One of three people in Bulgaria never reads


One in three adults in Bulgaria (36%) claims they spare not time for  reading books, and one in four (24%) reads almost daily. These are the results of a national representative survey conducted by Open Society Institute – Sofia in April 2018. Other 27% of the respondents say they read books almost every month, and 11% do it each week. According to the results there are no considerable differences between the reading habits registered in 2016 and in 2018.

The survey shows that people over 60 read considerably less that younger people – almost half (49%) of the people over 60 declare they don’t read books at all, whereas among the respondents aged up to 29 those who don’t read at all are half as many (24%). Among the youngest one in three (34%) declares they read books almost every day, but with age this share drops to 22% for those over 60. Of the people over 30 slightly more than 1 out of 5 reads almost daily, which is close to the average for the country.

The share of the people who say they read books almost every day is about 3 times bigger in the capital (33%) and in the district cities (30%) than that in the villages (12%). In non-district cities 21% read almost daily, which is close to the average for the country. One in two people living in a village admits they don’t read books at all, whereas, in comparison, in the capital only one in five people belongs to this group.

The survey also shows that those who are more critical of media information read more than the more trusting respondents. Differences in reading habits are observed in terms of the questions whether they believe that the media in Bulgaria present accurate and verified information, without omitting or distorting facts deliberately, and whether the media in Bulgaria face political or economic pressure or influence. Of those who believe that the media provide accurate information and are independent from foreign influences, over 40% say they don’t read at all, and only 30% of those who don’t support these statements declare the same. Among the more trusting of the quality of media information, those who read almost every day (17-19%) are 10% less than the more critical respondents (27-29%).

Full text of the analysis Demographics of Reading (in Bulgarian only)

The data are collected by means of a national representative survey conducted among the population aged 18 and above in April 2018 according to the face-to-face interview method using a standardized questionnaire. Respondents are selected through a two-stage probability cluster sampling. 1200 interviews had been planned of which 1179 were conducted. The maximum stochastic error is ±2,8%. The survey is carried out and funded by Open Society InstituteSofia.