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WebAIM Million – 2021 Update

The 2021 WebAIM Million Report is now available. This annual accessibility analysis of the home pages of the top one million web sites provides insight into the current state of and trends for web accessibility. The report provides details into technical aspects of accessibility and comparisons for many types of home page categories, such as by TLD, document language, site sector, and technologies in use. The WAVE web accessibility testing tool was used to analyze the 1,000,000 home pages.

Here are some interesting and noteworthy items from this year’s analysis:

  • The number of detectable accessibility errors was 51.4 on average per home page. This was an improvement from 60.9 errors just one year ago.
  • The number of elements on the average home page was 887, a slight increase from 864 in 2020. At 51.4 errors per page, users with disabilities would expect to encounter detectable errors on 1 in every 17 home page elements.
  • 97.4% of home pages had detectable WCAG 2 failures. This was a small improvement from 98.1% in 2020.
  • Home pages most commonly had low contrast text, missing alternative text, missing form input labels, empty links, missing document language, and empty buttons.
  • 86.4% of home pages had low contrast text averaging 31 instances per home page.
  • 26% of images had missing alternative text. Over one third of all images analyzed had detectable accessibility issues.
  • Nearly half of all form inputs were not properly labeled.
  • The proper use of headings in home pages is increasing over time.
  • ARIA usage increased 25% since 2020 with 68% of home pages utilizing ARIA and an average of 48 ARIA attributes per page. Home pages with ARIA present averaged 41% more detectable errors (24 additional potential barriers per page) than those without ARIA. An increase in ARIA attributes aligned with an increase in detectable web accessibility errors.
  • 79% of home pages had a valid HTML5 doctype. HTML5 pages had nearly double the page elements and 35% more accessibility errors than pages with other doctypes.
  • Web site categories that were subject to increased civil rights complaints and lawsuits in 2020 were among the most improved.
  • There were significant differences in detectable accessibility errors based on top-level domain. For example, .ru (Russia) and .cn (China) home pages had around double the errors as .us (United States) and .ca (Canada) home pages.
  • With the exception of React and Ruby on Rails, the presence of all other popular JavaScript frameworks, libraries, and web frameworks corresponded with an increase in detectable errors.

There is much more information and analysis available in the 2021 WebAIM Million Report.

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