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Over a billion public PDFs

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.

Google Bing
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%

UK – HM Treasury Summer Budget 2015

That’s proportionately a lot more PDFs published by the US Government than by commercial sites!

Got a PDF you want to get data from?
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