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Visualizing the Most Used Languages on the Internet

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most used languages on the internet

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The Briefing

  • English is the most common language online, used by 60.4% of the top 10M websites
  • China has the most internet users in the world but only 1.4% of the top 10M websites use Chinese

The Most Used Languages on the Internet

Online content on the world wide web is consumed in thousands of different languages.

Some are more common than others, but it’s interesting to see that the online use of a language doesn’t always reflect how many people speak it. For example, Hindi is the third most spoken language worldwide, but it isn’t one of the top languages used on the internet.

Here’s a look at the top 20 most used languages on the internet, compared to their real-world use among the global population.

RankLanguage% of Top 10M WebsitesShare of Speaking Population
1English60.4%16.2%
2Russian8.5%3.3%
3Spanish4.0%6.9%
4Turkish3.7%1.1%
5Persian3.0%0.7%
6French2.6%3.5%
7German2.4%1.7%
8Japanese2.1%1.6%
9Vietnamese1.7%1.0%
10Simplified Chinese1.4%14.3%
11Portuguese1.3%3.2%
12Standard Arabic1.1%3.5%
13Italian0.8%0.9%
14Indonesian0.7%2.5%
15Greek0.7%0.2%
16Polish0.6%0.6%
17Dutch0.6%0.3%
18Korean0.6%1.0%
19Thai0.5%0.8%
20Ukrainian0.4%0.5%

“Share of speaking population” refers to the percentage of the global population that identifies as a speaker of a particular language, either as their native tongue or a second language. Data as of January 2021.

English is by far the most commonly used language online, used by 60.4%, or about six million of the top 10 million websites. Not surprisingly, it’s also the most spoken language worldwide, with over 1.13 billion speakers.

By contrast, Chinese is spoken by 14.3% of the global population–more than 1.11 billion people—but it’s only used by 1.4% of the top 10 million websites.

Interestingly, Russian takes the second spot in the ranking in part due to the significant online presence of Runet, the internet’s Russian language community. Furthermore, it’s also the official language of multiple countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union.

The Future of Languages on the Web

Although it’s likely that English and Russian will continue to dominate the web, Asian languages have the highest potential for growth in internet usage.

With an untapped audience of more than 1 billion people, the share of languages like Chinese and Arabic may grow alongside the region’s online population.

Where does this data come from?

Source: W3Techs, Ethnologue, and the United Nations via Hootsuite
Details: Based on the top 10 million websites by traffic rankings from Alexa.com.

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Datastream

Olympics 2021: Comparing Every Sports Ball

Here are the different sizes and weights of each Olympic sports ball used in the Tokyo Olympics.

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Olympics 2021 Comparing Every Sports Ball Preview

The Briefing

  • Table tennis has the smallest sports ball used in the Tokyo Olympics at just 4cm in diameter and 2.7g in weight.
  • The biggest by size is the basketball at 24.35cm in diameter, but the shot is more than 10 times heavier at 7.26kg.

Olympics 2021: Comparing Every Sports Ball

It might be strange having the Olympics in 2021 (an odd year), but 2020 was anything but normal.

After facing a 12-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are set to kick off from July 23 to August 8.

In addition to hosting traditional sports like running and aquatics, some sports are being introduced for the first time (karate, skateboarding) or returning after an absence (baseball).

One thing that many Olympic sports share in common? There are 17 different sports that use balls or spheres of some sort, ranging in size and weight. Here are the different balls used in the Tokyo Olympics.

Olympic Sports Balls by Size and Weight

The 2021 Olympics, which are still officially called the 2020 Olympics to keep the four-year cycle and branding consistent, are hosting 339 events across 33 different sports.

17 of those sports use balls or spheres. The official sizes and weights vary from a small diameter of 4cm for table tennis to the largest ball, a basketball with a diameter of 24.35cm.

SportDiameterWeight
Table Tennis4.00cm2.7g
Golf4.27cm45.93g
Tennis6.70cm57.7g
Field Hockey7.48cm163g
Baseball7.50cm149g
Softball9.55cm177g
Shot Put12.00cm7,260g
Handball (Women’s)17.51cm350g
Handball (Men’s)18.78cm450g
Rhythmic Gymnastics19.00cm400g
Volleyball21.01cm270g
Water Polo (Women’s)21.01cm425g
Beach Volleyball21.33cm270g
Soccer21.96cm432.5g
Water Polo (Men’s)22.28cm425g
Basketball (Women’s)23.24cm538g
Basketball (Men’s)24.35cm608g

Even within the same categories of sports, balls have different size and weight rules based on event or gender. Water polo, handball, and basketball all have slight variations of a few centimeters in diameter and up to 100g in weight for different gender events.

But sorting the balls by weight shows that the shot is far and away the heaviest. At 7.26kg, the shot is more than 10 times heavier than a basketball. That’s because while most sporting balls are made of light material filled with air, shots are typically constructed entirely of metal.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Wired, Official Sport Rulebooks.

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Datastream

Top 50 Companies Proportion of World GDP

The world’s top 50 companies are becoming more valuable, especially compared to global GDP.

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The Briefing

  • The combined market cap of the world’s top 50 companies was proportional to 27.6% of global GDP in 2020, up from just 4.7% of global GDP in 1990
  • Tech’s role continues to grow, now accounting for 21 of the top 50 companies

Top 50 Companies Proportion of World GDP

The world’s top 50 companies have become increasingly more valuable, and more powerful, over time.

As global GDP has grown over the last four decades, from $23.6 trillion in 1990 to $84.5 trillion in 2020, the proportional share of the world’s top companies by market capitalization has grown over five-fold.

YearGlobal GDPTop 50 Companies Market Cap as a % of GDP
1990$23.6T4.7%
2000$34.0T22.1%
2010$66.2T12.7%
2020$84.5T27.6%

Though the world’s top 50 companies change year-to-year, there’s also a lot of overlap.

Which Companies Dominated Each Decade?

2020’s largest company by market cap, Apple at $2.26 trillion, was the third largest company in 2010. Likewise, 2010’s largest company was Exxon Mobil, which was the second largest company in both 1990 and 2000 (but has since fallen off).

The top 50 companies in the world also highlight the increasing role of tech in the modern market. 1990’s largest company IBM was just one of three tech companies that made the ranking that year. Even in 2000, when the world’s largest company was GE, tech companies like Cisco and Microsoft only made up three of the top 10 companies by market cap.

Fast forward to 2020, and tech accounted for 42% of the top 50 companies in the world. It also plays a more prominent role on the high end of the spectrum, as six of 2020’s seven largest companies were tech-based, with only oil giant Saudi Aramco the odd one out.

Though digitization is a primary driver of current economic growth, will these trends remain steady in 10 or more years from now? Or will companies from other booming industries such as green energy take over the leaderboard?

>>Like this? You might find this article interesting, 23 Years of Shifting Tech Market Caps

Where does this data come from?

Source: Bloomberg, IMF.

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