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Web developers are strongly encouraged to add alt text (via the <img> tag's alt="text here" attribute) when adding images to webpages.

Here's an example of alt text providing a description of the image in place of the image:

When the image loads it has a girl in a jacket, when the image fails to load the text 'girl in jacket' is displayed in place of the image

Question

Have any studies estimated what proportion of the images on the web have alt text? For example, is it closer to 90%, 50%, just 20%?

Background

I've been doing a little reading on accessibility and assistive technologies to better understand what developers can do to assist users. This is just a question that popped into my head, which I thought I should be able to answer, but couldn't.

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A couple top hits searching DuckDuckGo for:

accessibility statistics "alternative text"

...recently report approx. 75% of "home pages" have alternative text for images.

Sources provided by those sites:

https://webaim.org/projects/million/#alttext

23.2% of all home page images...had missing alternative text (not counting alt="").

https://www.levelaccess.com/wp-content/uploads/pdf/SODAR-2021-Final-a11y.pdf

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  • The alt attribute is allowed to be empty, but it is hard to know if it was left empty on purpose or if it was a CMS adding the attribute but the user left it empty because of a non-awareness of accessibility.
    – jazZRo
    Commented Dec 5, 2022 at 13:11

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