Wordle is a popular online word game that has captivated players with its simple yet challenging puzzles. In this post, we will take a closer look at the statistics of Wordle play, examining the most common starting words, the success rates of different guessing strategies, and other interesting patterns in the data.
About the Founder
Wordle is a daily word game created by Josh Wardle (“Wordle” is a play on his last name), a software engineer from Brooklyn. In 2013, Wardle made a prototype of the game, which he later refined in 2021 with the help of his partner, Palak Shah. Shah reviewed the English language’s 12,000 five-letter words and narrowed them down to 2,500 commonly-known words that could be used in the game’s daily puzzles. Initially, only Wardle’s family played the game, but it was made publicly available in October 2021 on his website, powerlanguage.co.uk. Within a month, the game had 90 players, and by the following month, it had over two million daily players. In January 2022, the game was acquired by The New York Times Company.
- Wordle has exactly 12,545 allowed guesses (checked date: December 15, 2022; was 12,972 allowed guesses. However, most of these words are very uncommon, such as “aahed”, “aalii”, and “aargh”.
- Wordle currently has 2,308 possible answers (checked date: 15. 12. 2022; was 2,313), which is a human-curated list. This means that only 18.40% of allowed guesses are also possible answers.
- The chance to guess Wordle on the first try is 1/2,308 (0.043%) if you consider only possible answers and 1/12,545 (0.008%) if you also consider allowed guesses.
- Number of players:
- 2013–2021: Josh Wardle’s family only
- November 2021: 90
- December 2021: over 2 million
- 2022: over 3 million but declining
- On average, around 8.6% of people play world on hard mode (meaning you must use revealed hints in subsequent guesses).
Human Statistics Playing Wordle
- On average, Wordle players can guess the correct word on their first try in only 0.02% of games. This suggests that players may start with a word that is not a possible answer in many cases, as the actual success rate is twice as low as the theoretical best (0.043%).
- According to data collected from Wordle players, the most common number of attempts required to guess the correct word is 4 (33.10% of games), followed by 5 attempts (23.91% of games) and 3 attempts (22.66% of games). Players cannot guess the correct word in 2.92% of games.
- The global average for solving Wordle is 4.016 guesses, according to our data from over 6 million games. In contrast, Wordtips calculated an average of 3.919 guesses from 139,940 tweets. The discrepancy possibly comes from the way losses are calculated and due to the higher sample of our data.
Here’s the full data on the success rate for each attempt:
First-Guess Success Rates
Here, we compare the success rate of Wordle’s first guess (first row).
- Green: On the first try, people most accurately guess the 5th letter (11.75%), followed by the 3rd (10.62%), 2nd (9.28%), 1st (8.32%), and 4th (7.95%). These statistics account for the letters in the word and the correct spot.
- Yellow: The most commonly guessed in the wrong spot is the 3rd letter (30.59%), followed by the 5th (29.72%), 2nd (28.73%), 4th (27.75%), and 1st (23.69%).
- Grey: The least guessed letter is the 1st letter (67.99%), followed by the 4th (64.31%), 2nd (61.99%), 3rd (58.79%), and 5th (58.53%).
Here’s the table with all data about the first-guess success rate per letter:
|Yellow (wrong spot)||23.69%||28.73%||30.59%||27.75%||29.72%|
Best countries at Wordle
Sweden is home to the best Wordle players, who complete daily puzzles with, on average, just 3.72 guesses. Sweden is followed by Switzerland (3.78) in second place and Poland (3.79) in third place. Australia, Belgium, and Finland tied for fourth place with a score of 3.80. Denmark, Brazil, South Africa, and Israel round out the top ten.
Egypt is the worst country in the world, with an average of 4.42 guesses. The U.S. also scores lower (3.92) than the global average of 4.016 guesses, despite Wordle using American English.
Top 10 countries at playing Wordle:
- Sweden (3.72)
- Switzerland (3.78)
- Poland (3.79)
- Australia (3.80)
- Belgium (3.80)
- Finland (3.81)
- Brazil (3.83)
- Denmark (3.83)
- South Africa (3.83)
- Israel (3.84)
Best global cities at Wordle
Australian cities perform the best across the global Wordle scene, with Canberra scoring the highest at 3.58 on average. Following Canberra is Jerusalem, Israel, at 3.63 and Malmö, Sweden, at 3.66.
Top 10 global cities at playing Wordle:
- Canberra, Australia: 3.58
- Jerusalem, Israel: 3.63
- Malmö, Sweden: 3.66
- Durban, South Africa: 3.66
- Paris, France: 3.69
- Perth, Australia: 3.70
- Melbourne: Australia: 3.70
- Adelaide, Australia: 3.71
- Manila, Philippines: 3.72
- Geneva, Switzerland: 3.72
Best US states at Wordle
North Dakota has the lowest average of just 3.65, followed by Delaware at 3.70. The word American state is Alaska, with an average score of 4.22.
Top 10 US states at playing Wordle:
- North Dakota: 3.65
- Delaware: 3.70
- New Hampshire: 3.73
- South Dakota: 3.79
- Alabama: 3.81
- Minnesota: 3.83
- New York: 3.84
- Maryland: 3.86
- Washington: 3.88
- Tennessee: 3.89
Best US cities at Wordle
St Paul, Minnesota, is by far the best US city at playing Wordle, with an average score of 3.51.
Top 10 US cities at playing Wordle:
- St. Paul, MN: 3.51
- Reading, PA: 3.56
- Ann Arbor, MI: 3.59
- Berkeley, CA: 3.61
- Malden, MA: 3.62
- Tulsa, OK: 3.62
- Richmond, VA: 3.63
- Portsmouth, NH: 3.64
- Waukesha, WI: 3.64
- Nashville, TN: 3.66
Best possible solution
Using information theory, it’s possible to achieve much better scores. Information theory is a branch of applied mathematics and electrical engineering that studies the representation, transmission, and manipulation of information. It was developed in the 1940s by mathematician Claude Shannon, and it is a fundamental tool in many fields, including data compression, cryptography, and network communication. Information theory is based on the concept of information entropy, which is a measure of the uncertainty associated with a random variable. The main goal of information theory is to provide a mathematical framework for quantifying information and designing efficient communication systems.
- The best word to start with is “SALET”, followed by “CRATE”, “TRACE”, “SLATE”, and “REAST”.
- Using SALET as the starting word and applying the information theory all the way through, you’ll achieve the following scores for all the possible answers:
- 1st: 0.04%
- 2nd: 3.45%
- 3rd: 52.89%
- 4th: 41.67%
- 5th: 1.94%
The accuracy of scores per country, state, and the city relies on people sharing their Wordle results on Twitter. As a result, the averages are probably lower than in reality since only a smaller percentage of people share bad results, such as guessing on the 5th or 6th attempt or not finishing at all. This fact should be taken into account when comparing human performance to machines. We speculate that the human performance is at least 1 point worse than reported.
Frequently asked questions
What is a good Wordle win percentage?
Most people aim to keep the win percentage as high as possible, and with the right strategy, you can easily keep it above 95%. With an optimal solving strategy, a 100% win percentage is possible.
How many people play Wordle?
Wordle had 3 million daily users at the beginning of 2022, but the number has since declined to about 2 million users daily.
What is the average Wordle score?
The average published Wordle score is between 3.5 and 4.0, depending on the country. However, this is based on people who willingly shared their scores on Twitter, so the real, unbiased average score is probably around 4.0 and 5.0.
- 3Blue1Brown, Solving Wordle using information theory. YouTube. Uploaded Feb 6, 2022.
- 3Blue1Brown, Oh, wait, actually the best Wordle opener is not “crane”… YouTube. Uploaded Feb 13, 2022.
- Jonathan Olson, Optimal Wordle Solutions. Jonathanolson.net. Published 2022. Accessed December 15, 2022.
- Wordlestat.com. Published 2022. Accessed December 15, 2022.
- Wikipedia Contributors. Josh Wardle. Wikipedia. Published December 12, 2022. Accessed December 15, 2022.
- Wikipedia Contributors. Information theory. Wikipedia. Published December 14, 2022. Accessed December 15, 2022.
- Where in the World Is the Best at Solving Wordle? Word Tips. Published January 2022. Accessed December 15, 2022.