So just how many of us are there?


One of the questions that has been at the back of my mind since I have been contributing to Mozilla is the question of what size volunteer population I am part of.

When I volunteer at large (mainly sports) events, I know that I am one of a team of one hundred and thirty for a given part of the event (for example), but with contributing at Mozilla being digital, it is difficult to understand the size of the contributor population. It also makes it more difficult to explain what you do to others. Am I one of one hundred, one thousand or one million?

A number I have clung to is that there are 10554 active Mozillians worldwide. Not sure if this includes circa one thousand staff, and I have always been a bit concerned that the number is a) very exact and b) does not seem to change.

The email sent the other day mentions that there are one thousand staff, twenty thousand active community leader and volunteers and 1.7m active members of the supporter community. I do not dispute these figures, but I am not sure how these fit into the standard model, illustrated here. Is the twenty thousand an estimated total of the core and active contributors? Is the 1.7m an estimated total of the casual contributors and supporters?

I know it may not be that accurate, but there is also mention on Wikipedia that there are 40k active contributors in the Mozilla community.

I am not disputing any of the numbers and I fully appreciate that an accurate census is almost impossible, but it would be nice to know the size of the contributing population to better appreciate what I am part of (and which part I am in), to help “market” contributing to Mozilla (“you will be joining a team of “x” size”) and also to have a metric from which an increase in participation can be measured.

Are we a million yet?

Okay, so that gives us c.9.8k active contributors. Great.

Some of those will be staff as their activity may hit the triggers points for that data set, but let us (generously) uplift that figure to 10.8k as being active contributors (inc staff).

How many of the 9.8k are “core contributors”?

and looking the other way…

How many “casual contributors” and “supporters” are there estimated to be?

Please note that this probably hasn’t been maintained since 2014.

Which is also a relevant point in this thread.

There’s a project/sprint in January to get some basic metrics in place that are reliable.

@pierros can add some thoughts. Let us know if you might be able to help – almost certain there will be help needed on visualization.


Just wondering if there was an update on this?

Given that we should be able to get a total population figure from, and be able to segment the staff headcount from that reasonably easily, the challenge would then be to separate out core and active contributor groups.

One way we could do that could be to run a “census” of the population, asking if people have actively contributed in the past “x” months (the survey could also be used to gather useful metrics around which areas people contribute to and of those, which is the one they identify with the most - for example).

The only challenge then would be to identify “core contributors” from the active contributor population. I would agree that just counting the NDA population would be very misleading but perhaps liaising with various teams to ask how many contributors do they reckon are “core”.

Full appreciate there would be cost attributable to the survey, but it would be a good way to understand so how many of us there are.

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Thanks for following up on this.

First, we did deliver the top-level count of # of Mozillians: … subtract about 1,100 staff and you get non-employee, vouched Mozillians.

However, contribution and activity is something different.

I need to write about this (or clean up the various Google docs/GitHub issues), but we’ve just brought on a really cool open source company full of Mozillians who are helping us answer this question and produce dashboards in a robust way ( They are pulling about 20+ data sources, de-duplicating, and processing the data into something meaningful.

We’ll have a solid version of the dashboards public by the end of June.

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Since you mention a deadline I’d expect to have an open issue on the Participation github repository for this. I can see it on the Participation OKRs as O5KR4 though. Is there a repository to keep track of that I’m missing here for the whole PartSol part of the OKRs?

I remember this site to track all the mozillians.

Very cool!

Wow, that is amazing. Not so sure what period of time the change figures are over, but still, a great step forwards.

To know that the total community size is (at time of writing) 39.3k and that there are 4.8k thrice vouched Mozillians, of whom 1.1k are staff is very exciting, and that is before you look at the country breakdown.

Is the plan to use (what I have dubbed) the standard model and split the population into Staff/Core/Active/Casual/Supporter with a further digest by team/country?


A split by Total Population/Vouched/NDA/Staff?

It feels like we are closer to the later, but that could be seen as unfair on those that are active, but not vouched and core and but have no need of an NDA.

But please do not take this as criticism. Understanding how many we are and what we do leads us to better understand what we have and how we can engage the community better.

This is great work. Please keep people updated as to progress on this really interesting and useful project.

Taking Switzerland as example: there are a few non-vouched profiles who show interest in the Mozilla mission but are not vouched. But those are just a few, so there are still around 75% of the total number that are clearly spam accounts. That 39.3k needs to be viewed with a grain of salt.

Hot off the press!!

Open issue:

Draft project page on the wiki (better project management and fleshing out how to review this with volunteer leadership and communities is missing):

This first tool is just a census…you’ll see the larger project is much more about what you’re talking about.

Hi Michael

I was not aware that there were spam accounts in Mozillians, but I do take you point there there are surplus accounts. Certainly for the non spam accounts, it will always be difficult to “weed them out”, as they are often people that have had a level of involvement with Mozilla which has ceased.

At the present time, until more accurate data exists, that number does serve as a vague upper limit of the the number of contributors (with a large +/- x variation) for internal use (as long as we do not start quoting it…!).

Hi George

Thank you. For me, this is a very important project as it will not only help us better understand what we have as a community (and where we can go) but also to help people understand what they are part of.

I open a ticket years ago about it