Wikipedia is in the palm of your hand—all you need to do is edit an article.
Human administration
Wikimedia Board of Trustees
Wikipedians
Wikimedia staff
Stewards
Arbitration Committee
Bureaucrats
Administrators

Wikipedians are volunteers who contribute to Wikipedia by editing its pages, unlike readers who simply read the articles. Anyone—including you—can become a Wikipedian by boldly making changes when they find something that can be added or improved. To learn more about how to do this, you can check out the basic editing tutorial or the more detailed manual.

Wikipedians do a wide variety of tasks, from fixing typos and removing vandalism to resolving disputes and perfecting content, but are united in a desire to make human knowledge available to every person on the planet.

Number of editors

English Wikipedia editors with >100 edits per month[1]

The English Wikipedia currently has 47,661,695[2] users who have registered a username. Only a minority of users contribute regularly (114,409[3] have edited in the last 30 days), and only a minority of those contributors participate in community discussions. In 2023, 812,635 registered editors made at least one edit;[4] about half of these were new accounts making their first (and often only) edit.[5] In a given month, more than 5,000 editors make at least 100 edits.[6]

An unknown but relatively large number of unregistered Wikipedians also contribute to the site. As of 2012, most logged-in editors had edited as unregistered Wikipedians before registering their accounts.[7]

As of February 2015, when about 12,000 editors were eligible to vote in the Wikimedia Stewards Elections, their eligibility was based on their English Wikipedia edit count. It applied to those who had an edit count of at least 600 overall and 50 since August 2014. This was about one-quarter of the number of Wikipedians who had 600 edits overall. (See the Talk page for details.)

User permissions

See also: Wikipedia:Administration § Human and legal administration

Some accounts have special permissions, including:[8]

Some user groups (such as stewards) act globally, and thus they do not get local flags and local rights.

Registered editors by edit count (all registered accounts)
If you have made... you are about 1 in then you rank in the... or the... That's more than...
1 edit 3 top 30% of all users top 14,200,000 of all users 70% of all users
2 edits 5 top 20% of all users top 9,500,000 of all users 80% of all users
5 edits 10 top 10% of all users top 4,700,000 of all users 90% of all users
10 edits 20 top 5% of all users
(the autoconfirmed)
top 2,380,000 of all users 95% of all users
100 edits 100 top 1% of all users top 476,000 of all users 99% of all users
500 edits 400 top 0.25% of all users
(the extended confirmed)
top 119,000 of all users 99.75% of all users
1,000 edits 1,000 top 0.1% of all users top 47,000 of all users 99.9% of all users
10,000 edits 4,000 top 0.025% of all users top 11,900 of all users 99.975% of all users
25,000 edits 10,000 top 0.01% of all users top 4,700 of all users 99.99% of all users
50,000 edits 20,000 top 0.005% of all users top 2,300 of all users 99.995% of all users
100,000 edits 50,000 top 0.002% of all users top 900 of all users 99.998% of all users
250,000 edits 200,000 top 0.0005% of all users top 200 of all users 99.9995% of all users
500,000 edits 1,000,000 top 0.0001% of all users top 50 of all users 99.9999% of all users
1,000,000 edits 3,300,000 top 0.000031% of users top 13 of all users 99.99997% of all users
For the purposes of this table, a "user" is a person who has a registered account on the English Wikipedia.
Registered editors by edit count (only successful contributors)
If you have made... you are about 1 in then you rank in the... or the... That's more than...
1 edit 1 one of 14,200,000 contributors
2 edits 1-2 top 65% of contributors top 9,200,000 of all contributors 35% of all contributors
5 edits 3 top 30% of contributors top 4,200,000 of all contributors 70% of all contributors
10 edits 5 top 20% of contributors
(the autoconfirmed)
top 2,859,000 of all contributors 80% of all contributors
100 edits 40 top 2.5% of contributors top 357,000 of all contributors 97.5% of all contributors
500 edits 133 top 0.75% of contributors
(the extended confirmed)
top 107,000 of all contributors 99.25% of all contributors
1,000 edits 200 top 0.5% of contributors top 71,000 of all contributors 99.5% of all contributors
10,000 edits 1,000 top 0.1% of contributors top 14,200 of all contributors 99.9% of all contributors
25,000 edits 3,333 top 0.03% of contributors top 4,200 of all contributors 99.97% of all contributors
50,000 edits 6,666 top 0.015% of contributors top 2,100 of all contributors 99.985% of all contributors
100,000 edits 14,000 top 0.007% of contributors top 1,000 of all contributors 99.993% of all contributors
250,000 edits 66,666 top 0.0015% of contributors top 200 of all contributors 99.9985% of all contributors
500,000 edits 250,000 top 0.0004% of contributors top 50 of all contributors 99.9996% of all contributors
For the purposes of this table, a "contributor" is an account with at least one published edit on the English Wikipedia.

Demographics

Gender
84 / 100
The 2013 study The Wikipedia Gender Gap Revisited measured gender bias in survey completion and estimated that as of 2008, 84% of English Wikipedia editors were male. In the worldwide Wikipedia Editor Survey 2011 of all the Wikipedias, 91% of respondents were male.
Nationality
The greatest number, or plurality, of editors as of 2011: 20% reside in the United States, followed by Germany (12%) and Russia (7%). The only country not in Europe or North America in the top 10 is India (3%).
Language
76 / 100
49 / 100
Most users primarily edit (76%) and read (49%) the English Wikipedia, followed by the German Wikipedia at 20% and 12%, and the Spanish Wikipedia at 12% and 6% respectively. More than half (51%) of editors contribute in two or more languages.
Age distribution
13 / 100
13% of editors are under 17.
14 / 100
14% are in the group 18–21.
26 / 100
26% are 22–29.
19 / 100
19% are 30–39.
28 / 100
28% editors are aged 40+.
59 / 100
59% of the editors are aged 17 to 40.
Editing activities
66 / 100
66% of editors said that their primary activity is to edit existing articles.
42 / 100
42% said it was researching articles.
28 / 100
28% said it was creating new articles.
23 / 100
23% said that they do mostly patrolling work.
22 / 100
22% participate primarily in discussions.
17 / 100
17% mainly upload media.
Why contribute?
71 / 100
71% of the editors contribute because they like the idea of volunteering to share knowledge.
69 / 100
69% believe that information should be freely available.
63 / 100
63% pointed out that contributing is fun.
7 / 100
Only 7% edit Wikipedia for professional reasons.

UNU-Merit (United Nations University-Merit) completed the 2010 meta:Research:UNU-MERIT Wikipedia survey of Wikipedia users, including both contributors (registered and unregistered) and readers.[10] 176,192 people chose to participate, approximately 58,000 of whom were contributors to Wikipedia. Many of the findings were reported as an aggregate and were not separated by user type. Only the statistics relevant to Wikipedians are presented. In 2011, the WMF (Wikimedia Foundation) presented a questionnaire to logged-in Wikipedia editors (does not include unregistered Wikipedians) to gain a better understanding of the demographics, perceptions and motivations of Wikipedians.[11] Over 5,000 people responded to the survey. Here are the results of both surveys:

Editors by age[11]
Age group WMF (%)
12–17 13 percent
18–21 14 percent
22–29 26 percent
30–39 19 percent
40+ 28 percent

UNU-Merit reported the average age of contributors at 26.14 years, but did not provide a greater breakdown of age by user type.[10]

Editors by education completed
Education level completed WMF (%) UNU-Merit (%)
Primary 9 11
Secondary 30 34
Undergraduate 35 26
Masters 18 18
PhD 8 4
Other NR 6

WMF reported 43% of respondents are currently enrolled in school or post-secondary education.[11]

According to the WMF findings, the top three countries where Wikipedia contributors reside are the United States (20%), Germany (12%), and Russia (7%). The primary language of Wikipedia contributors is English (52%) followed by German (18%) with Russian and Spanish coming in third at 10% each. The UNU-Merit study did not breakdown language and country of residence in terms of type of participation with Wikipedia.

According to UNU-Merit, 87 percent of Wikipedians are men and 13 percent are women.[10]

According to the 2011 WMF survey, although the percentage of female editors continues to increase, ninety percent of Wikipedians are male, nine percent female, and one percent transgender/transsexual.[11]

Experienced female editors can be very successful—they are more likely to become administrators than men—but as new editors, their good-faith contributions are more likely to be reverted than good-faith contributions by a man.[12]

More information regarding the gender gap can be found at Gender gap.

In an October 2023 representative survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, YouGov found that 7% had ever edited Wikipedia, that 20% had ever considered doing so who had not, that 55% had never done so and had never considered doing so, and that 17% had never used Wikipedia.[13]

October 2023 YouGov survey on U.S. editors
Demographic % of demographic
respondents
Demographic
sample size
Gender
Male 9% 416
Female 5% 582
Age
18–29 years 14% 122
30–44 years 12% 206
45–64 years 3% 394
65 years or older 1% 276
Race
White 6% 611
Black 5% 119
Hispanic 13% 155
Other 10% 113
Party ID
Democratic 12% 362
Independent 5% 371
Republican 4% 265
2020 vote
Biden 11% 367
Trump 4% 338
Family income
Less than $50,000 6% 423
$50,000 to $100,000 8% 277
$100,000 or more 11% 209
Region
Northeast 6% 164
Midwestern 6% 217
Southern 5% 393
Western 13% 224

Personality

Researchers have begun to identify key personality traits in Wikipedians. According to a study published in 2008, Wikipedia members are more likely than non-members to locate their "real me" online—that is, to feel more comfortable expressing their "real" selves online than off.[14] This corresponds with more general findings that Internet communities tend to attract users who are introverted offline but more able to open up and feel empowered on the Web.[15][16] A gender difference was found in terms of extroversion: whereas female Wikipedia members were on average more introverted than female non-members, male members were just as extroverted as males in the control group.

Motivations for contributing

Main article: Motivations of Wikipedia contributors

Further information: Wikipedia:Purpose

In November 2007, the most commonly indicated motives were "fun", "ideology", and "values", whereas the least frequently indicated motives were "career", "social", and "protective" (as in "reducing guilt over personal privilege").[17]

Nomenclature

One could argue that "Wikipedist" would be a more appropriate name, as an encyclopedist is someone who contributes to an encyclopedia. Wikipedian, though, suggests being part of a group, community or demonym (a resident of a locality). So in this sense, Wikipedians are people who form the Wikipedia Community. The term "Wikimedian" is also widely used to include contributors to all the projects supported by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Contribution styles

See also: Wikipediholic and Conflicting philosophies

Some Wikipedians welcome newcomers; some Wikipedians award those whom they feel deserve awards. Some upload images or help others do so; some work on history articles; some clean up grammar; and still others work on reverting vandalism. Many take on all these tasks; some, of course, take on none. Whatever one decides to do, every Wikipedian is a valuable member of the community.

Wikipedians who contribute mainly by writing and editing the contents of Wikipedia, without interacting much on Talk or administrative pages, are sometimes called exopedians, whereas those who spend significant time on such community interactions are contrasted as metapedians. A multitude of views and other contribution characteristics are represented well by common Wikipedia-related userboxes: Wikipedia:Userboxes/Wikipedia.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Wikipedia Statistics (English)". stats.wikimedia.org.
  2. ^ This number is dynamically updated with the magic word NUMBEROFUSERS
  3. ^ This number is dynamically updated with the magic word NUMBEROFACTIVEUSERS
  4. ^ https://quarry.wmcloud.org/query/80211
  5. ^ https://quarry.wmcloud.org/query/80159
  6. ^ Editors graph at stats.wikimedia.org
  7. ^ Pande, Mani (2012-05-10). "59 percent of logged-in Wikipedians started as anonymous editors". Diff. Retrieved 2022-09-01.
  8. ^ These numbers are dynamically updated with the magic word NUMBERINGROUP:groupname
  9. ^ Although there are two co-founders, Jimbo Wales is the only member of this group, as he is the only one of the three who still contributes to Wikipedia.
  10. ^ a b c Glott, Ruediger; Schmidt, Phillipp; Ghosh, Rishab (March 2010). "Wikipedia Survey—Overview of Results" (PDF). Wikipedia Study. UNU-MERIT. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  11. ^ a b c d "Wikipedia Editor Study: Results From the Editor Survey, April 2011" (PDF). Wikimedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  12. ^ Lam, S. K.; Uduwage, A.; Dong, Z.; Sen, S.; Musicant, D. R.; Terveen, L.; Riedl, J. (October 2011). "WP:Clubhouse? An Exploration of Wikipedia's Gender Imbalance". WikiSym. ACM. pp. 1–10. doi:10.1145/2038558.2038560. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011.
  13. ^ "YouGov Survey: Wikipedia" (PDF). YouGov. Retrieved January 26, 2024.
  14. ^ Amichai-Hamburger, Y.; Lamdan, Naama; Madiel, Rinat; Hayat, Tsahi (November 2008). "Personality Characteristics of Wikipedia Members". CyberPsychology & Behavior. 11 (6): 679–81. doi:10.1089/cpb.2007.0225. PMID 18954273.
  15. ^ Amichai-Hamburger, Y.; Wainapel, G.; Fox, S. (May 2002). "On the Internet no one knows I'm an introvert: extroversion, neuroticism and Internet interaction". CyberPsychology & Behavior. 5 (2): 125–128. doi:10.1089/109493102753770507. PMID 12025878.
  16. ^ Amichai-Hamburger, Y.; McKenna, K.; Tal, S. (September 2008). "E-empowerment: Empowerment by the Internet". Computers in Human Behavior. 24 (5): 1776–1789. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2008.02.002.
  17. ^ Nov, Oded (November 2007). "What Motivates Wikipedians?" (PDF). Communications of the ACM. 50 (11): 60–64. doi:10.1145/1297797.1297798. S2CID 16517355. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 April 2012.

External links