Top 10 Most Popular Magazines by Circulation

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Magazine readership has dropped over the past several years. With more and more individuals obtaining their print information over the Internet, fewer individuals are subscribing to magazines or purchasing the magazines off of news stands. However, this doesn’t prevent some of the most popular magazines in circulation from still proving popular. Although the way individuals are obtaining their magazines, many of these publications are still very important. That is exactly why it is important to know what are the most popular magazines by circulation and how many magazines these different companies sell per week (or month).


10. People Magazine

People Magazine

3.5 Million Readers

People Magazine is owned by Time Inc, and it releases a weekly magazine for individuals to purchase or to subscribe to. The magazine is most known for its “Sexiest Man Alive” issue or the “World’s Most Beautiful People.” People Magazine loves its lists of people and it is always releasing a new magazine regarding celebrities and their lives. Everything is human interested based though, and while a good majority does focus on celebrity news, it has not turned over to compete entertainment celebrity magazine.


9. Family Circle

Family Circle

3.8 Million Readers

The Family Circle releases 15 different editions throughout the course of a year. This is one of the oldest magazines still in publication as it has been around since 193. This is considered a women’s magazine a it focuses on decorations and baking instructions for certain foods, especially around the holidays. While it has been owned by the New York Times Company in previous years, it is now published by Meredith Corporation. With the 3.8 million readers, it is one of the most popular magazines by circulation in the country.


8. National Geographic

National Geographic

4 Million Readers

The National Geographic magazine first hit shelves in 1888, covering topics ranging from history to culture and geography, but it is most known for its photography. The magazine itself has about four million readers inside of the United States and almost another million throughout the rest of the world. This is one of the most popular magazines by circulation in the country, and it also has one of the most popular appearances for any magazine out there with the yellow border around the edge. There have only been a few times in the history of the publication (since it started with the yellow border) that it has broken this pattern and either avoided it or used a different color.


7. Good Housekeeping

Good Housekeeping

4.3 Million Readers

This is another magazine that has been around for over 100 years as it first was published in 1885. It is currently published by Hearest Magazines and, while the American version is going on 130 years, there is a British version of Good Housekeeping that has been around since 1922. Regardless, this is one of the most popular magazines by circulation in the country.


6. Readers Digest

Readers Digest

5.5 Million Readers

Readers Digest is not only known as a fan favorite for doctor offices and clinics, but it is one of the most read magazines in the entire world. 5.5 million readers live inside of the United States, but there is a total of 10.5 million readers throughout the world, as over 70 different countries print the magazine in 21 different languages. The first edition of Readers Digest hit stands in 1922. However, this magazine is now only in digital form, as the last magazine hit shelves in February of 2013.


5. Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens

7.6 Million Readers

Better Homes and Gardens is another prominent women‘s magazine. In fact, outside of Readers Digest and National Geographic, all of the other magazines on this list have been produced specifically for women. This magazine has been around since 1922 (the 1920s proved an incredibly popular time for magazines to make their debut, as the First World War hadn’t affected the United States all that much and the country had not yet hit the Great Depression). With 7.6 million readers, it is one of the most popular magazines by circulation.


4. Game Informer

Game Informer

8.1 Million Readers

Marking the first real turn from general interest, Game Informer is a monthly magazine that reviews video games and offers insights into the world of digital video gaming content. It shows exactly how far and popular video games have become in the past two decades. The magazine, which first hit shelves in 1991, is owned by the same company that owns GameStop (GameStop Corp). As it really created the first real magazine that focused primarily on video games, it has since proved to be one of the most popular magazines by circulation in the entire country.


3. AARP Magazine

AARP Magazine

22.5 Million Readers

Whatever AARP does, retired individuals follow and listen. AARP, short for American Assocation of Retired Persons was known as Modern Maturity when it first hit the news shelves in 1958, although it changed its print name in 2002. This is actually the most popular print magazine in the United States, although it doesn’t do as well around the rest of the world (which is why it is only third on the list with other publications higher in total readership). Essentially, as long as there are retired individuals who receive their AARP card and benefits, the AARP Magazine is going to be one of the most popular magazines by circulation in the United States.


2. Awake


43.5 Million Readers

Awake is a religious magazine that releases a monthly edition that is produced by Watch Tower Bible. Published by the Jehovah’s Witnesses group, this is one of the most popular magazines in the world and it is published in 99 different languages and circulated around the world. While it does directly come out and advertise it is a religious publication by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, it is one of the most read magazines in the entire world. However, this magazine is usually now seen at doctor’s offices or other locations simply due to its content. Because of this, it is not generally seen by individuals, so some might not actually know what Awake is. Although many individuals don’t know what it is, there are others who are subscribers who so know that it is one of the most popular magazines by circulation in the world.


1. The Watchtower

The Watchtower

45 Million Readers

The top magazine produced and circulated throughout the world is another religious magazine. Produced and published by the same company that releases and writes Awake, there really is no comparison in terms of sheer numbers as there are for the top two magazines on this list. This magazine is one of the oldest continually published magazines in the entire world as it has been in print since 1879.

There are dozens of extremely popular magazines out there that reach all sorts of different individuals throughout the country and around the world. However, with that being said, many might not actually know of or have even heard of the top two magazines as both are religious based. Despite this though, the top two magazines, which are written and produced by the same company, have a combined international readership of around 90 million readers, which makes it by far the most seen magazines in the world.


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