Help:Category Counts and Sorting

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This page is for advanced members who want to understand the way we calculate the number of profiles in a category, and how the profiles in a category are sorted.

We made a number of improvements to our categorization systems in February 2021 and released another small round of changes in June 2021.


Daily Counts

Once a day, early in the morning, we count the number of subcategories, pages, and person profiles in each category. These counts appear next to the name of every subcategory. For example, on Category:Unsourced_Profiles you will see something like this:

Europe, Unsourced Profiles (45, 1, 0)

This means that Category:Europe,_Unsourced_Profiles has 45 subcategories, one person profile, and no free-space profiles or other pages.

This is explained in a pop-up note if you hover your mouse over the series of numbers.

Categories with less than 1,500 profiles

Although we do our full counts once a day, we do a live update of the count when you view any category that contains less than 1,500 profiles.

If a category contains more than 1,500 profiles the total that appears on the category page will not be updated when you add and remove profiles. The total will be updated the next morning.


Subcategories, pages, and profiles in a category generally appear in alphabetical order.

Person profiles are sorted alphabetically by Last Name at Birth (LNAB). Profiles with the same LNAB are then sorted by First Name. However, there are some complexities to this.

Categories with more than 5,000 profiles

If a category contains 5,000 or more profiles, they are only sorted by last name. The first name sorting is not done. This would slow down the display of the pages too much.

There is another complexity to this. If a category has 5,000 or less profiles, we ignore the capitalization of last names. For example, if the category has under 5,000 profiles, de Vere and De Vere will appear together under "D", but if the category has more than 5,000 profiles, they will appear separately under "d" and "D".

Changing the sort order

See Help:Category_Creation_and_Removal#Changing_the_sort_order.

This page was last modified 19:23, 8 October 2021. This page has been accessed 821 times.