Children’s Book Sales Statistics
- Over 250.76 million children’s books were sold in 2022.
- After having 2 strong years of growth during the pandemic, sales of children’s books declined in 2022 by 9.45%.
- 2020 was the first year with a drop in unit sales of children’s books over the last 5 years.
- Overall, the category sales have grown by 11.37% since 2018, growing faster than the adult segment but slower than the YA segment.
- As of 2022, 32.8% of all books sold in the United States are children’s books.
- During 2020, over 35.5% of all book sales came from the children’s segment, which was the highest mark for the category over the last 5 years.
- Children’s fiction books dominate the category’s sales; as of 2022, over 184 million children’s fiction copies are sold annually.
- The nonfiction segment contributes 67 million copies.
- 1 in 4 books sold in the United States comes from the children’s fiction category.
- Nonfiction had a huge 2020 in the children’s segment when over 10% of all books sold in the US came from this category.
- During the pandemic, children’s nonfiction books were the second-fastest growing category, trailing only YA nonfiction.
|Year||Children’s nonfiction sales (million copies)||Children’s fiction sales (million copies)|
- In 2023, the children’s book market in the US is projected to reach $2.62 billion.
- This will be 7th consecutive year in which the children’s book segment recorded revenue growth.
- The category grew by 18.5% over the last 5 years, as it was standing at $2.21 billion in 2018.
- As of 2022, the US children’s book market accounts for 22.8% of the global children’s book revenue.
- The global children’s book market is projected to reach $13.02 billion in 20226.
|Year||Children’s book market size ($ billion)||Change|
Best-selling children’s books of all time
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (published in 1943) is the best-selling children’s book of all time, selling over 200 million copies.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone sold over 120 million copies.
- Furthermore, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Adventures of Pinocchio both sold upwards of 80 million copies.
- All titles within J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series feature in the given list.
- Black Beauty is the oldest children’s book on the list, published in 1877.
(*other titles may be excluded due to sales reporting differences)
|#||Title||Author||Year published||Page count||Estimated copies sold*|
|1||The Little Prince||Antoine de Saint-Exupéry||1943||109||200 million|
|2||Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone||J. K. Rowling||1997||223||120 million|
|3||The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe||C. S. Lewis||1950||202||85 million|
|4||The Adventures of Pinocchio||Carlo Collodi||1881||188||80 million|
|5||Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets||J. K. Rowling||1998||251||77 million|
|6||Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban||J. K. Rowling||1999||317||65 million|
|7||Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire||J. K. Rowling||2000||636||65 million|
|8||Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix||J. K. Rowling||2003||766||65 million|
|9||Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince||J. K. Rowling||2005||672||65 million|
|10||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows||J. K. Rowling||2007||607||65 million|
|11||Heidi||Johanna Spyri||1880||176||50 million |
|12||Anne of Green Gables||Lucy Maud Montgomery||1908||336||50 million|
|13||Black Beauty||Anna Sewell||1877||255||50 million|
|14||Charlotte’s Web||E. B. White||1971||384||50 million|
|15||The Tale of Peter Rabbit||Beatrix Potter||1902||56||45 million|