How much data and information do people in the U.S. consume? What kind of data? Those were some of the questions researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) recently set out to answer. They turned up some eye-popping results.
The report, “How Much Information? 2009 Report on American Consumers,” reveals that U.S. households consumed approximately 3.6 zettabytes of information in 2008. (The numbers also include television and radio transmissions.) That’s roughly the amount of information found in thick paperback novels stacked seven feet high over the entire U.S. — including Alaska — according to UCSD estimates. One zettabyte is one billion trillion bytes.