How long can print newspapers last?

From the avail­able data, we know with a rea­son­able degree of cer­tainty that half of the news­pa­per read­ers today are 50 years of age or older, even though this age group rep­re­sents only 30% of the total pop­u­la­tion. We can con­clude from the demo­graphic dis­tri­b­u­tion of the news­pa­per audi­ence that indi­vid­u­als under the age of 50 are far less likely to read news­pa­pers than their elders. And we know every­one even­tu­ally will die, with the old­est read­ers sta­tis­ti­cally likely to expire sooner than the younger ones.

Alan Mutter mashes together Census data, Pew stud­ies, life-expectancy num­bers and some charts to show us with sta­tis­tics what we already knew in our hearts: The num­ber of peo­ple who turn to printed news­pa­pers as their pri­mary source of news will shrink rapidly in the next 20 years.

Cross-posted from my Posterous site at Becker’s Online Journal