Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

U.S. consumers spent more on recreational reading during COVID-19 pandemic than before

October 27, 2022

U.S. consumers spent more on recreational reading during the COVID-19 pandemic than ever before. Consumer spending on recreational reading rose 22.9 percent in 2020 and another 1.8 percent in 2021, reaching $15.2 billion.

Total consumer spending on recreational reading in the United States, in billions of dollars, 2019–21
Year Recreational reading expenditures

2019

$12.2

2020

15.0

2021

15.2

Spending on recreational reading increased the most during the COVID-19 pandemic in consumer units in which the reference person was ages 25–34. People in this age group spent 1.6 times as much on recreational reading in 2021 as in 2019. Young adults under age 25 increased their spending on recreational reading by 65.2 percent from 2019 to 2021. Among consumer units in which the reference person was age 75 and older, spending on recreational reading increased 23.3 percent in 2020 but then fell 29.1 percent in 2021.

Average consumer unit expenditures on recreational reading by age of reference person, 2019–21
Age 2019 2020 2021

Under age 25

$46 $51 $76

25–34

44 85 115

35–44

91 101 97

45–54

83 116 104

55–64

97 101 116

65–74

124 131 137

75 and older

159 196 139

These data are from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys. Recreational reading includes subscriptions for newspapers and magazines; books through book clubs; e-books and digital reading material; and the purchase of single-copy newspapers, magazines, newsletters, books, and encyclopedias and other reference books. Consumer units are similar to households and consist of the household members who use their income to make joint expenditure decisions. The reference person is the first member mentioned by the respondent when asked to "Start with the name of the person or one of the persons who owns or rents the home." To learn more about the data in this article, see our calendar year means tables.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, U.S. consumers spent more on recreational reading during COVID-19 pandemic than before at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2022/u-s-consumers-spent-more-on-recreational-reading-during-covid-19-pandemic-than-before.htm (visited December 01, 2022).

OF INTEREST
spotlight

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics



triangle