Usage stats?

Ken Whistler kenwhistler at
Fri Mar 27 12:07:18 CDT 2015

Search engine companies (and in particular, Google) have such
information squirreled away in their index databases, at least as
far as usage stats for Unicode characters on the web go -- but it
is proprietary information, and they generally don't publish
information about such statistics.

Perhaps there are researchers out there who have set web crawlers
on a mission to generate such web statistics for publication, and maybe
somebody on this list knows of such research -- but it would be
virtually impossible to generate such information for the much
wider collection of documents and data that are not easily accessible
for web indexing. (Behind password walls, in pdf document archives,
in proprietary databases, ... ) As an example of why this is a problem,
consider the fact that there are *peta*bytes of information picked up
and stored in databases from scanners and other devices used at
tens of millions of retail points of sale. Such data, by its nature, 
would tend
to skew heavily towards use of ASCII a-z and digits 0-9 in its
character data. How would you end up weighting such (mostly
publicly inaccessible) data in trying to count up for overall statistics
on character use?

There are more traditional usage count studies that focus on
counts of character frequency within single language orthographies
in single scripts (e.g., letter frequences for French text), but I don't
think that is what you were asking about.

Here is some discussion of a similar question posted on stackoverflow:


On 3/27/2015 9:31 AM, Michael Norton wrote:
> Hello and thank you for an incredible service (just joining the list). 
>   Is there a list of usage statistics per character of the Unicode set 
> available somewhere?

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