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October 17, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 8:28am

National newspaper ABCs: Daily Mail closes on Sun’s position as top-selling title

By Charlotte Tobitt

The Daily Mail is closing on rival the Sun’s position as the UK’s best-selling national newspaper, according to the latest monthly circulation figures.

The Mail closed the gap between the two papers by 30,355 copies in the last month, bringing it to an average circulation of 1.17m in September, ABC figures show.

The Sun sold an average of 1.24m copies but saw a 12 per cent year-on-year drop in September. It now has a lead of just 74,459 over the Daily Mail, but when the Sun’s bulk sales are removed that drops to 7,600.

The free Metro has the largest distribution of any UK newspaper at 1.42m. It climbed ahead of the Sun’s total circulation for the first time in March 2018.

The Observer saw the smallest circulation decline among paid-for national newspapers in September, falling by two per cent year-on-year to 159,780.

The biggest year-on-year declines were recorded by the Daily Star on Sunday (down 20 per cent to 176,949), and the Sunday People (down 18 per cent to 145,547), both owned by Reach.

National newspaper circulations for September 2019 (ABC):

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Publication Total average circ. Sept 2019 Year-on-year % change Bulks
Metro FREE 1,415,071 -3%
The Sun 1,240,959 -12% 66,859
Daily Mail 1,166,500 -7%
The Sun on Sunday 1,052,465 -13% 66,861
The Mail on Sunday 969,894 -8%
London Evening Standard FREE 820,180 -4%
The Sunday Times 659,699 -8% 51,508
Daily Mirror 474,055 -13%
Sunday Mirror 386,004 -15%
The Times 372,812 -12% 54,133
The Daily Telegraph 310,586 -14%
Daily Express 303,243 -9%
Daily Star 296,473 -17% 645
Sunday Express 262,070 -9%
The Sunday Telegraph 244,351 -14%
i 225,496 -7% 49,226
Daily Star – Sunday 176,949 -20%
Financial Times 169,127 -7% 30,230
The Observer 159,780 -2%
Sunday People 145,547 -18%
The Guardian 130,496 -4%
Daily Record 109,908 -12%
Sunday Mail 108,742 -14%
Sunday Post 94,559 -15% 1,738
City AM FREE 82,331 -3%

Picture: Reuters/Peter Nicholls

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