The Top 5 Most Widely Used Languages on the Internet

  Language Web Pages Percentage of Total
1 English 1,142,500,000 56,43%
2 German 156,200,000 7,71%
3 French 113,100,000 5,59%
4 Japanese 98,300,000 4,86%
5 Spanish 59,900,000 2,96%
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  1. According to the report: "Top languages in global information production" (Sergey Lobachev. The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research. 2008.), few attempts have been made to estimate language disparities on the Internet. Several reports on Internet statistics by language were released between 1997 and 2004 by Global-reach, an international marketing company; Alis Technologies, a Canadian company; Vilaweb, a Catalan electronic newspaper; and the educational web site Netz-tipp. These reports suggest that the proportion of English content has decreased overtime. In 1997, English web pages comprised 82.3 % of the World Wide Web, but in 2002 they comprised only 56.4 %.
  2. In 2005 English covered about half of all Web pages however its proportion of them has been continually falling as other nations and linguistic groups expand their presence on the World Wide Web.
  3. According to O'Neill, Lavoie and Bennett, 72% of all web pages on the Internet were in English in 2003 with the next closest languages being German at 7%, Japanese, Spanish and French at 3% respectively.
  4. According to the BBC, nine out of ten computers connected to the Internet are located in English-speaking countries and more than 80% of all home pages on the web are written in English. More than four fifths of all international organizations use English as either their main or one of their main operating languages. Economists have now come up with an exact value for the English language in the internet age. The English language is now worth an estimated $7.815 billion on the Internet according to Interbrand a market research firm. It is estimated that more than half the world population will be "competent" in English by the year 2050.
  5. There are 99,143,700 Japanese speaking people using the Internet, this represents 5.0 % of all the Internet users in the world.
Top 5 facts sources:
  1. Lobachev, S. (2008). "Top languages in global information production". The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research. vol. 3, no. 2.
  2. BBC News (2001). "Internet + English = Netglish". Retrieved: November 7th, 2010.
  3. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. 2005. Report: Measuring Linguistic Diversity on the Internet. Retrieved: November 7th, 2010.
Tags: Computers & The Internet, Languages, Top 5 Most

Sources:  The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research Report: Top languages in global information production, 2008.

List Notes: The above data was obtained by performing searches in Google and Alltheweb with switched linguistic filters for each respective language.

Please note: According to the UNESCO 2005 Report: "Measuring Linguistic Diversity on the Internet", Page counts derived from search engines are an unreliable methodology for determining language representation on the Web. Apart from the biased samples that provide pages to search engines, there are numerous other confounding influences. Search engines typically employ a variety of proprietary indexing methods that are not open to inspection, and these may bias the page counts returned in ways that cannot be corrected or even reckoned. Although views this information as a reliable snapshot of Internet languages, we do caution the user to bear this in mind when reaching any conclusions based on the above list.
Most Widely Used Languages on the Internet

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