Book reading frequency in selected countries worldwide 2017

The country reported to have read books most regularly in 2017 was China, where a survey among internet users across 17 countries revealed that 36 percent of respondents read a book every day or most days, and 34 percent read at least once a week. Conversely, just 13 percent of South Korean respondents were reading books on a daily basis. Other countries with a low share of those aged 15 years or above reading daily included Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands and Mexico.

Age and reading habits

It is surprising how much age can affect reading habits, even on a global level. In Germany, more 12 to 13-year-olds read daily or several times per week than their slightly older peers. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, a survey showed that more teenagers and Millennials said that they would be happy without books than adults aged 34 or older. More than double the percentage of adults in Colombia aged 65 or above read a book every day than those aged between 12 and 25 years.

The number of books read over the past year in the United States was overall higher among adults aged 18 to 34 than older generations, and in Canada the share of children reading books for fun halved with the approach of teenage years. Whilst 50 percent of children aged between six and eight years old were reading for pleasure multiple times per week, among 15 to 17-year-olds this figure amounted to just 25 percent. Meanwhile, the opposite was true of going online for fun, which increased sharply with age and replaced the activity of reading.

Frequency of reading books in selected countries worldwide in 2017

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Release date

March 2017



Survey time period


Number of respondents

22,000 respondents

Age group

15 years and older

Special properties

among internet users in 17 countries

Method of interview

Online survey

Supplementary notes

This question was phrased by the source as follows: "Please indicate how often you do the following activity: read books."

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