how many phone numbers are there featured image

How Many Phone Numbers Are There? (2023 Statistics)

Posted by

Read our data rich article to find out how many phone numbers there are in the world, which countries have the most phone numbers, and some insights relating to phone numbers and how they work.

  • This article will give you information on how many phone numbers there are in existence, by country, and in a general global sense.

  • You can find out how many landline numbers there are versus mobile numbers.

  • The article will also inform you about how many phone numbers a person can have, and whether you can keep the same phone number forever.

SellCell Soundbites:

  • In the entire world, there are a total of 884 million fixed line (landline) subscriptions 1.
  • In addition, there are currently 8.6 billion mobile phone subscriptions 2.
  • The first assigned telephone number (which still exists to this day) is PEnnsylvania 6-5000 3.

Note: The data for phone number quantities has been taken from the number of phone line subscriptions (fixed line and mobile) in any given year, assuming that the number of subscriptions is equal to active phone numbers. For maximum phone number quantities, SellCell has calculated the quantity of maximum phone numbers based on the North American NANP formatting. This comprises the numbering plan area code, the central office code, and the line number.

How Many Phone Numbers Are There in the World?

Obviously there is going to be a massive quantity of numbers across the entire world. SellCell has looked at these numbers based on mobile phone subscriptions. It has also analysed fixed line (landline) subscriptions, and a combination of both. If you want to know how many phone calls we make each day, then check SellCell’s phone call quantity report.

Fixed Line Subscriptions Worldwide

graph show how many fixed line phone numbers there are worldwide
Source 1
FIXED TELEPHONE LINE SUBSCRIPTIONS WORLDWIDE (2000-2021)
Number of subscriptions in millions
2000975
20011035
20021084
20031136
20041204
20051243
20061261
20071254
20081249
20091254
20101229
20111202
20121179
20131142
20141095
20151032
2016995
2017971
2018959
2019930
2020908
2021884
  • The above data illustrates that in 2000, there were 975 million fixed telephone line subscriptions worldwide. As each one has its own assigned number, this means that there were also 975 million fixed line numbers that year.
  • Fixed line numbers peaked in 2006, when there were 1.26 billion numbers recorded in existence. By 2010, this figure reduces to 1.22 billion.
  • By 2021, the number of fixed lines has reduced to 884 million, lower than it was in 2000. This reduction in the quantity of fixed line numbers is likely correlated with the increase in mobile phone numbers, as people replace the former with the latter.

Mobile Cellular Subscriptions Worldwide

graph show how many mobile cellular phone numbers there are worldwide
Source 2
MOBILE CELLULAR SUBSCRIPTIONS WORLDWIDE (1993-2021)
Number of subscriptions in millions
199334
199456
199591
1996145
1997215
1998318
1999492
2000740
2001962
20021159
20031418
20041765
20052205
20062745
20073368
20084030
20094640
20105290
20115890
20126261
20136661
20146996
20157152
20167481
20177724
20187997
20198296
20208335
20218648
  • In 2000, compared to fixed line numbers, there were 740 million mobile phone subscriptions. This meaning that there would have been the equivalent number of phone numbers; 740 million.
  • This figure has increased year-on-year. By 2016, the number of mobile phone numbers has increased to 7.48 billion, over ten times its 2000 figure.
  • By 2021, we have 8.65 billion mobile phone numbers; almost ten times the number of fixed line numbers in existence that same year. This shows that people have almost certainly swapped their fixed landline for mobile phones.
  • This is likely due to the multiple modes of communication mobile phones offer, including text messaging and instant message app services. SellCell’s text message quantity report will tell you how many messages we send every day (it is A LOT).
graph show how many total phone numbers there are worldwide
Combination of sources 1 and 2
TOTAL TELEPHONE SUBSCRIPTIONS WORLDWIDE (2000-2021)
Total subscriptions
20001715
20011997
20022243
20032554
20042969
20053448
20064006
20074622
20085279
20095894
20106519
20117092
20127440
20137803
20148091
20158184
20168476
20178695
20188956
20199226
20209243
20219532
*Fixed telephone line and mobile cellular subscriptions
  • On to the total number of phone numbers in the world. In 2000, there were 1.72 billion phone numbers in existence, combining fixed line and mobile phone numbers.
  • This has steadily increased year-on-year, despite the number of fixed line numbers steadily reducing since 2010.
  • As of 2021, the total number of telephone subscriptions worldwide stands at 9.53 billion (a figure mainly comprising the 8.65 billion mobile phone numbers in existence).

How Many Phone Numbers Are There in Each Region?

Breaking the quantity of telephone numbers down by region, we begin to get an idea of how many numbers we have in each geographical territory.

Source 4
FIXED TELEPHONE LINE SUBSCRIPTIONS BY REGION (2005-2021)
AfricaThe AmericasArab StatesAsia & PacificCISEurope
2005102913055952285
2006112843157756286
2007112783357958278
2008122873556759275
2009132773457160282
2010122743555360278
2011122693553759272
2012112663552858265
2013102593350456262
2014102523047655256
2015102493043951251
2016112453241248246
2017112353340347241
201892263539245236
201982153738442229
202082104137241223
202172024336238214
  • As we can see, the figures for 2005 above show that Europe has 285 million fixed line subscriptions, the Americas has 291 million, Asia and Pacific has 559 million, Arab States have 30 million, and CIS holds 52 million.
  • By 2021, those figures have mostly fallen across the board. Europe has 214 million, the Americas has 202 million, Asia and Pacific has 362 million, and CIS has 38 million. Only the Arab States have an increase, to 43 million.
Source 5
MOBILE CELLULAR SUBSCRIPTIONS BY REGION (2005-2022)
AfricaThe AmericasArab StatesAsia & PacificCISEurope
20058745984833135581
20061295531251074177661
20071746491741398209735
20082467412131773254771
20092998092642164297771
20103668813122625318761
20114419523523029300783
20125109953823234306800
201358110434083463319814
201464410934153681323809
201571411034193778325809
201671411144174094329808
201772511044174331331812
201878311244164497333810
201983510494204705354814
202089410454234704351811
202191210934224772362824
202298511204444838362832
  • Mobile cellular subscriptions are totally different, in all cases the quantity of mobile cellphone numbers has increased irrespective of region.
  • Europe starts with 581 million in 2005, raising to 832 million by 2022.
  • CIS starts with 135 million in 2005, which raises to 362 million as of 2022.
  • Asia and Pacific has an astronomical increase, from 2005’s 833 million to 2022’s 4.8 billion.
  • The Arab States increase from 84 million in 2005 to 444 million in 2022.
  • The Americas has 459 million in 2005, and by 2022 has 1.1 billion mobile telephone numbers.
  • Africa starts with 87 million in 2005, and by 2022 it has 985 million. So Africa is likely to tip the billion mark in 2023.

How Many Phone Numbers Are There in the US?

graph show how many fixed line phone numbers there are in the US
Source 6
FIXED TELEPHONE LINE SUBSCRIPTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES (2000-2021)
Number of subscriptions in millions
2000192.51
2001191.57
2002189.25
2003182.93
2004177.69
2005175.16
2006167.46
2007158.42
2008162.76
2009152.87
2010149.65
2011143.32
2012138.6
2013133.23
2014128.5
2015124.85
2016121.34
2017116.3
2018110.33
2019106.63
2020103.05
202197.11
  • As of 2021, there are 97.1 million fixed telephone line numbers in the United States, which is equal to the number of fixed telephone lines.
  • This is a dramatic decrease since 2000, when there were 192.5 million telephone numbers in the United States.
graph show how many mobile phone numbers there are in the USA
Source 7
MOBILE CELLULAR SUBSCRIPTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES (2000-2021)
Number of subscriptions in millions
2000109.48
2001128.5
2002141.8
2003160.64
2004184.82
2005203.7
2006229.6
2007249.3
2008261.3
2009274.28
2010285.12
2011297.4
2012304.84
2013310.7
2014322.6
2015332.1
2016338.24
2017340.11
2018348.24
2019355.76
2020352.52
2021361.66
  • In 2000, the number of mobile cellphone subscriptions in the US stood at 109.5 million. Since then, that number has increased annually.
  • By 2006 the quantity of mobile phone number in the US has more than doubled the 2000 figure, reaching 229.6 million.
  • As of 2021, the USA has 361.7 million mobile phone numbers. The figure for 2023 is likely to be even higher.

How Many Phone Numbers Are There in the UK?

Source 8
FIXED TELEPHONE LINE SUBSCRIPTIONS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM (2000-2020)
Number of subscriptions in millions
200035.23
200134.58
200234.74
200334.55
200434.58
200534.07
200633.85
200733.46
200834.19
200933.51
201033.41
201133.25
201233.2
201333.38
201433.24
201533.21
201633.63
201731.77
201831.51
201932.4
202032.08
  • The UK, in 2000, had 35.2 million fixed telephone line subscriptions, which means it had an equal number of phone numbers for fixed lines.
  • This number fell to 33.5 million by 2007, but saw a slight uptick to 34.19 million in 2008. By 2020 the quantity of fixed line numbers in the UK has dropped to 32.1 million.
Source 9
MOBILE CELLULAR SUBSCRIPTIONS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM (2000-2021)
Number of subscriptions in millions
200043.45
200146.28
200249.23
200354.26
200459.69
200565.47
200670.08
200773.84
200874.94
200976.48
201076.73
201177.16
201278.33
201378.67
201478.46
201579.25
201678.93
201779.1
201878.89
201980.7
202079.01
202179.77
  • The UK ended 2000 with a total of 43.5 million mobile subscriptions. Therefore, it would have had the equivalent quantity of mobile cellphone numbers.
  • Between 2009 and 2020 the quantity of cellphone numbers hovers between 76.5 and 79.0 million. It reached 79.8 million by the end of 2021.

How Many Phone Numbers Are There in China?

Source 10
FIXED TELEPHONE LINE SUBSCRIPTIONS IN CHINA (2010-2022)
Number of subscriptions in millions
2010294.38
2011285.12
2012278.15
2013267
2014249
2015231
2016207
2017194
2018182
2019191
2020182
2021181
2022179
  • China’s quantity of fixed line numbers has dropped each year, starting at 294.4 million in 2010. By 2017, the quantity was even lower at 194 million.
  • Since then, the quantity has dropped further, hitting 179 million by the end of 2022.
Source 11
MOBILE CELLULAR SUBSCRIPTIONS IN CHINA (2000-2020)
Number of subscriptions in millions
200085.26
2001144.82
2002206.01
2003269.95
2004334.82
2005393.41
2006461.06
2007547.31
2008641.25
2009747.21
2010859
2011986.25
20121112.16
20131229.11
20141286.09
20151291.98
20161364.93
20171469.88
20181649.3
20191746.24
20201696.36
  • On the other hand, China’s quantity of cellphone numbers has grown astronomically since 2000, where it started with 85.26 million.
  • By 2010, this number had increased tenfold to 859 million.
  • In 2012, China broke the 1 billion mobile numbers mark, and at the end of 2020 had 1.7 billion cellphone numbers in use!

How Many Cellphone Numbers Are There in India?

Source 12
FIXED TELEPHONE LINE SUBSCRIPTIONS IN INDIA (2000-2021)
Number of subscriptions in millions
200032.44
200138.54
200241.42
200342
200446.2
200550.18
200640.77
200739.25
200837.9
200937.06
201035.09
201132.84
201230.94
201329.03
201427
201525.52
201624.4
201723.23
201821.87
201921
202020.05
202123.79
  • India ended 2000 with 32.4 million fixed line subscriptions. This means there was the same quantity of fixed line numbers in use.
  • This number peaked at 50.2 million in 2005, before declining year-on-year, reaching 23.8 million by the end of 2021.
Source 13
MOBILE CELLULAR SUBSCRIPTIONS IN INDIA (2000-2021)
Number of subscriptions in millions
20003.58
20016.54
200213
200333.69
200452.22
200590.14
2006166.05
2007233.62
2008346.89
2009525.09
2010752.19
2011893.86
2012864.72
2013886.3
2014944.01
20151001.06
20161127.81
20171168.9
20181176.02
20191151.44
20201153.77
20211154.62
  • Obversely (and expectedly), the number of cellphone numbers has risen since 2000 in India, when it finished the year with 3.6 million mobile phone numbers.
  • By 2021, India has amassed a huge quantity of mobile phone numbers, with the total reaching almost 1.2 billion by the end of the calendar year.

How Many Phone Numbers Are There in Canada?

Source 14
FIXED TELEPHONE LINE SUBSCRIPTIONS IN CANADA (2000-2020)
Number of subscriptions in millions
200020.84
200121.13
200220.62
200320.61
200420.56
200518.15
200618.24
200718.28
200818.25
200918.71
201018.39
201118.27
201217.73
201316.92
201416.4
201515.61
201615.16
201714.47
201813.84
201913.42
202013.93
  • Canada had 20.8 million fixed line numbers by the end of 2000, which rose to 21.1 million in 2001. It declined to 18.3 million in 2008.
  • By the end of 2020 the quantity of fixed line numbers in Canada had dropped below 2000’s figure, reaching 13.9 million numbers.
Source 15
MOBILE CELLULAR SUBSCRIPTIONS IN CANADA (2000-2021)
Number of subscriptions in millions
20008.73
200110.65
200211.87
200313.29
200415.02
200517.02
200618.75
200720.28
200822.09
200923.81
201025.83
201126.84
201227.72
201328.36
201428.79
201529.77
201630.75
201731.69
201833.21
201934.37
202032.36
202133.61
  • In terms of mobile phone numbers, Canada closed out 2020 with 8.7 million numbers in total. This number has risen to an all-time high by 2019, hitting 34.4 million.
  • By the end of 2021, this figure had dropped slightly to 33.6 million.

How Many Phone Numbers Are There in Russia?

Source 16
FIXED TELEPHONE LINE SUBSCRIPTIONS IN RUSSIA (2000-2020)
Number of subscriptions in millions
200032.07
200133.28
200235.5
200336.1
*200438.5
*200540.1
200643.9
200745.22
200845.54
200945.38
201044.92
201144.15
201242.17
201340.47
201438.21
201535.55
201632.28
201731.95
201830.11
201927.67
202025.89
*As of October
  • 2000 saw Russia closing the year out with a total of 32.1 million fixed line numbers, which actually rose to 45.5 million by the end of 2008.
  • By 2020, the quantity had declined; Russia had just over half 2008’s total, with 25.9 million fixed line numbers in existence.
Source 17
MOBILE CELLULAR SUBSCRIPTIONS IN RUSSIA (2000-2021)
Number of subscriptions in millions
20003.26
20017.75
200217.61
200336.14
200473.72
2005120
2006150.67
2007171.2
2008199.52
2009230.05
2010237.69
2011203.75
2012208.07
2013218.3
2014221.03
2015227.29
2016229.13
2017227.3
2018229.43
2019239.8
2020238.73
2021246.57
  • As with most other countries, Russia sees a significant rise in mobile cellphone numbers between 2000 and 2021. The end-of-2000 figure stands at 3.26 million mobile phone numbers.
  • By 2021, this quantity had reached a huge 246.6 million mobile phone numbers in use.

How Many Phone Numbers Are There in Indonesia?

Source 18
FIXED TELEPHONE LINE SUBSCRIPTIONS IN INDONESIA (2011-2021)
Number of subscriptions in millions
20115.38
20143.89
20182.65
20192.36
20202.24
20211.85
  • Indonesia has a relatively small number of landlines or fixed line numbers. In 2011, it had 5.38 million numbers for fixed line phones.
  • This number has fallen on an annual basis, reaching only 1.85 million fixed line numbers by the time 2021 ends.

Will We Ever Run Out of Phone Numbers?

In theory, it is possible to run out of phone numbers because there are a finite number of combinations for phone numbers. Each phone number consists of a specific sequence of digits, and there is a limit to how many unique combinations can be created with a given number of digits. Therefore, if we exhaust all possible combinations, we would run out of phone numbers.

To address the issue of running out of phone numbers, there are several potential solutions that have been considered. Here are two commonly discussed methods:

  1. Adding additional area codes: Area codes are used to distinguish different geographic regions within a country. By introducing new area codes, we can expand the pool of available phone numbers. This method allows for more unique combinations by allocating different combinations of digits for each area code. However, there is a limit to the number of area codes that can be introduced before it becomes impractical or confusing for users.
  2. Adding more digits: Increasing the number of digits in a phone number expands the potential combinations significantly. For example, if a phone number currently consists of 10 digits, increasing it to 11 or more digits would provide a larger pool of available numbers. However, this method poses practicality challenges as it requires changes to existing infrastructure, including updating phone systems, databases, and equipment. Additionally, it could cause confusion for users who are accustomed to a specific number of digits.

Both methods have their limitations and practicality issues. Adding additional area codes can become problematic when there are too many codes to remember or dial correctly. It may also lead to confusion when calling across different areas with different area codes. Similarly, adding more digits to phone numbers can cause inconvenience for users who are accustomed to a specific number of digits, and it requires significant updates to existing systems and websites that use the current numbering system for verification.

While running out of phone numbers is theoretically possible due to the finite number of combinations, implementing solutions like adding additional area codes or increasing the number of digits poses practicality challenges. As technology evolves, it is likely that new methods or approaches will be devised to address this issue more effectively. 20

How Many Fixed Line/Landline Numbers Are There?

  • There are currently (as of 2021) a total of 884 million landline numbers across the globe. This figure does not include premium rate numbers 2.

How Many Mobile Phone Numbers Are There?

  • Unlike fixed line numbers, mobile numbers have been increasing year-on-year. As of the end of 2021, there are 8.6 BILLION mobile phone numbers in existence 3.

How Many Phone Numbers Can One Person Have?

The number of phone numbers a person can have is not technically limited, as long as they are willing to pay the subscription fees associated with each number. In most cases, individuals are allowed to have multiple phone numbers if they desire, either for personal or business reasons.

Phone service providers offer various plans that allow customers to add additional lines or numbers to their accounts. Each line or number typically comes with its own subscription fee, which may vary depending on the provider and the specific features included.

Having multiple phone numbers can be beneficial for individuals who want to keep their personal and professional lives separate, manage different businesses, or maintain privacy for specific purposes. Some people also choose to have multiple phone numbers for different geographic locations, making it easier for them to communicate locally when they are away from their primary residence.

However, it’s important to note that while there may not be a technical limit to the number of phone numbers a person can have, there may be practical limitations based on affordability, managing multiple devices, and the complexity of handling multiple phone numbers effectively.

Essentially, as long as a person can afford the subscription fees associated with each number, there is no inherent restriction on the number of phone numbers they can have.

Can You Keep the Same Phone Number Forever?

Yes, it is possible to keep the same phone number forever, provided you met certain conditions. The ability to keep your phone number when switching service providers is typically governed by local regulations and the policies of the telecommunications industry in your country.

To keep the same phone number, you would need to follow a process called number portability. Number portability allows you to transfer your existing phone number from one service provider to another. This process ensures that you can maintain the same contact information even if you switch to a different carrier.

The specific requirements and procedures for number portability can vary by country and service provider. Generally, you would need to contact your new desired service provider and request to port your existing number. They will guide you through the necessary steps, which may include providing certain codes or information related to your current service provider.

It’s important to note that while number portability is generally supported, there may be certain limitations or restrictions in certain situations. For example, you may not be able to port a number between different services, such as landline to mobile or vice versa.

Additionally, there may be contractual obligations or fees associated with porting your number. It’s advisable to check with both your current and prospective service providers to understand the terms and any potential costs involved.

As long as you can fulfill the requirements for number portability, including having the relevant codes and following the necessary procedures, it is possible to keep the same phone number even when migrating to a new service provider 21.

How Many Phone Numbers Are Possible?

The American NANP (North American Numbering Plan) numbering format, which the United States, Canada, and various Caribbean countries use, provides a vast number of possible combinations. In this numbering format, phone numbers consist of a three-digit area code followed by a three-digit central office code, which is subsequently followed by a four-digit line number.

Using these cues, SellCell calculates that in the NANP system, there are almost 2.7 billion possible phone numbers. There are currently 335 area codes. There are also 7,919,900 combinations of central office code and local number. Therefore, if we multiply the two, we get a huge 2,653,166,500 potential phone numbers 22.

Give Me Your Number (But Not Your Landline)

As we can see, the rise of the mobile phone has contributed directly to the demise of the fixed line or landline number. With the quantity of mobile phone numbers growing each year, while the number of fixed lines declines, we may well reach a point where landlines are used only by businesses, before eventually phasing out entirely once new communication technology takes hold.

Sources

  1. Statista
  2. Statista
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Statista
  5. Statista
  6. Statista
  7. Statista
  8. Statista
  9. Statista
  10. Statista
  11. Statista
  12. Statista
  13. Statista
  14. Statista
  15. Statista
  16. Statista
  17. Statista
  18. Statista
  19. Statista
  20. Dataprot
  21. Wikipedia
  22. Wikipedia