Can You Guess Where in the World People Read the Most?

A new study by the World Culture Score Index compiled the responses of 1,600 individuals in 30 countries around the world and has determined the number of hours spent reading by individuals around the world.

Based on the responses, India is the country where people are reading the most; the average Indian citizen reads 10:42 hours per week. Korea fell at the opposite end of the spectrum just bellow Taiwan and Japan, indicating that the average person reads 3:06 hours per week. The United States, which fell toward the bottom of the pack, reported that the average person reads 5:42 hours per week.


The study revealed some interesting trends. First of all, countries located in geographic clusters reported similar results. For instance, people in the Asian countries — of India, Thailand, China and the Philippines spend the most time reading.  

The southernmost nations, including Venezuela, South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, and Argentina all recorded similar results: 5:54 to 6:30 hours per week per person. 

The Northern European and Middle Eastern countries also reported similar results. Egyptians are reading about 7:30 hours per week and Saudi Arabians are reading about 6:48 hours per week. The Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden, France, and Hungary all reported numbers falling in between those of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. 

Another interesting finding was that that group of industrialized, first world countries including Spain, Canada, Germany, the U.S., and Italy reported relatively low rates of reading. The U.S. response of 5:42 hours per week per person tied that of Germany. That rate was also just lower than those of Turkey, Spain, and Canada and just higher than that of Italy. 

In addition, the drastic span of the results reported by recently developing nations including the East Asian Tigers, India and Brazil suggest that there may not be a link between reading rates and economic development and industrialization.

Finally, the study also showed what genre of books people favor across the world. According to the study, 32% of respondents are reading fantasy books, rendering it the most popular genre followed by Russian classics and historical novels. Love stories (favored by female respondents), modern foreign prose, and modern Russian prose were among the lesser read genres. Fantasy novels were also much more popular among male respondents than females. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Hannah Loewentheil

I am a Senior at Brown University where I am studying international relations and non-fiction writing. Follow me on twitter @hrl792.

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