More books by women than men were published in 2020

8 March 2023

Over fifty percent of books published in 2020 in the United States, were written by women, says Joel Waldfogel, an economist at the University of Minnesota:

By analyzing data from Goodreads, Bookstat, Amazon, and the National Library of Congress, Waldfogel found that women’s share of published titles increased from around 20% in the 1970s to over 50% by 2020. This likely displaced some male authors, but the change wasn’t just that male authors were replaced by female authors. Rather, the whole industry grew, and by 2021, female-authored books sold more copies on average than those written by men.

While I couldn’t immediately locate data regarding books published by gender in Australia, the trend here is mirrored, to a degree, in terms of reviews of books published by women, and non-binary writers. According to the Stella Count, fifty-five percent of books reviewed in Australian newspapers and magazines, in 2020, were written by women.

I’m not sure if that means more Australian books were written by women than men in 2020, but these numbers suggest that might be the case.


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