First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982. Scottish and Irish editions of the daily paper were launched in 1947 and 2006 respectively. The Daily Mail was Britain's first daily newspaper aimed at the newly literate "lower-middle class market resulting from mass education, combining a low retail price with plenty of competitions, prizes and promotional gimmicks", and the first British paper to sell a million copies a day.
It was, from the outset, a newspaper for women, being the first to provide features especially for them, and is the only British newspaper whose readership is more than 50 percent female, at 53 percent.
It had an average daily circulation of 1,991,275 copies in April 2012. Between June and December 2011 it had an average daily readership of approximately 4.371 million, of whom approximately 2.803 million were in the ABC1 demographic and 1.596 million in the C2DE demographic.