Percentage of Internet Content for Users by Language

What percentage of the Internet is in English? And what are the most used languages on the WEB? I did the research for you and you don’t have to calculate. So, I’ll show you the Internet content by language usage with other details.

Bloggers and webmasters, and online businesses in general, need some useful information and statistics about Internet users all over the world. For that, I’ve browsed some organizations and university websites.

My goal is to find clear information about Internet users by language. This will help lots of people just like you to find opportunities to build a site or content for specific languages. Or just focus on English as your native language. Then, target your marketing specific countries where there are many ways to attract readers and succeed.

What I’ve done is to look behind the lines to understand and compare results. Among these statistics, I’ve found surprising facts and information that many of us haven’t noticed before.

I used Wikipedia, Internet World Stats, and the Cornell University old statistics. Those are the best sources of details to compare results and to ensure that statistics are updated. This means an update from one year or less because these types of statistics need at least one year of work.

Top languages used in the Internet content

To see if one language needs more content on the web or others that have more than what users need, I will start from official numbers. Then, I’ll make my own stats and percentages linked to the Internet content percentage for a single language. Next, I’ll divide it by the percentage of internet users for that language. The final result will be the following.

The Percentage of internet content is divided by the percentage of internet users for the same language. So, what I need first is the top internet content by language. These are the official statistics.

LanguagePercentage
English60.6%
Russian8.3%
Turkish3.9%
Spanish3.8%
Persian3.3%
French2.7%
German2.3%
Japanese2.1%
Vietnamese1.7%
Chinese1.4%
Arabic1%
Portuguese0.9%

The English language is dominating the web

As expected, English is the most used language to create Internet content. But, the Chinese language represents only 4.4% in 2013 and 1.3% in 2021, which is a few if you know in the next tab that 25% of internet users are Chinese in 2013 and 19.4% in 2021. I will use these statistics later.

Now, I wanted to show you the decline in some languages from 2013 to 2021 in the following screenshot.

Internet content by language in 2013 vs 2021

As you can see, some languages disappeared from the top 10 list of the most used on Internet content. Some of these are Portuguese, Italian, and Polish. On the other side, 3 languages are new to the top 10 list which are Turkish, Persian, and Vietnamese.

That being said, the usage of the Chinese language on whole Internet content has dropped from 4.5% to 1.4% in 2021. But that does not mean the content of that language disappeared. But its percentage compared to other languages has changed. English alone took nearly 4% of the percentage of other languages which explains the change.

Let’s look at the number of the Top Internet users by language in million (2020).

LanguageInternet usersPercentage
English1,186,451,05225.9%
Chinese888,453,06819.4%
Spanish363,684,5937.9%
Arabic237,418,3495.2%
Indonesian / Malaysian198,029,8154.3%
Portuguese171,750,8183.7%
French151,733,6113.3%
Japanese118,626,6722.6%
Russian116,353,9422.5%
German92,525,4272%

As you can see here, English and Chinese users are dominating the Internet. Now, my next work is to calculate the existing internet content for the number of users for each language. For that, I will divide the “Internet content percentage” by the “percentage of users“.

The final result will be the percentage of Internet content for users by Language.

What percentage of Internet content is written in English? Of course, there is more content in English, and each year, millions of sites see the light. But of course, not all the niches and types of sites share the same percentage. Wikipedia for example has daily page views of nearly 257 million in English alone in 2021. That’s far away from Spanish and other languages.

As an example, for the English language

54.9% divided by 27% = (2,03*100) = 200,03%. Russian also has the same percentage. So, for English and Russian, there was 200% more internet content than Internet users in 2013. So, the articles, blogs, and posts in English are twice the size of the number of English users.

In 2021, the numbers are not the same. So let’s do some math.

60.6% divided by 25.9% = (2.33*100) = 233.9%. That means there will be even more content written in English in 2021 compared to the number of users. That means more sites, sites, forums, social networks, and competition.

Now, here is the number of users by language in 2012 compared to 2020 (the latest stats available).

Internet users stats 2012 vs 2021

As you can see, most languages doubled their number of uses if not tripled it in just 10 years. The explanation of that is not only articles and sites, but social media. In some countries, users live on social media by the meaning of the word. So, they share everything they do on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and the list goes on.

The top 5 languages used on the Internet are the following:

  1. English (25,9%)
  2. Chinese (19.4%
  3. Spanish (7.9%)
  4. Arabic (5.2%)
  5. Indonesian/ Malaysian (4.3%)

In 10 years, the number of users in English has doubled (even a little more) and now, there are nearly one billion and 200 million users who read and write English. On the other hand, the number of Chinese Internet users increased from half a Billion to 888 million in 2020 which represents 19.4% of Internet users worldwide.

I’ve calculated all the top 10 Internet languages. And the content of users by language in 2021 is in the following table updated.

LanguagePercentage of Internet content for users (2013)2021 update
English200%233%
Russian200%332%
Polish145%-
French143%69.6%
German132%115%
Arabic100%84.6%
Japanese84%80.7%
Spanish60%48%
Portuguese57%24.3%
Chinese17%7.2%
Korean15%-

Use Internet statistics to create  useful content

This is what I’m looking for, this table shows that English, Russian, Polish, French, German, and Arabic languages have enough content for their internet users. But, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Korean need more Internet content.

If you’re a blogger or a webmaster, you have an idea about the languages that you can create content for and expect a large audience. At the same time, your blog or website will be ranked easily for these Languages that have little Internet content.

Writing content in the most used languages on the internet is not bad, English is still number one in the biggest sites. But when you focus on some other languages without high competition in sites, you can easily succeed.

Actually, the WordPress percentage of websites is 40%. But wait, that’s the half of the truth, most of the sites are junk with no content (or copied). And so, you still have the opportunity to compete with big guys using WordPress sites. And that will need less maintenance if you choose a well-managed web hosting like WP Engine.

What’s really surprising is the Chinese language in the above numbers. It’s the language that will skyrocket your blog if you really learn who to use it the right way. There are 1.5 billion people who need Chinese articles, blogs, websites, and posts. As in the Economy, you will see in the next few years that the Chinese language will be the fastest growing language on the Internet.

Conclusion

As you can see, English is still the language of the Internet. It has more content, more sites, and readers from all continents. In addition, even if the Chinese Language is seeing an increase in the number of sites, that does not mean it’s dominating the web. We all know that most spam sites are written in Chinese. And if you take a look at expired domains, you’ll find them redirected to spam Chinese sites with no content or unrelated to the main sites.

Also, there are new emerging languages in the top 10 lists such as Turkish, Vietnamese, and also Persian. So, these languages have the highest increase in the percentage of Internet content. while Chinese is shrinking a lot compared to previous years in percentage even if more sites are there. Meanwhile, Chinese users have little content if you think about the size of the population.

Read next on Trustiko:

Avatar for Fathi Arfaoui
About Fathi Arfaoui

Fathi Arfaoui is a Physicist, Blogger and the founder of Trustiko.com. He shares Business, WordPress and Blogging tips to build a better blog and succeed online.

Leave a Comment