If Facebook Were A Country, It Would Be The 3rd Most Populated

Founded in 2004, Facebook has evolved from a Harvard University start-up to the world’s most popular social networking website. The Palo Alto-based company has also recently hit a significant milestone — more Americans visited Facebook than Google for the week ending March 13, according to web monitoring site HitWise. It found out that Facebook.com got 7.07 per cent of all Internet traffic for that week, while Google.com got 7.03 per cent. That signifies a market increase of an impressive 185 per cent for Facebook compared to the same week last year, but just a 9 per cent jump for the search juggernaut.

With more than 400 million active users worldwide and rising fast, Facebook would be the third most populated country behind leaders China (1.33 billion) and India (1.17 billion) if the ubiquitous social networking site were to be a country. And today we are going beyond that by showing you guys some astounding statistics about Facebook, and imagining what would happen if Facebook were to be named as an official country by the United Nations.

*Note that the statistics below are just to impress you, and we do it just for the fun of it. Please don’t take it too seriously 😀

GDP Per Capita

Based on estimates from analysts, Facebook could generate between $1 billion and $1.1 billion this year. However, it still has a long way to go before it goes on par in terms of revenue with Google, whose earnings for the year 2009 was a massive $23.6 billion.

So if Facebook were to be a country and given that its “GDP” is capped at $1 billion and population is at 400 million, its “GDP per capita” would be a mere $2.50. That figure is far worse that the Republic of Zimbabwe, whose GDP per capita (PPP) is $100. Nonetheless, the title of “the poorest country in the world” would go to Facebook.

Land Area

According to an article published by Data Center Knowledge, Facebook has about 30,000 servers powering the entire social networking site. That number comes from Jeff Rothschild, the vice president of technology at Facebook, who discussed the company’s infrastructure in a presentation in October last year at UC San Diego. And of course, the figure would have been much higher given that its population is rising at an exponential rate.

Back to Geography, the human density of the United States is 308 million ÷ 9.6 million km² = 32.1 people per km² (82.9 people per sq. mile). So if Facebook were a country, it requires a land area of 12.5 million km² or 4.8 million sq. mile. Hence Facebook would need three quarter of Russia’s total land area.

Number of Births In Every Second

Based on my calculation over at “Facebook May Reach 1 Billion Users by 2012“, the social networking site took 77 days to gain 50 million users from 300 million on September 15, 2009 to 350 million on December 1, 2009. By dividing 50 million by 77 days, it gives me the answer 649,350. This simply means that on average, 650,000 people sign up for a Facebook account every day or 7.5 in every second.

If Facebook were a country, the number of “births” in every second far exceeds its next two closest competitors — India (1 person born in every 1.2 second) and China (1 person born in every 1.7 second). Apparently, women living in Facebook need to know some contraceptive or birth control methods.


Facebook offers more than 70 translations on the site, and this figure is no where near than any of the “Top 20 Countries by Number of Languages Spoken“. Papua New Guinea tops the list with 820 languages, followed by Indonesia with 742, and then Nigeria with 516. These numbers are based on “Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 15th ed. (2005)”.

The Working Population

There are more than one million developers and entrepreneurs from more than 180 countries creating apps for Facebook. If Facebook were a country, its work force takes up only 0.25 per cent of its entire population? How about the rest of the 99.75 per cent? Unemployed? Facebook would probably have the highest unemployment rate ever!