You should see me in a crown
I’m gonna run this nothing town
Watch me make ’em bow
One by one by one
Billie Eilish, “You Should See Me In A Crown” (2019)
Billions of people visited Wikipedia over the course of a chaotic 2019, and we now have the data to say what they were most interested in. Let’s all kneel before Thanos, whose Avengers: Endgame ruled over all of us.
The film, the culmination of over a decade of storytelling across nearly two dozen films, is now the highest-grossing film of all time. As such, it seems fitting that it should be the most popular English Wikipedia article of 2019, garnering over 44 million pageviews.
Avengers: Endgame was in fact only the harbinger of things to come, as the year’s list of most popular Wikipedia articles is dominated by film and television series to a degree we haven’t seen before.
Seventeen of the top 25 articles are related to the media people consumed in theaters and on their devices. At least five of those are directly fueled by the dominance of superhero films, including all three films released by Marvel in 2019. Still, there are also several real-life topics like the Chernobyl disaster, the subject of a dramatic miniseries aired by HBO this year.
Nestled within all of those articles, one outlier stands out in the top ten: Billie Eilish, the ninth-most popular article of the year. The entertainer’s album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was released last March and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 list, making Eilish the first artist born in the 2000s to have such a hit.
Courtesy of researcher Andrew G. West, here are the top 25 most popular articles on Wikipedia from the past year.
- Avengers: Endgame, 44,159,830 pageviews
- Deaths in 2019, 38,434,061 (see notes below)
- Ted Bundy, 29,334,592
- Freddie Mercury, 27,358,657
- Chernobyl disaster, 25,493,154
- List of highest-grossing films, 24,933,436
- Joker (2019 film), 22,848,283
- List of Marvel Cinematic Universe films, 21,865,076
- Billie Eilish, 20,741,313
- Keanu Reeves, 16,891,641
- Jeffrey Epstein, 16,147,371
- Elizabeth II, 15,795,572
- Captain Marvel (film), 15,756,835
- Game of Thrones (season 8), 15,690,793
- Game of Thrones, 15,423,792
- Donald Trump, 15,224,884
- List of Bollywood films of 2019, 14,804,884
- United States, 14,569,088
- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, 13,725,337
- Spider-Man: Far From Home, 13,614,704
- YouTube, 13,504,863
- The Mandalorian, 12,035,150
- 2019 in film, 11,690,826
- Jason Momoa, 11,505,267
- Nipsey Hussle, 11,411,893
- A previous version of this blog post used a dataset that was complete up to 15 December 2019. We updated this list on 2 January 2020 with data from the final two weeks of 2019.
- As with every year we’ve done this list, the top articles are screened using the percentage of mobile views. Any article with less than 10% or more than 90% mobile views was removed, as it is a strong indicator that a significant amount of the pageviews stemmed from spam, botnets, or other errors.
- Previous most-popular Wikipedia articles by year lists are available for 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015.
- Volunteer Wikipedia editors have split the “Deaths in [current year]” articles at the end of each month to make reading them more manageable. That’s why the current link will take you only to deaths in December, and at the end of the year, it will be redirected to the “lists of deaths by year.”
- This dataset comes to us via research Andrew G. West, who has put together a robust listing of the top five thousand most popular Wikipedia articles of 2019.
This article was originally published in Down the Rabbit Hole on 2 January 2020.