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Research Guide: Market Share

Scope:  This guide is a selected list of resources that will be useful for locating market share information.  These resources include print materials available in the Stewart Library, and electronic resources, some of which may be available only to WSU students, faculty, and staff.  

Table of Contents


Market share can be broadly measured in two ways:  comparing data at the company level, or examining sales by individual brand.  Market share is defined as the ratio of sales of a brand to the total sales of that product-type in a particular area (city, county, continent, etc.). It can also be defined as the ratio of sales of a company's entire product line to the total sales of all related companies. 

Market share data may be difficult to find.  You will probably have to use multiple sources.  Listed below are resources available both online and in the Stewart Library.

General Resources

  • Market Share Reporter  Reference Table 6   
    An "annual compilation of market share reports from periodical literature" with over 2,000 entries arranged by 511 SIC codes. Each entry includes the source of the data (worth taking a look at if you need more information). Provides indexes by brand name, company, product/services, place names, and source. 
  • Advertising Age Dataplace Archives
    Look for a "Top [#]" link (for example, "Top 10 soft drink brands").  In most cases, two years of market share data are provided.  Sources of information are given at the bottom of each table.  Links listed in chronological order. 
  • World Market Share Reporter  Reference Table 6 
    Provides 1,600 entries covering 270 geographical locations from 1995 to 1999. Each entry includes the source of the data. Entries listed in SIC order. 
  • Business Rankings Annual  Reference Table 6 
    Useful for company comparisons and market share by brand name.
  • Stat-USA
    Includes international market research reports.  Sections of this database are password-protected.  For password, ask at reference desk.
  • Mintel Market Reports    
    Mintel offers market research reports covering US and International marketplaces. Each report combines data & analysis of the competitive landscape, market-share analysis and consumer profiles. Profile setup required.
  • Price's List of Lists
    Numerous lists of information in the form of rankings of different people, organizations, companies, etc. Arranged by subject categories. Compiled by Gary Price, MLIS. 


  • Basic Bibliography on Marketing Research  Z7164.M18B35 1974
  • Essential Marketing Sourcebook  HF5415.12.G7J39 1998 
  • Handbook of International Direct Marketing  HF5415.126.H36 1996
  • Dictionary of Marketing Research  HF5415.2.V36 1987 
  • Marketing information: a professional reference guide  HF5415.124.M37 1995 
  • Survey of buying power demographics USA  HC110.C6S847 
  • Sourcebook of zip code demographics  Reference Table 5B  HA203.S66 
  • International marketing data and statistics  HA42.I56 
  • IEBM encyclopedia of marketing  HF5412. I32 1999
  • Research alert yearbook   Reference Table 6 HQ2044.U54R476 

Article Databases

Periodical literature (trade magazines, general business magazines, and business newspapers) is another source of market share information.  Search one of the business periodical indexes listed below, or look for trade magazines for a particular industry to find articles on a particular product, service, company, or industry.  A complete list of periodical indexes can be found on the Business & Economics Databases Page.

  • ABI/Inform Global  
    Includes ABI-Inform and the Wall Street Journal. In Proquest, "market shares" is a subject heading. Enter "market shares" as a subject in the guided search page, with the product/service, brand name, or company name as a keyword on another search line. Most of the articles are available in full text.
  • ABI/Inform Dateline 
    Hard-to-find local and regional business news coverage of large corporations, privately held companies, local start-ups, executive profiles, marketing, finance, and industry news. Provides access to business information not typically found in national news sources. Contains news and analysis, information on local markets, and more gathered from major business tabloids, magazines, daily newspapers, wire services, and city, state, and regional business publications.
    ABI/Inform Trade & Industry
    Search more than 750 business periodicals and newsletters with a trade or industry focus. Provides users with the latest industry news, product and competitive information, marketing trends, and a wide variety of other topics. Contains publications on every major industry, including finance, insurance, transportation, construction, and many more.
    Business Dateline
    This periodical index focuses on regional publications. Perform a subject search for "market share" and the product name, brand name, or company (for example, "market share and trucks"). 
  • Lexis-Nexis
    Select the Business category from the main menu, then Business News.  From the Source List at the bottom of the search screen, select either Business & Finance (business and finance news sources and magazines) or Industry News (industry and trade sources on over fifty industries). 
  • Regional Business News
    This database provides comprehensive full text coverage for regional business publications. Regional Business News incorporates coverage of 75 business journals, newspapers and newswires from all metropolitan and rural areas within the United States. This database is updated on a daily basis.


  • Directory of Business Information Resources   Reference  HF54.52 .U5 D567 2000
    Provides lists of associations, newsletters, magazines & journals, trade shows, directories & databases, and Web sites for particular industries.
  • Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources  Reference Z7164.C81E93 
    This encyclopedia is organized by industry/topic. A list of "Periodicals and Newsletters" is provided for all the industries listed. The Encyclopedia also describes the abstracts and indexes, directories, encyclopedias and dictionaries, handbooks and manuals, statistical sources, trade and professional societies, and electronic databases available for each industry.
  • National trade and professional associations of the United States, 1999  Reference HD2425.N37 1999
  • Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage
    In the Industry Surveys section, look at "industry references" for a list of important trade journals and professional and trade associations for a particular industry.
  • You can also find trade magazines in many of the article databases, such as ABI/Inform, Lexis-Nexis, Business Source Premier, Vocational & Career Collection, or Business & Industry


Trade publications and associations can be valuable sources of information about a particular industry or your competitors.  There are several strategies you can use to search for information in these sources:

  1. Identify specific titles of trade publications or associations by looking in one of the sources listed above.  If they include a Web address, try browsing their sites.  Some will require you to subscribe, and others will provide information free of charge.  One example of a furniture retail association is the National Home Furnishings Association.  This and other furniture trade magazines and associations are listed in the Directory of Business Resources above.    
  2. For trade magazines that do not provide Web addresses, or for those that do not offer information for free, check the list of Full Text Electronic Journals and Newspapers to see if WSU offers full text access to that particular title.  For example, If you are looking for the magazine called Home Furnishings, click on 'H' and scroll down until you see the title (if you do not see the title you are looking for, we do not have access to that title online- try searching the online catalog to see if we own it in print).  You will see that Home Furnishings is available from 1995 to 1999 in a database called Masterfile Premier, from 1997-1999 in Lexis, and 1998 editions are available in the Business & Industry database.  Just click on the database name, and do a guided search to search for a specific title.

Market & Demographic Statistical Sources

  • Demographics USA    Reference Table 5B HC110.C6S8472
    Covers population and race/ethnicity, age/sex groups, household related data, Effective Buying Income, and retail sales. Contains extensive maps and demographic, economic and commercial/industrial estimates. 
  • Mediamark research   HF5415.3.M43
    This survey provides detailed demographic and marketing segments of media audiences. The coverage is similar to the Simmons service. 
  • Official guide to American incomes  Reference Table 5B HC110.I5E87 1996
    Provides data on household, personal, and discretionary income, trends and household income projections, consumer spending, household wealth and net worth, poverty trends, and geography of income and poverty. 
  • Sourcebook of ZIP code demographics   Reference Table 5B  HA203.S66
    Includes statistical data on more than 150 characteristics such as age, race, income, households. Includes a mapbook of ZIP codes for metropolitan areas.
  • Who's buying food & drink : who spends how much on food and alcohol, at and away from home   Reference Table 5B   HD9004.M54 1996
    Includes information on spending and eating pattern in the US. 
  • Survey of buying power demographics USA  HC110.C6S847 
  • International marketing data and statistics  HA42.I56 
  • Statistical Portrait of the United States: Social Conditions and Trends    Reference Table 5B   HA214 .S84  Contains 12 thematic chapters with tables and charts and an appendix with detailed tables. 
  • Population Abstract of the United States   Reference Table 5B  HA 202 B67 
    Information is organized alphabetically by state.  Each state section contains: a brief history of the formation of the state; a breakdown of urban and rural population from the earliest census to the present; current and historical population totals for all counties and incorporated places of 10,000 or more; and 1990 population totals for county subdivisions and places in the United States.
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States  
    Authoritative source of facts about the people, institutions and economy of the country. This is a publication of the Census Bureau and is compiled from government and private sources and is an excellent place to start when looking for statistics.  Covers a broad range of topics, mostly United States, but includes some international.   Most recent edition at the Reference Desk.  Older editions in Government Documents - AE 2.108/2.  
  • Stat USA   
    Sections of this database are password-protected.  For password, ask at reference desk.  Full-text, federal statistics database.  Contains over 300,000 reports and statistical series of business and economic data including:  General Economic Indicators,  Housing & Construction, Employment, Manufacturing & Industry, Monetary Statistics,  Monetary Statistics, Today's Global Business Opportunity Leads, Current Exchange Rates, Current & Historical Trade Leads,  Market & Country Research,  International Trade Statistics,  Current Press Releases & more.
  • Censtats   
    A collection of statistical resources offered by the U.S. Census Bureau. Includes the following titles:  Annual Survey of Manufactures, Building Permits, Census Tract Street Locator, Consolidated Federal Funds Report, County Business Patterns, International Trade Data, Occupation by Race and Sex, USA Counties, Zip Code Business Patterns, and Financial Data for State and Local Governments and Schools.
  • Census 2000  
    Profiles of General Demographic Characteristics -  United States & All states by county and city.  Sex, Age, Race, Relationship, Household Type, & Housing Tenure.
  • American Factfinder  
    The Census Bureau's primary vehicle for distributing: 2000 Census of Population and Housing, 1997 Economic Census, American Community Survey, 1990 Census of Population and Housing.   You can use American FactFinder to find statistics about population, housing, industry and business. Currently includes: 2000 Census Population and Race Data, 1990 Census Basic and Detailed Tables,  American Community Survey 1996-99 1997 Economic Census, Data Basic Reference Maps (2000 and 1990 Geography) Thematic Maps (1990 Geography) &  Search Address Feature.  New 2000 census material is being included as it becomes available.    
  • Ameristat  
    "One-stop source for U.S. population data"  2000 census, children, education, fertility, old age, labor, race, migration, fertility, mortality, political, marriage, family, income, poverty, etc. 
  • FedStats  
    Official statistical information available to the public from the Federal Government. Tracks economic and population trends, health care costs, aviation safety, foreign trade, energy use, farm production, and more. Access official statistics collected and published by more than 70 Federal agencies without having to know in advance which agency produces them. Browse  by topic, agency or search for key words or phrases.  Use  MapStats to profile your State, county, Federal judicial district, or congressional district.

Annual Reports

Some annual reports provide the market share of a company's products, especially if the company is proud of its market share.  Look for this material in the introductory material (the glossy, promotional section) or the management's discussion.   Take a look at the company page for information on finding financial data online.

Research Assistance

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Updated March 10, 2009 . Please send comments to Ed Hahn
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