Educational publishing and textbook industry stats

Educational publishing and textbook industry stats

Top educational publishing stats

  • $16 billion educational publishing industry
  • The average college student spends more than $900 a year on textbooks
  • Publishers McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), and Pearson control 80% of the textbook market
  • Between 1977 and 2015, the cost of textbooks increased by over 1000%
  • Textbook costs rose 67% from 2008 to 2018
  • Hardcopy books can cost as much as $400.00, with the average price between $80 and $150

Educational publishing industry market and market size

  • In the US, the educational publishing industry is with $16 billion per year
  • There is a potential market of 67.6 students in the US
    • 48 million public school students are in Kindergarten to 12th grade
    • 19.6 million students are enrolled in higher education in the US
  • The amount of students enrolled in higher education is predicted to grow by 14% over the next 5 years
  • In Europe, the educational publishing industry is with €6 billion per year
  • The digital educational publishing market is predicted to grow by $6.96 billion by 2024
  • Textbooks make up 1% of educational expenditure from the US federal government

The price of textbooks over time

  • Between 1977 and 2015, the cost of textbooks increased by over 1000%
  • Textbook costs rose 67% from 2008 to 2018
  • Hardcopy books can cost as much as $400.00, with the average price between $80 and $150
  • The price of textbooks increases by an average of 12% with each new edition but can cost up to 50% more
  • New editions come out every 3-4 years on average

Who makes money from textbooks?

  • The average textbook costs $80-150
  • For a $100 textbook:
    • The publisher receives $66, of which $7 is profit
    • The author receives $11.60 in royalties
    • The campus store receives $22.40, of which $4.50 is profit
  • McGraw-Hill’s profit margin is 25% whereas Pearson’s is 10%
  • ​​$10.45 billion spent annually in college bookstore

The impact of the price of textbooks on a student’s education

  • AStudents purchase an average of 10 textbooks over an academic year
  • 65% of students admit they have skipped buying a textbook because they are so expensive
  • 90% of students believe not buying textbooks can have a serious impact on their grades
  • 21% of students have skipped buying access codes to online textbooks and resources due to price
  • Access codes also provide access to homework assignments and quizzes meaning forgoing access codes has a direct impact on grades
  • 82% of students who have skipped a meal due to their financial situation have also skipped buying textbooks due to the cost
  • 38% of students who have skipped a meal due to their financial situation have also admitted skipping access codes — almost twice as many as the national average of 21%
  • 58% of college students share textbooks with friends
  • 33% have used financial aid for their textbooks
  • 19% of students have stated the cost of books has influenced their decision on what classes to take
  • 71% of colleges believe new editions of textbooks are rarely justified

Digital textbooks vs physical textbooks

  • 75% of students prefer a print textbook over digital if price isn’t a factor
  • 60% of students would rather pay $20-40 for a print textbook than get a digital version for free
  • 23% of students purchased at least one digital textbook in the past academic year
  • 41% of colleges believe their students learn better from print textbooks than digital.
  • 32% of Danish textbook market stems from sales of digital content
  • 100% of French textbooks have been digital since 2008

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