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What is the average comments length on Stack Overflow?

I'm working on my Thesis about Short Message Topic Detection (on Twitter, to be more specific) and I would like to know that for research purposes.

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5 – Bart Feb 14 '13 at 8:49
up vote 13 down vote accepted

146 characters.

To get the precise value, one should use floating-point arithmetic. The query is:


This gives 145.98293005330171, or very close to 146. Beware of integer division when your result is not an integer!

Interesting features in the graph of the distribution include:

  • Very few comments less than 15 chars (the UI now prevents such short comments)
  • An upturn for the longest comments, at or just below the 600-char maximum
  • A smaller upturn around 300 (I assume there used to be a 300-char limit, now removed)
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good touch making the 6 in 146 bold.. :) – Krishnabhadra Feb 14 '13 at 9:15
That's exactly the very same query I ran when @Bart pointed me to ;-) – Oscar Mederos Feb 14 '13 at 9:22

As of now, 145.

The distribution is probably more useful, though.

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See also the graph of the distribution: – Mechanical snail Feb 14 '13 at 9:18

Here it is

SELECT SUM(CAST(LEN(Text) as bigint))/COUNT(*) FROM Comments;
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