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Here are some charts that show the relative sizes of various interesting magnitudes.

Digital vs Nondigital

Over 93 percent of the information produced in 1999 was in digital format. (Authors' calculations.)

New Book Titles in the US

New books published in US. (US Statistical Abstract 1999, Table 938. Some years interpolated.)

Newspapers and Periodicals

Newspapers and periodicals published in US. (US Statistical Abstract 1999, Table 941.)

Print summary. (Calculations by authors.)

Photo summary. (Calculations by authors.)

Optical summary. (calculations by authors)


Total and unique information on various types of hard drives. (Calculations by authors)

PC Hard Drives Shipped

Worldwide PC hard drive capacity shipped. (1999 Winchester Disk Drive Market Forecast and Review, Table C5, International Data Corporation report. Some years forecast.)

Hard drive cost per gigabyte. (IDC reports.)


Trends in EMC's stock price, megabytes per inch, and cost per megabyte. From Forbes, October 2, 2000.

US Households Media Use

US household media use. (US Statistical Abstract 1999, Table 920.)

Activities performed by online households in the US during an average week, Q2, 2000. (Economist Magazine, October 7, 2000, E-Entertainment Survey, page 11.)

Summary of upper estimate of worldwide information production. (Economist Magazine, October, 2000)


Cost of transmitting 1000 words v Number of words available in USA 1960-1980. (Ithiel de Sola Pool, Hiroshi Inose, Nozomu Takasaki, Roger Hurwitz, Communication Flows: A Census in the United States and Japan, Elsevier Science Publishers, New York, 1984.)

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