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Boomers Listen to Public Radio

Nielsen finds the 50–64 age group comprises the largest block of listeners for pubcasters

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Each week, public radio reaches 32 million people age 12 and up; its programming is reaching a diverse audience.

Nearly 8% of English or Spanish-speaking Hispanics in the U.S. and nearly 10% of African-Americans tune into public radio each week.

The data is the latest from Nielsen. Its Audio Today report took a deep dive into public radio.

The southern U.S. has the most weekly public radio listeners, with 10.1 million people, representing 32% of the total public radio audience, tuning in. Radio is big in the Beltway (Washington) as well, with as more than 30% of Washington population listens to this format each week.

Public radio listening tends to skew older, according to the data. While 6.3 million Millennials 18–34 tune in to public radio each week, a little over a third (35%) of them do so at home. GenXers, age 35–49, are similar, with 39% listening at home.

Boomers however, those age 50–64, exhibit nearly equal in-home (49%) and out-of-home (51%) listening to public radio as they age. Boomers spend six hours listening to public radio each week, compared to 3 hours, 15 minutes for Millennials.

The report focused on 900 stations.