What the Rich Are Reading

Biggest surprises: Costco Connection and AARP's magazine

The rich are cheap. And old. Those are just a couple of conclusions to draw from our review of magazine reading in households making $250K or more. How else to explain the presence of Costco Connection and AARP: The Magazine among the most read titles?


When it comes to favorite magazines, however, it looks like the wealthy are just as aspirational if overscheduled as the rest of us, putting The New Yorker at the top of their personal Hot List, but (since it doesn’t rank high on the percentage reading rankings) never finishing the articles. Only Consumer Reports and National Geographic managed to crack all three of our top 10 lists.

Data for the review were provided by GfK MRI from its Fall 2010 Survey of the American Consumer. They covered 860 households with income of $250k or more and excluded publications with less than 50 readers.

Title % saying they read it
People 26
The Costco Connection 20
National Geographic 17
Better Homes & Gardens 17
Time 16
AARP The Magazine 15
Consumer Reports 12
Sports Illustrated 11
In Style 11
Readers Digest 10
Source: GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer, Fall 2010  
Title % Saying it is one of their favorites
The New Yorker 57
Wine Spectator 48
National Geographic 45
The Economist 44
Architectural Digest 39
Southern Living 38
Conde Nast Traveller 38
Bon Appetit 37
GQ 34
Consumer Reports 31
Source: GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer, Fall 2010 Note: Total number of readers is above 50 for each title but the numbers saying it was a favorite are less than 50 in many cases.
Title Minutes spent with Average Issue
Forbes 59
The New Yorker 58
The Economist 57
Money 55
Golf Digest 55
Fortune(1) 52
Consumer Reports 51
Men's Health 50
National Geographic 50
Bloomberg Businessweek (2) 49
Source: GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer, Fall 2010 (1) Now triweekly, measured as biweekly in 1st half of survey. (2) Measured as Businessweek