In this recent site meta answer I wrote

There are almost 200 SE sites to choose from! But they vary in question rate and temperament.

I actually took the time to count them the first time I used this line, and I just keep using "almost 200".1 As far as I can tell stackexchange.com/sites doesn't display a total anywhere.

I wonder if a "N sites and counting..." message near the top would be helpful? Surely we're all proud of how SE keeps growing and diversifying.

1I just discovered a trick; searching for "%" returns 181 instances.


2 Answers 2


How many?

There are 4 ways to count the number of sites. Each way of counting sites is used in at least one place by the Stack Exchange software.

Include Area 51 Exclude Area 51
Exclude child metas 182 181
Include child metas 362 360


  • meta.SE is a meta but not a child meta — it's site_type is main_site in the API.
  • The Area 51 Discussion Zone is a child meta. Counts that exclude Area 51 also exclude the Discussion Zone.
  • There is some weirdness with how private beta sites are counted; this isn't an issue currently since there aren't any right now. When private beta sites exist again, I'll have to change the above from a 2D table of numbers to a 3D cube of numbers.

Different counts

There are multiple different counts of the number of sites:

  • There's a box on stackexchange.com claiming 181 sites; (it can be dismissed):

    181 communities

  • Hovering over the SE button gives 182 sites:

    182 Stack Exchange Sites

  • https://stackexchange.com/sites has 181 entries

  • The API knows about 182 main sites (362 including child metas)

  • SEDE knows about 360 sites

  • I noticed that Math Overflow is on /sites but Physics Overflow isn't. I wonder if that's the difference between 181 and 182 (doesn't seem to be). Oh! If we click the SE button it takes us to stackexchange.com (not /sites) and there it DOES display the 181 communities (not 182 sites) message without logging us out! So I guess "A list of all 182 Stack Exchange Sites" is a misnomer?
    – uhoh
    Oct 2, 2022 at 1:39
  • 3
    @uhoh physics overflow isnt a SE site; presumably the 182nd site is Area 51 (which is under the dropdown in the navbar). Oct 2, 2022 at 2:05
  • 1
    The number of per-site-metas can differ from 2X the number of sites, because some sites don't have a meta; example: stackapps.com
    – Rob
    Oct 2, 2022 at 2:54
  • Why do you say that the box on stackexchange.com is only displayed to logged out users? I can see the box when logged in. Oct 2, 2022 at 3:27
  • @Elements is correct, I removed the wrong part of the answer. This has nothing to do with logging in or out, it's just a banner that can be dismissed. Oct 2, 2022 at 6:29
  • 1
    @Shadow is there a way to bring the box back if it has been dismissed? I can't find a setting for this. Oct 2, 2022 at 6:31
  • 2
    @Elements no setting, sadly, but look for some cookie that might indicate "banner dismissed". This can also be tied server side to the account itself though, in which case, no way at all to change it. Oct 2, 2022 at 6:56

When I* go to https://stackexchange.com, the number of sites is right there – on the front page:

stackexchange.com banner, with number of sites circled

* Apparently, if you dismiss this banner you won't be able to get back again easily. This is because its dismissed state is stored in some cookie, and there is no settings page to reset it.
If you have dismissed this banner and want to see it again, a workaround is to log out.

Another way to find this statistic is on a sites tour page (right down the bottom), e.g. Meta SE - tour:

bottom of tour page, with number of sites circled


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