Fewer newspaper subscriptions

24/07/2007 15:00

The proportion in the Dutch population reporting that at least one household member subscribes to a newspaper declined from 62 percent in 1997 to 51 percent in 2006. The emergence of free daily newspapers is likely to be one of the reasons for the decline. Another reason may be that a growing number of people read newspapers online.

Newspaper subscriptions

Newspaper subscriptions

Half of households have newspaper subscription

More than half of Dutch couples had a newspaper subscription last year. The rate among one-parent families was less than one third. The number of newspaper subscribers dropped across all types of households. The smallest decline was found among childless couples: from 70 percent in 1997 to 63 percent in 2006.

Newspaper subscriptions by type of household

Newspaper subscriptions by type of household

More subscribers in rural areas

Last year, 56 percent of the native Dutch population reported that at least one household member had a newspaper subscription. The rates for people with a Western foreign background and people with a non-Western foreign background were 44 and 14 percent respectively.       

Newspaper subscriptions are far more frequent among people living in rural areas (62 percent) than among those living in highly urbanised areas (39 percent). As the majority of people with a foreign background live in big cities, the discrepancy between the newspaper subscription rates in big cities and in rural areas becomes distinctly smaller.

Newspaper subscriptions by degree of urbanisation

Newspaper subscriptions by degree of urbanisation

More subscribers among highly educated

The newspaper subscription rate is relatively high in the older population. Last year, approximately two in every three over-45s subscribed to a newspaper. The newspaper subscription rate was markedly lower among persons under the age of 45.
 
If education level is taken into account, it appears that two in every three graduates from university or higher vocational education subscribe to a newspaper. The rate for people whose highest level of education is primary school is 44 percent. If the fact that a relatively high proportion of young people are higher educated is taken into account, the discrepancy between the various levels of education becomes even larger.

Henk Swinkels