Well … I thought so anyway.
According to Pingdom (here) 107 trillion e-mails were sent over the Internet in 2010. This is estimated to be about 70 percent of all e-mails sent as it does not include any internal e-mail traffic within companies (which do not go out over the Internet). This being the case then that would mean the total number of e-mails sent in 2011, including internal “business” e-mails, would be something like 153 trillion (153,000,000,000,000).
This works out to 291 million e-mails being sent every minute of every day of every year.
It seems that almost 90 percent of all e‑mail is SPAM (unwanted rubbish mail).
Pingdom say there are 1.88 billion active e-mail accounts worldwide. I am not sure if this number includes internal company e-mail accounts. I suspect that it probably doesn’t; that it is only the number of Internet users with e-mails accounts. Assuming I am right on this point then these are the users that sent the 107 trillion Internet e-mails in 2010. To do this they would each need to send about 150 e-mails per day.
Initially 150 e-mails per day per account seems too high but you have to factor into this that 90 percent of e-mail is SPAM and SPAMing bots can send about four e-mails a minute which works out to 5,760 e-mails per day if they are running full time; and many of them would be. Once you factor this in then an overall average of 150 e-mails per day per account makes more sense—in fact it even starts to seems to be too low.
As well as the 1.88 billion active e-mail accounts there are an estimated 1.3 billion orphaned e-mail accounts. These are e-mail accounts set up by people and then either never used, or they forgot about them, or they forgot the password and rather than find out what it was they simply created another e-mail account.
According to scribd (here) and Lifehacker (here) the average person has 3.3 e-mail accounts. I am assuming this does not include business e-mail account(s) and only relates to ‘public’ or Internet e-mail accounts. Even so 3.3 accounts per person seems very low to me. Just checking with a few of the people I know they have 4 or 5, and in one case 20+ (so they can have lots of Farmville games going at the same time), e-mail accounts each.
So. What does it all mean?
Well it would seem that despite rumours of its death e-mail, which has been around since almost Day 1 of the Internet, is not going away any time soon.