Reading Habits in South Africa

  • 70.5% of South Africans have read at least once for pleasure in the last year
  • 41.1% of South Africans are currently reading something at any given time
  • 47% of South Africans are reading printed materials
  • 51.2% fewer people are reading books now than were in 2006
  • Among those whose home language is English, 58% of people have read in the last 30 days versus 43% of the general population

Reading vs watching TV in South Africa

  • 87.2% more South Africans watch TV than read
  • 51.2% fewer people are reading books now than were in 2006
  • Whereas the same number of South Africans regularly watch TV as did in 2006
  • People who read spend 6.2% of their time reading
  • People who watch TV spend approximately 20% of their time doing so
  • Reading is the 5th most popular leisure activity in Soiuth Africa
  • Watching TV or listening to the radio is the most popular leisure activity in South Africa

43% of South Africans have read a book in the last month

How education impacts likelihood to read

  • As education level increases so does the likelihood of someone having read in the last 30 days
  • 3% of people with no schooling have read in the last 30 days compared to 43% of the general population
  • This increases to 19% for people with a primary school education
  • 47% for those who have graduated from high school
  • 59% for those who have gone onto further education

How the area where people live impacts likelihood to read

  • 48% of people from metropolitan areas have read in the last month compared to 43% of the general population
  • 44% of people in urban areas have read in the last month
  • 37% of people in rural areas have read in the last month 

How sex and race impacts likelhood to read in South Africa

  • For black people, men read more than women:
    • 44% of black males have read in the last 30 days compated to 43% of the general population
    • 39% of black females have read in the last 30 days
  • For white people, women read more than men:
    • 59% of white women have read in the last 30 days
    • 54% of white men have read in the last 30 days

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