Announcing Wikipedia's most popular articles of 2023 – Wikimedia Foundation (2024)

From ChatGPT and Cricket to Barbie and Bollywood, these are the 25 most read articles on English Wikipedia this year.

People around the world have a lot of questions. And when they’re looking for answers, they turn to Wikipedia. English Wikipedia received about 92 billion views this year alone, according to data fromthe Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that hosts Wikipedia.

The most-viewed Wikipedia articles of 2023 tell the story of you and society at large seeking out knowledge about our ever-changing world from the world’s largest encyclopedia.

Your curiosity shows the joy of discovery. The sadness of untimely death. The adrenaline of a cricket final. The magic of a day at the movies. The exuberance of hearing your favorite singer.

This is 2023 through your eyes.

The top five articles of the year

ChatGPT is English Wikipedia’s most popular article of the year. The fastest-growing consumer application in history recently reached its one-year anniversary. In that time, it has surpassed one hundred million users and has dominated headlines around the world, sparking debates around the changing role of artificial intelligence, its potential impact on humanity and the tech sector, and the ethics behind it all.

In line with this mass public interest, the English Wikipedia article carried a remarkably consistent level of attention throughout the first half of the year: its pageviews ranged between 100,000 and 400,000 nearly every day. In fact, across all of the languages Wikipedia supports, we registered over 78 million pageviews to ChatGPT articles.

Coming in at second place is the annual list of deaths, a perennially popular article on Wikipedia. To keep its length down, at the end of each month, Wikipedia’s editors split the article into smaller month-by-month lists.

Scroll to learn more about the other top articles, with the full list featured at the bottom.

Sports

Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world, but since the Wikimedia Foundation started publishing these year-end most popular articles lists in 2015, no cricket article has ever been among them.

Until now.

In 2023, cricket comprised a full 16% of English Wikipedia’s top 25 articles. The third most-viewed article in our annual list is about the 2023 Cricket World Cup, which received 304% more interest this year vs. its last edition. That included over 1.25 million views on the day of the tournament final.

In the end, Australia was crowned as the World Cup champion, with India coming in second. India’s Virat Kohli was awarded Player of the Tournament, and he received more pageviews on Wikipedia this year (over ten million) than all those recorded for the 2019 Cricket World Cup that year (a bit under 9.5 million).

Our data suggests that a healthy percentage of the pageviews to the World Cup, Indian Premier League, 2023 Indian Premier League, and English football’s Premier League English Wikipedia articles came from people returning to the pages over an extended period of time. While we imagine this was a way to check the latest scores and information, we don’t collect the data necessary to confirm this due to Wikipedia’s strict privacy policy.

Film and television

For a good number of people, “Barbenheimer” hype was the story of the middle of 2023. (If you would like to learn more about that phenomenon, Wikipedia has a lengthy and well-cited article for you.)

While Barbie may have outpaced Oppenheimer‘s global box office total by around 50%, Oppenheimer reigned supreme on English Wikipedia with about 57% more pageviews.

People came to Wikipedia to learn more about the race to build the world’s first atomic bomb, led by the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, and how filmmaker Christopher Nolan crafted its narrative and visuals.

Interest in the film was far from limited to English-speaking audiences: more than 47 million people have viewed Oppenheimer‘s Wikipedia articles in all languages this year. Journalists in Italy, for example, took note of the phenomenon in September, writing a slew of articles about the increase in pageviews relating to the film and history of the atomic bomb.

Not far behind Oppenheimer were two more films that shared wildly successful 2023 releases: Pathaan and Jawan became two of the highest-grossing Hindi-language films of all time. Pathaan was released first in January 2023, and broke several box office records. Those accomplishments were short-lived, as Jawan surpassed them after its release in September.Both films featured Shah Rukh Khan as the main lead actor. Around their release dates, both films peaked at over one million views in a single day on English Wikipedia alone.

Celebrities

In late 2022, Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour became the fastest-selling in history by a wide margin. Since then, her fandom has only continued to rise, including on Wikipedia. The impact of the tour is so notable that it is documented in a 5,500-word, 300-citation Wikipedia article, separate from another lengthy article about the tour itself. In July of this year, Swift became the woman with the most number-one albums in history. “Swiftmania” is so captivating that it has helped to uplift pageviews of her new romantic partner, American football player Travis Kelce, to about 11 million views this year.

Sadly, two other entries in the most-read list are due to untimely deaths: Matthew Perry, the actor best known for his role on the TV show Friends, and Lisa Marie Presley, the singer and only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley.

The full top 25

These are the top 25 most-popular English Wikipedia articles of 2023 based on pageviews.

  1. ChatGPT, 52,565,681 pageviews
  2. Deaths in 2023, 48,549,304
  3. 2023 Cricket World Cup, 38,723,498
  4. Indian Premier League, 32,456,338
  5. Oppenheimer (film), 31,265,503
  6. J. Robert Oppenheimer, 28,681,943
  7. Cricket World Cup, 26,390,217
  8. Jawan (film), 23,112,884
  9. Taylor Swift, 22,179,656
  10. The Last of Us (TV series), 21,000,722
  11. 2023 Indian Premier League, 20,813,029
  12. Pathaan (film), 20,614,066
  13. Premier League, 19,968,486
  14. Barbie (film), 19,930,916
  15. Cristiano Ronaldo, 19,287,757
  16. United States, 18,135,421
  17. Matthew Perry, 17,882,508
  18. Lionel Messi, 17,768,818
  19. Animal (2023 film), 16,988,676
  20. Elon Musk, 16,026,256
  21. India, 15,200,006
  22. Avatar: The Way of Water, 15,062,733
  23. Lisa Marie Presley, 14,812,928
  24. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, 14,170,970
  25. Leo (2023 Indian film), 13,994,461

Wikipedia allows anyone who wants to learn more to consult a free and collaborative online encyclopedia. Every Wikipedia article is created, curated, and maintained by a global community of 265,000+ volunteers—people just like you. It is their work and time that has made Wikipedia into the reliable, trusted resource we all rely on.

Moreover, Wikipedia is the only top global website run by a nonprofit, the Wikimedia Foundation. It is primarily funded by millions of readers, which supports its independent model. Its mission is to sustain free knowledge on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, ensuring these resources remain accessible and valuable for billions of people around the world.

If you’re curious to learn more about how Wikipedia works, check out the video below. To make a donation to Wikipedia, please visitdonate.wikimedia.org.

Written by Ed Erhart, Communications Specialist, the Wikimedia Foundation

Appendix

  • This list was originally published using English Wikipedia data pulled by the Wikimedia Foundation on 28 November 2023. It was updated with the full year’s data on 5 January 2024. You can see the original version of the post on the Internet Archive. There were two additions: Animal, a Hindi-language film, and Leo, a Tamil-language film. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and Andrew Tate dropped to #26 and #28, respectively.
  • All of the data includes pageviews that went directly to the articles and indirectly through any redirects.
  • This list has been screened for false positives by cross-referencing the data against the percentage of mobile views and the percentage of articles without a referrer:
    • We removed any Wikipedia articles with less than 20% or more than 97% mobile views, as that correlates strongly with spam, botnets, or other concerns. This affected articles like Cleopatra, which @depthsofwiki reported is a default voice search on Google devices; Index (statistics); XXX: Return of Xander Cage; and others.
    • We removed several articles that had concerningly high percentages of pageviews without a referrer. For the top 25, this impacted the articles about YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. We saw similar issues with other articles about large websites, including Wikipedia itself. We suspect that a significant number of these pageviews are mistakes that occur when viewers are trying to access those websites.
  • Previous lists of most-popular English Wikipedia articles are available for 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015.

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Announcing Wikipedia's most popular articles of 2023 – Wikimedia Foundation (2024)
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