How many people blog?
David Brake added some great links to my Quora question the other day about how great a proportion of the population actually write or read blogs. There are interesting Chinese statistics, but I’m not sure what they mean by “blogs and personal spaces” – around 60% of Chinese internet users use them though. That sounds like a lot too many to be just people writing blogs.
The World Internet Project has some great data. This is a project that was initiated at what is now the USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future and where partners in twenty countries gather data about internet usage in their countries. They aim to recruit more partners and cover more of the world, but already there are interesting figures. I looked at their third report (PDF), published in 2012, and was happy to see that they asked people specifically about blogging (hooray!). There are some strange differences between countries. For instance, as many as 20% of users in the United Arab Emirates work on a blog every week – but only 5% in Australia do the same. And while 95% of New Zealanders and 94% of Swedes NEVER work on a blog, only 62% of Mexicans and 61% of people in Cyprus never blog. I wonder what causes such differences? Here’s the chart for internet users who work on blogs:
And here are the charts showing how many internet users read blogs in these countries:
This isn’t directly comparable to the Norwegian data from TNS Gallup, which found that 5% of Norwegians write a blog since I suppose you’d have to combine the different figures here (people who blog daily + weekly etc?) to get the total number of people who blog.
It’s comparing apples and oranges in some ways. I probably can’t really say a lot more than that people blog. More in some countries, less in others. Most people don’t blog. Which isn’t really a great surprise.