Community Insights/Community Insights 2020 Report


In late 2019, the Global Data & Insights team (formerly Learning & Evaluation) collected data from more than 2500 Wikimedians from all over the world through the Community Insights survey. These data help paint a picture of our Movement's demographics and communities' social and technical experiences. They also tell us whether we are progressing towards the Wikimedia Foundation’s Medium Term Plan goals and the 2030 Strategic Direction. This executive summary can also be viewed as a 1-page document.

If we want to increase our Movement’s geographic and gender diversity, we must focus on attracting and retaining newcomers.

  • Wikimedians are 87% male. Almost half live in Europe and one-fifth in Northern America (as compared to 9.7% and 4.8% of the global population). Learn more.
  • Compared to more tenured contributors, those who started editing in the last two years are three times as likely to live in Africa, twice as likely to live in Asia, and twice as likely to be women. They are also more socioeconomically diverse. Learn more.
  • New volunteer developers are half as likely to live in Europe as tenured ones. Learn more.


Our growing diversity is at risk if we do not improve our social and technical environments, especially for those who often have worse experiences.

  • Contributors who joined the movement in the last two years feel significantly less empowered to succeed on Wikimedia platforms if they are women, live in Eastern Asia, or are not fluent in English. Learn more.
  • Almost half of women and of contributors living in Eastern Asia said they felt unsafe or uncomfortable in Wikimedia spaces in the last year. Learn more.
  • Youth, newcomers, and contributors living in Africa and Southern Asia indicate more positive technical and social experiences in Wikimedia spaces than others, including feelings of belonging and engagement in their communities. Youth in particular are more satisfied with their technical experiences than others. Learn more in Platform Evolution and Thriving Movement.


Though highly aligned with the Wikimedia Foundation's vision, communities are less enthusiastic about the actions and processes in place to achieve those goals.

  • Most respondents feel aligned with WMF's vision, but fewer feel it has the right strategies and abilities to support the global movement. Confidence in WMF is higher in Northern Europe, Southern Asia, and Africa; and lower in Eastern Asia. Learn more.
  • On-wiki admins, and to a lesser extent movement organizers, feel moderately empowered to succeed in their roles, and most see their communities (and not WMF) as a source of support. Learn more.
  • Communities are confident in the quality of the software that the Foundation produces, but less confident in the Foundation's collaboration and prioritization when creating that software. Learn more.

This report is authored by the Global Data & Insights team at the Wikimedia Foundation. Data is graciously provided by our committed communities, keeping the Wikimedia projects alive, providing free knowledge to the world.