How many words do we text in a lifetime?

We asked 1,000 Brits to tell us how much time they spend writing out texts, the number of words they are texting and how many SMS or WhatsApp messages they send each day.

5 December 2021

TextAnywhere recently conducted some research to reveal how many words Brits text in their lifetime, spoiler alert – the figure is over 6 million words.

We asked 1,000 Brits to tell us how much time they spend writing out texts, the number of words they are texting and how many SMS or WhatsApp messages they send each day. From this, we were able to map out texting habits by gender, location, and age group in the UK.

How much time do people spend writing text messages?

Generally speaking, Brits have speed texting down to a tee. Over half of people (47%) said they spend less than 30 seconds writing a text message, with only 10% claiming to take more than one minute. 

For 18-24-year-olds, texting seems to come the easiest, where over two-fifths (42%) confirmed they spend between just 0-10 seconds writing their texts. This is in comparison to just 14% of 45-54-year-olds. 

Additionally adults over 25 years old spend an average of 10-30 seconds writing a text message, further highlighting the speed at which 18-25-year-olds are able to draft a message.

How much time, on average, does it take you to write a text or Whatsapp message?Results
More than 5 minutes1.30%
More than 3 minutes but less than 5 minutes0.90%
More than 2 minutes but less than 3 minutes1.90%
More than 1 minute but less than 2 minutes6.00%
More than 30 seconds but less than 1 minute19.30%
More than 10 seconds but less than 30 seconds47.00%
Between 0-10 seconds23.60%

How many words does the average text message contain?

We also asked survey participants how many words they text. Over two-fifths of respondents said they send an average of 11-25 words with every text message they send. 

How many words does your average message contain?Results

With 42.8% of Brits sending between 0-10 messages a day, on average, we were able to work out how many words we send in a lifetime. According to the data, at 11-25 words for 0-10 text messages every day, the average Brit sends 6,387,500 words in their lifetime*.

When it comes to the difference between genders, the data revealed that males, in fact, send longer text messages than females, and also more messages per day on average. 

While 74% of women send between 0-20 messages per day via SMS or WhatsApp, this figure is lower for males, at just 66%. However, more men than women send between 50-200 messages per day, with 32% of men sending this portion, compared to just one-quarter of women.

How many unread messages does the average Brit have?

Over half of respondents said they typically have no unread messages on their phone, with a further 28% saying they have just 1-5.

When delving into this a little bit further, the survey showed that just 10% of respondents had over 11 unread messages on their phone at any typical moment.

How many unread messages do you typically have on your phone?Results


*The data for this survey was collected from 1,000 respondents in the UK, with the number of texts sent in a lifetime calculated on the assumption that an individual owns a phone for 70 years.

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