Freakonomics peaked at number two among nonfiction on The New York Times Best Seller list and was named the 2006 Book Sense Book of the Year in the Adult Nonfiction category. The book received positive reviews from critics. The review aggregator Metacritic reported the book had an average score of 67 out of 100, based on 16 reviews.Freakonomics has a social review score 69/100 on Panjury. 
The success of the book has been partly attributed to the blogosphere. In the campaign prior to the release of the book in April 2005, publisher (William Morrow and Company) chose to target bloggers in an unusually strategical way, sending galley copies to over a hundred of them, as well as contracting two specialized word of mouth (buzz marketing) agencies.
In 2006, the Revised and Expanded Edition of the book was published, with the most significant corrections in the second chapter.