more publishers east or west of the Mississippi?
June 11, 2016 7:03 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for some confirmation either proving or disproving my theory that there are more publishing companies east of the Mississippi than west.

For reasons regarding division of sales territories, I am looking to determine how many publishers are east of the Mississippi vs. west. I am positive that the balance is tipped heavily in favor of the east, but I would love to find some data to prove that theory.

I'm not necessarily talking about single-book self publishers, but I am talking about everybody else. Doesn't have to be the big traditional houses. I looked at the free stuff on the BISG and AAP website, Googled some, but couldn't find anything.

posted by lyssabee to Media & Arts (2 answers total)
Not sure how in depth you want this to be but the census does track this sort of thing and they have a list of which datasets include information about book publishing on this page. That page links to this map which is from 2012 and you can see the underlying stats and count them up. My quick eyeballing of it indicates it's pretty close because CA and TX have a large number.
posted by jessamyn at 7:59 AM on June 11, 2016

Working off of the information in jessamyn's links, I come up with 1,541 publishers in the 26 states which lie entirely to the east of the Mississippi and 1,122 in the 24 states that are either west of the Mississippi or straddling it. This is actually surprisingly close to the population ratio (57.8% of publishers are in the East, while 58.3% of the population was as of the last census).

Depending on how persnickety you want to be, this might slightly understate the imbalance, since Minnesota and Louisiana are counted in the West group, but have significant territory (including the cities of New Orleans, Baton Rouge and St. Paul) east of the Mississippi. Though if the purpose of the exercise is to divide up sales territory, it probably makes sense to divide on the state lines, rather than splitting up metro areas just because they happen to straddle the Mississppi.
posted by firechicago at 8:17 AM on June 11, 2016

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