Interactive Map of U.S. Newspapers, 1690-2011
Click on the map above to access an interactive map from Stanford University of the annual number of newspapers in the United States from 1690 to 2011. Here is a timeline of some selected years:
1690: 1 paper
Note that the "golden age" of newspapers was the period from about 1850 to 1890 when the number of papers increased more than four-fold from about 3,000 in 1850 to 13,489 by 1890, which is about the same number of papers as there are today (13,670).
HT: Stephen Dubner at the Freakonomics blog.