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A newspaper's circulation is the number of copies it distributes on an average day. Newspaper circulation rates are currently experiencing a downward trend. Circulation is one of the principal factors used to set advertising rates. Circulation is not always the same as copies sold, often called paid circulation, since some newspapers are distributed without cost to the reader. Readership figures are usually higher than circulation figures because of the assumption that a typical copy of the newspaper is read by more than one person.

In many countries, circulations are audited by independent bodies such as the Audit Bureau of Circulations to assure advertisers that a given newspaper does indeed reach the number of people claimed by the publisher.

World newspapers with the largest circulation

The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) publishes a list of newspapers with the largest circulation. In 2005, China topped the list in term of total newspaper circulation with 93.5 million a day, India came second with 78.8 million, followed by Japan, with 70.4 million; the United States, with 48.3 million; and Germany, with 22.1 million. Around 75 of the 100 best selling newspapers are in Asia and seven out of top ten are Japanese newspapers. [31897]

The Japanese Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun and Seikyo Shimbun are still the best-selling newspapers in the world. Germany's Bild became the only entry in the top ten from outside of Asia. Reference News (參考消息) is the most popular paper in China. The highest selling from the United States is USA Today, which is 13th in the world.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the daily circulation of the Soviet newspaper Trud exceeded 21,500,000 in 1990, while the Soviet weekly Argumenty i Fakty boasted a circulation of 33,500,000 in 1991.

Individual countries

Belgiummarker

The Belgian institution CIM (Centre for Information about Media) publishes national circulation figures for all written, audiovisual and web-based media in Belgium. The top ten best selling papers according to their website [31898] are Het Laatste Nieuws, 317,715; Het Nieuwsblad, 245,209; SUD Presse (group of papers focused on community specific content), 147,749; Het Belang van Limburg, 121,428; Le Soir, 113,780; Vers l’avenir, 109,287 (group of papers focused on community specific content); La Dernière Heure, 107,583; De Standaard, 104,758; Het Volk, 77,025 and De Morgen, 73,784.

Indiamarker

The 2009 Indian Readership Survey findings shows that the largest read local language newspapers to be Dainik Jagran (with 55.7 million readers) and Dainik Bhaskar (with 31.9 million readers), both published in Hindi. The Times of India is the most widely read English language newspaper (13.3 million), followed by Hindustan Times (6.3 million), The Hindu (5.2 million). The New Indian Express is another widely-read English language newspaper (1.8 million}. Sakshi news paper which is published in Telugu crossing 1.25 million has the largest circulation in regional languages.

Japanmarker

The 2004 circulation figures for the morning and evening editions of Japan's largest newspapers: Yomiuri Shimbun, 14,067,000; The Asahi Shimbun, 12,121,000; Mainichi Shimbun, 5,587,000; Seikyou Shimbun, 5,500,000; Nihon Keizai Shimbun, 4,635,000; Chunichi Shimbun/Tokyo Shimbun,4,512,000; Tokyo Sports, 2,425,000; Sankei Shimbun, 2,757,000; Nikkan Sports, 1,965,000; Hokkaido Shimbun, 1,896,594; Sports Nippon, 1,711,000; The Nikkan Gendai, 1,686,000; Akahata, 1,683,000; Yukan Fuji, 1,559,000; Shizuoka Shimbun, 1,479,000; Sankei Sports, 1,368,000; Hochi Shimbun, 1,354,000; Daily Sports, 999,000; [31899]

Turkeymarker

Best-selling paper in English as of April 18, 2008, according to the BPA World Wide, Today's Zaman

United Kingdommarker

Best-selling papers as of July 2, 2006, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, [31900] are the News of the World (Sunday only), 3,471,415; The Sun, 3,148,700 and The Daily Mail, 2,340,255.

United Statesmarker

The heyday of the newspaper industry was the 1940s, but the percentage of Americans reading newspapers began to decline with the increased competition from radio, television and, more recently, the Internet. A growing population helped the absolute circulation numbers continue to increase until the 1970s, where it remained stable until the 1990s, when absolute circulation numbers began declining.

Newspaper circulation numbers are reported to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Best-selling papers as of March 31, 2009 in the U.S.A., according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, are USA Today, 2,113,725; The Wall Street Journal, 2,082,189 and The New York Times, 1,039,031.

Canadamarker

The most widely read paper in the country is the Toronto Star, which, as of the six-month period ending on March 31, 2007, averaged 634,886 copies sold on Saturday, 436,694 Monday to Friday, and 442,265 on Sunday. [31901] The second most widely read paper is Toronto-based national newspaper The Globe and Mail, which averaged 410,285 copies on Saturdays, and 322,807 Monday to Friday. The most widely read French-language newspaper is Le Journal de Montréal, which averaged 319,899 copies on Saturday, 267,404 Monday to Friday, and 264,733 on Sunday. It should be noted that unlike in the United States, newspapers in Canada published their biggest and mostly widely read editions on Saturdays, and that most papers don't publish on Sundays.

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