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Race and Social Justice Book Sales in the U.S. Stayed Strong in 2021
Feb 10 – Feb 23, 2022
white fear

Unit sales of adult print books in the U.S. focused on diversity, discrimination, and civil rights reached 2.6 million copies in 2021, falling 42% versus 2020. However, according to The NPD Group, sales in this category have still risen more than 116%, compared to 2019 before the sales for these books spiked upward following nationwide protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020.

Sales of kids’ books with a focus on diversity and social issues also took off in 2020, however, the growth continued in 2021. Unit sales volume for these books reached 19.9 million units in 2021, rising 10% over 2020. Comparing 2021 volume to 2019 levels, sales grew by 29%.

“Children’s fiction categories play an important role in educating children about social justice because the messages are easier to deliver in a story,” Kristen McLean, books industry analyst for NPD. “Growth areas suggest buyers are eager to help their children be a good friend, better understand their emotions and develop skills to feel confident and secure,” she continued,
Top growth subjects in the kids? diversity and social issues category in 2021 were all fiction and included the following subjects:

NPD is a global market information company offering data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help our clients understand today’s retail landscape and prepare for the future.

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