Must-Know Book Banning Statistics [Recent Analysis]

With sources from: 1 –, 2 –,books%20involving%20characters%20of%20color., 3 –, 4 – and many more

In this post, we examine a series of eye-opening statistics surrounding book banning, censorship, and challenges in the United States. From the alarming increase in banned book titles to the reasons behind these challenges, these statistics shed light on a prevalent yet often overlooked issue within our society.

Statistic 1

"The number of book titles banned in 2021-22 has quadrupled from the prior year, with 1,651 unique titles targeted in 681 attempts."

Sources Icon

Statistic 2

"The number of book titles banned in 2021-22 has quadrupled from the prior year, with 1,651 unique titles targeted in 681 attempts."

Sources Icon

Statistic 3

"Attempts to ban books from school libraries in America have reached historic highs in 2021, surpassing the high 200s and 400s from 2018-2020."

Sources Icon

Statistic 4

"George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university, enrolling more than 39,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states."

Sources Icon

Statistic 5

"82-97% of book challenges remain unreported and receive no media attention"

Sources Icon

Statistic 6

"The top three reasons for challenging books are sexually explicit content, offensive language, and homosexuality"

Sources Icon

Statistic 7

"In 2020, hundreds of libraries, schools, and other institutions reported 156 challenges, affecting 273 books"

Sources Icon

Statistic 8

"42% of book challenges are initiated by parents, followed by 29% from the library staff and board members"

Sources Icon

Statistic 9

"In 1944, issues of the comic book “Crime Does Not Pay” were banned due to concerns about glorification of crime"

Sources Icon

Statistic 10

"Between 1990 and 2000, over 6,364 book censorship incidents were reported in the United States"

Sources Icon

Statistic 11

"In 2016, there were 323 recorded attempts to remove books from libraries and schools in the United States"

Sources Icon

Statistic 12

"Between 2001 and 2009, 3,736 books were challenged in U.S. libraries and schools"

Sources Icon

Statistic 13

"Banned Books Week, a widely recognized annual event, began in 1982"

Sources Icon

Statistic 14

"In 2015, 275 book challenges were reported to the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom"

Sources Icon

Statistic 15

"In 2013, the American Library Association recorded 307 challenges towards books and other materials"

Sources Icon

Statistic 16

"Between 2000 and 2009, the Harry Potter series was the most frequently challenged book in the United States"

Sources Icon

Statistic 17

"In 2012, a Chicago teacher’s request to remove “Persepolis” from the school curriculum led to a city-wide ban on the book"

Sources Icon

Statistic 18

"According to the ALA, books by authors of color and books with diverse content are disproportionately banned and challenged"

Sources Icon

Statistic 19

"Between 1990 and 2000, the most challenged book in the United States was “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain"

Sources Icon


The statistics presented highlight the concerning trend of increasing book banning attempts in the United States, particularly targeting a wide range of titles in school libraries. This upsurge underscores the ongoing struggles for intellectual freedom and diversity in literature. The data also shed light on the significant role of parents and library staff in initiating book challenges. Moreover, the disproportionate targeting of books by authors of color and those with diverse content underscores the need for awareness and advocacy against censorship. Overall, these statistics serve as a stark reminder of the ongoing battle for the right to access diverse and uncensored reading materials in our society.

Can You Trust Our Report?

The statistics are checked by us and then entered into the database. Our market data reports have been linked to by some of the largest publishers and companies on the Internet.

Learn more about our process here.

Submit Your Own Statistic Data

Would you like to submit your own researched statistics on this topic? You are welcome to use the form below and submit your suggestion to us. We will check the source and approve it if necessary.

... Before You Leave, Catch This! 🔥

Your next business insight is just a subscription away. Our newsletter The Week in Data delivers the freshest statistics and trends directly to you. Stay informed, stay ahead—subscribe now.

Sign up for our newsletter and become the navigator of tomorrow's trends. Equip your strategy with unparalleled insights!