Study of Danish children's reading habits

NEWS | 5 October 2017

Danish children read less in their spare time, and especially girls have changed their reading habits. These are some of the conclusions in a study of Danish children's reading habits, media habits, and library use by the Danish Think Tank – Libraries of the Future.

The report Børns læsning 2017 (Children's Reading 2017) presents the results from a quantitative study of children's spare-time reading and media habits.

As a similar survey was done in 2010, with the new data from 2017 researchers can say something about the developments over the past seven years.

Some of the study’s key points about children's reading and library use are:

  • Children read less in their free time in 2017 compared to 2010. Overall, there has been a decrease, from 61 per cent to 56 per cent, in children who read at least several times a week.
  • The drop in time spent on reading is mainly seen in girls: in 2010, 68 per cent of girls read at least several times a week compared to 53 per cent of boys; by 2017, these numbers had fallen to 59 per cent for girls and 52 per cent for boys.
  • Children generally spend more time on social media and reading online texts than on reading books.
  • 71 per cent of children borrow books at the library at least once a year, while 29 per cent generally never borrow books at the library.

Part of a larger project
This study of children's reading and media habits is part of a larger project called Reading Culture & Joy of Reading Among Danish Children.


Read more and download the report (in Danish)
About the Danish Think Tank – Libraries of the Future

About the study: A total of 8,721 children (pupils in the 3rd to 7th grades) participated in the study, which makes it the most extensive study of children's reading habits ever conducted in Denmark. The survey is quantitative, and will be followed by a qualitative study. The report incorporates an overall broad comprehension of reading, covering the reading of both printed and digital texts.


MORE READING: The Book and Literature Panel in Denmark has published two annual reports casting light on the Danish book market and the reading habits among the Danish population (available in English). Moreover, the panel has issued a report that maps the reading habits in the Nordic countries, as well as Germany and the UK (in Danish).
Find the reports here.