The Top Ten Best Selling Magazines In The United States

We read Time and The Economist for our weekly fix of news analysis from around the world. There are ESPN The Magazine and Sports Illustrated for sports news and features.  Those who follow show business can do so through People and Entertainment Weekly. Fashion fanatics have GQ, Elle, Glamour and Cosmopolitan to follow. Health buffs can subscribe to Men’s Health and Shape.

Magazines are integral parts of our lives. Whether as a source of information or as a way to while away the time in some waiting room, we will always find a use for them. Some issues are specially awaited for, like Time Magazine’s Man of the Year Issue and Sports Illustrated Magazine’s annual Swimsuit Edition.

Others, however, have a more steady circulation for its regular issues. Here is a list of the top ten best selling magazines in the United States based on the number of copies distributed every issue.


10 AARP The Magazine – 22,528,478 copies per issue

AARP is the American Association of Retired Persons, a non-government organization and interest group established in 1958. The organization aims to enhance the quality of life of people over the age of 50. Members are provided with special products and services, as well as with unique benefits. It publishes AARP The Magazine, which used to be known as Modern Maturity. A copy comes out once every two months. AARP also publishes AARP Bulletin that has an outstanding circulation of its own numbering 22,283,411 copies per issue.



9 The Costco Connection – 8,631,275 copies per issue

This magazine is made for members of the warehouse club Costco Wholesale Corporation. Costco was established in 1983 in Kirkland in Washington, while the magazine was first published five years later. The company aims to provide members with good quality branded merchandise at low prices. It is the largest membership warehouse club in the country, and is considered to be the fifth largest retailer.



8 Game Informer – 8,169,524 copies per issue

Game Informer, or GI, is a monthly magazine published by Game Stop Corporation. The magazine first came out in August of 1991. It features news and articles, as well as reviews and strategy tips and recommendations of different video games and associated consoles.



7 Better Homes and Gardens – 7,617,038 copies per issue

Better Homes and Gardens is a monthly magazine published by the Meredith Corporation out of Des Moines in Iowa. The magazine first came out in 1922. It features news and articles about home economics and interior design, with special interests in cooking, gardening, crafts, healthy living, decorating and entertainment. It is the best selling among the Seven Sisters, a group of service magazines geared especially for women. The others are Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Redbook and Woman’s Day. The seventh, McCall’s, closed down in 2002.



6 Reader’s Digest – 5,577,717 copies per issue

Reader’s Digest is a monthly magazine that has a strong conservative and anti communist perspective on political and social issues. DeWitt and Lila Bell Wallace first published it in 1922 in New York City. The magazine is also published in large print edition, audio, digital and Braille formats.



5 Good Housekeeping – 4,346,757 copies per issue

Good Housekeeping is a monthly magazine published by Hearst Magazines. It first came out in 1885 in Holyoke in Massachusetts. The magazine focuses on home economics and women’s interests, such as literature, health, diet and recipes. It also features product testing by The Good Housekeeping Institute. The magazine considers a lot of famous writers as alumnae, including Virginia Woolf, A.J. Cronin, Frances Parkinson Keyes, Edwin Markham, Somerset Maugham, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Evelyn Waugh.



4 National Geographic – 4,232,205 copies per issue

National Geographic is a monthly magazine published by the National Geographic Society out of Washington, D.C. it was first published in October of 1888, or a mere nine months after the establishment of the National Geographic Society. It features articles in culture, current events, geography, history, photography and popular science. It was a recent recipient of the Magazine of the Year award given out by the American Society of Magazine Editors.



3 Family Circle – 4,100,977 copies per issue

Family Circle is a women’s magazine that is part of the Seven Sisters. It was first published in 1932 and it comes out with 15 issues every year. The magazine features articles and features on home economics and women’s interests. The Meredith Corporation publishes it.



2 People – 3,563,035 copies per issue

People magazine is a weekly magazine published by Time Warner or Time Inc. Its first issue came out on 4 March 1974. The magazine focuses on celebrity and human interests news and features. It has the distinction of being the magazine with the highest number of readership with an audience of around 46.6 million adults. It also has the highest revenue earned from advertising of any magazine published in the United States. Advertising revenue for 2011 reached an astronomical amount of almost a billion dollars.  While the magazine tries to evenly divide its stories between celebrity news and human-interest features, the website version on the other hand focuses exclusively on articles about celebrities. It once recorded 51.7 million page views in a single day, doing it the day after the Academy Awards. People magazine is especially popular because of several annual issues that it comes out with. These issues list the Most Beautiful People, The Best Dressed, and of course, the much-awaited Sexiest Man Alive.



1 Woman’s Day – 3,449,692 copies per issue

Woman’s Day is a monthly magazine published by Hearst Magazines. It was first published in 7 October 1937, though its roots could be traced back to as early as six years before that, when the supermarket and liquor store chain Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company started giving out recipe planners to its customers. The magazine features articles in food, homemaking, nutrition, fashion and physical fitness and attractiveness. It is also considered as one of the Seven Sisters.

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