This study is an attempt to measure how much information is produced in the world each year. We look at several media and estimate yearly production, accumulated stock, rates of growth, and other variables of interest.
If you want to understand what we've done, we offer different recommendations, depending on the degree to which you suffer from information overload:
Heavy information overload: the world's total yearly production of print, film, optical, and magnetic content would require roughly 1.5 billion gigabytes of storage. This is the equivalent of 250 megabytes per person for each man, woman, and child on earth.
Normal information overload: read the Executive Summary.
Information deprived: read the detailed reports by clicking on the contents to your left. Or download the entire Web site as a PDF file. (It is about 200 pages long.)
This study was produced
by faculty and students at the School
of Information Management and Systems at the University
of California at Berkeley. We gratefully acknowledge financial support
from EMC. We have put "[???]"
in the text where we had to make "questionable" assumptions.
If you have suggestions, corrections, or comments, please send email to
We view this as a "living document" and intend to update it
based on such contributions. Preferred
citation: Lyman, Peter and Hal R. Varian, "How Much Information",
2000. Retrieved from http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/how-much-info
on [date]. Here is a Japanese translation.