Definition

How many bytes for...

Data is often expressed in bytes, which are composed of eight binary digits. Bytes are used to represent all sorts of data, including letters, numbers and symbols. Each byte is made up of a string of bits that must be used in the larger unit for applications.

chart showing the size of various data measurements in bits and bytes
See how data storage measurements start with a bit and range up to the very large yottabyte and brontobyte.

This page provides tables that include information about how many bytes are required to store data for various information objects or purposes. It also summarizes a number of facts about how much information exists in the world.

How many bytes for anything?

The following table shows information objects that range in size from 1 bit to exabytes (EB) and zettabytes (ZB).

Much of the information originally came from calculations done by Roy Williams on his "Powers of Ten," webpage, which is now expired. Data also came from the University of California at Berkeley, which derived some of its data from the Williams article. In a more recent update, data was added from Bryn Mawr College, Computer Hope, GreenNet, IDC and BBC Science.

Information object

How many bytes?

A binary decision

1 bit

A single text character

1 or 2 bytes

A typical text word

10 to 20 bytes

A line of text

70 bytes

Two or three paragraphs of text

1 kilobyte (KB)

A page of plain text

2 KB

A short email

5 KB

A simple five-page word-processor document

30 KB

A low-resolution photograph

100 KB

A short novel

1 megabyte (MB)

The average size of a webpage

2 MB

A high-resolution photograph

2 to 3 MB

A three-minute MP3 audio

3 to 5 MB

The complete works of Shakespeare

5 MB

One meter of shelved books

100 MB

The contents of a CD-ROM

700 MB

A pickup truck filled with books

1 gigabyte (GB)

The contents of a single-layer DVD

4.7 GB

The collected works of Beethoven

20 GB

A library floor of academic journals

100 GB

50,000 trees made into paper and printed

1 terabyte (TB)

An academic research library

2 TB

The print collections of the U.S. Library of Congress

15 TB

Total archived data for the Hubble Space Telescope

150 TB

Total data the National Centers for Environmental Information managed

30 petabytes (PB)

Total data Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft stored

1.2 EB

All words ever spoken by human beings

5 EB

The installed base of storage capacity in 2020

6.7 ZB

Total data created or replicated in 2020

64.2 ZB

How many bytes for a website?

The following table contains information from the Page Weight report published by HTTP Archive, an open source project.

Information object

How many bytes?

The average transfer size of all HTML documents requested by a webpage

29.7 KB

The average transfer size of all external stylesheets requested by a webpage

74.2 KB

The average transfer size of all fonts requested by a webpage

141.1 KB

The average transfer size of all external scripts requested by a webpage

505.6 KB

The average transfer size of all external images requested by a webpage

979.5 KB

The average transfer size of all resources requested by a webpage

2.2 MB

The average transfer size of all videos requested by a webpage

2.5 MB

A downloadable file, program or driver

File sizes vary; users are sometimes notified of a file's size before downloading it.

How much information exists?

The following table includes information published by FinancesOnline, a software discovery and research platform. FinancesOnline gathered the information from a wide range of other sources.

Information object

How many bytes?

Total data created every second per person in 2016

1.7 MB

Total data a connected car produced in one day in 2020

4 TB

Total data Facebook created in one day in 2020

4 PB

Total data generated from wearable devices in 2020

28 PB

Total data created every day in 2020

2.5 EB

Total global IP data generated each month in 2021

278 EB

Total global data predicted by the end of 2021

74 ZB

Total data consumption projected from 2021 to 2024

149 ZB

Learn what you need to know about how to manage data in the zettabyte era.

This was last updated in December 2021

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