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

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 46,206,418[2] users who have registered a username. Only a minority of users contribute regularly (120,811[3] have edited in the last 30 days), and only a minority of those contributors participate in community discussions. 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.[4]

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

Some accounts have special permissions, including:[5]

Registered editors by edit count (all registered accounts)
If you have made... then you rank in the... or the... That's more than...
1 edit top 30% of all users top 13,800,000 of all users 70% of all users
2 edits top 20% of all users top 9,200,000 of all users 80% of all users
5 edits top 10% of all users top 4,600,000 of all users 90% of all users
10 edits top 5% of all users
(the autoconfirmed)
top 2,310,000 of all users 95% of all users
100 edits top 1% of all users top 462,000 of all users 99% of all users
500 edits top 0.25% of all users
(the extended confirmed)
top 115,000 of all users 99.75% of all users
1,000 edits top 0.1% of all users top 46,000 of all users 99.9% of all users
10,000 edits top 0.025% of all users top 11,500 of all users 99.975% of all users
25,000 edits top 0.01% of all users top 4,600 of all users 99.99% of all users
50,000 edits top 0.005% of all users top 2,300 of all users 99.995% of all users
100,000 edits top 0.002% of all users top 900 of all users 99.998% of all users
250,000 edits top 0.0005% of all users top 200 of all users 99.9995% of all users
500,000 edits top 0.0001% of all users top 50 of all users 99.9999% of all users
For the purposes of this table, an "editor" is a person who has a registered account on the English Wikipedia.
Registered editors by edit count (only successful contributors)
If you have made... then you rank in the... or the... That's more than...
1 edit 13,000,000 contributors
2 edits top 65% of contributors top 4,500,000 of contributors 35% of all contributors
5 edits top 30% of contributors top 3,900,000 of all contributors 70% of all contributors
10 edits top 20% of contributors
(the autoconfirmed)
top 2,600,000 of all contributors 80% of all contributors
100 edits top 2.5% of contributors top 325,000 of all contributors 97.5% of all contributors
500 edits top 0.75% of contributors
(the extended confirmed)
top 97,000 of all contributors 99.25% of all contributors
1,000 edits top 0.5% of contributors top 65,000 of all contributors 99.5% of all contributors
10,000 edits top 0.1% of contributors top 13,000 of all contributors 99.9% of all contributors
25,000 edits top 0.03% of contributors top 3,900 of all contributors 99.97% of all contributors
50,000 edits top 0.015% of contributors top 1,900 of all contributors 99.985% of all contributors
100,000 edits top 0.007% of contributors top 900 of all contributors 99.993% of all contributors
250,000 edits top 0.0015% of contributors top 200 of all contributors 99.9985% of all contributors
500,000 edits top 0.0004% of contributors top 50 of all contributors 99.9996% of all contributors
For the purposes of this table, an "editor" is an account with at least one published edit on the English Wikipedia.


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.
The greatest number, or plurality, of editors (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%).
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.[7] 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.[8] Over 5,000 people responded to the survey. Here are the results of both surveys:

Editors by age[8]
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.[7]

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.[8]

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.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

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


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.[10] 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.[11][12] 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

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").[13]


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

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


  1. ^ "Wikipedia Statistics (English)".
  2. ^ This number is dynamically updated with the magic word NUMBEROFUSERS
  3. ^ This number is dynamically updated with the magic word NUMBEROFACTIVEUSERS
  4. ^ Pande, Mani (2012-05-10). "59 percent of logged-in Wikipedians started as anonymous editors". Diff. Retrieved 2022-09-01.
  5. ^ These numbers are dynamically updated with the magic word NUMBERINGROUP:groupname
  6. ^ Although there are two co-founders, Jimbo Wales is the only member of this group.
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ a b c d "Wikipedia Editor Study: Results From the Editor Survey, April 2011" (PDF). Wikimedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ 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