Re: [Rd] [OT] How many useRs?

From: Dirk Eddelbuettel <>
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2007 18:52:10 -0500

On 27 August 2007 at 13:19, Andy Bunn wrote:
| Is there a reliable (for some definition of reliable) estimate of how
| many people use R or have downloaded it? Say an order of magnitude
| estimate? I would like to mention this in the introduction to a paper
| I'm writing where I encourage R's use.

With a salt mine rather than a mere grain of salt, you could consider the 'popularity contest' results from Debian and Ubuntu. Briefly, it's an 'opt-in' service that submits the list of installed packages, anonymoysly, to an aggregation address.

Using Ubuntu's large install base, we get from that eg the GNU bc package in their 'main/math' section is installed (and reported) 174452 times (based on As this is a mandatory package, we can use this as the baseline. On the other hand r-base-core (from the optional universe/math section) is installed 2638 times (see So you get 2638 / 174452 or around 1.5%. You now need to figure the various self-selection biases and correct for those...

As a check, for Debian (with as the base URL), we get 1686 / 54221 or around 3.1% (using file So even this crude measure has a large amount of variability. So I still invoke fortune(43).

But if you insist, you could use Microsoft's recent 'one billion PCs' estimate (, apply the percentages we laboriously derive above and call it 15 to 31 million....


Three out of two people have difficulties with fractions.

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