National Geographic (formerly the National Geographic Magazine, sometimes branded as NAT GEO) is a popular American monthly magazine published by the National Geographic Society. Known for its photojournalism, it is one of the most widely read magazines of all time.
The magazine was founded in 1888 as a scholarly journal, nine months after the establishment of the society, but is now a popular magazine. In 1905, it began including pictures, a style for which it became well-known. Its first color photos appeared in the 1910s. During the Cold War, the magazine committed itself to present a balanced view of the physical and human geography of countries beyond the Iron Curtain. Later, the magazine became outspoken on environmental issues. Since 2019, controlling interest has been held by The Walt Disney Company.
Topics of features generally concern science, geography, history, and world culture. The magazine is well known for its distinctive appearance: a thick square-bound glossy format with a yellow rectangular border. Map supplements from National Geographic Maps are included with subscriptions. It is available in a traditional printed edition and an interactive online edition.
As of 1995, the magazine was circulated worldwide in nearly 40 local-language editions and had a global circulation of at least 6.5 million per month (down from about 12 million in the late 1980s), including 3.5 million within the U.S. As of October 2022, its Instagram page has 243 million followers, the most of any account not belonging to an individual celebrity. As of 2015, the magazine had won 25 National Magazine Awards.