English Wikipedia

English-language edition of Wikipedia

The English Wikipedia is the English language edition of the Wikipedia online encyclopedia. English is the first language in which Wikipedia was written. It was started on 15 January 2001. It is the largest encyclopedia in the world, and the largest version of Wikipedia since April 2019.[1] It has 6,845,453 articles as of 4 July 2024.[2] In October 2015, the total volume of the compressed texts of the English Wikipedia's articles added up to 23.2 gigabytes.

Favicon of Wikipedia English Wikipedia
The homepage of the English Wikipedia
Homepage in June 2020
Type of site
Online encyclopedia project
Available inEnglish
OwnerWikimedia Foundation
Created byEnglish wiki community
RegistrationOptional, but needed for some tasks including
  • protected page edit 
  • page creation 
  • file upload 
Launched15 January 2001; 23 years ago (2001-01-15)
Content license
Creative Commons Attribution/
(most text also dual-licensed under GFDL)
Media licensing varies
An alternate logo from late 2001 to 2003

The Simple English Wikipedia is a variation in which most of the articles use only basic English vocabulary (simplewiki). There is also the Old English (Ænglisc/Anglo-Saxon) Wikipedia (angwiki). It has a newsletter called The Signpost.

Wikipedias in other languages have imitated some of its technical and organizational features.

As the English Wikipedia is very popular, there can be many people editing the Wiki in one minute. This made recent changes less effective for understanding changes. Instead, editors can select and watch for changes in particular articles, using the "watchlist" feature of MediaWiki. Both watchlist and recent changes can be filtered to show particular kinds of edits, such as edits from IP addresses or edits that may possibly be vandalism. Some editors use special software to detect and fix vandalism.[3][4]

Some people think that the English Language Wikipedia shows bias and unfairness.[5] Editors of reference works such as the Encyclopædia Britannica have questioned Wikipedia's utility and status as an encyclopedia.[6] An example of bias is that around 90% of Wikipedia editors are male.[7] Other people think that Wikipedia is more useful than other encyclopedias because it is large and can be updated quickly.

The English language Wikipedia page from 18 January 2012, illustrating its international blackout in opposition to SOPA and PIPA.

In 2010, the logo of the English Wikipedia like most Wikipedia's was slightly changed. However, some Wikipedias, like the Simple English Wikipedia, still kept the old logo.

List of countries wikipedia distributions



  1. 728115 (about 12 percent) more than the Cebuano Wikipedia. See m:List of Wikipedias.
  2. Statistics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Archived 2008-06-24 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved May 10, 2020
  3. jesse.hicks (February 18, 2014). "This machine kills trolls: How Wikipedia's robots and cyborgs snuff out vandalism". The Verge. Archived from the original on August 27, 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  4. "Wikipedia:Cleaning up vandalism/Tools". Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. July 9, 2020. Archived from the original on October 26, 2023. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  5. Simon Waldman, Who knows? Archived 2011-09-05 at the Wayback Machine The Guardian, October 26, 2004
  6. Robert McHenry, "The Faith-Based Encyclopedia Archived 2006-01-16 at the Wayback Machine", Tech Central Station, November 15, 2004.
  7. Simonite, Tom (October 22, 2013). "The Decline of Wikipedia". MIT Technology Review. Archived from the original on June 19, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2014.

Other websites