Growth of Unicode over time

My previous post quoted Randall Munroe saying Unicode “started out just trying to unify a couple different character sets” and grew much more ambitious.

The first version of Unicode, published in 1991, had 7,191 characters. Now the latest version has 137,994 characters and so is about 19 times bigger. Here’s a plot of the number of characters in Unicode over time.

Number of Unicode characters over time

Here’s a slightly different plot where the horizontal axis is version number rather than time.

Number of Unicode characters by standard version number

There’s plenty of room left in Unicode. The maximum number of possible Unicode characters is 1,111,998 for reasons I hope to get into in another blog post.