21 Must-Read Stats About How Many Emails Are Sent per Day
Updated · Mar 04, 2023
It’s safe to say that anybody who uses electronics also uses email. Even if you didn’t want to use it, there’s simply no way around it—you wouldn’t be able to sign up for most websites otherwise.
Those who work in an office environment, though, experience an entirely different email-reality compared to those who have managed to escape the snare of blue-sky thinking.
With countless reports that employees throughout the country are being bombarded with hundreds of emails, many unnecessary, we set out to see just how many emails are sent every day.
Must-Read—аnd Send!—Email Facts (Editor’s Choice)
- We, humankind, send 74 trillion emails every year…
- …333 billion emails per day…
- …and 3.5 million emails every second.
- 56.5% of email traffic is spam.
- 4.2 billion people use email.
- Office workers receive 121 emails a day, but they only send 40.
- 55% of employees say emails get in the way of their work.
History of the Email
Electronic mail has been around for a while now, having almost entirely replaced traditional letters and forced the USPS into massive debt.
But how did it start?
When was the first email system developed?
1. Emails came into existence in 1965.
(Source: The Guardian)
The Massachusetts University of Technology (MIT) came up with a way to send messages and files to a central system, which could then be accessed from remote terminals.
In other words, MIT was the first to develop an electronic mailing system.
It was exclusively for university use, though.
2. The standard email appeared in 1973.
(Source: The Guardian)
This included the ability to send emails to specific users on a remote computer. It also introduced the “to” and “from” fields, as well as email forwarding.
All this happened on the ARPANET, the precursor to the modern-day Internet.
3. The Queen sent her first email in 1976.
Back when “email volume” wasn’t considered a threat to people’s peace of mind and overall well-being, Queen Elizabeth II sent her first electronic letter. In fact, she was the first royal and head of state ever to send one.
In 1976, Her Majesty visited the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment, where she composed her first email. Interestingly, she signed it simply with “Elizabeth R”, a signoff she continues to use.
Fun fact: The Queen’s first tweet came in 2014, and her first Instagram post was in 2019. Both signed “Elizabeth R”.
4. No one knows who came up with the word “email”.
(Source: USA TODAY)
The number of emails sent per day is absolutely impressive, but if you ask us at Web Tribunal, the fact that we don’t even know where the term itself originates from is equally mind-blowing.
We all have normalized it by now—what with esports, ereaders, ecommerce, and other ethings coming up constantly in our everyday life—the fact that the “e” clearly stands for “electronic” is a no-brainer.
But who came up with it in the first place?
The first record of “electronic mail” dates back to 1975. The first use of “email” (that we know of) appeared in a technical journal in 1979. However, editors of the Oxford English Dictionary believe that it’s unlikely it just randomly appeared like that and was probably used before.
When and by whom?
We’ve no idea.
Statistics on Email Usage
Alright, this is what you came here for, so we’ve got to deliver.
Below, you’ll find all the numbers you need and then some.
5. There are 4.2 billion email users.
While many young people prefer messaging apps, like it or not, email remains the preferred method for professional communication. So, how many email users are there?
Around 4.2 billion in 2022, if estimates are accurate. That’s about 55% of the world’s population!
What’s more, projections suggest this number will jump up to 4.6 billion by 2025.
6. People send and receive 333 billion emails every day.
The number of actual emails is also on the rise.
In 2017, people sent and received 269 billion emails a day. In 2022, we’re talking about 333 electronic letters every single day. By 2025, we’re likely to be looking at 376 billion!
That said, automatic email solutions and bots are probably behind a significant percentage of this total.
7. The average internet user has 2.5 email addresses.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably stopped at one point or another and thought: “Wait, how many emails do I have?”
We bet you still have the one you made when you were a kid—but the username is too embarrassing, so no one knows of it.
Then, you have one for general-purpose use and, likely, a dedicated work email (could be one with your company’s domain name or not). Sounds about right, no?
And it should since the average is 2.5. If you have more, worry not, you’re not a weirdo—20% of people report owning more than three email addresses.
8. Office workers receive 121 emails every day.
(Source: The Guardian)
Do you ever open your inbox and wonder how many work emails per day is normal?
You won’t like this, but the answer is 121—and that’s just the average, so plenty of people receive even more.
And it gets worse: Not only does your typical office worker have to sift through more than a hundred emails every day, they also have to compose 40 or so themselves!
Gotta be a team player, after all.
9. 55% of employees say emails get in the way of their work.
(Source: Cloud for Work)
Due to the sheer amount of emails workers have to shuffle through every day—many of which are spam—they end up wasting time that could be better used.
Just let this sink in: email usage statistics show that 144 out of every 200 emails workers receive are irrelevant.
10. 47% of people use mobile apps to read their email.
(Source: Campaign Monitor)
For comparison, only 27% use desktop software. The remaining 26% read their email through webmail solutions—that is, they access their mail providers through a web browser.
The exact numbers are hard to gauge since many people will first see an email on their phone and then proceed to read it in detail on their desktop—especially when they’re longer and contain attachments.
11. Gmail is the most popular email service.
Google’s email service's market share has reached an astonishing 43% as of 2021, surpassing the once-leader iPhone Mail by 3.5%.
However, if we consider Apple’s iPad and MacBook mail apps, too, the brand accounts for a little over half (or 50.7%) of all email readings.
Meanwhile, Outlook is losing popularity, going down from a 9% market share in 2019 to 5.9% in 2021.
While emails are undoubtedly an essential part of modern office work, not all emails are wanted—in fact, most aren’t.
Let’s take a look at just how widespread spam is.
12. 56.5% of email traffic is spam.
So, then, how many spam emails are sent per day?
Most of them originate from China, which is responsible for more than 21% of the world’s spam. The US comes in second place, with just over 14%.
13. The UK fined airline Flybe £70,000 for sending spam.
No one likes spam. It doesn’t even have to be malicious spam for people to hate it, marketing emails can be quite annoying—especially when we didn’t sign up for them.
Flybe, a British airline, sent out 3.3 million such marketing emails to customers who had not opted in to receive them. The result?
The UK’s ICO fined Flybe approximately $91,000.
14. 94% of malware comes through emails.
(Source: ClearTech Group)
Considering how many emails are sent every day, it should come as no surprise that miscreants have no trouble sneaking pesky malware through the cracks.
While some of it comes in the form of email attachments, the most common form of delivering malware nowadays is actually through phishing. Why?
Well, your antivirus will likely have no trouble taking care of the former—whether you fall for the latter, though, is up to you.
Fun fact: According to email client statistics, Gmail blocks 100 million spam emails every day. The solution claims to block 99.9% of all the spam you receive.
15. 39% of spam emails are healthcare-related.
While spam comes in many different forms, one of them reigns supreme: Healthcare-related emails. In fact, 39% of all unwanted emails fall into this category.
Product-related spam comes in second, at barely 12% of the total. Extortions, phishing, and scam content account for 10%, 9%, and 5%, respectively.
Fun fact: Almost half of all social engineering emails impersonate Microsoft. The second most common fake identity is DHL, with an 18% popularity rate among phishing attackers.
16. 26% of users get so many emails they’ve started unsubscribing from lists.
How many emails do I have in my inbox right now?
A dozen or so already—and I just cleared it an hour ago, too.
You (and most people) probably have more. In fact, 26% of people say the number one reason they unsubscribe from mailing lists is that they get too many emails in general, whereas 16% say they simply don’t have the time to read them.
Other than that, 21% unsubscribe because they find the emails to be irrelevant, and 19% are annoyed that companies are always trying to sell them something—which, in all honesty, is kind of the point of most mailing lists.
Fun Email Facts
Now that we’ve talked about work, spam, and work spam, you might want to go and count how many emails you’ve received today.
But you can hang around for a while longer to look at some fun trivia about emailing in general.
17. Too many emails can decrease your IQ by 10 points.
(Source: The Guardian)
Yes, we’re serious.
And yes, before you ask, ten points are quite a bit. The average adult IQ is about 100, so feel free to do the math.
Having to read and reply to emails constantly distracts you from other tasks and when you get back to them, you need time to re-concentrate. By the time you do, you have to deal with another email.
In other words, too many emails are a threat to the entire company’s productivity.
Fun fact: The average number of emails sent and received by one user a day is above 100.
18. 42% of Americans check their emails in the restroom.
Talk about efficient working!
Other places where people read and reply to their emails are their beds (50%) and their sofas while watching TV (which 70% do).
We won’t judge you if you’re one of them, but we will judge you if you’re one of the 18% who checks their emails while driving. (Please, stop.)
19. Emails are best sent at 10 AM.
(Source: CoSchedule Blog)
We’ve all been there: We’ve carefully composed an important email, we’re about to hit send, and the realization hits us—it’s midnight. Surely it’d be unprofessional to mail your boss at night, right?
Well, maybe, but not necessarily.
Work email statistics indicate that your best bet is sending emails 10–11 AM.
That’s (presumably) because it’s early enough for people to be awake and in the office. Plus, they’re probably not too tired yet, so you can expect a quick reply.
That said, the second-best option is in the evening—specifically after 8 PM.
Yep. It turns out many people read their emails right before going to sleep and right after waking up.
20. Click-through rates for marketing emails are up to 5x those of social media.
If you’re in the business of running ads, you should definitely consider advertising your product through email. Considering how many people use email, it’s basically a no-brainer, to begin with, but let’s dive deeper.
On social media, your ads are likely to get a CTR (click-through-rate) of roughly 1%—which isn’t terrible, but it isn’t great either.
The CTR of marketing emails, on the other hand, is much higher—though it does vary from country to country. Belgium, for instance, boasts a 5.45% CTR, whereas Italy and France average 3%.
Fun fact: Personalizing the emails you send can get you a 75% higher CTR. You could also add videos—stats suggest they boost your CTR by 65%, so we’d say it’s worth a try.
21. The truth about emails: 51% of people have kept the same email address for 10+ years.
Apparently, people can get really attached to their email addresses.
We probably shouldn’t be too shocked since electronic mail has been around for a while now and is virtually a prerequisite to using the internet.
Fun fact: Did you know that you can mask your email address? Some providers, like Blur, allow you to generate proxy email addresses whenever you sign up for a website. This way, the site doesn’t get your actual email, which means your identity is safer.
Emails make communication substantially easier and faster compared to traditional mail.
Unfortunately, that means cyber threats can get to you easier and faster, too.
Moreover, the average number of emails per day leads to unnecessary distractions throughout the workday.
If your company insists on swamping you with emails that may or may not be vital for business, consider referring your superiors to this collection of stats.
We have a feeling once they learn just how many emails are sent every day, they might become a tad more considerate of your time (and sanity).
A wayfarer by heart, Jordan fancies journeying into foreign lands with a camera in hand almost as much as he enjoys roving the online world. He spends his time poking at letters and pixels, trying to transmogrify them into something cool.