The first email was sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson. At the time he was working for BBN Technologies on behalf of the US government.
The aim was simple, to create a network that could connect all research organizations regardless of where they were in the country.
His work on this project helped him complete his own side project.
That was to send messages electronically from one person to another.
Messages were already possible, but only between people using the same computer or by sending a message to a number mailbox.
The message had to be printed out before it could be read.
Tomlinson combined these processes and created the first email. Within a few years email was available to the masses.
Naturally, it’s only in the last 10-20 years that it has been used by the masses.
Today, most people have at least two email accounts and deal with thousands of emails every year.
It’s a standard, flexible and easy way to communicate with anyone.
The question is, with so many emails floating around, how many emails does the average person have in their inbox in 2024?
How Many Emails Does The Average Person Have In Their Inbox In 2024?
You may assume that emails are dead as social media provides an easy way to communicate with people.
However, the truth is it’s still used by most people to communicate.
In fact, it’s estimated that 78% of teenagers use email daily. That makes it virtually impossible to call it dead.
Here are some other fascinating facts.
- It’s estimated 320 billion emails are sent and received daily across the globe
- The average person has 200 emails in their inbox
- 99% of email users check their emails at least once a day
- In 2019 approximately 50% of emails sent were spam
- Gmail blocks approximately 100 million spam messages every day
- The average person spends 30 hours a week checking emails
- There are 4.6 billion email accounts on the planet
- Apple mail & gmail are the most popular email clients
1. It’s Estimated 320 Billion Emails Are Sent and Received Daily Across the Globe
A Statista study in 2021 revealed 320 billion emails were sent daily across the planet.
It’s a sharp increase from 2017 and a trend that is set to continue.
It’s estimated that, by 2025, there will be 376 billion emails sent daily between people all over the planet.
The reasoning behind this isn’t just the increased use of email year after year. It recognizes that emails are still the best way to communicate professionally and confidentially.
There is still no more effective way to contact a large number of people and promote products and services, without appearing pushy.
2. The Average Person Has 200 Emails in Their Inbox
The original question behind this article was how many emails does the average person have in their inbox in 2023. The simple answer is 200.
However, this varies significantly according to the person.
There are generally two camps when it comes to emails. Those that clear every email and those that scan emails and only deal with the ones they see as relevant.
The first group is likely to have zero emails in their inbox as they will check their inbox roughly 15 times every day.
Professionals are likely to check their emails every 15 minutes!
The second group will have hundreds because they don’t check their emails as regularly and, when they do, they only delete or move emails that have been dealt with.
The rest are simply ignored.
(Harvard Business Review)
3. 99% Of Email Users Check Their Emails At Least Once A Day
Business email users will check their email accounts more often than personal users.
This is generally to ensure they don’t miss anything important and have time to deal with any issues.
It’s business users that will check their emails as often as once every 15 minutes.
That’s the reason why the average professional spends 28% of their time checking, reading, and responding to emails.
Personal email users don’t check their inbox as often. But, the majority of them will check at least once a day.
In many cases it is no longer necessary to specifically check emails. Your device will notify you when one arrives.
It is worth noting most employees and consumers expect a response to an email within an hour of sending it.
That means professionals could check their email once an hour and save themselves a significant amount of time each day.
4. In 2019 Approximately 50% Of Emails Sent Were Spam
A study into how many messages ended up in spam folders revealed that roughly half of the billions of messages sent were classified as spam.
This is something that email users are concerned about. The increase in spam reflects how dangerous the internet can be.
Spam and other scams have increased drastically since the global pandemic forced people to work from home.
Of course, the number of emails being automatically sent into spam folders is also an issue for businesses using email as marketing.
It highlights the importance of the subject line and type of content.
If it’s not done properly the email will never be seen by the recipient.
5. Gmail Blocks Approximately 100 Million Spam Messages Every Day
Gmail works hard to prevent its users from having to deal with spam.
It’s estimated that the company manages to block 99% of spam messages, specifically phishing and malware, before they arrive in your inbox!
Conservative reports suggest that Gmail blocks 100 million emails a day.
However, if Gmail is managing to block 99% of spam emails, the number they successfully block could be significantly higher.
It’s estimated that just 14.5 million spam emails each day are not captured and classified as spam.
That’s a significant number but small compared to what it could be.
6. The Average Person Spends 30 Hours A Week Checking Emails
A recent Adobe study revealed that the average person spends 30 hours a week checking emails.
This isn’t that surprising when you consider professionals often check emails every 15 minutes.
In fact, that pushes the average hours higher than perhaps is fair for personal email users.
After all, there are only 24 hours in a day and 30 hours isn’t far off a traditional working week!
While the figure may be exaggerated, it tells you how important email remains as the primary means of communication.
7. There Are 4.6 Billion Email Accounts On The Planet
There are approximately eight billion people living on the planet.
If there are 4.6 billion email accounts it’s possible that over half the global population are using emails.
However, most people have an average of two email accounts, meaning that the 4.6 billion drops to 2.3 billion people.
That’s roughly a quarter of the planet’s population and explains why email use is likely to continue growing.
It’s common to have two email addresses as one deals with business or personal messages.
The other is used for connecting to various services.
This is where you get the most spam and promotional emails. Having a second account helps you to manage all incoming emails.
It’s with noting that approximately half the email accounts are over ten years old.
This reflects the way in which email accounts have become part of our standard contact information.
8. Apple Mail & Gmail Are The Most Popular Email Clients
There are many different email accounts on the market. Your email account defines the last part of your email address.
However, it’s interesting to note that 70% of emails use either Apple Mail or Gmail.
Apple Mail gets 40% of the market while Gmail gets 30%.
This reflects the popularity of Apple products. In contrast, Outlook has just 4% and Yahoo only 2.5%
Understanding What Classifies As Spam Email
The simplest way to define spam emails is anything you receive via email that you didn’t ask for.
In general, spam emails are from businesses, hoping you will purchase something from them.
However, in some cases these emails aren’t dangerous, they are simply annoying.
This generally applies to emails which come from organizations you’ve signed up with.
For example, you agree to get the newsletter from your local gym.
They send you the newsletter but will also send you messages trying to convince you to upgrade your membership, use a personal trainer, or start using their sports products.
These are spam but simple to ignore.
The ones you should be wary of are:
- Any that tell you a story and then request funds
- Emails asking for personal information, especially financial details
- When you’re offered something with no apparent charge
- Adult content
- Information on something, such as investments, even though you have never requested it
In these instances the spam email is malicious and you need to delete it, preferably without opening it.
How Malware & Phishing Emails Are More Dangerous
Phishing emails use your personal information. The cybercriminal has found out about it by looking at various internet sites.
It’s surprising how much information is online.
They use this information to send you what appears to be a genuine email from a financial institution.
The email will tell you there is an issue with your account and you need to login to resolve it.
There is even a handy link to get you straight into your account.
Unfortunately, the link takes you to a site that looks like the real thing, but isn’t.
Instead of logging in you are simply giving the cybercriminal your login details.
Malware emails work similarly but their aim is simpler, they just want you to click on the included link. This gives them permission to install software on your computer.
It could be malware that disrupts your computer. Alternatively, it can spy on your computer use and even steal information.
It doesn’t just work on computers. Open the email on your phone and the software will install on your phone instead.
How To Use Your Inbox More Effectively
The first thing to remember with emails is that the ones which end up in spam are there for a reason.
Check your spam folder but proceed with extreme caution.
You should also be extremely cautious of any emails in your inbox that ask for money or your personal details, and never click on links unless you are 100% sure they are genuine.
When using your inbox there are a couple of things you can do to be more efficient:
As mentioned, most people like an email response within an hour of sending one.
That means, you can check your emails once an hour instead of four times.
It may only take a minute to check.
However, that means three minutes every hour and as many as 24 minutes lost during the standard working day.
Most people have a collection of folders to move emails into. It appears to be a greater way to sort them and keep your inbox empty.
However, having multiple folders means you’ll take longer to decide where to put each email and you won’t save any time when looking for it.
Instead, use your inbox for any emails that still need to be answered and the archive folder for any that may need to be referenced in the future.
No other folders are required as the search function will find what you are looking for.
It’s faster and more efficient than searching through folders yourself.
Clear Your Inbox
The search function is excellent at finding the right email, you don’t need to delete emails for it to work.
However, if you don’t delete emails or move them to your archive, then you are likely to waste time rereading them.
In fact, it’s estimated you’ll spend 30 minutes every day rereading emails without any benefit. Clearing your inbox saves you this wasted time.
The question shouldn’t be about the number of emails the average person has in their inbox in 2024.
Instead, you should be thinking about what to do with all these emails.
If most people receive 120 emails a day and only respond to 25% of them, the remaining emails are simply waiting to be processed.
Keeping too many emails in your inbox isn’t a good idea.
Start clearing them out today. You’ll feel better for it.