Photography has existed for almost two centuries and has witnessed many great photographers. However, the true advent of photography started with the development of digital cameras and, later, smartphones.
In the following article, we share our latest photography and photo statistics procured with scientific and mathematical methods, including answering questions like “How many photos are taken every day?”
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, which 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.
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 2023, people take as many as 54,000 photos every second, equating to 1.81 trillion per year.
- 1.81 trillion photos are taken per year
- 143 billion photos are taken per month
- 32.9 billion photos are taken per week
- 4.7 billion photos are taken per day
- 196 million photos are taken per hour
- 54,000 photos are taken every second
And here’s this data in the table format:
|Photos taken per||Number of photos|
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.
Global pandemic & the number of photos
The global pandemic that started in 2020 stopped people from traveling and even moving outside. As a result, the number of photos taken in those years decreased sharply.
- 25% fewer photos were taken in 2020.
- 20% fewer photos were taken in 2021.
In 2022, the number of photos taken increased sharply because restrictions were lifted, and people traveled more again, taking around 1.72 trillion photos.
The trend of increasing numbers of photos will continue to grow through 2023 and in the coming years. By 2025, almost 2 trillion photos will be taken each year, and by 2030, around 2.3 trillion. This will likely also impact the number of photos uploaded to stock photo sites.
How many photos are taken every day?
According to our latest estimates, we believe 4.7 billion photos are taken every day. This means that by 2030, around 6 billion photos will be taken daily.
Photos taken every day by region
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 in the world?
There are about 12.4 trillion photos in the world. This number takes into account every photo taken since the first photo was taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826. According to our latest estimates, another 1.72 trillion photos are taken every year, so the total number increases by 10–14% every 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 2023, 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 photos does the average person have?
According to Gigaom, the average user had 630 photos and 24 videos stored on their phone in 2015. Then, the average iOS user took 182 photos per month, while the average Android user took 111 photos per month. Since then, the number of photos people take day has drastically increased and smartphones can store many more images than they used to.
According to our 2023 data, the average user has around 2,000 photos on their smartphone, with iOS users closer to 2,400 photos and Android users around 1,900 photos.
How many images are on Google?
According to Photutorial’s data, there are an estimated 136 billion indexed images on Google Image Search in 2023. 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.
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 2023.
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 photo sites offer only about 1–2 million images (Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay, etc.), I present data for the best stock photo sites and subscriptions.
Here are the exact stock image numbers:
|Stock photo site||Number of stock images|
|Adobe Stock||295 million|
Frequently asked questions
How many photos will be taken in 2023?
According to Photutorial’s most recent data, 1.81 trillion photos will be taken in 2023. That’s 57,246 photos taken per second, 5.0 billion per day, and 150.8 billion per month.
How many photos are taken per year?
In 2023, 1.81 trillion photos will be taken globally, which is a 46% increase from 2020 and 2021, when the number of photos taken was drastically lower due to COVID-19 restrictions.
How many images are on the internet?
There are at least 136 billion images on the internet as of 2022. This is the number of images you can find on Google Images, which is the largest collection of images on the internet. The number might actually be 10 times larger.
How many photos are uploaded to Instagram every day?
According to the most recent data, at least 95 million photos are posted on Instagram each day. Based on our estimation, the number dropped to around 80 million per day with the introduction of reels, which is a type of video content.
How many images do we see a day?
The number of images we see a day varies wildly based on lifestyle, but for most people the number ranges between 10 and 100 images seen a day.
- Wikipedia contributors, View from the Window at Le Gras, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, May 27, 2022.
- Datacommons.org, 2021.
- Mathew Brogie, Average Number of Photos Taken Per Day Around the World, Repsly, 2021.
- Ed Lee, 2021 Worldwide Image Capture Forecast: 2020 – 2025, Rise Above Research, June 10, 2021.
- Nina Pantic, How Many Photos Will Be Taken in 2021?, Mylio, updated February 2, 2022.
- Minda Zetlin, Taking Selfies Destroys Your Confidence and Raises Anxiety, a Study Shows. Why Are You Still Doing It?, Inc., May 31, 2019.
- Nate Smith, Product Manager, Google Images, Ooh! Ahh! Google Images presents a nicer way to surf the visual web, Google Official Blog, July 20, 2010.
- Biz Carson, Special report: How we really use our camera phones, Old GigaOm, January 23, 2015.