African countries sized by number of Wikipedia articles

Interactive map

Is a country’s presence online based on its population size and access to the internet? Researchers at The Oxford Internet Institute mapped how much was written about each African country on the online reference site Wikipedia.

The dropdown menu allows you to compare the data to a number of different factors. The researchers found that some countries such as Sudan, Uganda and Malawi fare worse than expected given their broadband access and population size. To put the whole thing in perspective just 2.6% of articles on Wikipedia are about Africa despite the continent containing 14% of the world’s population.

See more at The Oxford Internet Institute:

The map distortions reveal stark regional imbalances in the quantity of user-generated content in Wikipedia about different parts of the continent. In terms of numbers of articles, South Africa (8,500 articles), Egypt (6,500), Algeria (6,400), Morocco (5,400), Madagascar (4,300), Kenya (4,200) and Tunisia (3,000) are comparably well covered. Whereas Equatorial Guinea, Swaziland, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Rwanda, Guinea Bissau, Lesotho, Burundi and Sierra Leone each contain fewer than 600 Wikipedia articles. Bear in mind that all of Africa combined contains only 2.6% of the planet’s Wikipedia articles despite having 14% of the world’s population and 20% of the world’s land.

At the global scale (in an article that we currently have under review), we found that the number of Wikipedia articles within (or describing) a country can be explained to a large degree by just three factors: (1) the size of its population, (2) the number of its fixed broadband internet connections, and (3) the number of edits committed to Wikipedia by its population.

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