What are the Top Selling Magazines in the World?

Even after the evolvement of the digital world and social networking sites, magazines have not lost their shades. A magazine may be defined as a periodical publication, generally containing sheets of paper folded in half and stapled at fold. This is also referred to as a collection of articles on the various aspects of life. There are multiple genres in the magazine industry.

There are magazines related to movies, fashion, sports, fitness, health, technology, etc. The word magazine comes from an Arabic word, makhazin, meaning storehouse. These magazines are quite helpful as they provide a lot of information and keep you updated about the latest innovation. They bring exceptional scrapbook collectives. They also come in handy while travelling and helps us pass time.

Millions of magazines copies are circulated per year in the US. When we look at magazine circulation on a global scale, what are the top-selling magazines in the world? In this post, we will try to answer this question.

Here is the rundown of the top-selling magazines in the world

1 The Watchtower

The Watchtower

One of the top selling magazines in the world The Watchtower is a religious magazine. It is published by Jehovah’s Witnesses, with over 59 million copies being circulated per bimonthly run. The Watchtower is actually considered the companion magazine to Awake, and its reach is a little wider than its sister.

To start with, Awkae’s subject matter does not always have to do with religion. As mentioned earlier, there are frequent discussions of subjects like health and nature. The Watchtower magazine is almost entirely related to its denomination, with content that relates to biblical prophecies, Christian morals, and biblical history.

2 Awake


Awake, another most read magazine in the world is a spiritual and basically a religious magazine. This is a monthly magazine published in the US. Awake is an illustrated magazine, the first copy of this magazine was published in the year 1919.

It is published by the Jehovah’s Witnesses through the Tract Society of Pennsylvania. Its actual goal, as given in a statement in 1982 was, this magazine creates confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new order before the generation that saw 1914 pass away.

The Awake magazine is published in more than 99 languages with a total circulation of around 43.5 million copies.

3 AARP The Magazine

AARP The Magazine

It might look shocking at first, but it makes a lot of sense once you also think about it. AARP the Magazine is popular when it comes to what are the top selling magazines in the world?

AAARP the Magazine is sent on a bi-monthly basis to every single member of the AARP. If you are not aware of it, the AARP stands for the American Association of Retired People, is a membership senior interest organization.

This lifestyle magazine is the most largely circulated magazine in the entire US, with more than 23 million copies circulated in 2015 alone. The content of this magazine is primarily focused on health and age-related topics, and it often features interviews of older celebrities. The former name of AARP the Magazine is Modern Maturity. The publication rebranded itself to its current image in 2002.

4 Game Informer

Game Informer

One of the top-selling magazines in the world, The Game Informer is an American monthly magazine, it belongs to the video games category. This magazine is published by the GameStop Corporation and was started in the year 1991.

Game Informer brings reviews and news regarding video games and consoles. It is owned by the GameStop Corp. that enhances its in-store promotion. The total circulation is around 18.1 million that makes it the 3rd most read magazines in the world.

It may seem counter-intuitive for a video game-related magazine to be sold in print, but rest assured in knowing that Game Informer has a strong digital presence also. Since its massive redesign in 2009, the Game Informer website has seen excellent web traffic.

5 Better Homes & Gardens

Better Homes & Gardens

The most popular home economics magazine in the world, Better Homes & Gardens publishes about cooking and dieting, but the bulk of its content has to do with interior decorating, crafting, and entertaining. This magazine is published by Meredith, and it is by far their most popular magazine.

The Better Homes & Gardens is another one of the Seven Sisters American monthly magazine. It was founded in 1922 and is published by the Meredith Corporation. For a long time, it has been holding the honour of being the fourth best-selling magazine in the US. Its articles are based on topics like cooking, interior, gardening, crafts, designing, and healthy living. This is among the top selling magazines in the world. Its total circulation is around 7.6 million.

6 Readers Digest

Readers Digest

An American general family-oriented magazine, Readers Digest is based from New York. This magazine was started in the year 1922 and had held the best magazine position for several years consecutively. Unfortunately, due to some reasons, this magazine stopped publishing after 2013.

It wrote on the general interests of people like food, health, travel, sports, technology, and leisure and covered most general topics. This publication had an audience of over 6 million people all across the world.

Although this magazine was incorporated in the United States during the 1920s, today, it has a loyal readership in nations like Canada and New Zealand also. Readers Digest is renowned to be particularly popular among wealthy families, and in 2006, it was said that more wealthy people read Reader’s Digest than magazines like Fortune. It might seem like a sort of narrow readership, but it is kept this major magazine alive for almost 100 years now.

7 Good Housekeeping

Good Housekeeping

Published in the year 1885, the Good Housekeeping Magazine is originally from the United Kingdom. The target audience of this magazine is women and it has readers all over the globe. It has a readership of over 5.58 million globally.

Like many other magazines that were around during that period, Good Housekeeping magazine saw a surge of popularity during the 1920s. Like many other women’s magazines, Good Housekeeping is focused on health, diet, food, recipes, and fashion, and fitness-related content. However, they have differentiated themselves by publishing a lot of literary articles also.

Over the years, famous writers like Edwin Markham, Somerset Maugham, and Virginia Woolf have contributed to the publication. The Good Housekeeping has a bit of history as being a platform for social advocacy during the early 20th century.

8 National Geographic

National Geographic

One of the most popular magazines in the world, National Geographic is a global superpower. It was recorded to have circulated 6.8 million units across the world.

This magazine contains content that is typically more academic in nature, featuring articles that relate to science, nature, and history. National Geographic is also quite famous for its photography that is accentuated by the high-quality glossy paper that the magazine is printed on.

As far as magazines go, it has been around for a long time, too. The first issue of the National Geographic was published in 1888, and it was instrumental in keeping the public informed during the Great Depression and the Cold War.

The main target audience of the publication has been people of all ages. They provide readers with awesome content with photographs related to nature.

9 Family Circle

Family Circle

An American magazine, the Family Circle specializes in topics about home economics and women’s interests. While magazines like people prefer to publish stories about celebrities and the entertainment industry, magazines like Family Circle focuses on home economics.

 This home-oriented magazine begins publication in the year 1932, selling predominantly to mothers and wives in grocery stores. Today, this magazine circulates around 4 million issues every year. Its main target audience has always been the ladies. So the magazine has mainly concentrated on fashion, interior, lifestyle, and design, etc.

10 People


One of the largest magazines in America, People has readers of more than 45 million adults. In the year 2011, it pulled in more ad revenue than any other American magazine, with $997 million. This magazine is renowned for publishing celebrity news and gossip, and it is also quite popular for its special Sexiest Man Alive and Sexiest Woman Alive issues that are released every year.

The People magazine has been around since 1974, and its Sexiest Man Alive issues have been around since 1985, so this is quite fair to call it a vital part of the publication’s history. This is a weekly magazine in America that mainly writes on celebrities instead of other human interests.

11 Wrap Up

These are the top-selling magazines in the world. They have played a major role in society and systems. The magazines are mandatory in providing exclusive news, reports, and columns that are not usually the commodities taken up by the other media. Hopefully, with this list, now you are aware of the best magazines in the world.

If you have any doubt or confusion about this book, let us know in the comment section below. We will be happy to hear from you. And, don’t forget to subscribe to The CEO Magazine to get all the latest updates in your inbox.

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