Report Projects Growth for K-12 Learning Resource Market

The newly released Complete K-12 Report: 2012 from Education Market Research examines trends ranging from school enrollment to money spent on professional development to alignment with Common Core Standards. With all of these influences factored in, though, the K-12 market still appears to be on track for growth in the upcoming school year.


  • The K-12 instructional materials market, including textbooks, supplemental materials, and technology products, totaled $17.268 billion in sales in the 2010-11 school year. The sales projection for 2011-12 is $18.336 billion, a 6.2% increase compared to the previous year.
  • Textbooks have recently averaged 3.1% growth, while supplemental materials sales have averaged only 2.8%. Trade books and standardized tests, in the “other” bucket, have grown faster than textbooks at an average of 5.1% a year.
  • However, of these three categories, it appears that textbooks are having a below average year in 2011-12, up an estimated 2.5%. Supplemental instructional materials (+3.2%) and “other” materials (+5.4%) sales are looking a bit stronger compared to the recent past.
  • All things considered, the textbook market should continue to grow at around 3-4%, while the supplemental market (excluding technology products) might be reduced from its earlier pace of 8-12% growth to something closer to the 4-6% range.
  • Software sales should grow, in the long run, at a similar pace to the supplemental market (4-6%), while the overall technology products category could grow faster than that due to spikes related to school purchases of whiteboards, tablets, Internet services, and multimedia products. The 2011-12 school year is an example of this with a jump of +9.0% in technology sales.
  • The elementary reading market is clearly the largest segment of the overall K-12 instructional materials market. EMR estimates the total elementary reading market for textbook and non-textbook materials in 2011-12 at $2.65 billion. Compared to EMR’s 2009-10 school year estimate of $2.3 billion, that represents a 15.2% two-year gain, or 7.6% a year.

“The product of pupil enrollment multiplied by per pupil expenditures is expected to continue to go up a bit each year in the foreseeable future,” said Bob Resnick, President of EMR. “Since this is the primary driver of K-12 spending, the market is likely to hold up well in the face of some funding reductions.”

Get more on The Complete K-12 Report: 2012AEP members receive a 15% discount. To find out about AEP membership, contact Colleen Quigley at 302-295-8345. For more information on EMR’s research offerings, contact Bob Resnick at 718-474-0133.

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February 2012


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