The first photograph, entitled “View from the Window in Le Gras“, was taken in 1826. Then, in 1861, the first color photograph was taken, followed by Fujifilm, who introduced the first digital camera in 1988. Despite the quick development of imaging technology, photos were scarce until smartphones were equipped with digital cameras. Nowadays, billions of photos are taken every day.
So, exactly how many photos are taken each year around the world?
In this data-driven overview of photo statistics, you’ll learn how many photos are taken per second or per year, how many images are on Google, and much more.
Photo Statistics (Top Picks)
- 1.72 trillion photos are taken worldwide every year, which equals 54,400 per second, or 4.7 billion per day. By 2030, around 2.3 trillion photos will be taken every year.
- According to Photutorial data, 1.2 trillion were taken worldwide in 2021. The number will increase to 1.72 trillion in 2022. By 2025, more than 2 trillion photos will be taken each year.
- The global pandemic reduced the number of images taken by 25% in 2020 and 20% in 2021.
- By region, the number of photos taken by a smartphone user is led by the US: 20.2/day, Asia-Pacific 15/day, Latin America 11.8/day, Africa 8.1/day, and Europe 4.9/day.
- 12.4 trillion photos have been taken throughout history. By 2030, this number will increase to 28.6 trillion.
- Users share the most images on WhatsApp: 6.9 billion per day. 1.3 billion images are shared on Instagram daily, with about 100 million in posts and more than 1 billion on stories and chats.
- 750 billion images are on the internet, only 6% of the total photos were ever taken since most of the photos we take are never shared.
- 92.5% of photos are taken with smartphones and only 7% with cameras.
- There are 136 billion images on Google Images. By 2030, there will be 382 billion images on Google Images.
How many photos are taken each year?
With the ever-improving quality of smartphone cameras, the number of pictures taken around the world every day is skyrocketing. In 2022, 54,400 photos are taken every second, 196 million per hour, 4.7 billion per day, 32.9 billion per week, 143 billion per month, and 1.72 trillion per year.
Of course, it’s important to note that most of the photos taken with smartphones are selfies, photos of food, and various snapshots. These are not to be confused with professional photos, which represent only a small portion of the photos taken nowadays.
|Photos taken per||Number of photos|
Because of the global pandemic, the number of photos has decreased by 25% in 2020 and 20% in 2021. In 2022, the number of photos taken will increase sharply because restrictions will be lifted and people will travel more again, taking around 1.72 trillion photos. The trend of increasing numbers of photos will continue to grow in the coming years. By 2025, almost 2 trillion photos will be taken each year, and by 2030, around 2.3 trillion.
How many photos do we take a day?
An average US citizen takes 20.2 photos per day. Asia-Pacific follows the US with 15 photos per day, Latin America with 11.8 photos per day, Africa with 8.1 photos per day, and Europe with 4.9 photos per day.
Here are the numbers:
|Part of the world||Photos taken per day|
|Asia & Oceania||15|
To clarify, one million is 106, one billion is 109, and one trillion is 1012. Let’s put these numbers into perspective. If you took one photo per second, it would take 11 days and 14 hours to take one million photos. Likewise, it would take you 31.5 years to take 1 billion photos and 31,709 years to take a trillion photos. That was when the world’s first dog lived.
How many photos are there?
Since the first photograph, approximately 12.4 trillion photos have been taken worldwide. Another 1.72 trillion photos are taken each year, increasing the total by 10-14% each year. By 2030, the world will have taken 28.6 trillion photos, more than doubling the current number.
Smartphones vs. Cameras
While professionals still shoot with interchangeable lens cameras (ILC), most photos are taken with smartphones. The main reasons for the widespread adoption of smartphones in photography recently are their ubiquity, price, and ease of use. As a result, 89% of photos will be taken with smartphones in 2020, 92.5% in 2022, and 93% in 2023.
Google reports that its Android devices take 93 million selfies per day, and in one poll, 18-to-24-year-olds reported that every third photo they take is a selfie.
How many images are on Google?
According to Photutorial’s data, there are an estimated 136 billion indexed images on Google Image Search in 2022. The number of indexed images could reach 382 trillion by 2030.
But Google doesn’t let us know the number of images in Google Images. The most recent confirmed data comes from 2010 when Google boasted about 10 billion indexed images. We also know that when Google Images was launched in 2001, 250 million images were indexed. This number increased to 1 billion in 2005. Since then, no official number has been confirmed.
Data source: (Google blog)
Images shared over social media
Social media apps rarely provide information on the number of photos uploaded or shared. Therefore, the most publicly available data is several years old. Using math, I dug up the numbers for 2022.
In 2013, 27,800 images were shared per minute on Instagram and 208,300 on Facebook. Snapchat reported 8,796 images shared per second or 527,700 per minute. WhatsApp shared 8,100 images per second or 486,100 per minute. Users on Flickrs shared only about 700 images per minute.
Since then, the number of photos has tripled, and social media has gained billions of new users, so the numbers are now much higher. Users share 6.9 billion images on WhatsApp per day, 3.8 billion on Snapchat, 2.1 billion on Facebook, and 1.3 billion on Instagram. There are only about 1 million images shared on Flickr every day because it hasn’t grown much.
Here’s a table with all the numbers:
|Social media platform||Images shared/day|
Why are these numbers higher than the reported number of photos taken each day? First, users share photos and images on social media, including screenshots and memes that aren’t counted as photos. Second, many images are shared with multiple users, but the reported numbers reflect each individual share.
Number of stock images
The term “stock images” includes photos, illustrations, and vectors. Since most free stock photos sites offer only about 1–2 million images (Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay, etc.), I present data for best paid stock photo sites.
Here are the exact stock image numbers:
|Stock photo site||Number of stock images|
|Adobe Stock||295 million|
That’s it for my photo statistics.
I was surprised at how many photos are taken each day, as I’d expected the number to be much lower. However, in my research on the subject, I found that the numbers I report and find on the internet are underestimated.
I’m convinced that more people take photos than reported, but it’s better to report conservative figures rather than inflate them.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many photos will be taken in 2022?
According to the Photutorial’s most recent data, 1.72 trillion photos will be taken in 2022. That’s 54,400 photos taken per second, 4.7 billion per day, and 143.3 billion per month.
How many photos are taken per year?
In 2022, 1.72 trillion photos will be taken globally, which is a 43% increase from 2020 and 2021, when the number of photos taken was drastically lower due to COVID-19 restrictions.