According to the most read Wikipedia articles of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. presidential elections were the major events of 2020. The article for the COVID-19 pandemic was clicked approximately 84 million times, almost double of the number of clicks 2019’s most read article about the Marvel movie Avengers: Endgame received last year.
Both events have three articles in 2020’s top 10 of the most read Wikipedia articles. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris beats President-elect Joe Biden in Wikipedia clicks, but outgoing President Donald Trump’s article generated around 50 percent more interest than either of the two, landing him in rank 2 behind the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though “Deaths in 2020” sounds like another coronavirus-related feature but is actually a staple of Wikipedia’s most read list. The article features famous people who passed in the given year. One of the most mourned was basketball player Kobe Bryant, whose article comes in rank 7. Chadwick Boseman’s Wikipedia entry was the year’s 20th most read and Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput, who died by suicide, came in rank 18.
Due to the devastating effects of the pandemic on movie theaters, films – normally a staple of the most read Wikipedia articles - are notably absent from the top 10. The highest ranked is South Korean feature and best picture winner Parasite in rank 21. A new season of the Netflix show “The Crown” explains why Queen Elizabeth II was catapulted into rank 9 since TV shows are a common reason why famous personalities appear on the Wikipedia list. Princess Margaret made it into rank 23 this way, ahead of Princess Diana (rank 28). Broadway musical Hamilton screened on Disney+ this year, which made many internet users want to read up on namesake and main character, Founding Father Alexander Hamilton (rank 27).