Wikipedia:Size comparisons

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This article compares the size of Wikipedia with other encyclopedias and information collections.

Source material from which Wikipedia statistics in this article are derived is available here; the Footnote on WikiStatistics section at the end of this page provides technical discussion of this article.



Currently, the English Wikipedia alone has over 3,516,620 articles of any length, and the combined Wikipedias for all other languages greatly exceeded the English Wikipedia in size, giving a combined total of more than 1.74 billion words in 9.25 million articles in approximately 250 languages. The English Wikipedia alone has over 1 billion words, over 25 times as many as the next largest English-language encyclopedia, Encyclopædia Britannica, and more than the enormous 119-volume Spanish-language Enciclopedia universal ilustrada europeo-americana.

In 2005 the English-language Wikipedia more than doubled in size, and many smaller wikipedias have grown by a higher multiple.

There have been 282,888 contributors to all Wikipedia language editions (151,938 to the English language edition), with 8.2 million edits in September 2006 (3.8 million of which were in the English version).

Wikipedia is still in need of much expansion and improvement. Many of the articles are of poor quality and some mainstream encyclopedia topics are not covered adequately. And, the average article length is only a little over half the size of that in Encyclopædia Britannica. Over time the balance of the editorial effort is expected to slowly tilt towards a greater emphasis on increasing the quality, scope, classification and interlinkage of existing articles. However, new articles will probably always be created in large numbers, as Wikipedia's conventions on acceptable article topics incorporate huge numbers of potential new articles every year (newly prominent people, current events, media products, physical products etc). In mid 2006 the rate of new article creation was still rising, but only slowly. As of January 2007 it looks like the rate of article creation may have peaked in mid 2006, though it would be premature to state that it did so for certain. See Wikipedia:Modelling Wikipedia's growth for more on Wikipedia's growth rate and expected future size.

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