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.
YearChildren’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 $13.02 billion in 20226.
YearChildren’s book market size ($ 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.
#TitleAuthorYear publishedPage countEstimated copies sold*
1The Little PrinceAntoine de Saint-Exupéry1943109200 million
2Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s StoneJ. K. Rowling1997223120 million
3The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeC. S. Lewis195020285 million
4The Adventures of PinocchioCarlo Collodi188118880 million
5Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsJ. K. Rowling199825177 million
6Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanJ. K. Rowling199931765 million
7Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireJ. K. Rowling200063665 million
8Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixJ. K. Rowling200376665 million
9Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceJ. K. Rowling200567265 million
10Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsJ. K. Rowling200760765 million
11HeidiJohanna Spyri188017650 million 
12Anne of Green GablesLucy Maud Montgomery190833650 million
13Black BeautyAnna Sewell187725550 million
14Charlotte’s WebE. B. White197138450 million
15The Tale of Peter RabbitBeatrix Potter19025645 million
(*other titles may be excluded due to sales reporting differences)