Young Adult Book Sales Statistics

  • 35.03 million print copies of young adult (YA) books are sold each year as of 2022.
  • Compared to 2021, this is a 0.74% decrease, dropping from 35.29 million copies sold.
  • 30.91 million young adult books sold in 2022 were fiction books, while 4.11 million were nonfiction.
  • Young adult books have been the fastest-growing category over the last 5 years, with print unit sales jumping by 48.2% since 2018.
  • This especially applies to YA nonfiction, which grew by 62.7% from 2018.
  • YA books benefited from the pandemic when sales grew by 24.7% in 2020 and 27.5% in 2021.
  • As of 2022, young adult books account for 4.58% of all book sales. This makes YA the smallest category within age groups.
  • However, young adult books are on the rise, and their share in total book sales increased from 3.43% in 2018, which is a 34% increase.
  • Along with children’s books, the young adult segment is worth $11.34 billion globally as of 2022.
  • This category is expected to grow by 3.5% annually and reach $13.02 billion in value in 5 years.
  • YA book market is projected to grow faster than the rest of the categories over the next 5 years.

YA consumer structure

  • Over half of the people (55%) who buy YA books don’t follow into the YA category but are over 18 years old.
  • 51% of YA book buyers over 18 years of age are between 30 and 44 years old, accounting for 28% of all buyers.
  • 78% of over-18 buyers are purchasing books with the intention of reading them themselves.
  • Most of the over-18 YA book buyers purchased at least one of the books from the Hunger Games series, 30% of them.
  • Only 2 other titles account for over 5% of total YA book sales, while the rest is divided between over 220 titles.
  • Over 40% of YA consumers are reported to read ebooks, making them a group with the highest ebook purchasing rate across all genres, adults included.
  • 71% of those who buy YA ebooks stated that they’d buy a printed copy if the ebook version is not available.
  • 66% of YA readers state that enjoying the author’s previous books have a big influence on the next purchase.

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Best-selling young adult books of all time

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling is the best-selling young adult book of all time, selling over 120 million copies.
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien also sold over 100 million copies.
  • All other Harry Potter series titles by J. K Rowling and The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger sold upwards of 65 million copies each.
  • The Hobbit is the oldest young adult book on the list, published in 1937.
#TitleAuthorYear publishedPage countEstimated copies sold*
1Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s StoneJ. K. Rowling1997223120 million
2The HobbitJ. R. R. Tolkien1937310 100 million
3Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsJ. K. Rowling199825177 million
4Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanJ. K. Rowling199931765 million
5Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireJ. K. Rowling200063665 million
6Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixJ. K. Rowling200376665 million
7Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceJ. K. Rowling200567265 million
8Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsJ. K. Rowling200760765 million
9The Catcher in the RyeJ. D. Salinger195123465 million
10Looking for AlaskaJohn Green200529745 million
11To Kill a MockingbirdHarper Lee196028140 million
12The Hunger GamesSuzanne Collins200837428 million
13Lord of the FliesWilliam Golding195422425 million
14The Fault in Our StarsJohn Green201231323 million
(*Other titles may be excluded due to sales reporting differences.)

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