Brazil has lost 4.6 million readers in the past four years, according to a survey released on Friday by the Instituto Pró-Libro, an entity that publishes a broad portrait of reading in the country every four years.
The study titled “Portraits of Reading in Brazil” indicates that the percentage of Brazilians considered readers, which fell from 50% in 2011 to 56% in 2015, fell to 52% in 2019.
With the exception of the 5-10 age group, where the percentage of readers fell from 62% in 2015 to 66% in 2019, in all other age groups there has been a reduction the number of readers, especially among adolescents between 14 and 17 years old and among young people between 18 and 24 years old.
The study also showed that although Brazil is one of the most unequal countries in the world and suffers from historical social differences, the reduction in readership was greater among Brazilians of upper social classes (A and B ).
The percentage of readers with university degrees rose from 82% in 2015 to 68% in 2019, among Brazilians of higher social classes it rose from 76% to 67% and among those with more income it rose from 82% to 70%.
The sharp reduction in the number of readers has been attributed, among other reasons, to the severe economic crisis that the country experienced between 2015 and 2016, as well as the increase in the time Brazilians spend on the Internet and on networks. social.
“We must not forget that at the time we were living through a very serious economic crisis, which made access to books difficult, both when shopping and when visiting libraries,” said Zoara Failla, coordinator of study, at a press conference.
But if macroeconomic factors were weighed, the Internet was also a factor. The surprise of the drop in the percentage of readers between grades A and B, among university students and among those with the highest incomes, historically the biggest readers, shows us that people devote their free time to social networks ”, a he added.
According to Failla, the increase in time spent on social networks also explains the decline in the percentage of readers among adolescents.
The survey showed that the percentage of Brazilians who use the Internet in their free time increased from 47% in 2015 to 66% in 2019 and that of those who use WhatsApp has increased from 43% to 62%.
The study, commissioned by Ibope and supported by the Instituto Itaú Cultural, involved 8,076 Brazilians aged 5 or more in the country’s 27 states and has a margin of error of 1.1 percentage points, according to the responsibles.