Selection of Cities for Inclusion

Cities were selected based on their 2013 U.S. Census population estimates figures. The study was limited to those cities with an estimated population of 250,000 or larger as of July 1, 2014. As these figures are estimates, and not actual population counts, the population of cities may have increased or decreased significantly as compared to the 2010 decennial census actual population counts. As a result, one new city (Orlando, FL) has been added to this year's study.

Newspaper Data

For the newspaper database, the Daily and Sunday Circulation figures were obtained from the Alliance for Audited Media figures for 6-month period ending September 30, 2014. For all cities, those circulation numbers were then divided by the 2013 U.S. Census population estimates figures for the cities resulting in a ratio, which was then rank ordered. Seven cities (Anaheim, CA, Arlington, TX, Aurora, CO , Chula Vista, CA, Henderson, NV, Mesa, AZ, Oakland, CA, and Plano, TX) had no newspaper published in their city. [NOTE: Long Beach data from Alliance for Audited Media figures for 6-month period ending March 31, 2013 and Tulsa data from 6-month period ending September 30, 2013]. 

Internet Data

Figures for "visited a newspaper/TV/cable website in the past 30 days", "purchased a book on the internet in the past 12 months", "used a mobile device to read a newspaper in the past 30 days", "currently owns an eReader", and "shopped/used a bookstore's services in Past 3 months" were obtained from Scarborough Research's February 2013-March 2014 USA+2014 Release. Cities were ranked according to the index figures provided by Scarborough. Please note that Scarborough could not separate out data from larger Designated Market Areas (DMAs) for the following cities: Chula Vista, CA; Long Beach, CA; Mesa, AZ; Plano, TX; Aurora, CO; Arlington, TX; Anaheim, CA; Riverside, CA; Anchorage, AK; Santa Ana, CA; Lincoln, NE; Henderson, NV; Jersey City, NJ; and Newark, NJ. Hence, all of those cities were ranked last. Additionally, Scarborough did not have complete data for two cities: Corpus Christi, TX and Fort Wayne, IN which were thus ranked on both the data available and unavailable

Magazines and Journals Data

Figures for this database were gathered from the web edition of the National Directory of Magazines and the Standard Periodical Directory through the website of Oxbridge Communications from February 10-11, 2015. Only those journals with a total circulation of 500 or more were included, and only those magazines with a total circulation of 2,500 or more were included.

Booksellers and Stores Data

For this database, information was gathered from for information on retail, rare, and used booksellers as of February, 2015. For "retail bookstores", the search term used was "Book Stores" and those stores (excluding those sub-listed as "religious bookstores" or "adult bookstores") were included.

Also, the American Booksellers Association site ( was used for independent bookseller information and only those stores registered as ABA Bookseller Members in February of 2015 were included.

Educational Attainment Data

For this database, information was gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau's "American Factfinder" website (, specifically from the results of the American Community Survey, 2013. The Educational Attainment data were gathered from the geographic subset listed as, "Geography Type: Place" and then "City." For Honolulu, 2013 ACS data were from "Urban Honolulu-CDP". For Lexington-Fayette, 2013 ACS data were from "Urban County". For Louisville, 2013 ACS data were from Louisville-Jefferson Metro Gov't (balance) and for Nashville, 2013 ACS data were from Nashville-Davidson Metro Gov't (balance).

Library Data

a) Information regarding library staff per capita, volumes per capita, circulation per capita, and branches per capita was gleaned from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), specifically the "Library Statistics Program" and its "Public Libraries Survey, FY2012" in February 2015.

b) Information regarding the number of students and media specialists comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) database, specifically the "Public School District" data for the most recent school years that was published online during the period February 7-8, 2015 (i.e., 2012-2013 or 2013-2014 depending on the district). For the "Media Specialists" total, the number of "Librarians/Media Specialists" was combined with the number of "Library/Media Support" staff. Note that Memphis, TN did not have any data available published on the site, so the previous study's data was used again for this year's study.

School districts labeled as "Regular School Districts" in population centers labeled "City: Large" in a "MSA- Central City" metropolitan status were included.

Several cities had multiple school districts that met the criteria. Here is a list of those cities and the school districts included:

Anaheim, CA
Anaheim City
Anaheim Union
Magnolia Elementary
Savanna Elementary

Bakersfield, CA
Bakersfield City
Fruitvale Elementary
Greenfield Union Elementary
Kern Union High
Panama-Buena Vista Union
Rosedale Union Elementary

Chula Vista, CA
Chula Vista Elementary
Sweetwater Union High

Colorado Springs, CO
Academy 20
Cheyenne Mountain 12
Colorado Springs 11
Harrison 2

Corpus Christi, TX
Calallen ISD
Corpus Christi ISD
Flour Bluff ISD
Tuloso-Midway ISD
West Oso ISD

El Paso, TX
El Paso ISD
Socorro ISD
Ysleta ISD

Fresno, CA
Central Unified
Fresno Unified
Washington Unified

Glendale, AZ
Washington Elementary
Glendale Union High

Houston, TX
Houston ISD
Spring Branch ISD

Indianapolis, IN
Indianapolis Public
MSD Decatur Township
MSD Perry Township
MSD Pike Township
MSD Warren Township
MSD Washington Township
MSD Wayne Township

Kansas City, MO
Center 58
Hickman Mills C-1
Kansas City 33
North Kansas City 74
Park Hill

New Orleans, LA
Orleans Parish
Recovery School District LDE

Omaha, NE
Omaha Public
Millard Public
Westside Community

Phoenix, AZ
Alhambra Elementary
Balsz Elementary
Cartwright Elementary
Creighton Elementary
Fowler Elementary
Isaac Elementary
Madison Elementary
Murphy Elementary
Osborn Elementary
Paradise Valley Unified
Pendergast Elementary
Phoenix Elementary
Phoenix Union
Riverside Elementary
Roosevelt Elementary
Wilson Elementary

Portland, OR
David Douglas SD40
Parkrose SD3
Portland SD

Riverside, CA
Alvord Unified
Riverside Unified

Sacramento, CA
Natomas Unified
Robla Elementary
Sacramento City Unified

San Antonio, TX
Edgewood ISD
Fort Sam Houston ISD
Harlandale ISD
North East ISD
Northside ISD
San Antonio ISD
South San Antonio ISD

San Jose, CA
Alum Rock Union Elementary
Berryessa Union Elementary
Cambrian Elementary
Campbell Union High
East Side Union High
Evergreen Elementary
Franklin-McKinley Elementary
Moreland Elementary
Mt. Pleasant Elementary
Oak Grove Elementary
Orchard Elementary
San Jose Unified
Union Elementary

Stockton, CA
Lincoln Unified
Stockton City Unified

Tucson, AZ
Sunnyside Unified
Tucson Unified

Tulsa, OK

Additionally, several cities' information was based on county school district information reported. They included:

Charlotte, NC
Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District

Greensboro, NC
Guilford County School District

Henderson, NV
Clark County School District

Honolulu, HI
Hawaii Department of Education

Jacksonville, FL
Duval County School District

Las Vegas, NV
Clark County School District

Lexington, KY
Fayette County School District

Louisville, KY
Jefferson County School District

Miami, FL
Dade County School District

Raleigh, NC
Wake County School District

Tampa, FL
Hillsborough County School District

Finally, the figures for New York, NY were derived from data provided by New York City Geographic Districts 1-6 from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) database ("Public School District" data for the 2012-2013 and/or 2013-2014 school years), as new figures were only available from those districts.