Readability of Wikipedia


  • Teun Lucassen University of Twente
  • Roald Dijkstra Babbletics
  • Jan Maarten Schraagen University of Twente



wikipedia, english, simple, readability, language


Wikipedia is becoming widely acknowledged as a reliable source of encyclopedic information. However, concerns have been expressed about its readability. Wikipedia articles might be written in a language too difficult to be understood by most of its visitors. In this study, we apply the Flesch reading ease test to all available articles from the English Wikipedia to investigate these concerns. The results show that overall readability is poor, with 75 percent of all articles scoring below the desired readability score. The ‘Simple English’ Wikipedia scores better, but its readability is still insufficient for its target audience. A demo of our methodology is available at

Author Biographies

Teun Lucassen, University of Twente

Phd Student, Department of Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics

Roald Dijkstra, Babbletics

Founder, Babbletics

Jan Maarten Schraagen, University of Twente

Professor, Department of Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics




How to Cite

Lucassen, T., Dijkstra, R., & Schraagen, J. M. (2012). Readability of Wikipedia. First Monday.