents

Special properties

visited within the year previous to survey

Supplementary notes

*Base of most recent survey. n (2018) = 8,161, n (2017) = 7,715; n (2016) = 9,352; n (2015) = 10,171; n (2014) = 9,817; n (2013) = 10,355; n (2012) = 9,838; n (2011) = 9,188; n (2010) = 14,102; n (2009) = 6,097; n (2008) = 14,452; n (2007) = 25,720; n (2006) = 24,174; n (2005) = 28,117.
The source indicates that the survey was a household survey. The results presented are based on interviews.
Figures exclude those who visited a library for the purposes of paid work or academic study except in 2008/09 and 2009/10.

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