You can get a guesstimate for the number of PDFs in the world by searching for
filetype:pdf on a web search engine.
These are the results I got in August 2015 – follow the links to see for yourself.
|Number of PDFs||1.8 billion||84 million|
|Number of Excel files||14 million||6 million|
The numbers are inexact, but that’s likely over a billion PDF files. Of course, it’s only the visible ones…
But the fact is that the vast majority of PDFs are in corporate or governmental repositories. I’ve heard various government agencies (throughout the world) comment that they have tens of millions (or more) in their own libraries/CMS’s. Various engineering businesses, such as Boeing and Airbus are also known to have tens of millions (or more) in their repositories. Leonard Rosenthol, Adobe’s PDF Architect
Digging a bit deeper by also adding
site: to the search, you can find out what percentage of documents that a search engine has indexed are PDFs.
|Number of PDFs||Total number of pages||% PDFs|
|.com||547 million||25 billion||2%|
|.gov||316 million||839 million||38%|
That’s proportionately a lot more PDFs published by the US Government than by commercial sites!
Try our easy web interface over at PDFTables.com!