QR Code Statistics 2024: Usage, Trends, and Insights

The latest QR code statistics show a sharp increase in usage, adoption, and application on a global scale over the past few years.

As the world needed to transition into a contactless lifestyle amid the global pandemic, the 30-year-old QR code technology has been revived as a safe and effective way to communicate, transact, and promote anything.

Five years later, as most of the world has concluded its preventive measures against COVID-19, are QR codes still relevant to the world we live in today, or is it simply a remnant of the contactless lifestyle we used to have?

Free QR Code Generator takes a deep dive into the different usage, trends, and insights about QR code technology in 2024.

What is a QR code, and how does it work?

What is a QR code and the logic behind it? Here’s what: QR codes, or quick response codes, are two-dimensional barcodes that store information, such as links, files, images, audio, videos, and more.

Unlike traditional barcodes that hold up to 85 characters only, QR code data types can hold up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters and 7,089 numeric characters. These 2D codes hold a lot more data for almost the same size.

As these pixels can hold much more data, QR codes provide a convenient method for sharing large file sizes, facilitating contactless transactions, launching mobile-first advertising, and more.

QR code vs barcode: What’s the difference

QR code and barcode

QR codes vs. data matrix codes are both two-dimensional barcodes with black and white squares following a grid pattern. 

That’s why it is easy to mistake them for one another. However, they have different sizes, data capabilities, and uses.

QR codes, on the other hand, vary in two forms: dynamic and static QR codes. So what is a dynamic QR code? It is a more advanced version than static that allows editing, tracking, password-protection, and expiry.

But QR codes, overall, can be used to create a number of solutions because they can:

  • Hold a lot more data
  • Store kanjis and other character sets
  • Customizable with images, logos, and colors
  • Only handle between 7-30% errors

Meanwhile, data matrix codes have more limited capabilities, meaning they can store less data and encode fewer data sets.

However, they are the only approved GS1 digital link QR code barcode for various healthcare, automotive, and aerospace applications.

QR code facts: Analyzing the numbers

Smartphone QR code scanning

In 2024, QR codes are more than just barcodes that can hold a lot of data; they have become an all-around tool used by many industries worldwide. 

Here are the facts about QR codes you need to know.

QR code generation increased fourfold in just 3 years leading to 2024

QR code statistics for generation are stronger than ever, with 2024 recording a 238.06% increase from the statistics in 2021. In fact, by mid-2023, a 43.20 percent growth rate was recorded from the same period in 2022.

These staggering numbers reflect that businesses and brands still acknowledge QR codes as an effective tool for generating sales, marketing to customers, improving consumer experiences, and expanding their business operations. 

The main drivers for this continued growth are real estate, hospitality, education, and healthcare industries that have fully embraced the use of QR codes.

According to the latest statistics from various sources, QR codes are used in these markets primarily because they are easy to use, versatile, and easy to create.

QR code scanning recorded a 433% increase over the past 2 years

Worldwide QR code scanners

Another QR code fact: In 2023, the number of users scanning QR codes climbed to 26.95 million worldwide. Compared to the figures recorded in 2021 at 6.8 million, scanning records increased by over 433%!

Most smartphones are now equipped with a built-in QR code scanner. In effect, QR code scanning has become much easier—no need for a third-party QR scanner that often doesn’t meet cybersecurity standards.

Moreover, most apps now adopt mobile-first technology. Mobile-centered tools, such as QR codes, are now more optimized, allowing users to scan QR codes with ease.

The U.S. leads the pack in QR code usage at nearly 2.9 million scans

Year after year, the statistics for its usage in the United States are ever-increasing. In 2023, nearly 2.9 million scans were recorded. 

Other countries aren’t falling behind either, as the rates for the usage of QR codes in these countries are also on a steady rise. Nations that are also increasingly adopting QR codes are:

  • India
  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Philippines

Across different regions, a noticeable rise in QR codes has been observed. For instance, Europe, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom are front-runners in adopting QR codes. 

Countries in the Middle East have also seen a gradual but steady increase in QR code adoption.

8 QR codes are generated per minute—a 47% YOY increase

As cited by QR TIGER, there has been a recorded 47% year-on-year increase in QR code generation. By QR code statistics analysis, eight QR codes are generated each minute!

As QR code technology advances, brands and businesses can generate QR codes for 20 online solutions, including URLs, files, vCards, QR code for social media, MP3, and landing pages.

This range of solutions is still expanding with integrations for AI, AR, and IoT. Leading QR code generations are from major brands, such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Pepsi.

Customized QR codes get 80% more scans compared to generic ones

QR code statistics on usage

If you want to increase the scans in your QR codes, customize them. It has been proven time and time again through QR code statistics that customized QR codes receive 80% more scans compared to generic ones.

Customizing QR codes is more than just for aesthetic purposes; it also increases trust and builds confidence among users to scan the QR codes. Be sure to follow QR code best practices in customization.

Aside from customizing the colors, design, logo, and frames, it’s important to put a call to action in the QR code. It gives users a sense of where it will redirect to once scanned. 

Make sure to write a compelling CTA to increase your scanning rate.

Use a QR code generator with comprehensive customization features, such as  Free QR Code Generator.

How to scan a QR code on iOS and Android

No need for special equipment to scan QR codes; most iOS and Android devices can scan these 2D barcodes directly from the native camera app.

Simply open the camera app and point directly at the QR code. A preview will show on the screen once the QR code is recognized.

However, it’s important to note how small can a QR be when generating, as this will greatly impact the scannability of the code as well. It shouldn’t be smaller than 2 cm by 2 cm.

If you believe the size of the code is within that dimension, proceed to scanning and follow the instructions on the screen to decode the information in the QR codes.

How widely used are QR codes?

QR code usage can be widely observed around the world. In the United States alone, QR code scans were at 2.9 million in 2023. However, these numbers were dwarfed by China, which recorded 113.6 million scans in just one month.

A big factor why QR codes are so widely used nowadays is that most contactless payment methods worldwide are done through these 2D barcodes.

Add the numbers from QR code campaigns, promotions, and product packaging; these numbers are just staggering.

How to create a QR code using Free QR Code Generator

Creating a QR code is quick, easy, and free. What’s great about this software is that it allows you to do more than just create a QR code—it enables customization that makes your QR code unique and personalized.

Follow these seven steps to create a QR code for FREE!

  1. Visit Free QR Code Generator.
  2. Choose a QR code solution that suits your needs.
  3. Enter the information you want to embed in the empty field.
  4. Select between Static and Dynamic QR codes.

Tip: Dynamic QR codes enable editing and tracking of your scan data through in-platform analytics.

  1. Customize the QR code with logo by choosing from different colors, designs, and frames. You can add a logo and put a call to action up to 60 characters max.
  2. Double-check whether the QR code is recognizable by scanning it first with your smartphone.
  3. Click the Download button for either PNG or SVG.

Tip: SVG offers a high-resolution, print-quality QR code that can be scalable for printed files.

QR code statistics: Nowhere to go but up!

If there’s one thing these statistics tell us, it is that both QR code generation and scanning continue to go up.

Factors such as advancements in QR code technologies, an increase in people owning smartphones with built-in QR code scanners, and the habits of people using QR codes tell us that the numbers are on a positive trend.

To stay ahead of the curve, make sure to use a QR code generator that is easy to use, convenient, and, most of all, FREE! Learn more about it on Free QR Code Generator.

Frequently Asked Questions

What percentage of people use QR codes?

QR code statistics have shown that 94 million smartphone users have scanned QR codes in the United States in 2023 alone. It is almost a 6% increase yearly and more than 33% compared to three years prior.

Given the trend of these numbers, it is projected that the number of QR code scans by 2025 will reach 100 million.

What is the average scan rate for QR codes?

Based on the database of QR TIGER, the United States recorded a 38.17 percent scan rate in 2023. It is followed by India at 9.11%, Mexico at 3.9%, France at 3.86%, Spain at 3.14%., and Saudi Arabia at 2.75%.

For QR code campaigns, the average scan rate is around 6.4 percent, while the scan-through rate averages around 12.8 percent.

QR code in product packaging typically receives the highest scan rates, achieving up to 30% given the proper implementation.