Seven Million Copies Sold

Once in a while, we get a report from our publishers about how many copies of Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics have been sold around the world. Last we heard — it was a while ago — we were at 5 million.

The latest report tells us we’ve just breached the 7 million mark. Here’s a rough breakdown:

  • United States: 4.4 million
  • United Kingdom: 1.65 million
  • Translated editions: 1 million

With the global population at around 7 billion, those 7 million copies represent a nice round number: 1 book sold for every 1,000 people on the planet.

With Think Like a Freak coming out next week, I hope we get to 10 million copies before there are 10 billion people on Earth.

Shane L

That's a great result from UK, with a much smaller population (63 million) than USA (314 million). Maybe this could prompt some freaky thinking about your success in the UK.


With $1 per book royalty, you both should be 3.5 millionaires by now... Congratulation.

Ryan B

Both are great books. It would be intresting to see the numbers adjusted for repeat customers and compared to the population who can read.

Elaine Fine

Re: Intellectual Property and the University of Chicago

I imagine that the reason the University of Chicago is able to hold ownership of patents for things made or designed by its faculty and not books written by members of its faculty is because it is far easier to negotiate ownership with the single United States Patent Office than it would be to negotiate ownership with the thousands and thousands of publishers--many of them university publishers--who pay their writers by way of royalty agreements.

Elaine Fine


Congratulations Stephen!


That's just 7 million books sold. Imagine the number people who have read them! The daughters and sons who have read their parents copies... my 2 copies were left to a book stall in Thailand for future travellers to swap. Goodness knows how many times they have been read since.

Ps come on Amazon... two days since the release of Think like a freak and its still not through my letterbox!!!