Journalism and publishing activities in 2020

In 2020, there were almost 393 thousand journalists in the 21 EU Member States with available data, representing 0.2 % of the total employment in these EU Member States. Among them, women and men were almost equally represented (48 % vs. 52 %). Over one third of these journalists were aged 35-49 (35 %), while those aged less than 35 accounted for a similar share (34 %), followed by those 50 years old or over (32 %).

In terms of economic activities associated with journalism, almost 789 thousand were employed in the 27 EU Member States in publishing activities such as the publication of books, newspapers, magazines and journals. This is equivalent to 0.4 % of total EU employment.

Among them, men accounted for a slightly higher share (54 %). Over one third of people employed in publishing activities were aged 35-49 (37 %), followed by those aged less than 35 (32 %) and those aged 50 years old or over (31 %).

Among EU Member States, Sweden recorded the highest share of people employed in publishing activities (0.8% of total employment), followed by Finland, Denmark and Germany (all 0.6 %) as well as France (0.5 %).


  • The figures were collected through the EU Labour Force Survey and the article refers to the employed aged 15 and over. The article is based on the data from this special data extraction in combination with dataset lfsa_egan22d.
  • Journalists in this article refer to category ‘ISCO 2642 Journalists’, as defined under ISCO-08 classification. Data on the number of journalists in 2020 were not available for Denmark, Spain, Greece, Ireland, Latvia and Portugal.
  • Economic activity ‘publishing services’ in this article refer to division J58 Publishing activities as defined under NACE Rev.2 This division includes the publishing of books, brochures, leaflets, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, atlases, maps and charts; publishing of newspapers, journals and periodicals; directory and mailing list and other publishing, as well as software publishing.
  • Germany: from the first quarter of 2020 onwards, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) has been integrated into the newly designed German microcensus as a subsample. Unfortunately, for the LFS, technical issues and the COVID-19 crisis have had a large impact on the data collection processes, resulting in low response rates and a biased sample. For more information, see here.