In its October 20, 2000 issue The Economist reports on a study performed at UC Berkeley that attempted to estimate how much data is created annually throughout the world. Here is a summary of the findings-

  • 80 billion photographs at 5 MB apiece yields 400 billion MB, or about 400 petabytes.
  • 4,250 films at 4 GB apiece is 17 terabytes.
  • 2 billion x-rays at 8 MB apiece is about 16 petabytes.
  • 610 billion emails annually in the United States.
  • 576,000 terabytes of telephone calls.
  • Published information (meaning movies, tv shows, books, magazine articles) amount to 285 terabytes a year.
  • Individuals create 740,000 terabytes (740 petabytes) of information a year.
  • Amount of disk space sold attached to personal computers in 1999: 1 exabyte.

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