The Daily Star and The Sun were the only national newspapers to avoid a fall in readership last year, according to the National Readership Survey.
The Daily Star’s readership neither grew nor shrank in the twelve months to the end of December, as an estimated 1.57m readers looked over each of its issues in the period.
The story was the same of News International‘s The Sun as it remained the most widely read national newspaper, maintaining an estimated readership of 7.7m in the twelve months to the end of 2010, according to the survey.
The biggest declines in readership were felt by the quality newspapers with The Independent suffering the biggest fall in readership in the 12-month period.
The Independent dropped 21 per cent of its estimated readership year on year to 532,000.
Its stablemate The Independent on Sunday recorded a decline in readership of ten per cent to 548,000. However it avoided becoming the biggest faller in its market.
The Observer was the Sunday paper with the biggest decline in readership. It dropped 20 per cent to 1.03m.
The Sunday Telegraph dropped 16 per cent year on year to 1.44m while the Sunday Times dropped nine per cent to 2.95m.
In the Sunday mid-market, The Mail on Sunday suffered a similar fall in readership as it dropped nine per cent to an estimated average of 4.9m during the period.
The Sunday Express dropped ten per cent year on year to an estimated readership of 1.47m.
The declines in the Sunday tabloid market were less severe with the most widely read Sunday paper, The News of the World, suffering a decline in readership of just one per cent to 7.54m.
The Daily Star Sunday dropped three per cent to 919,000, while Trinity Mirror titles – The Sunday Mirror and The People – each dropped five per cent to 3.7m and 1.27m respectively.
Trinity Mirror’s daily papers did not fare as well. The Daily Record’s readership dropped 14 per cent to 884,000 and the Daily Mirror’s readership dropped ten per cent to 3.1m.
In the daily mid-market, the Daily Mail dropped four per cent to 4.74m, while the Daily Express dropped ten per cent to 1.43m.
Of the remaining quality papers, the FT was the biggest faller as its readership dropped 16 per cent year on year to 364,000.
Both The Times and The Daily Telegraph dropped 12 per cent year on year to 1.57m and 1.68m respectively.
Readership of The Guardian dropped four per cent to 1.1m.
NRS gathered its data by surveying 36,000 people to estimate newspaper readership, unlike the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which audits the number of copies of papers distributed.