Number of blogs now exceeds 50 million worldwide

Duncan Riley> Recent figures being released and continued growth in the Blogosphere has led me to believe that despite some media groups still making claims that there are only 8 or 10 million blogs in existence the number is now higher than the 34.5 million blogs I calculated in January. (the notable exception being Melbourne’s The Age who misquoted my 1 billion posts being tracked by Technorati and wrote that I stated there were 100 million blogs in existence, a little premature, perhaps April 06?). Like January, this is not a scientific study but an informed guestimate based on evidence available.

Blogs in existence in April 2005: 50.75 million worldwide

What follows is how I came up with the figure.

Multinational Blogging Services
Google: 8 million
according to Persus
MSN Spaces: 5 million
Persus + Scoble
Six Apart Live Journal/ TypePad/ MT: 8.2 million
from LJ 14Apr (6.8m) + SixApart claimed 1.2 million for MT and TypePad when it acquired LJ which was 5.3m at the time, allows for 200,000 conservative growth figure for MT and TypePad)
Other hosted (US): 9 million
based on Persus study
WordPress: 250,000
at best an educated guess, over100,000 downloads of WP 1.5 and 266,000 links to WordPress on Google
Other DIY: 100,000
again, an educated guess, and this would include CMS packages that are utilising blogging plugins

By Region/ Country
I’d note that in the regional figures I’m excluding those who are using multinational services previously calculated (eg Blogger) and am only counting local services, which is different to how I calculated the figure back in January
Europe: 2 million

China: 2 million
various reports and feedback from users in China and interested in China. The blog market in China is still immature and is just starting to take off
Japan: 1 million
rough reports, I suspect the figure is higher
Korea: 15 million
Previous reports (see January post) I’ve revised it down slightly because I believe I over estimated the figure for Cyworld.
Rest of Asia, the Sub-Continent and Middle East: 1 million
again, educated guess, I know for example that there are thriving blog cultures emerging in Singapore and Malaysia, and that India is also showing growth, but given the lower penetration of computers in many of these countries its best to keep the figure low
South America: 1 million
Again, various reports, there is a thriving blogging community emerging in countries such as Argentina and Brazil, but again in terms of numbers is still rather low. There is also a number of local blogging services available as well
Africa: n/a
insignificant numbers, although there are a growing number of bloggers in South Africa.
Australia: (120,000)
not included in total figure because Australian bloggers nearly exclusively use the American and multinational services.

TOTAL: 50.75 million worldwide

Update: As per comments it’s remiss of me not to note that a significant portion of the blogs are most likely abondoned or spam blogs, or that the figures are not likely to be represented in actual bloggers (multiple blogs per blogger), however I do this exercise from time to time as a means of noting that many in the mainstream media continue to under report the number of blogs in existence and the aim of this post is to articulate a more accurate figure (although an educated guess) as to how many blogs are actually out there. I’d note as in January that the blogosphere also extends beyond the North American mainland, another fact often overlooked.

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  1. says

    22.69 millions people live in North Korea, 48.59 millions in South Korea.
    Which Korea did you take ?
    Lets say both have the same percentage of population accessing internet than Japan where 127 millions people live.
    Then how could N&S Korea have 15 times more bloggers than a (technologically equivalent) country (Japan) with twice more people ?

    Could we have the detail by country for Europe ?

  2. KOB says

    Do you know how many blogs are inactive or abandoned? How many have been created by multiple authors? How many are spam or SEO blogs?

    My point is you can’t write about the number of blogs being created without taking at least a stab at the number of blogs that are inactive. These figures don’t add up to 50 million. All they do is add up the hype.

    Knock the “media” is you like, you are the media, and skepticism is needed.

  3. site admin says

    Two comments, Bobby, I’m sure you are being funny about this: South Korea, and the figures I’ve got for South Korea are arguably the most accurate of the lot. South Koreans are mad internet users, although I suspect that the ratio of blogs to bloggers is very high (ie multiple blogs. The January figures are from actual official figures reported in the country, including Yahoo!.

    To KOB, I get your point, and I have no doubt that atleast 50% are probably abondoned, so I’m remiss in probably not noting that I’ve been interested in the study of actual blog numbers for years, and I forget that not everyone has read some of my previous posts on the subject. Hype it may be but there is plenty of people in the mainstream media who love to down play blogs and quote a much smaller figure than is actually there. Is the figure I’ve used accurate? well no one actually knows the answer to that, it is, as I write an educated guess, but I honestly think its probably pretty close to the mark and even organisations like Perseus are talking 30 million now, and they only look at English speaking hosts (although many do multi-lingual as well).

  4. says

    I should have asked the opposite : how could Japan only have 1 million while South Korea is having 15 millions ?
    Lets say there’s one blogger per blog.
    Then 30.87 % of South Korea’s population would have a blog (be bloggers) !!!
    10.29 % if there’s one blogger per 3 blogs.
    For comparison, what’s the percentage of mobile phone users ?

    What’s the detail for Europe again ?
    I would say 500000 blogs per country.

  5. KOB says

    I think there is a lot of skepticism in MSM outlets about where blogs may go. And, frankly, that’s healthy. The blog world can use a little more skepticism itself as it assesses its own potential.

    I don’t think the MSM is dimissing blogs at all. There are also plenty of people in MSM who look at blogs as a potential business model and way to reach readers that can’t be ignored. It’s clearly part of the discussion and one that reaching to the highest levels in most news organizations.

    >>Hype it may be but there is plenty of people in the mainstream media who love to down play blogs and quote a much smaller figure than is actually there.

  6. Mark Gaved says

    Thanks for having a go at the stats, Duncan. I think your ‘Update’ is important: it would be very useful to tease apart “number of downloads/setups of a particular category of software (blogs)” from “number of people actively maintaining a blog (perhaps defined as people who post at least once a week, and have done at least ten times?).

    Speaking as somebody who has downloaded/setup 3 or 4 different blogging tools, posted once on each, and never done anything more. I wonder how many of the “50 million blogs” are active online spaces?

    Also quite amused to read “the blogosphere also extends beyond the North American mainland” :-)

  7. says

    I’m Korean (South). Sure! We have more that 15M. May be much more, but not exactly. Cyworld only have 15M. And there’re millions of people who own more that one blog. One question to Admin. You include and Myspace? Plz answer me. Thanks.

  8. says

    Hi…interesting stats – it sounds like you may also know how many people over 50 have blogs. Wondering if there is a place I can find out specifically which ones are in Long Island, New York.
    Thanks for helping, if you can.


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    According to the Blog Herald there are about 50.000.000 weblogs in existence. Duncan Riley, the guy who wrote the article, says:

    this is not a scientific study but an informed guestimate based on evidence available.

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