How Many Texts Do People Send Every Day?
If you just want to know the number of texts people send every day, scroll down. Your numbers are highlighted in red. There's charts, too! If you want details and explanations, keep reading.
Everyone wants to know how many texts are sent and received every day, and who's doing all this messaging. The trouble is that this specific research is only conducted every several years. Trends suggest the numbers keep rising, but that's difficult to confirm in between reports.
How many texts do people send every day? It's not the easiest question to answer, but here's everything we know.
Note that app-to-app messaging, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, is not included in this. (Those two combine for over 60 billion messages every day, in case you were curious.)
Global vs. U.S.
In June of 2014, 561 billion text messages were sent worldwide. That's the most recent number we've got. Obviously that's a rounded figure, but it brings us to roughly 18.7 billion texts sent every day around the world. (Tweet this!)
By the end of 2011, the United States was sending out 6 billion texts every day, or about 180 billion a month. At that same time - end of year 2011 - there were about 395 billion monthly texts being sent worldwide.
In other words, the U.S. was responsible for about 45% of the world's texts. Not bad for 4% of the world's population.
Between the end of 2011 and June 2014, global text usage grew from ~395 billion to 561 billion messages per month. That's a growth of approximately 140%.
If - strong if - U.S. text usage grew by that same figure, then Americans sent 255 billion texts in June of 2014.
With very rough figures, we'll extrapolate that the most recent data we have shows 8.5 billion texts sent every day in these here United States of America.
We do know that 81% of the American population are texters - they text at least on a monthly basis. For round figures, the U.S. has a population of 320 million. 81% of our population equals roughly 259 million people who text.
So. If 259 million people are sending out 8.5 billion texts a day, what does that account to? That's roughly 32-33 messages per day, per person.
From here, we can keep breaking down the numbers by who owns what device and how old they are, but what's the point? People under 18 aren't included in a lot of the data, and those over 65 years old hardly do any texting. But we'll get to that.
This is arguably the best data available, but we can't say with complete assurance that it's 100% accurate for today. Take it with a grain of salt.
By Age Group
The best research we have here is from Pew Research Center in 2011. They conducted another very thorough study towards the end of 2014 (released in April, 2015), but for some reason the new one didn't include the number of text messages sent.
They did, however, show that text/SMS is the single most used feature on a smartphone, with 97% of all smartphone users having texted within the last week.
Coming in second was audio/video calls with a 92% usage rate, and the internet with an 89% usage rate. Think about that.
On mobile devices (which take up the majority of web traffic), people text more than they use the internet. That's incredible.
Thankfully, in 2013, Experian Marketing Services released this report, breaking down text usage by demographic. Again, it's been a few years since their report, which might mean the numbers are dated, but it's the best public information we've got.
Per their report, those between 18-24 years old sent and received an average of 3,853 texts messages per month. In a 30-day month, that's just over 128 messages per day.
As of 2013, American adults between 18-24 sent and received an average of just over 128 text messages per day.
The next group is adults 25-34 years old, which, admittedly, is a large age group to include. There's 3 completely different life stages in this, which leads us to believe that the numbers would be skewed between those 25-29 and those 30-34. But I digress.
People in this age range averaged 2,240 sent and received texts per month. Based on a 30-day month, that's just under 75 messages per day.
As of 2013, American adults between 25-34 sent and received an average of just under 75 text messages per day.
Those 35-44 years old sent and received an average of 1,557 text messages per month, which comes out to 52 text messages per day.
Adults 45-54 years old sent and received 998 text messages per month, or about 33 messages a day.
The 55+ group averaged 491 messages per month, translating into 16 text messages per day.
Let's group some of these together for more a "comprehensive" and easy to remember figure (or just a fun fact to toss around). If we generalize these age groups American adults under 45 years old send and receive an average of 2,550 messages a month, or about 85 text messages per day. (Tweet this!)